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Tweet for Taiji: The dolphin hunt takes over Twitter

  • Almost 100 dolphins have either been taken into captivity or killed in a roundup in Japan
  • Among them is a rare albino dolphin calf
Tweet for Taiji: The dolphin hunt takes over Twitter

Hundreds of dolphins face slaughter in Japan

Hundreds of dolphins face slaughter in Japan

The dolphin hunt may be over, but the echoes and the ramifications are still reverberating around the world.

According to the group Sea Shepherd, by the time the bloody dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan, ended Tuesday, 52 dolphins had been taken into captivity and 41 were slaughtered. Approximately, 130 dolphins were released, but activists say many of them will not survive.

An activist for Sea Shepherd who was in Taiji posted: “The remaining 130-140 starved and injured Bottlenose dolphins were driven back out to sea in the same deafening manner as the drive in. Many babies and juveniles were seen in the remaining pod. Too small to count for quota and deemed unsuitable for captivity. Many of these dolphins who were driven out will not survive and will soon be found washed ashore in the coming days.”

Following in the footsteps of the documentary “Blackfish”, the plight of dolphins and orcas in the wild and in captivity has taken hold across social media.

Thousands of tweets began flooding Jane Velez-Mitchell’s account late last week clamoring for Jane to cover the story and then thanking her for her coverage.

Celebrities also took up the cause, trying to spread awareness and add pressure of their own.

Even the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, tweeted her concern over the dolphin hunt -- a comment that caught the attention of many in Japan, especially considering the dolphin hunt is rarely covered by media in that country.

Japanese officials responded to these criticisms. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference that dolphins are "very important water resources." He went on to say: "Dolphin fishing is one of traditional fishing forms of our country and is carried out appropriately in accordance with the law. Dolphin is not covered by the International Whaling Commission control and it's controlled under responsibility of each country."

The mayor of Taiji, Kazutaka Sangen, said, "We have fishermen in our community and they are exercising their fishing rights. We feel that we need to protect our residents against the criticisms."

With more dolphins sold into captivity than slaughtered, activists claim that the hunt is about money and not about tradition. 

This hunt may be over now, but there could be another before the season ends. People are signing petitions, writing letters, and contacting activist groups to try and stop that from happening. 

For more on this story, watch Jane Velez-Mitchell weeknights at 7 p.m. ET on HLN. Follow the show on Facebook, and follow Jane on Twitter.

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