MOSCOW, November 25 (Sputnik) — The Cove Guardians, volunteers who document the killing of dolphins in Taiji, have named the newly captive albino dolphin “Shiro,”, meaning “white” in Japanese, reports the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Taiji fishermen in the Wakayama Prefecture drove the albino Risso’s dolphin into a cove over the weekend, said Sea Shepherd, which employs teams of observers in the remote town.
The killers came across a peaceful pod of approximately 16 Risso's dolphins swimming in the waters near Taiji. Spotting the rare albino dolphin among the pod, the killers drove the Risso's pod toward the cove, where the frightened family was captured with no means of escape. The Taiji fishermen had slaughtered 11 members of the family. Two dolphins were taken into captivity, including the unique albino, an undeniably lucrative catch reports Sea Shepherd.
"It is horribly sad to see another albino dolphin taken by the killers here in Taiji," said Karen Hagen, a leader of the campaign group's "Cove Guardians", according to AFP.
"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," she said in a statement.
The group said the Taiji fishermen have so far killed about 170 Risso's dolphins throughout this year’s hunting season, which stretches from September through late February, reports AFP.
Campaigners are trying to stop the annual slaughter of the dolphins in the town, as well as the sale of some to aquariums. They complain that locals claiming to be upholding ancient traditions of killing and eating dolphins are actually more interested in valuable sale of live specimens.
The campaigners are streaming live footage of the secluded bay, into which local fishermen round up hundreds of dolphins for slaughter. This barbarism had put the small town into the global spotlight in 2010 when it became the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove".