The town of Taiji has begun researching a plan to section off part of a cove and turn it into a place where people can swim and kayak alongside small whales and dolphins, Masaki Wada told AFP.
But, the government official insisted, far from having caved in to pressure from conservationists who want an end to an annual hunt that turns waters red with blood, the project was aimed at helping to sustain the practice.
“We already use dolphins and small whales as a source of tourism in the cove where dolphin-hunting takes place,” he said.
“In summer swimmers can enjoy watching the mammals that are released from a partitioned-off space.
“But we plan to do it on a larger scale. This is part of Taiji’s long-term plan of making the whole town a park, where you can enjoy watching marine mammals while tasting various marine products, including whale and dolphin meat,” he said.
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