On the 1st of September the annual Taiji dolphin hunting season began. 

Last year’s hunting season was horrific. A shocking 130 drive hunts took place, killing 560 dolphins and taking a further 180 for captivity. 

Eight years ago AFD’s founder Sarah Lucas travelled to Taiji and witnessed the hunts first-hand. What she saw inspired her to found AFD. We’ve come a long way since then, thanks to our incredible supporters. 

Our team has brought three legal actions, including two in Japan, cutting demand for show dolphins and raising international attention to what goes on during the hunts. 

We’ve also sent almost half a million signatures to the Governor of Taiji and exposed the dolphin hunts on billboards in Japan for the first time.

Thanks to the incredible support of dolphin defenders all over the world, our lawyers are currently working on a criminal complaint targeting the sale of dolphin meat containing dangerous levels of mercury. 

If we can prove the mercury levels are dangerous to human health, we have a shot at ending the brutal dolphin meat trade. 

As we prepare for the next stage in the battle to end these cruel hunts, it’s important to look back at how far we’ve come. The dolphin hunters are under more pressure than ever before – and we’ll continue fighting until the day the hunts end.