Taiji dolphins freed due to pressure from The Cove

I just got this information from the Oceanic Preservation Society, the organization behind the documentary The Cove about the dolphin killings in Taiji:

Fishermen in Taiji, Japan will be releasing captured dolphins this week in response to international outcry following the award-winning film “The Cove.” Some of the dolphins captured during the annual round up will be sold to aquariums, and while the rest are typically slaughtered in secret, the fishermen will be releasing them because of recent criticism.

…An anonymous Taiji fisheries official said that it’s not clear whether the town will stop killing dolphins permanently. Taiji residents see the dolphin hunt as a tradition that is no different than killing other animals for food. However, the dolphins that are killed and sold as food, often as mislabeled whale meat, contain toxic levels of mercury and are potentially poisoning Japanese consumers.

…The fishermen in Taiji captured about 100 bottlenose dolphins and 50 pilot whales on Wednesday, with plans to sell some of their catch to aquariums for up to $150,000 per animal.

The Taiji government hasn’t confirmed yet whether the killings will be halted permanently, but the fact that they’re on hold means that they’re listening.

Related stories:
The Cove, an upcoming documentary about dolphins in Taiji
Dolphin slaughter: horrible injustice, or just another meal?