16/01/2016 13:41 GMT | Updated 18/01/2016 16:59 GMT

David Bowie's 'Heroes' Sang By Dolphin Activists Outside Japanese Embassy At Taiji Demonstration In London

Hundreds of animal rights activists paid tribute to the late David Bowie by singing his iconic track 'Heroes' during a demonstration in London on Saturday.

The protestors sang the 1977 hit to honour Bowie, who gave his permission for it to be used in the Oscar-winning documentary about the Taiji dolphin slaughter, The Cove.

ON THE BLOG: We Can Be Heroes

Campaigners were protesting against the killing of dolphins in Japan during today's demonstration.

Hundreds of demonstrators waved banners and inflatable dolphins as the crowd gathered opposite the Japanese embassy

Dominic Dyer, from the Born Free Foundation, introduced the tribute to Bowie.

He said: "David Bowie is now for ever linked with the dolphin protection movement through his song 'Heroes', which closes The Cove.

"For a man who famously protected his music and generated tens of millions from his back catalogue, the fact he allowed the song to be used in the film for next to nothing, says an awful lot about his care and compassion for animals

"The humble genius from Brixton who inspired and captivated the world has a well deserved place in the wildlife heroes hall of fame."

'Heroes' was loudly sang as the anthem blared from a speaker.

The protesters were calling for an end to the hunting practices of the fishing village of Taiji, Japan, where dolphins are regularly killed and on which the 2009 film is based.

Dyer said the bravery of the filmmakers in producing the documentary made the song an apt soundtrack for the demonstration. 

Speaking about the dolphin slaughter, Dyer said: "It's not the value of dead dolphins which keeps the Taiji slaughter going, but the trade in live dolphins which are taken away for the international marine park business in places like China, Korea, Thailand and Egypt.

"A dead dolphin might only be worth £250 to the fisherman, but a live dolphin selected by a marine park buyer can net them over £100,000.

"The Taiji dolphin drives have nothing to do with culture they are about ignorance greed and corruption".

As many as 138 dolphins have been killed in the cove this year alone, according to organisers.

A video of Dyer's speech outside the Japanese Embassy was uploaded to Facebook:

Dominic Dyer speech outside Japanese embassy 16/9/16 in for the Taiji Dolphins slaughtered in Taiji cove Japan #stoptheslaughter LONDON - Taiji March from Cavendish square to the Embassy

Posted by Emily Lawrence on Saturday, January 16, 2016