A group of divers from the European conservation organization, The Black Fish, successfully swam into Taiji’s infamous cove last night and cut the nets of several dolphins destined for aquariums around the world.
“In rough weather conditions the divers swam out and cut the nets of six of these holding pens, allowing a number of dolphins to swim back out to sea,” a press release on the organization’s site reads. “No arrests were made.”
Admittedly, I’ve never heard of this group before — but their MO is one of “investigation and intervention”, taking action “on the issues of whaling, industrial fishing and marine animals in captivity.”
You can read more about the group here — but if such actions persist, I wouldn’t be surprised if Taiji fisherman take more aggressive (and violent) means to defend their trade.
[UPDATE: According to a Black Fish rep, Japanese sources are saying that no dolphins escaped. From their Facebook page:
"We have always stuck to the facts. We have made claim to have cut nets in order to allow the dolphins to swim out, which we did. We couldn't be sure exactly if and how many dolphins managed to get out as we were operating in the pitch black during a thunder storm. The police in Taiji and a Japanese reporter now say that no dolphins managed to get out. While this might be the case, as unfortunate as it would be, we do believe that we should treat the information from these two sources with some caution. What we know is that we did whatever we could to set these defenseless dolphins free. Giving them the best chance of getting out of there and back out to sea before ending up as an attraction and locked up in a tank to entertainment humans for the rest of their lives."]