Fifty percent of the live dolphins captured in the Japanese town of Taiji exported to China and other countries in the face of worldwide criticism of the hunting method used, a news report said.
The “drive hunt” technique is deemed cruel by other nations and Japanese zoos and aquariums were enforced into an avowal not to patronize the controversial fishing technique.
About 760 live dolphins were sold from September 2009 to August 2014 in Japan, said Kyodo News Saturday, parroting data from Japan’s Fisheries Research Agency.
According to statistics 354 dolphins were exported to 12 countries, that includes 15 to Russia, 35 to South Korea, 36 to Ukraine, 216 to China and 1 to the United States.
11 dolphins were also exported to Thailand, followed by 10 each to Vietnam and Saudi Arabia, 7 to Georgia, 5 to Tunisia and 4 each to the Philippines and Egypt, Kyodo said.
UN data presented the export of live dolphins between 2009 and 2013 were to zoos or aquariums, Kyodo added.
Live dolphins coming from Taiji came to worldwide scrutiny following the Oscar-winning 2009 docu “The Cove” showing pods cornered into a bay and slaughtered using knives, turning the water red due to the mass killing.
Japanese zoos and aquariums, last month, voted to stop using dolphins caught by the method, according to a demand from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (Waza).
The vote followed a Waza’s suspension of the Japanese chapter (Jaza) last April over the issue.
Drive hunt fishing is regarded by Waza as cruel. Pods of cetaceans are steered into a bay by a wall of sound, but local fishermen denied the charge as cruel.