More Japanese aquariums may use artificial insemination to help breed bottlenose dolphins.
A calf was born in May by artificial insemination at the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium — the first such birth in Japan in 14 years. Other aquariums are interested in doing the same. A calf was born in September in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. Another is expected there soon.
For years, Japanese aquariums got dolphins from the Taiji drive hunt. The town in Wakayama Prefecture hunts dolphins every year by driving them into a bay to kill them. Critics say the hunt is cruel.
In 2015, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums threatened to expel the Japan Association of Zoos and Aquariums if it kept getting dolphins from Taiji. JAZA then banned its aquariums from doing so. But that left a problem of how to keep the numbers of dolphins in Japan at around 200. Artificial insemination may be one solution. (Kyodo, The Japan Times)