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11 Facts About Dolphin Hunts

1. “Drive hunts” are when dolphins and small whales at sea are herded by boats into a cove area where they are either killed or selected alive for sale to marine parks and aquaria across the globe.

2. The Japanese hunts are the biggest single slaughter of whales and dolphins in the world involving drive and hand-held harpoon hunts.

3. It has been documented that some dolphins have taken more than thirty minutes to die.

4. In Japan, curtains are pulled across the shoreline to hide the killing process from the public. Conservationists work to protect endangered and hunted species like dolphins. Send them thank you cards to thank them for their work. Sign up forWildlife Cards.

5. In the cove at Taiji in Japan, some of the dolphins rounded up are selected for use in dolphin shows but many die of shock before they make it to waiting transport.

6. Japanese 'drive hunts' kill nearly 20,000 dolphins, porpoises and small whales every year.

7. Commercial whaling was outlawed in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission, but dolphin hunts remain legal.

8. The dolphin hunters make approximately $32,000 USD for each live dolphin they capture. These figures can skyrocket from $32,000 USD up to $250,000 USD for a trained captive dolphin.

9. In the wild, dolphins can live into their 40s and 50s―some have been documented to be more than 90 years old. But more than 80 percent of captive dolphins whose ages could be determined died before they turned 20.

10. In 2009 The Cove, a documentary on dolphin hunting in Japan won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film brought international attention to the issue of dolphin hunting.

11. Dolphin meat is sold in stores throughout Japan. What is never included on the label are the levels of mercury, methyl mercury, cadmium, DDT and PCBs. One or more of these contaminants pollute almost all of the dolphin meat for sale in Japan.

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