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The List Of Marine Parks That Buy Dolphins From Taiji’s Hunt Is Getting Bigger Every Year

<p>Flickr/William Warby</p>

The dolphin drive hunt season in Taiji, Japan is now underway - though no animals have been caught yet. The reason for the hunt is overwhelmingly to support the industry for captive dolphins (dolphin meat is rarely eaten in the country because it contains high levels of mercury) - but who is behind this industry?

As it turns out, a total of 106 marine parks around the world currently keep dolphins caught in the Taiji hunts, according to Ceta-Base, a database of captive marine mammals. The animals are mainly concentrated in Japan and China (56 and 26 marine parks, respectively), but reach as far as Mexico and even Hawaii.

(Ceta-Base)

Find an interactive version of the map here.

Last season, The Dodo reported that 99 parks around the world held dolphins from Taiji hunts - this season the list is up to 106 confirmed parks. The newly-added parks include the Bahrain Dolphin Park, Sochi Dolphinarium Riviera in Russia, Honjima Dolphin Village and Dolphin Fantasy Ishigaki in Japan, Jeju Island Marine Park in South Korea.

And the hunt continues to reel in animals for captivity - last year a total of 164 dolphins were taken captive, while about 800 were killed.