Dolphins Show Symptoms Of Psychological Trauma After Being Hunted By Humans

Ingo Ronner / CC-BY-2.0 / Flickr

In Japan and elsewhere, Dolphins are hunted with inhumane methods.

According to the Independent, Dolphins are show effects of trauma when subjected to cruel human practices.

In Japan, near the town of Taiji, dolphins and whales are hunted using fishing vessels, which create a wall of noise and herd the creatures into a small cove. Next, some dolphins are killed for their meat while others are sold to dolphinariums in Japan, China, and elsewhere.

“The stress and acute trauma resulting from being chased at sea, driven towards shore, corralled by speed boats and then violently handled during the selection process, is profoundly inhumane,” said study leader Courtney Vail, from environmental consultancy the Lightkeepers Foundation.

Even the mammals that are released could be profoundly damaged. This additional trauma comes from the separation of mothers and calves. Any young dolphin without a parent after the hunt is not likely to survive.

“Survivors that witness the capture and killing of close pod mates are likely to be caused significant stress,” said co-author Philippa Brakes, a research fellow at charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

Although the 2009 Oscar-winning Documentary The Cove released footage of the brutal hunts and sparked international outrage, the hunts have continued. This hunting season alone, almost 600 dolphins have been slaughtered and nearly 250 have been captured.

Dr. Diana Reiss, who initially tipped off Cove filmmakers to the hunting practices, has been researching intelligence and self-awareness of dolphins for over 40 years. She claims that the hunts are inherently inhumane.

“This practice flies in the face of all welfare practices that are done in other countries,” said Dr Reiss.