Taiji, the infamous Japanese town profiled in the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove," just received a gigantic blow to its widely condemned annual dolphin hunt.
On May 20, the Japanese Association of Zoos & Aquariums (JAZA) formally cut all ties with the hunting town, following a poll of its members that overwhelmingly agreed to no longer purchase dolphins captured during the brutal hunt. The decision came after the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) earlier suspended JAZA over its failure to stop the practice, citing a violation of its code of ethics on animal welfare.
"This is a landmark decision by JAZA," said Sea Shepherd founder Capt. Paul Watson. "Will it end the slaughter? We do not know yet. But what it will do is undermine the market for capturing dolphins at Taiji. The captures are where the money is. Killing dolphins for meat alone cannot sustain the dolphin drive. This is a significant blow to the butchers of Taiji and wonderful news for the dolphins in the waters around Japan."
"We are hunting under the permission of the Japanese government and prefecture, and so we will continue to protect our fishermen and the methods," he said. "We will not quit."
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