Regulatory News

Japanese aquariums decided to suspend the purchase of dolphins caught during the town of Taiji’s traditional annual catch of the animals. The decision comes after the country was excluded from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) because of the methods used during the controversial hunt were considered cruel. This practice became known worldwide in 2009 when it was the subject of that year’s Oscar winning documentary, 'The Cove'.

With 152 members, the Japanese Association of Zoo and Aquariums said it would prohibit its members from acquiring wild dolphins captured in Taiji and oriented them not to take part in the export and sales of the animals. The organization's president, Kazutoshi Arai, however, did not condemn the traditional hunting method and said that WAZA’s decision to suspend Japan was only because of the pressure from international activist groups.

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