Thankfully, this is not a total guarantee. According to Sea Shepherd, it's hard to predict when they will or will not find a pod, but the hunters will continue to go out in search of pods throughout the season. When they find a pod, they will attempt to drive them in to the cove for captive selection or slaughter.
As far as the dolphins that were released on Tuesday, they may not be in the clear yet -- they have been without food for four days, and many are juveniles. "Many of these dolphins who were driven out will not survive and will soon be found washed ashore in the coming days," Sea Shepherd said in their statement.
And it's still not clear where those 52 taken for captivity, including a rare albino calf, will end up. "That has been our biggest problem for the longest time," Sanjur said. "We have not been able to track them."
Palmer also said that many of the captives will wind up in dolphinariums in Japan. "There are about 100 dolphinariums in Japan, which range from big aquariums very similar to SeaWorld in the U.S., down to a floating net pen in a harbor where people are charged $100 or more for a pathetic ‘dolphin encounter,'" he said in an e-mail. "China is the biggest market overseas for Taiji dolphins, again to aquariums which are very popular in that country. Others have gone to the Middle East and even the Caribbean."