The most frequent reason dolphins are hunted is for monetary gain. In Japan, dolphin hunters can illegally sell their catch for a large profit. Dolphins are also hunted for their meat, which is sold in grocery stores or used by fishermen as bait. Another justification for dolphin hunting is that it is an ingrained part of the history and culture of some countries, such as Japan, which currently leads the most dolphin hunts in the world.
Since dolphins are not protected under the International Whaling Commissions (IWC), they are seen as the perfect target to fill a “market niche” for whale meat. Since whale meat can catch a huge profit, dolphins are used as a substiture, unknown to the consumer. So, as kristennoelle has previously mentioned, the monetary gain from dolphin hunting is large enough to constitute (in the fishermen’s minds) the killing of dolphins.
Dolphins are hunted in Chile, Turkey and the Fareo Islands but they are quite possibly most brutally killed in Japanese waters. The Japanese method of dolphin hunting, known as drive hunting, is considered the most inhumane. Dolphins are hunted in this region for their meat and as used in fertilizer and pet food. While there are no laws prohibiting the hunt of dolphins, the International Whaling Commission, the World Association of Aquariums and Zoos and the U.S. Association of Aquariums and Zoos has condemned their slaughter.
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