Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A rare example of an albino
Risso dolphin has been captured by some Japanese fishermen off the coast of Taiji,
a town famous throughout the world for hunting these cetaceans. The capture was
denounced by the animal campaigners of Sea Shepherd, involved in the battle
against the capture, sale and slaughter of these creatures.
The fishermen caught the Risso dolphin last November 23. Given the rarity of the specimen, they decided to sell it - probably to an aquatic circus - instead of slaughtering it. The Taiji hunting season began last September and will end next February.
In Japan dolphin hunting is a centuries-old tradition that gives many fishermen jobs. They defend themselves from the controversy that cyclically arises, claiming they hunt only common species and not rare or endangered specimens. Moreover, animal welfare organizations accuse Westerners (like Sea Shepherd, American) of hypocrisy, since they do not consider the large number of cows, pigs and sheep sacrificed to satisfy the appetite of consumers.
"It's horrible - said Karen Hagen, leader of the group of volunteers Cove Guardians - to see another albino dolphin taken by these murderers. These rare, beautiful, and unique animals will spend the rest of their days confined to small tanks, where they will live out their shortened lives performing tricks for food". Ten months ago the fishermen of Taiji captured another albino dolphin.