Driven into a cove in panic and fear, wild dolphins are hunted and slaughtered for their meat in the shallows.
The lucky ones who aren't killed are sold off to marine parks where they will spend the rest of their lives performing for crowds.
This is the reality of Japan's cruel annual dolphin hunt in the coastal town of Taiji, which began earlier this month.
It is legal, as the government issues out permits for the practice, which can go on for six months.
The Japanese Fisheries Agency authorises fishermen to kill or capture almost 16,000 cetaceans annually.
Fishermen have developed a highly effective method of locating and capturing dolphins, sometimes enabling them to catch up to 100 or more in just one day, according to US charity the Dolphin Project.
Hunters know exactly where to find the wild dolphins and start in the deep waters where they migrate.
They are lured in by sound, which confuses them and brings them closer to shore.
The charity explains: "When a pod is located, the fishermen position their boats one behind the other, perfectly evenly spaced.
"They lower several stainless steel poles into the water, one on each side of each boat.
"The poles are flared out at the bottom much like a bell, which amplifies the sound produced as the hunters repeatedly hit the poles with hammers.
"The noise creates a wall of sound underwater, and the dolphins find themselves trapped between this wall of sound and the shoreline.
"In an attempt to escape the sound, the dolphins swim in the opposite direction, toward the shore.
"The dolphins’ panic and with the loss of their navigational sense, the fishermen can drive them into a small cove near Taiji harbor. The process may take several hours, during which the dolphins grow exhausted."
Once inside the cove, nets are drawn so the dolphins are trapped.
A shocking documentary, The Cove, in 2010 shed light on the horrific practice, which showed fishermen killing the dolphins with sharp spears.
They were stabbed with hooks while they were still alive, thrashing around in their own blood.
Since this exposure, the fishermen pull the dolphins under plastic tarps so it's more difficult to film the killing.
The Dolphin Project says: "The fishermen push a sharp metal spike into the dolphins’ necks just behind the blowholes, which is supposed to sever the spinal cord and produce an instant “humane” death.
"The fishermen then push dowel-like wooden corks into the wounds to prevent their blood from spilling into the cove. In reality, there is nothing humane about this.
"Dolphins thrash for several agonising minutes.
"What we cannot see we can hear, as the dolphins slap their tails frantically until they are silenced, in death.
"Cove Monitors have even observed some dolphins still alive and moving when they are hauled to the slaughter house."
Earlier this year Japan also resumed commercial whaling despite international criticism.
For more information, visit The Dolphin Project here