SEATTLE - As dolphin hunting season begins in Taiji, Japan, thousands of concerned citizens around the globe protested on Thursday to end the slaughtering of dolphins in the country.
A group of protesters marched through downtown Seattle in light of Japan Dolphins Day; an international day of awareness regarding the exploitation of dolphins.
The 2009 Academy Award Winning documentary, The Cove exposed fishermen in Taiji for dolphin hunting practices-- in which for six months, dolphins were chased into a hidden cove where they were either held captive or killed for their meat.
The Dolphin Project states that in this year alone, the Japanese Fisheries Agency has authorized fishermen to kill or capture nearly 16,000 cetaceans. When The Cove documentary was filming, over 23,000 permits were reportedly issued at that time.
Former dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, created the Dolphin Project, an organization working to educate about captivity and end dolphin exploitation. O'Barry was deported from Japan in January 2016, on accusations of about his intentions in the country.
"In a world where so much that is wild and free has been lost to us, we must leave thesebeautiful animals free to swim as they will and must. They do us no harm and wish us none andwe should let them alone." - Ric O'Barry - Founder, Dolphin Project
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