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Worldwide Anti-Dolphin Slaughter, Whale Hunt Rallies This Weekend

Common Dreams staff

Anti-whaling activists announced Thursday that there will be a co-ordinated global day of protest this weekend against Japan's annual state-sponsored hunt and to the capture and slaughter of dolphins in the town of Taiji.

The Japanese annual whaling mission to the Southern Ocean is due to start in the next few weeks.

Action for Marine Mammals say they are planning to march through the commercial districts of Tokyo, Shibuya and Harajuku on Saturday.

Demonstrations are planned on the same day in Canberra, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milano, Sao Paulo, Vancouver, San Antonio, and Tokyo, 7 countries, 9 cities according to the group's press release.

Agence France Presse reports:

"We don't think whaling and dolphin-hunting are necessary in Japan, although we are not against indigenous people's rights to hunt marine mammals," group spokesman Hideaki Nagai said.

"In particular, we think hunting wild dolphins to send them to aquariums is ethically problematic," he added.

Taiji, in the country's west, drew global attention after "The Cove", a hard-hitting film about the annual dolphin hunts there, won the Academy Award for best documentary in 2010.

Fishermen corral about 2,000 dolphins into a secluded bay, select a few dozen for sale to aquariums and slaughter the rest for meat. The dolphin hunt takes place over a period of months.

Japan hunts whales using a loophole in a global moratorium that allows killing the sea mammals for what it calls "scientific research", although the meat is later sold openly in shops and restaurants.

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