The Life Investigation Agency (LIA), a nonprofit organization, filmed the hunt on Sunday in Taiji, a small coastal town in Wakayama prefecture.
Several boats are seen leading the herd into shallower water before the animals were captured, selected and loaded onto the boats.
LIA Director Ren Yabuki was on the floor of the cove and was a direct witness to the hunt.
He told 9new.com.au that he felt helpless as he watched the herd being herded from open water into the narrow cove.
“The dolphins that were selected were fighting in resistance,” Yabuki said.
“The dolphins were very stressed and many of them hit the surface of the water with their tail fins.
“They were snapping and whistling at each other, communicating with each other and calling the parts of the capsule that were separated by some of the networks day and night.
“It was very sad to hear them cry to each other.
“I have been working in the dolphin trade for a long time, but I have never heard them scream like this.
Yabuki said he saw young dolphins and “at least one baby” in the pod.
“Within the catches so far, several juvenile dolphins have been caught,” he said.
“The captures are likely to continue yet, but so far it does not appear that they have caught baby dolphins.”
In an update on its Facebook page, the Dolphin Project, a non-profit organization that works closely with the LIA, stated that 59 of the dolphins have been selected for the marine park and aquarium trade.
They claim that one of the netted dolphins has died.
“It may have been slaughtered for meat.
“There were many drops of blood on the road from the fishermen’s union building, which led to one of the [dolphin meat] processing facilities “.
The selection process is expected to continue today.
The Taiji dolphin hunt runs from September 1 to February 28.
Each year, the government sets quotas on how many species of each species can be killed or captured.
This year, the number stands at 1,749.
9news.com.au has contacted the “Bureau of Whaling Affairs” of the Japan Fisheries Agency for a statement.