The aim of AFD is to stop cruelty to, and gain legal protection for, small cetaceans (dolphins and other small whales). AFD focuses on small cetaceans because these sentient animals do not have adequate legal protection, and are subjected to some of the most extreme cruelty inflicted on animals
Stopping dolphin hunting is a difficult mission – but it can be done. Indeed, a huge amount of progress has been made in the last few decades, with many countries around the world banning commercial dolphin hunting entirely.
How will AFD stop dolphin hunting where it continues?
Where dolphin hunting
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Dolphins are legally protected in Australian waters, but in Japan, Peru, the Solomon Islands and the Faroe Islands, dolphins and other small whales (such as porpoises and pilot whales) are hunted and killed inhumanely to supply aquariums and for their meat. Over a million have been killed in hunts in
Image courtesy of Martyn Stewart.
Why are dolphins being treated so cruelly in the town of Taiji? As the Porsche and Ferrari you can see in the fishermen's carpark testify, there are substantial profits to be made in hunting dolphins.
The primary motivation for the hunts is the capture of
There's nothing traditional about modern drive hunting. Here we see a Taiji fishing boat with high-tech electronics including radar and GPS clearly visible. The sophisticated fish finding equipment isn't visible, but we can assure you it's there.
The standard defence of dolphin hunting offered by its supporters is that whaling
Dolphin hunting is bad for two reasons: cruelty and conservation.
It is difficult to imagine the suffering dolphins and whales hunted in Taiji experience, from the panic and exhaustion of their capture to their excruciating deaths.
When we take into account that dolphins and whales are highly emotional animals
A fishermen's association sign floating in Taiji's cove. Dolphins are trapped in the netted area in the background.
As you can see from this sign, the fishermen believe they "own" the wild dolphins they trap in Taiji's cove.
Obviously, even if this were the case, that would not entitle them
Taiji, the only town in Japan where drive hunts still occur, is a place of baffling contradictions. It is a dolphin tourist town with dolphin watching, dolphin resorts and a dolphin museum. Even the ferries, which are dressed up as giant dolphins, celebrate the beauty and charisma of the beloved
Thanks so much for your interest in what AFD's doing to end dolphin hunting and captivity.
AFD uses creative, high-impact advocacy to tackle these problems on all available fronts - through legal, political, economic and social means.
In all our initiatives, we believe in taking a peaceful and lawful approach. We
Voice your concern Sign the petition
Scientific studies suggest that dolphins suffer in captivity. It is well documented that when highly intelligent, migratory dolphins are confined to the four walls of swimming pools, they can suffer stress, disease and early death.
That is why, around the world - in
This is dolphin hunting: the most “beautiful” dolphins are captured in nets and torn from their families before the rest are brutally slaughtered. Many Japanese aquariums in the WAZA network bought dolphins from these bloody hunts in Taiji, Japan. But following AFD’s legal case against WAZA, Japanese aquariums have promised
You may be aware that in 2010 the Australian government took legal action against Japan in the International Court of Justice on behalf of large whales being killed by Japan’s whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean.
Dolphins are, in fact, small whales. The legal situation with small whales (including dolphins)
In 2006 a group of scientists concerned with the animal welfare and conservation impacts of dolphin hunting issued a petition addressed to the Japanese government urging it to put an end to drive hunts taking place in the Japanese town of Taiji. The petition has so far gathered
Many Japanese people are unaware of the dolphin slaughters taking place in one small pocket of Japan. The Cove, the documentary which exposed the practice to many outside Japan, was screened at only a handful of cinemas in Japan. Working with Japanese organisations, AFD is raising awareness of dolphin hunting
Angel, a rare albino dolphin calf, confined in an indoor tank in the Taiji Whale Museum.
In January 2014, Angel the albino dolphin calf was captured in the Taiji drive hunts in Japan. While Angel was being hauled away in a sling to the Taiji Whale Museum, her family was
Caption: Captive dolphins suffer stress, disease and high mortality.
Thanks to AFD's investigations and public campaign, the cruelty of dolphin captivity has been exposed in major Australian newspapers, including The Australian, the ABC and Fairfax newspapers.
AFD's work to free dolphins from captivity has been greatly supported by Voiceless, the animal protection institute. In 2016,