Each year, entire families of dolphins are killed in the cove, stabbed with spikes that sever their spinal cords. Others die from fear and panic. Many whales are also rounded up in the drives.
For O'Barry, it's impossible to separate the hunts from the demand for captive dolphins that makes them so lucrative. Even the marine parks and aquariums who don't purchase from Taiji, he said, are misleading the public by pretending the stress of dolphin captivity aids in conservation.
"Every dolphinarium in America, Europe, tricks people into thinking they're helping conservation," he said.
"If you're a dolphinarium ... you're a professional liar. You have to lie to the public, you have to lie to the media, and you have to lie to yourself."