The capture off Taiji in February 1997



On February 9th and 10th, 1997, a Japanese fishing company captured 10 Orcas (Killer Whales) and sold 5 of them to Japanese Marine Parks.
The remaining 5 orcas, unwilling to leave their family members, were driven out of the bay, one bleeding from a wound. It is not known whether these animals are alright after the capture trauma.

At our knowledge the 5 orcas still held captive were sold for $250.000 as follows:

1. Taiji Whale Museum: female 4.5 M

2. Nanki Shirahama Adventure World: male 3.8 M / male 4.5 M / female 6.3 M

3.Izu-Mito Sea Paradise: female 5.5 M

The bigger female sold to Nanki Shirahama Adventure World was pregnant and had a miscarriage in April 1997. She was unusual aggressive which may be because of her condition.

On June 14, 1997, the youngest male orca captured died at Nanki Shirahama Adventure World.
On June 17, 1997, the female orca at the same facility died.
On September 18, 2004, the other male Kyu, as he was named, died at Nanki Shirahama Adventure World.

On September 19, 2007, the female orca Asuka at Izu-Mito Sea Paradise died. She was together with Yamato (aca Tanouk), a male orca from Iceland, until his death in October 2000. After that day Asuka was all by herself.

On September 19, 2008, the last member of the Taiji 5 died, female orca Ku at Port of Nagoya Aquarium. She was moved there from Taiji Whaling Museum on October 28, 2003, where she remained without a killer whale companion.

The five other orcas, unwilling to leave their family members, were driven out of the bay, one bleeding and one calf in very bad condition. It is not known whether the mother of this calf was released together with her child or is one of the captives.
It is further not known whether the released animals were alright after the capture trauma.


Pictures of the Taiji capture provided by Patricia.


Pictures of the Taiji capture provided by Hayleigh.

Two points of view.
A letter of concern.
Addresses to write to prevent future captures.

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