The annual dolphin hunt at Taiji Cove in Japan continued Sunday, despite calls from conservationists for the practice to stop.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a Washington state-based non-profit marine wildlife conservation group, said on its Facebook page Sunday that more than 200 dolphins spent a second day trapped in the cove.
Fifteen of the animals were taken for a "life of imprisonment in captivity," the group said, adding that one dolphin died in the process. On Saturday, the group said 25 dolphins were removed from their pod, and one died.
The remaining dolphins will spend a third night in the cove before being killed Monday, the group said. CNN reported that the dolphins taken Saturday and Sunday were likely to be sold into captivity at marine parks in Japan and overseas, according to the conservation group.
The annual dolphin hunt became controversial internationally after the 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove detailed dolphin hunting practices in Japan.
Taiji is a Pacific coast town of about 3,200 in Higashimuro district, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, about 50 miles south of Osaka.
Wakayama Prefecture officials issued a statement accusing environmentalists of "psychological harassment" and saying Taiji fishermen "are just conducting a legal fishing activity in their traditional way in full accordance with regulations and rules under the supervision of both the national and prefectural governments," according to United Press International.
Save Japan Dolphins, a campaign that's part of the Earth Island Institute — a non-profit organization promoting conservation — is also calling for an end to the hunt, providing updates from Taiji Cove on its website and a link to a petition urging an end to dolphin hunting off the coast of Japan.
The hunt has caused outrage to spread on social media, with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society -- which has been live-streaming footage from the cove each day -- asking users to use the hashtag #tweet4taiji to raise awareness. Other hashtags gaining traction include #HelpCoveDolphins and #tweet4dolphins.
On Sunday, William Shatner tweeted "#deplorable" with a link to media coverage of the hunt.
Actress Kirstie Alley tweeted Saturday evening: "Dear Japan, how could such a stunning, brilliant, gorgeous country allow the bloody injustices of THE COVE? Please reign in your murderers."
Meanwhile, actress Alyssa Milano, tweeted a link to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's live-stream video, saying "200 dolphins face captivity or slaughter right now."
Caroline Kennedy, who was sworn in last year as the U.S. ambassador to Japan, tweeted Friday, "Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG opposes drive hunt fisheries."