In Memory of the Dolphins Lost in “The Cove” Hunting 2014-2015


By Kirsten Massebeau

As another year of the Taiji dolphin drive hunting season ends dolphin activists worldwide take time for reflection as they contemplate and remember dolphins families and victims lost since September 1st.

Dolphin travelers migrating North will find the Kuroshio Current has a deadly "truck stop" known as Taiji. Only the lucky make it South in winter months.

Dolphin travelers migrating North will find the Kuroshio Current has a deadly “truck stop” known as Taiji. Only the lucky make it South in winter months.

Whilst the “False Killer Whale” has fallen from the roster of dolphin victims (none spotted since the 2011/2012 season) many other species of dolphin travelers going South on the Kuroshio Current were found by the dolphin hunters. 46 pods of dolphins were driven into the bloody killing cove of Taiji where they lost their children, liberty, history and their lives for aquariums, fertilizer, and human consumption.

The Risso’s dolphins would be seen as the dominate species driven into “The Cove” in 2014/2015 as the hunters went beyond their quota: 333 individuals were captured, 259 large adults slaughtered, only seven juveniles (children), were taken for marine parks, and 67 were dumped, or brutally driven back out to sea. The hunters took five over their quota for Risso’s dolphins. (source)

The striped dolphin a favorite food of the coastal area took the worst toll in terms of deaths. There was a quota of 450 for Striped Dolphins, of those 383 individuals were pushed into the cove. Of the 383 striped dolphins, not one was shown mercy or spared. No releases and no captures. Small pods, little families, with babies on board, and grandparents, would lose everything as they were pushed past hell’s gates to their deaths in Hatajiri Bay also known as “The Cove” a state park located in Taiji, Japan. (source)

Whilst the Japanese Fisheries would have the world believe that dolphins die instantly nothing is farther from the truth. In 2010 wildlife photographer Dieter Hagmann obtained secret footage of a slaughter during a striped dolphin drive. He captured the inhumane and slow slaughter of dolphins documenting what appeared to be death after struggling for 7 minutes. Because pithing begins with paralyzing the dolphin, and the bamboo nails inhibit the bleeding the suffering is extended. Some have estimated the dolphins still live for up to an hour or more as they are pithed at the cove and then transported to the butcher house where the dolphins are literally slaughtered and sold.

The dolphin meat contains Mercury, PCB’s and Cesium-137 as documented by most recently by the the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project:

The full results were as follows:

  • Cesium-137: 3.37Bq/kg. This is below the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 100Bq/kg.
  • PCBs: 0.12ppm. This is below the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 0.5ppm.
  • Total Mercury: 1.4ppm. This is higher than the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 0.4ppm.

The mercury level is of concern. Even low-level mercury poisoning can have a substantial impact on human health because it bio-accumulates in the body over time. (source)

The Fisherman’s Union responsible for the hunt numbers are few. There is little call for dolphin meat in a modern world. So how does the hunt survive?

According to The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project: Dolphinariums that work together with the Japanese dolphin killers are a major reason that the dolphin massacres are still going on, and organizations such as the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums or WAZA, endorse the hunts by allowing members into their orgs who source dolphins from the drives. (source)

Thanks to the academy award winning documentary, “The Cove” saving dolphins and whales from marine parks, captivity, and the slaughter it supports has become a worldwide movement that is growing each day. September 1st marked the opening of the hunt and events were held in Taiji and globally in opposition to the dolphin drive.


By ScubaFilmFactory

On January 15th the 5th Annual “Change for Taiji & Candle Vigil” Event took place in  in front of the Miami Japanese Consulate. Because of the captive industries close ties with dolphin drive fisheries to many the day was a moving demonstration of sadness, and hope that ended with a candle vigil.

          2014/2015 QUOTA:     1,938 total animals from seven species

  • Bottlenose : 108 caught · 028 killed · 041 live-capture · 039 released · 069 total take · quota = 509 · 440 more allowed
  • False Killer Whale : 000 caught · 000 killed · 000 live-capture · 000 released · 000 total take · quota = 070 · 070 more allowed
  • Pantropical Spotted : 193 caught · 040 killed · 024 live-capture · 127 released · 064 total take · quota = 400 · 336 more allowed
  • Pacific White-sided : 006 caught · 000 killed · 006 live-capture · 000 released · 000 total take · quota = 134 · 128 more allowed
  • Risso’s : 333 caught · 259 killed · 007 live-capture · 067 released · 266 total take · quota = 261 · 005 over quota
  • Short-finned Pilot : 061 caught · 041 killed · 002 live-capture · 018 released · 049 total take · quota = 114 · 065 more allowed
  • Striped : 383 caught · 383 killed · 000 live-capture · 000 released · 383 total take · quota = 450 · 067 more allowed. (source)

Be the change you want to see! Join and support  dolphinproject.net today!

Ric O’Barry personally spent a good part of this winter in Taiji monitoring and documenting the dolphin hunt and captive facilities foregoing holidays with family and events in his honor to stand watch for dolphins. He works 24/7 to be a voice for the dolphins in Taiji and in captivity. Where and when ever a dolphin needs help you will find Ric O’Barry.

“Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project has some phenomenal projects in the works — returning to the Solomon Islands, ending Indonesia’s traveling circus, Taiji of course, and Camp Lumba-Lumba — the first and largest permanent dolphin re-adaptation center in the world. Find ways to help here and become part of the pod here!.

Save the Blood Dolphins and Champions for Cetaceans Always Sharing Current news for dolphins, whales, ocean life, and ocean health.

Save the Blood Dolphins and Champions for Cetaceans Always Sharing Current news for dolphins, whales, ocean life, and ocean health.

Join us on Facebook pages Champions for Cetaceans and Save The Blood Dolphins for news and updates about dolphins and whales daily! Save the Blood Dolphins and Champions for Cetaceans always sharing current news for dolphins, whales, ocean life, and ocean health. Don’t forget to like our friends at I Love Dolphins another page with amazing updates and ways to take action for dolphins and the International Whale and Dolphin Stranding Network for current news on dolphin strandings worldwide.

Check back for upcoming posts on individual species analysis 2014/2015 drive season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dolphin Talk Radio Interviews Takayo-san Japanese Activist For Dolphins


By Barbara Napoles

Takayo-san will be our next guest on Dolphin Talk Radio! This rising Japanese activist has dedicated her life to saving dolphins and animals worldwide! Please listen and call in with your questions on Tuesday 10PM EST, 7PM PST, and 11:00 Tokyo time!

Takayo was deeply moved upon seeing the plight of the dolphins in Taiji when viewing the Academy Award-winning documentary, “The Cove.”

Since then she has dedicated her life to saving these and other precious creatures. Takayo has done extensive research on the destruction of sea life and established “One Ocean, One Breath,” an organization dedicated to protecting aquatic animals.

She has worked tirelessly investigating the illegal sale of whale and dolphin meat in Japan, and has been in constant contact with numerous Taiji officials. Takayo has been chosen to be a representative for Japan at the upcoming Asia Animal Conference. The purpose of this coalition is to have united power to lobby the various organizations and governments that deal with captive dolphins.

Takayo has received support from all over the world and is eager to spread the message far beyond Japan.

Once the show starts there will a “Skype” logo where you can listen but also call in to the show for our overseas listeners. Please wait until we announce that the phone bank is open. Guest Call-in number is (424) 675-8287

Direct link to the show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dolphintalkradio/2014/08/27/interview-with-takayo-a-japanese-activist

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Dolphin Talk Radio’s Second Show with Runners for Dolphins a Success!


By Kirsten Massebeau Join us for the show! Call in and get involved in spreading awareness for dolphins! Dolphin Talk Radio’s second show entitled “Athletes Running for Dolphins” was a great success! Please have a listen! Just follow this link and learn more about these two great athletes and advocates for dolphins!

Shannon Richards a third grade, teacher and triathlon athlete did a fantastic job of sharing her passion as she participates in grueling triathlons in support of dolphins in captivity. In her bio this is what she said: “I feel like I am just an ordinary person who wants to make the world a better place, like many of us do. I love being inspired by others, and I strive to inspire others to find their passions and fulfill them, no matter how silly or insignificant they may be. My passions are teaching, loving animals, and competing in triathlons. I got this crazy idea to combine them all after seeing Blackfish and The Cove. Why not raise awareness for cetaceans in captivity while I am training and racing? In doing so, I feel like I am helping these dolphins and whales in some small way by causing people to stop and wonder why captivity is so wrong for these beautiful animals. If I can reach one person by running down the street, or riding my bike with “Ric O Barry’s Dolphin Project” logo on my back, I feel like I am one step closer to helping end captivity for them. Ending cetacean captivity is something I feel very strongly about, and I am so glad I have found such a great cause to help keep me motivated! I have made some wonderful new friends around the world, and I have also helped educate my family and friends, who in turn pass this information on to others. My plan is to continue to race for dolphins and whales and reach all the people I can until all the tanks are empty” (Shannon Richards, Tri for Change) Listen to Shannon’s story HERE!

Jennifer Wolfsong an attorney spoke about her drive to help dolphins after seeing the 2009 documentary on Netflix called, “The Cove”: I happened upon the movie, “The Cove” about 3 and a half years ago when I was surfing Netflix.  It disturbed me so much that I couldn’t think about anything else.  I didn’t sleep for weeks because I couldn’t get those horrible images out of my head.  I decided I had to do something, something drastic to catch people’s attention.  I have been a runner since high school so a running event seemed the natural choice.  In 2011 I started training to run 100 miles on Sept. 1, 2012, the start of Taiji’s dolphin hunting season.  I ended up shortening my goal to 100k (61 miles) but with the hopes of running 100 miles in the future.  I did successfully run 100km in Sept 2012 and raised more than $3,000 for Save Japan Dolphins.  I was unable to do a 100 mile run in 2013 but late in 2013 I started training again, this time to complete a 100 mile race this September.

” In watching the Cove, there is one thing that Ric O’Barry said that stays with me.  He said (and I’m paraphrasing) that if we can stop this one brutality in the world, there is hope that we can save the planet.  This is what I hold onto during my long, grueling training runs, that I’m running to keep hope alive”. (Jennifer Wolfsong) Listen to Jennifer’s story HEREFollow the link and listen to their creative activism to help dolphins worldwide!

Dolphin Talk Radio Interviews Two Creative Athletes Making a Difference for Dolphins


By Kirsten Massebeau

Meet Jennifer Wolfsong and Shannon Richards true champions for dolphins!

Meet Jennifer Wolfsong and Shannon Richards true champions for dolphins!

Please join us on the new Dolphin Talk Radio featuring your hosts Barbara Napoles and Kirsten Massebeau as they interview Shannon Richards a triathlon athlete and Jennifer Wolfsong a marathon runner who have dedicated their races to saving dolphins. Inspired by “Blackfish” and “The Cove” both Jennifer and Shannon have inspirational journeys to share as they talk about how they became involved in the fight to save dolphins from capture, captivity and slaughter.

The Tuesday August 5, 2014 Dolphin Talk Radio Show entitled “Athletes Running for Dolphin Freedom” will begin at 11pm Eastern time and 8pm Pacific time. Call in with your questions and comments (424) 675-8287. Dolphin Talk Radio is a way to stand up, speak out and make a difference for dolphins worldwide. Together we can make a difference! Mark your calendars and have a listen!

Newsweek Engulfed In Social Media Backlash on Eve of Historic WAZA Dolphin Protest


 

By Kirsten Massebeau

A Newsweek article entitled “A Social Media Storm Descends on Taiji, the Japanese Town at the Center of a Dolphin Slaughter” is on the cover of Newsweek. The cover image depicts a red wave with blue birds flying towards the heavens. The cover states, “Twitter Tsunami, A Japanese Fishing Village Unleashes a Social Media Storm”. Newly resurrected Newsweek author Bill Powell comes on strong painting a romantic picture of a small “fishing village”. He calls the hunt tradition despite the recently revealed information that the dolphin drive began in 1969. Through-out Bill Powell’s Newsweek article he describes the experiences of a “slight elderly woman” who does not understand why dolphin advocates are coming from around the world to speak out for the dolphins captured and slaughtered in “The Cove“. The real truth is hunters and dolphin trainers work side by side sorting through dolphin pods, selecting the juveniles, and slaughtering their parents, the injured, and unwanted by aquariums using a technique called pithing that can be viewed here.

Powell cleverly vilifies the social media movement portraying the dolphin hunters as a group of quiet “fisherman” plagued by the cruel outside world. He uses the word “tsunami” bringing up painful memories for the Japanese people, connecting the term to social media. He continues using the “elderly woman’s” impressions making the hunters and captive industry seem helpless victims of a modern world:

“She also knows that Caroline Kennedy, the high-profile U.S. ambassador to Japan, helped fuel the global outrage with a tweet on January 17, 2014, saying “she was deeply concerned by the “inhumane-ness” of the hunt”. But Isoda, like most members of the local fishing families, is unapologetic-and quietly bitter over how her little fishing village has been vilified by celebrities and civilians all over the world.”

The global anger generated by the annual dolphin drive is the latest example of how social activism is being transformed by technology”.(source)

Angel was the first dolphin removed from the pod. It was rumored that her mother  committed an act of suicide when Angel was ripped from her side. Whether she committed suicide, was slaughtered, or driven back out to sea will never be known. Powell foolishly quotes a dolphin hunter calling albino-ism and illness when in fact it occurs in many species including humans. In addition to claiming a wild albino dolphin who has the protection of her mother, a deep ocean, and a mega pod is better off in a shallow pool with strangers demonstrates his skewed source.

“A local official in Taiji denies that albinos can fetch such an exorbitant price. They’re white “because of disease,” he adds, and thus are actually more likely to survive longer in captivity than in the ocean”.(source)

The above video is Angel being bullied at the Taiji Whale Museum in a cramped tank.

Despite Bill Powell, and Newsweek’s attempt to throw up a smokescreen for Taiji the truth has surfaced and is not going away. When a mega pod of bottlenose dolphins was pushed into the cove this January the world would watch day after day as the juveniles were taken captive and their parents then slaughtered for fertilizer:

“A wild dolphin caught in Taiji, for example, will sell for around $500-600 US for its meat. But a live trained dolphin will sell on the international market for as much as $150,000 US. The huge prices offered by JAZA and WAZA member aquariums for live dolphins sustain the brutal Taiji killing of hundreds of dolphins each year, which would likely collapse without the aquarium trade”.(source) In addition, the meat is toxic and unfit for human consumption despite Bill Powell’s claims!

It seems Newsweek’s Bill Powell has unleashed his own social media backlash as comments of outrage continue to load into the article. Newsweek cannot delete the angry comments of the masses quickly enough, stating their Newsweek subscriptions will be cancelled, calling Newsweek irresponsible, and corrupt.

The release of Bill Powell’s skewed article seems almost strategically released by Newsweek on the eve of a historic event. On March 28, 2014, only hours away, demonstrators will convene at the headquarters of The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) demanding they sever their ties with The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) whose members, specifically the Taiji Whale Museum are trafficking blood dolphins to aquariums worldwide:

“Ric O’Barry, Director of Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin Project, will attend a demonstration in front of the offices of WAZA in Gland, Switzerland. O’Barry and members of the environmental coalition are expected to be received by WAZA Director, Dr. Gerald Dick, and his lawyer in front of the media, where the environmental coalition will demand the organization expel their “Association Member” Japan Association of Zoos & Aquariums (JAZA), over violations of the WAZA Code of Ethics & Animal Welfare in relation to the brutal Taiji dolphin drive hunts in Japan, fueled and financed by the international dolphin captivity industry, including JAZA and WAZA member aquariums.

Joining Ric O’Barry, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Cetacean Society International and the Swiss nonprofit OceanCare, is Sakae Hemmi of ELSA Nature Conservancy of Japan and one of the first persons to film and publicize the slaughters, along with numerous activists dressed up for the occasion. Ms. Hemmi and Elsa recently pleaded with WAZA Director Dick, in a series of letters from Japan, to stop the subsidizing of the dolphin hunts by aquariums that are members of JAZA and WAZA”.(source)

 Join the event in Switzerland or join us on social media as we move together as one voice sending out a Thunderclap for dolphins, highly intelligent beings, citizens of the ocean, that are being captured and slaughtered in The Cove. All the Bill Powell’s of the world cannot stop the terrible truth of the modern day dolphin horror taking place in Taiji, a dolphins worst nightmare. We are not a social media “tsunami”, we are the light that is shining brighter and brighter as the dark truth about what goes on in the cove is exposed to world in an attempt to end the dolphin death and suffering.

On March 31, 2014 Louie Psiyhoyas director of the academy award winning film has come out in defense of dolphins condemning the slanted article by Newsweek glorifying and romanticizing the brutal slaughter and capture of dolphins for marine parks in Taiji Japan:

[Editor’s Note: The following is a response from Louie Psihoyos, Director of The Cove, to a March 27 Newsweek story by Bill Powell.]

I usually don’t respond to our few detractors, but the recent article in Newsweek seemed deserving because the misinformation it contained might be believed. Mr. Powell’s article contains false equivalence and journalistic cowardice that insists that every story must have two sides. It’s also devoid of basic fact checking.

I hope to set the record straight by clarifying a few of the article’s claims, and by releasing unedited footage from The Cove that has never been seen before, so that the public can determine for themselves that none of the footage we used was doctored.

“Mistrust of the filmmakers and anti-hunt activists is so intense that some villagers, who say the water never turns that red during the killing, believe the producers later added the lurid color with special effects. The filmmakers adamantly deny this.”

I have always said that the slaughter we showed in The Cove was the Disney version of what actually happens behind the tarps. It seems that now it’s time to show the truth of how barbaric the Taiji fishermen and their renegade mayor really are, (Read the article and see the unseen raw footage here!)

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An Era Ends as Dolphin, and BBC Wildlife Photographer-Filmmaker is Denied Entrance to Japan


By Kirsten Massebeau

On February 14, 2014 (Japan time), Martyn Stewart dolphin and BBC wildlife photographer-filmmaker was held in custody at Osaka Airport where he was grilled by Japanese authorities, and  eventually expelled from the country following a grueling interrogation. Martyn reached out to his many friends and followers from his detention cell at Osaka Airport, posting on Facebook:

“I am Locked in a cell room at Osaka airport waiting on an appeal to the high minister regarding my entry into Japan. I’m accused of being sea shepherd and an Eco terrorist, my footage is not liked in Japan apparently and have been accused of assaulting members of the public. In 4 years of being here for the dolphins I have maintained the law and abided by their rules. My words and pictures did the rest. The government of Japan will do anything to protect the rights of the fishermen of Taiji and the barbaric treatment of the animals involved.
Please share far and wide to bring awareness to this corrupt government and those that want to continue to brutally treat these amazing animals. The condition I’m in and the treatment I have received is nothing short of criminal”. — at Kansai Airport Line.

“Incredible feelings again in my stomach, I never thought i would come back here again so soon but things just happen like this in life, weird! It’s not the place you would want to keep coming back to, i mean you wouldn’t keep going back to a shitty restaurant, right! This place just has me tied up too much though, i hate the thought of abandoning these animals and i feel it every-time i leave. My promise to them was i would always come back until i knew it would stop. Whether it be because they want to stop (fishermen) or because they become extinct. We just have to be their voice”…. January 2013, in Wakayama-shi, Japan.(Martyn Stewart)

While Martyn Stewart of Nature’s Sound is known for his beautiful recordings of birds and wildlife for documentaries, his images and video documentation of the cruel dolphin drives in Taiji, Japan are legendary. His passion can be seen in his pictures and videos, of the terrible dolphin suffering he has witnessed over the years as he documented the dolphin drive in Taiji. His videos and images have compelled many activists to speak out, and take action, for the dolphins.

While many of the photographers coming to Taiji keep their lenses focused on the dolphin victims only, Martyn goes further. He took the lens of his camera beyond the dolphin suffering capturing images of the small group of people who are profiting from the sale of dolphins dead and alive. Above is an image of Mr. Myoshi owner of the Dolphin Resort, and a broker of dolphins. Each trained dolphin he sells to aquariums can bring him up to 200,000 while a dead dolphin brings the hunters the equivalent of hundreds of  dollars for the butchered meat which is sold for human consumption, dog food, and fertilizer (bottlenose dolphins). The meat is Mercury laden and toxic yet the slaughter and consumption by a few continues.

While taking portrait images is frowned upon in Japan, Martyn’s pictures of those involved in the dolphin drives have sparked the global community in a profound way leading the viewers to question how Marine Parks have become so entwined the terrible capture and slaughter of these highly intelligent beings, dolphins and small whales. The dolphin trainers, many of whom are certified by the International Marine Animals Trainer Association (IMATA), work side by side with the hunters simultaneously selecting the young beautiful dolphins for captivity, while slaughtering the older dolphins their parents, and grandparents. One might think that IMATA would vehemently oppose dolphin drive fisheries claiming they love dolphins yet the opposite is true. IMATA welcomes trainers from dolphin drive fisheries:

“Any individual who believes in IMATA’s mission and who supports its goals is welcomed into the membership. This means that if an individual works for an organization that acquires dolphins from a drive fishery, up to and including participating in the selection and collection of live animals, s/he is welcomed by IMATA”.(source)

While the Taiji ISANA “Fisherman’s” Union claims the hunt is “tradition” history tells a very different story. It is no wonder the dolphin hunters go to such great lengths to hide the bodies of their dolphins victims who suffer and die so slowly under the tarps draped so skillfully over the blood filled shallows of the killing cove. In a recent article entitled, “Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt Is Not A Tradition”, Mark Palmer of Earth Island Institute quotes star and co creator of academy award winning documentary, The Cove, Ric O’Barry who explains that in fact the Taiji, dolphin drives are not “tradition”:

“This claim of ‘Japanese tradition’ is nonsense,” stated Ric O’Barry, Director of Earth Island’s Dolphin Project.  “The dolphin drive hunts, according to the town’s own written history, says a couple of drive hunts occurred in 1936 and 1944, but the current series of hunts only began in 1969(source).

“We do not want these animals to have died in vain. They died because of ignorance. The next pod caught is partly in your hands. Talk, educate, be proactive”. November, 2013— at太地町.(Martyn Stewart)

The capture of dolphins for aquariums and marine parks  is a multi-million dollar industry that the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), and their partners the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) who sits on WAZA’s animal ethics board of directors do not want to see end. The dolphins born in captivity cannot fill the demand for display dolphins hence the need is filled with blood dolphins.

While Martyn will no longer be exposing, and reporting on the dolphin capture and slaughter in Taiji, Japan his time spent there was not in vain. Martyn Stewart showed us the faces and suffering behind the dolphin slaughter and capture. His pictures and video are timeless as is his is an example to us all practicing what he preaches. He is a strict vegan, and true animal lover, who will never be silenced in his quest to help all living creatures, and to expose animal suffering whenever and wherever it occurs.

Leaving the land that kill dolphins and small wales, leaving animals that I so much promised I would be with until this insanity stops, leaving with a sence of failure yet one of pride that I did what I could and I will never forget that. Leaving a country that so much needs our guidance and not interference, leaving Taiji in a far worse state than I found it in. Leaving behind many friends that I made and will probably never see again. Leaving a large piece of my heart on a beach in Taiji — at Kansai International Airport.(Martyn Stewart)

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TWEETSTORM ~ WAZA HAS THE POWER TO END THE DOLPHIN SLAUGHTERS, DEMAND THAT WAZA ACT NOW !!


By Kirsten Massebeau

A mega pod of dolphins that included a rare albino dolphin calf gained worldwide attention on January 17, 2014 as they were driven into the infamous cove in Taiji, Japan. Using a painful technique called oikomi, once the hunters locate a pod, in this case bottlenose dolphins, they create a semi-circle. They then drop steel pipes with fluted bottoms into the water. Together each boat bangs on the poles with hammers creating a painful wall of sound. On January 17th the bottlenose dolphins in a race for their lives were inevitably pushed into the cove section by section, and netted off for the captive process that would begin the following day.

The grueling process of selection for WAZA members facilities by SSCS Cove Guardians January

The grueling process of selection for WAZA members facilities by SSCS Cove Guardians January 20, 2014 Taiji

For four days the dolphins were pushed into the shallows of Hatakejiri Bay. Using the blast of engines and hunters in dive suits, each section of the pod was manhandled, many injured, as they were pushed onto the shore of the killing cove where dolphin trainers, many working for the one of local dolphin brokers the Taiji Whale Museum, a World Association of zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)  member, and Dolphin Base another broker, were waiting to inspect the younger dolphins for sale to aquariums, marine parks and dolphinariums worldwide.

The first taken was the rare albino baby who was literally ripped from its mothers side. For four days the mega pod remained in the cove as trainers took the young from their parents marking the unwanted with a white stripe that would later mean slaughter or a drive back out to sea. As the days of captive selection continued the dolphin suffering escalated as the dolphins became weaker, wounded, and more panicked.

The hunters ran over the dolphins again and again as they pushed the dolphins under the tarps using the blades and roar of the outboard motors to manipulate their victims.

Dolphins panicked, and began to lose the will to live as days went by. While the dolphin drives have been an annual event since 1969, and had been exposed most recently in the 2009 release of the documentary The Cove it has continued. This drive though, would draw worldwide attention.

The news of this huge bottlenose round-up coursed through media outlets worldwide sparking global outrage. US Ambassador Carolyn Kennedy came forward expressing deep concern about the Taiji dolphin hunts(source). Yoko Ono came forward publishing a letter to the ISANA “Fisherman’s” Union imploring them to end the hunt (source) While many important people came forward the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) remained silent as the bottlenose dolphins being manhandled and selected for captivity in the cove would be bought, and sold by and to their members.

“In a recent interview Ric O’Barry film star and creator of the Academy Award winning documentary The Cove that exposed the Taiji dolphin capture and slaughter had this to say: “The number of dolphins caught last year for captivity was tremendous: about 250. The season before, only 50 dolphins were captured for captivity”.(Source)

“This claim of ‘Japanese tradition’ is nonsense,” stated Ric O’Barry, Director of Earth Island’s Dolphin Project.  “The dolphin drive hunts, according to the town’s own written history, says a couple of drive hunts occurred in 1936 and 1944, but the current series of hunts only began in 1969.”(source)

What you can do to help?

Join the Tweetstorm !TWEETSTORM ~ WAZA HAS THE POWER TO END THE DOLPHIN SLAUGHTERS, DEMAND THAT WAZA ACT NOW !!

TWEETSTORM TIME ANNOUNCER: ► http://bit.ly/1cXjmsv

COUNTDOWN TO TWEETSTORM: ► http://bit.ly/1joYdjo

Friday, January 24, 2014

10:00pm in UTC

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