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Credits: Ric O'Barry Dolphin Project (www.dolphinproject.com)

Four Pacific white sided dolphins lost their freedom today in Taiji

Hunters and hunted clashed for the fifth out of the past eight days. Unfortunately, today the hunters were able to capture four Pacific white sided dolphins.

The banger boats chased the dolphins early, only to have them escape and head back out to sea.

The boats spewed black smoke as they chased after the dolphins. They disappeared over the horizon and Cove Monitors were hopeful for an escape. However, the banger boats reappeared, driving the dolphins towards the harbor.

Skiffs full of nets and divers rushed out to meet them. It seemed the bangers had focused on a small group of dolphins as nine bangers descended upon them while other dolphins escaped.

The dolphins were chased towards a net and surrounded by boats banging relentlessly on their poles as the net was drawn around the dolphins, encircling them.

The brutal capture process began as the nets were drawn in and large numbers of divers descended upon the trapped dolphins.

One by one, divers pounced on the trapped dolphins and wrestled them to the waiting skiffs. The dolphins were then rolled up in a net and hoisted up and into the skiff, thrashing and fighting the entire time.

Each dolphin was then driven to the harbor pen and dumped in. The One dolphin was observed with a large gash on its stomach.

The dolphins were agitated and stressed by their confinement. Hunters then tried to transfer two dolphins to the pens in Moriura bay but the dolphins were thrashing violently in the slings so they turned around and returned them to the harbor pen.

Four Pacific white sided dolphins fought valiantly but ultimately lost their freedom today. Previously, seven others had been captured over the past eight days bringing the total to eleven. Eleven lives stolen from the ocean, never to swim freely again. Why? Because of the global demand for captive dolphins.

No profit to be made, no dolphins to be caught.

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