Video: Young dolphin struggles to escape during Taiji hunt

An Australian woman who captured heartbreaking footage of a young dolphin being taken away from its pod in Japan says she had to cut away because she was crying.

Liz Carter was in Taiji earlier this month when a 'superpod' was driven into the cove. More than 100 bottlenose dolphins were taken by hunters in the five-day period they were trapped, destined for captivity.

Ms Carter captured the chaos as a juvenile was captured, with some of the pod swimming around it.

"The dolphins were so panicked, they were diving in amongst each other," she told Newshub.

"It was like being in a spa with bubbles going - the water was just thrashing around that much, it was just horrible."

Ms Carter says the mother can be seen swimming near the juvenile as it struggles in the grasp of the divers.

"I just knew it was her, she was already just following her. And I just thought this is so horrible, this is so horrific - it's like someone taking my own child off me," she says.

"I had to cut the video because I was crying. It was just so awful watching that - that mother wouldn't recover.

"It was horrible to see them, fighting so hard to stay together."

Around 200 dolphins weren't taken captive and were driven away from the cove after five days, exhausted and swimming slowly.

Ms Carter says the family of the youngster in the video kept hanging around the harbour even after they were freed.

"I actually named the dolphin. I named the baby Namika, which means flower waves. To me that morning she was just like this delicate little flower, riding the waves with her family and her mother for the last time until they were driven in, and that was it."

Last year Japan's zoos and aquariums voted to stop using dolphins caught in the controversial hunt, but the animals are also sold to aquariums in China and the Middle East.

Ms Carter says people need to make the connection between marine parks, and what animals may have to go through to end up there.

"That's what counts. It's not that you attended SeaWorld, it's what you do with your choices after learning the truth on what you are supporting," she says.

"If people can still go knowing the truth, then I fear for the dolphins."

The fishing village of Taiji has become infamous due to the hunts, which local fishermen defend as being part of their tradition.