Jan 19, 2014 11:16 AM EST
Another Round Of 'The Cove' Took Place On Saturday, Another Round Of Dolphin Kidnapping
Another round of "The Cove" took place Saturday in Japan, where fishers ritualistically herd approximately 250 dolphins into Tajii Cove, select the fittest ones to be sold to aquariums and water parks, and slaughter the rest (to be sold as dolphin meat), CNN reported. The secretive and highly lucrative annual event was portrayed in the 2009 Oscar Winner, "The Cove."
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Though many citizens residing near Tajii Cove defend it as tradition, the practice is largely motivated by money, according to the documentary. Dolphins sell for a tremendous amount, representing a huge boon to the community of about 3,000.
Even before the film was made, locals were wary of how the event would be portrayed by the outside world. They pitched fences around the cove and hung "Keep Out" signs. (To this day, the cove is heavily guarded by police.) With that, filming was strictly forbidden. To get their footage, Director Louie Psihoyos and his crew set up hidden cameras on the rocks outside the cove. While praised among U.S. critics (also winning the U.S. Audience award over 800 entries at the Sundance Film Festival), the movie was opposed by some members of the Japanese media.
"Today, the members of the pod will face a violent and stressful captive selection process," said the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, one of the first (if not the first) non-profit groups to call attention to this year's event, according to CNN. "Babies and mothers will be torn from each other's sides as some are taken for captivity, some are killed, and others are driven back out to sea to fend for themselves."
According to the society, the dolphins will "face a violent and stressful captive selection process. Babies and mothers will be torn from each other's sides as some are taken for captivity, some are killed, and others are driven back out to sea to fend for themselves."