May 20, 2015 Japan’s peak zoo body (JAZA), and its member aquariums, in a historic decision agreed to stop buying dolphins from the Taiji fishery, thereby complying with WAZA’s Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare. The decision shows that JAZA accepted that the live captures from the drive hunts violates WAZA’s Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare.
This sends a strong message internationally and, importantly, to other non-JAZA member aquaria and thus, will positively influence on the future situation of the drive hunts in Taiji. It also shows that the excuse, that the drive hunts are allowed by Japanese law does not uphold and is rejected internationally.
The trade in dolphins, and with this, the captivity industry, are the drivers for the cruel dolphin drive hunts. OceanCare welcomes the decision by the JAZA members as one of the first, but most important steps to end the violent drive hunts. However, the decision shouldn’t mean that now that it is chosen no longer to source from the drive hunts in Taiji, JAZA members will source elsewhere (e.g., in other coastal round-ups), thereby pushing the capture process elsewhere around Japan through other methods.
Please also read the blog by Courtney S. Vail, Whale and Dolphin Conservation