Footage and photos of this weekend's selection process show the dolphins splashing around in terror, grouping themselves into little knots for comfort as they seek desperately to escape. In some cases, tortured past their breaking point, they've given up and died.
While Sea Shepherd speculated that the surviving dolphins would be turned back into the cove, instead of slaughtered, it's hardly a happier outcome for the sensitive animals - who are inevitably traumatized by the experience.
"It's exactly like putting a human being in a situation where they're watching their family members get killed," Dr. Heather Rally, a marine mammal veterinarian who currently works with the Peta Foundation, told The Dodo.
"These are lifelong traumas," she said. "These animals are highly self-aware so, just like you and I, they know exactly what's happening around them - these are very close family members."