2017-2018

Taiji Drive Figures 

2017/2018 quota for the drive fishery in Taiji allows for a take of 2,047 animals from nine species and has added two species to the list – rough-toothed dolphins & melon-headed whales.

The 2017/2018 quota by species is:
101 short-finned pilot whales
450 striped dolphins
414 bottlenose dolphins
251 Risso’s dolphins
400 Pantropical spotted dolphins
070 false killer whales
134 Pacific white-sided dolphins
027 rough-toothed dolphins
200 melon-headed whales

In addition to drive hunt, rough tooths and melon headed have been added to the hand harpoon quota in two prefectures – Wakayama and Okinawa. In Wakayama, 30 melon-headed whales can be taken, while in Okinawa, 13 rough-tooths and 60 melon-headed are allowed via this method. 
Including both hand-harpoon and drive hunting, a total of 33 rough-tooths and 190 melon-headed whales have been added to the overall small cetacean quota in Japan.

On 1 December 2017, the Japanese Fisheries Agencies issued an updated quota, increasing the allowed take for rough-toothed dolphins and melon-headed whales in Wakayama. As of this date, the new quota numbers are:
rough-toothed – 27 (increased from 20)
melon-headed – 200 (increased from 100)

All information has been collated by Ceta Base. Reports from Dolphin Project

September

1-2 – BLUE
3 – 34 Pilot whales, driven into the cove after a 6 hour battle at sea. This nursery pod is filled with young pilot whales whose fate will be determined at sunrise.
4 – 10 pilot whales have been slaughtered and three juveniles have been taken for captivity. The remaining pilot whales will be kept for a second night. Exhausted and terrified, missing 13 pod members. Their fate will be determined tomorrow morning.
5 – Twenty adults were killed, with one younger dolphin succumbing to injuries, for a total of 21 documented deaths. Trainers, while claiming to love and care for dolphins, worked alongside the hunters, selecting desired animals for “life” in captivity while others were slaughtered. Three young pilots were taken during the captive selection process. The remaining juvenile pilots, approximately 20 in total, were eventually pushed out to open water. Pilot whales are comprised of a matriarchal society, complete with their own cultures and traditions. With no adults or “pilot” to guide them, their chances of survival are minimal at best.
Read – PILOT WHALE POD DECIMATED IN TAIJI’S DOLPHIN HUNTS
6-20 – BLUE
21 – After 15 consecutive Blue Cove days, a small pod of Risso’s dolphins was forced into the killing Cove.  One dolphin was declared suitable for captivity and taken away in a sling, on the side of a skiff. The others were left to be slaughtered. A struggle ensued as the dolphins tried to escape, only to be caught in the nets and pulled back to the killing area. The hunters quickly extinguished their lives.
Read – MIGRATING FAMILY OF RISSO’S DOLPHINS SLAUGHTERED IN THE COVE
22 -26 – BLUE
27 – Approximately 35 pilot whales pushed into the cove await their fate.
29 – After a day of terror, the ordeal ends for the pilot whales.  10 pilot whales were slaughtered and one young pilot whale died from the stress. 24 pilot whales were then released back to the ocean. These pilot whales endured unspeakable suffering. We can only hope that those pilot whales released will survive and never swim by the coast of Taiji again.
Read – TERROR IN THE COVE AS PILOT WHALES SLAUGHTERED
30 – BLUE

October

1-9 – Blue
10 – An unfortunate family pod of 6 Risso’s dolphins were swimming along the coast of Taiji at the wrong time today. Intercepted by the dolphin hunters and forced into the Cove after a long struggle. The dolphins were then manhandled and pushed under the tarps where trainers and hunters worked side by side determining each dolphin’s fate. Four were slaughtered, their suffering is over and two were taken for captivity. For those two, the suffering is just beginning.
11 – 38 rough-toothed dolphins were driven into The Cove, a lone pilot whale amongst them. A small number of rough-toothed were slaughtered, 9 were taken for captivity and the rest were released. In a second drive, 14 Risso’s dolphins were driven in, 11 were slaughtered, and 3 were released (including 2 young calves). The pilot whale was also released.
Read: MULTIPLE SPECIES OF DOLPHINS DECIMATED IN THE COVE
12-31 – Blue

November

1 – Blue* – Read – MISTAKEN IDENTITY: DOLPHINS FREED ON HUNTER ERROR
2- Bottlenose dolphins trapped in the cove & held overnight.
3 – A family pod of Bottlenose dolphins was torn apart today. PANIC IN THE COVE AS DOLPHINS FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
4-9 – Blue
10 – Read – FIRST MELON-HEADED WHALES HUNTED IN TAIJI
11-12 – Blue
13 – A day full of heartbreak as 30 melon headed whales were driven into the Cove. No captive selection today. 18 were slaughtered in a very brutal process. 12 were separated from those to be slaughtered but tried desperately to get back to their family. The lifeless bodies were then dragged past the remaining dolphins. Those who were not slaughtered were battered and some were bleeding. Carelessly run over by skiff engines, thrashing on rocks in panic. Throughout the ordeal, from start to finish, these dolphins were right by each other’s sides. The surviving dolphins were forced back out to sea, missing a large part of their family.
Read: NOT TRADITION, NOR CULTURE – JUST CRUELTY
14-19 – Blue
20 – Melon headed whales were driven into the Cove today. Many of the pod escaped during the drive but 36 unfortunate souls were netted in and their fate sealed. As the dolphins were pushed towards the killing area, panic ensued and many got tangled in the nets where they were left to struggle for life until divers untangled them. 20 melon headed whales were slaughtered, their lifeless bodies dragged right past the remaining pod members. Brutalized, traumatized, terrified and exhausted, the remaining pod members, including several young calves, were driven back out to sea. Hopefully, reunited with the rest of their pod members and strong enough to survive this ordeal although missing 20 family members.
21-23 – Blue
24 – A family of melon headed whales was quickly found this morning off the coast of Taiji and driven into the Cove. The entire family was slaughtered and Cove Monitors witnessed the bodies of the 23 melon heads being dragged out from under the tarps by the skiffs. The skiffs drove over the bodies that were attached to them by ropes as they left the Cove headed for the butcher house. These melon headed whales swam closely together as they spent their last few moments as a family.
25 – The banger boats left at sunrise this morning to hunt for dolphins and quickly found a mixed pod of about 26 individuals. The pod consisted of rough tooth and bottlenose dolphins. These dolphins were clearly stressed and agitated and could be seen slapping their tails and jumping out of the water. There were young calves within this group as well. Cove Monitors witnessed hunters in dive suits grabbing dolphins by their bloody and injured rostrums. The dolphin trainers from the local Taiji captivity facilities were on the shore as well as they chose the ones that would be taken for a life in captivity. Both hunters and trainers could be heard laughing together on the beach and in the boats as they took 10 dolphins away for a life in captivity. The rest of the pod was driven back out to sea by the banger boats but they were reluctant to leave their family members behind. The captivity industry is the driving force behind these annual hunts and today 10 new dolphins were taken away from their family because of it.
26-30 – BLUE

December

1-2 – BLUE

3 – Within an hour of leaving the harbor the banger boats had found a pod of rough toothed dolphins. They worked quickly to drive the family closer to Taiji using that ominous wall of sound. The pod fought hard and tried to slip away a couple of times but the hunters were quick to corral them back. This family of rough toothed dolphins had approximately 30 members and 8 were taken for a life of captivity. The hunters fumbled with nets as dolphins got caught several times and it took them nearly 4 hours to take the 8 dolphins into captivity. There were juveniles trying desperately to stay by their mother’s side and the entire family was visibly stressed by this drive and capture process. Cove Monitors could see and hear dolphins slapping their bodies and tails into the water as members of their family were taken away by the divers. The quota for rough toothed dolphins in Taiji is 20 and it appears the hunters went beyond this number.
4 – BLUE
5 – Read: TAIJI’S ASSAULT ON MELON-HEADED WHALES
6 – BLUE
7 – Read: THE COVE RUNS RED AS STRIPED DOLPHINS SLAUGHTERED
8-12 – BLUE