Every year, a small Japanese town called Taiji reportedly carries out the slaughter of hundreds of dolphins by trapping them in a remote cove, then killing each individual dolphin in what some have described as the most barbaric method. The practice draws widespread outrage, and this year the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) suspended its Japanese counterparts' membership for their connection to Taiji. (The aquariums would buy live dolphins from the town.) But after global pressure and the threat of expulsion from WAZA, Japanese aquariums voted not to buy live Taiji hunt dolphins anymore.
The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) voted on Wednesday to stay with the global organization, and subsequently agreeing to stop buying live dolphins from the controversial town for their aquariums and sea parks.
After unanimously voting to suspend JAZA's membership earlier this year as a repercussion for the purchases, WAZA threatened to remove the Japanese group from the global organization if it refused to stop.
The dolphin hunt takes place every September, and according to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), a charity dedicated to protecting cetaceans, it kills more than 1,000 dolphins each year, and their deaths are slow and agonizing.
The annual slaughter was first brought to the public's attention with the 2009 Oscar-nominated documentary film "The Cove." The movie exposed the international community to the horrors of Japan's dolphin hunt that hopefully will soon come to an end.
The video below shows just how barbaric the practice is. (Warning: graphic content.)
JAZA's move is a prime example of international pressure bringing about a positive change.