Top Zoo Organization Allegedly Supports Dolphin Hunting in Japan

July 22, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. accomplice / əˈkɒm plɪs / (n.) – someone who is involved in doing something wrong or illegal
Example: He was imprisoned for being an accomplice to the crime.

2. conduct / ˈkɒn dʌkt / (n.) – how someone behaves
Example: Authorities investigated the zookeeper’s conduct.

3. slaughter / ˈslɔ tər / (v.) – to kill an animal for food
Example: She could not stand seeing the cows being slaughtered.

4. twofold / ˈtuˈfoʊld / (adv.) – twice as much or double
Example: The fish population in the ocean has decreased twofold.

5. defend / dɪˈfɛnd / (v.) – to write or speak to protect someone or something
Example: The lawyer defended the ocean park during the trial.


Read the text below.
Conservationists accuse the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) of being an accomplice to the dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan.

WAZA and its associate member, the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA), allegedly support the practice of dolphin hunting for business purposes. Conservationists also accuse them of misleading conduct. While WAZA and JAZA publicly show their opposition against dolphin hunting, their actions about the issue show otherwise.

Dolphin hunting in Taiji, Japan, involves hunting dolphins for their meat. During the hunt, some of the dolphins are driven near the coast and are captured to be kept in aquariums. This hunt has been part of Japanese cultural tradition since 1969.

However, conservationists are worried about how this massive hunt affects the population of dolphins in the area. According to reports, the dolphin hunt in Taiji accounts for more than 5,000 slaughtered dolphins and 750 dolphins kept in aquariums for the past five years. While the number of dolphins captured in Taiji has now decreased, the number of dolphins sold to marine parks has increased twofold.

In a statement from its website, WAZA denied taking part in any activity related to the dolphin hunting in Taiji. It also defended its associate members, saying that they do not possess any of the dolphins captured in Taiji. WAZA also added that it will do whatever it takes to help stop this practice.

WAZA mentioned that it was wrongly accused by some organizations. This is especially because the zoos and aquariums involved in the dolphin hunting in Taiji are not members of WAZA, the association emphasized.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are your thoughts about dolphin hunting?
·         Do you think there should be stricter fishing rules? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you think it is okay to keep animals in zoos or parks? Why or why not?
·         When is it okay to take an animal from its natural habitat?

July 22, 2015