"Every year, the Japanese village of Taiji on Japan’s Pacific Coast host a dolphin drive hunt, where hundreds of bottle nosed dolphins are driven into coves and brutally slaughtered. Despite international condemnation, this year’s drive begins today.

According to a report in the Guardian newspaper:

Members of the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd who are monitoring the annual cull in Taiji, on Japan’s Pacific coast, said local fishermen had started killing an estimated 250 dolphins just before 7.30am.

The animals were last week corralled in a cove in the town, which drew international attention in 2009 with the release of the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove.

More than 50 of the mammals, including a rare albino calf, were selected and removed from the pod for sale to aquariums and water parks. Together they are expected to fetch millions of dollars.

The rest are being slaughtered for their meat, a delicacy that most Japanese shun but which still forms part of the diet in Taiji and other whaling towns."

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