Every year, close to 22,000 dolphins and porpoises are killed in the coastal waters of Japan. Boats herd dolphins away from the oceans and into a cove where they are stabbed and speared to death. Today, the Japanese “drive hunts” are the largest single slaughter of dolphins involving hand-held harpoons on the planet. This method of killing dolphins has been proved to cause pain and torture. In fact, evidence shows that some of the dolphins take up to 30 minutes to expire.
The dolphins that are not killed during the hunts are rounded up and later sold to dolphin shows. It is estimated that a single live dolphin can fetch up to $32,000, a figure that can skyrocket to $250,000 for trained dolphins. Dolphins do not do well in captivity. While dolphins in the wild can expect to live for 40 to 50 years on average, over 80 percent of captured dolphins die before 20.