Izumi Ishii, a former dolphin hunter who has since rejected the practice of drive fishing, has teamed up with cetacean welfare activist Ric O'Barry in speaking out against Japanese dolphin hunting. According to the Japan Times, the two men have joined together in protest of the government's justification for drive fishing, which Japanese officials have defended as a centuries-old tradition:
Ishii stressed that his mentors in Futo, Shizuoka Prefecture, taught the Taiji fishermen how to conduct dolphin drives in 1969. He said he believes this was the first time such drive fisheries were conducted in Japan.
Ishii said his early efforts to capture dolphins, using methods to amplify sounds underwater to cause panic aimed at controlling the dolphins, are currently administered in a similar manner in dolphin hunts carried out in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture.
The hunter-turned-activist is now offering dolphin-friendly eco-tours in Japan, where he hopes to educate visitors about the dangers and horrors of dolphin hunting.