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Protest over dolphin slaughter
Protesters outside the Japanese consulate in West Perth today. Picture: Jane Hammond/The West Australian

More than 50 people gathered outside the Japanese consulate in West Perth today in protest at the annual dolphin slaughter at Taiji.

The slaughter of up to 1000 dolphins begins tomorrow on the Japanese island.

The dolphin fishing season runs from September 1 till April.

Organiser of the protest Lara Summers from Save Japan Dolphins said it was one of more than 90 protests being held around the world marking the start of the cull.

She said the slaughter of dolphins was unnecessary and cruel and involved pods of dolphins being driven into shallow water and hacked to death.

"Last year they killed 800 dolphins," Ms Summers said.

A spokesman for the Japanese Consulate Masaihiro Takagi said his Government wanted others to respect the right of Japanese people to eat traditional foods like dolphins.

He said the practice of slaughtering the dolphins had been going on for centuries and provided food to people who did not have access to livestock.

"We will report the demonstration back to the Japanese Government in Tokyo and let them know what the demonstrators are calling for," Mr Takagi said.

"We are aware that there are people criticising the dolphin fishing but in Japan there are some people who need to eat dolphin as part of their culture and their traditional lifestyle."