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Dolphin Hunt Kicks Off In Japan

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Score it Dolphins 1, Taiji 0.

Today marked the first day of Japan’s annual dolphin hunt — the first time since the 2009 summer release of the Academy Award-winning film The Cove put a temporary halt to the slaughter.

According to a source in Taiji, fishermen went out this morning but failed to catch any dolphins. They will try again tomorrow.

Protests in the small Japanese town have been non-existent, largely the result of  threats from an ultranationalist group against “Cove” star Ric O’Barry and other activists. On Thursday, the 70-year-old will take a petition signed by 1.7 million people from 155 nations demanding the end of the dolphin hunt to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, escorted by police security.

“I wish all these people could be in Taiji,” O’Barry told the AP. “It was too dangerous. The big losers are the people of Taiji.”

Regarding his decision not to protest in Taiji, O’Barry wrote on his blog: “Our work in Japan has never been about confrontation. We believe we are making progress by bringing the truth to the people of Japan about the dolphin slaughter and about mercury-poisoned dolphin meat in markets. We will not play the game that the nationalist groups want us to play – we will not have it become “us versus them”, a battle between dolphin hunters with their militant nationalist supporters and the foreigners who want to ruin Japan’s culture.”

To learn more about the dolphin hunt and how you can help, visit Save Japan Dolphins here.

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