Taiji and its bloody dolphin kill were highlighted in the 2009 documentary “The Cove,” which won an Oscar for best documentary the following year.
Organizers there want to fence off a portion of the cove to create the park in which people can swim and kayak alongside small whales and dolphins.
Town official Masaki Wada assures critics that the dolphin slaughter, carried out by stabbing the marine mammals with stakes, will continue.
“Our town will proceed with the concept that there is food culture, as well as tourism, when it comes to whales,” Wada told The Australian.
“We are not doing anything wrong, and we do not aim to cease our legitimate business because of criticism from outside.”
Wada says proceeds from the new marine park will help endow the fishing fleet, which carries out the slaughter, as well as the capture of dolphins sold to marine parks around the world.
The town caught 1,277 dolphins in 2012 and has license to capture 2,026 this season, which began in September.
Photo: © Louie Psihoyos