Kennedy slams 'inhuman' dolphin hunt
UNITED States Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy has expressed deep concern over the traditional dolphin hunt in western Japan, where local fisherman corral dolphins in a secluded bay before killing many for meat.
The annual dolphin hunt - now on in Taiji, a small fishing town in Wakayama prefecture - has long been a source of controversy.
It was the topic of The Cove, a film following eco-activists who struggle with police and fishermen to gain access to the hunt location.
"(I am) deeply concerned by inhumanness of drive-hunt dolphin killing," Ms Kennedy tweeted over the weekend, adding that the US opposes drive-hunt fishing.
Every year, the fishermen drive hundreds of dolphins into a cove, select some for sale to marine parks, release some back into the sea and kill the rest for meat.
Animal-protection group Sea Shepherd said yesterday that more than 200 dolphins have been rounded up in the secluded bay.
Japan has long maintained that killing dolphins is not banned under any international treaty and that the animals are not endangered, adding that dolphins need to be culled to protect fishing grounds.