The latest from Taiji.
By Hans Peter Roth - WDCS rep on the ground.
The hunt is over
(27.02.2011) As the drive hunt season in Taiji ends on February 28th, it dawned on me that the hunter won't hunt for the next six month. They dismantled the tarps in the harbor which helped to hide the dead bodies when they arrived for the slaughter house. And the metal rods have been removed from the boats.
In that way the hunting boats are turning into normal fishery boats which shows that there really is an alternative to the drive hunt, because for the next six month, the hunters are fishermen.
In the next step, the green, blue and gray tarps have been removed from the death cove. These should hide the whole massacre from the eyes of the uninvited, hidden observer.
After I added it all up for myself I am able to say, that about 900 dolphins died during the hunting season 2010/2011. That's an impressive decrease to last year when they are thought to have killed about 1,700 dolphins.
There were for the first time several observers from different organizations and from Japan here to report at any one time during the whole period of the hunt. Because of this, this season is the first time possible to get an approximate calculation of the number of dolphins killed and to compare it with the numbers that are published. The number of the captured dolphins is yet unclear. But as we now know for sure, the number is much higher than last year.
The End of the season is now even officially made public and some Japanese newspapers wrote about it. The decrease of the number of slaughtered dolphins is a sign of hope. But the reason can only be guessed. Is the total number of dolphins decreasing? Are the dolphins beginning to avoid the region? Do the hunters on purpose hunt less animals to kill, because the demand for whale and dolphin meat is decreasing? Probably, it's a combination of all the factors. Fact is, that the hunters left some animals alone at times, instead of killing them.
Hans Peter Roth