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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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January 20th, 2014
06:22 PM ET

Activist: Hunt, slaughter of dolphins at Japan's Taiji Cove 'morally reprehensible'

(CNN) - Dolphins are among the most intelligent beings on the planet, and right now more than 200 are trapped in a cove in southwest Japan, where they have had nothing to eat for more than three days.

"It's morally reprehensible on almost every level," Louie Psihoyos says director of "The Cove," the Oscar-winning documentary that followed one of the previous hunts using hidden cameras. The film sparked an uproar. Psihoyos is also executive director of The Oceanic Preservation Society.

"Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG opposes drive hunt fisheries," Caroline Kennedy, the recently installed U.S. Ambassador to Japan, tweeted Friday.

The marine life group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is providing a live stream of the hunt, and says many of these animals will likely be slaughtered Tuesday as part of an annual event: The Taiji dolphin hunting season.

The Japanese have long defended the practice as a local custom, no different than the slaughter of any other meat.

"This meat that they're using, all of it's toxic. We've had it looked at, we've had it measured for mercury. Some of it has 2,000 times more mercury than allowed by Japanese law," said Psihoyos.

For more of our interview with Louie Psihoyos, check out the video above.

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