By Kirsten Massebeau
On September 1st, 2011 thousands of dolphin conservationists staged rallies all over the world urging Japan to end it’s dolphin drives in Taiji, Japan. September 1st also marks the opening of the dolphin hunting season in Taiji Japan. Every year 1000’s of dolphins are driven into a cove, some taken for a life of captivity, most brutally slaughtered, experiencing anguishing, painful deaths that last as long as 8 to 10 minutes.
Here are the dolphin drive quotas for 2011-2012:
Pacific White-Sided Dolphins–134
Long Finned Pilot Whales——184
False Killer Whales———–70
Total kill and capture——–2165
As you can see in the above numbers the bottlenose dolphin number is the highest. Why? Because the bottlenose dolphin is most sought for use in Marine Parks, Aquariums, Swim With Dolphins. More and More dolphinariums and swim with dolphins are opening everyday mainly thanks to the success of SeaWorld. Today Sea World is working harder than ever to make the world believe they have, and are working to save our oceans, but nothing could be farther from the truth. As a corporate giant their only objective is to make more money and increase the size of their “collection”. Much like the slave traders Sea World considers all dolphins imprisoned in their facilities as property. There is no free ride for dolphins in captivity, they work long hours for their keep, sometime up to 5 shows a day. They are taken from their families, forced to work for every bite of the dead fish they would have never even consumed in the ocean. A must watch the film, “A Fall From Freedom”. This film documents Sea Worlds involvement with the cruel captures, and dolphin drives that fuel the captive dolphin industry: http://afallfromfreedom.org/
Today scientists are on the very of giving dolphins status as “non-human persons”http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article6973994.ece. For some time the superior intelligence and complex social society of the dolphins is well documented yet the dolphin continues to be exploited, “Bottlenose dolphins have convincingly demonstrated that they use a mirror to investigate their own bodies, showing that they have a sense of self (Reiss and Mrino, 2001). These findings are consistent with further evidence for self-awareness and self-monitoring in dolphins and related cognitive abilities (see Marino et al, 2008, for a review). In particular, the highly elaborated cingulate and insular cortex in cetacean brains are consistent with the idea that these animals are highly sophisticated and sensitive in the emotional and social -emotional sophistication not achieved by other animals including humans” (Phillip Brakes and Mark Peter Simmonds, Whales and Dolphins Cognition, Culture, Conservation and Human Perceptions, Washington, DC, Earthscan, 2011). Please follow the link to find out how dolphins call each other by name something that was thought only to be done by man. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20874-dolphins-call-each-other-by-name.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news
The abuse of dolphins began stacking up quickly in Taiji this year. Typhoon Talas ripped through Japan just as dolphin hunting season opened. The harbor pens loaded with dolphins tossed the helpless dolphins from side to side. Ric O’Barry of http://www.savejapandolphins.org/ reached out to the world to urge the Taiji Whale Museum and Dolphin Base Resort to release the dolphins but Taiji did not listen. Instead they starved them in order to insure they would return if a swell managed to release them from the pens.
On September 6th Leilani Munter race car driver and volunteer for Save Japan Dolphins stationed in Taiji posted: via Leilani Munter “11 drive boats are chasing a pod towards the cove. Can’t see size of pod, too far away. Hoping for escape. Police and coast guard already waiting at cove”.
The moment dolphin conservationists had dreaded finally arrived.
Via Leilani munter: 12 rissos dolphins in the cove and are being killed as we speak.
Their would be no sympathy for the Risso dolphins. A mother forced to watch her baby, and family, slowly murdered at the hands of the dolphin hunters of Taiji.
No drives have been reported since but the abuse of dolphins is going on everyday in Taiji. Here is new footage of a sick dolphin and cell mate trying to get help. These are dolphins again captured through drive fisheries for captivity.
As the drive hunts of dolphins continue through March please join us as we take action. If you haven’t seen “The Cove” please follow this link and watch it for free http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/cove/. Take action. Below is a link to the Save Misty the Dolphin Monday-Friday action list for the dolphins of Taiji. http://savemistythedolphin.tumblr.com/post/10187285428/how-you-can-help-the-taiji-dolphins-monday-friday Together we can make a difference if we join our voices. We must be the voices for our counterparts, sisters and brother of the sea.
To learn how you can help please visit:
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About the “Denmark boycott” :
This is kind of retarded. The Danish government cant do anything about the whaling in the Faroe Islands, cause the Faroe Islands has their own government, own laws and also own language. Danish people love whales. So why not boycott Faroese products instead? The Faroe Islands wont care if you boycott Danish products, they dont even like Denmark and Danish people so they would just be happy to see someone boycott Danish products.
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Great piece. I’m bookmarking it as a great resource.
Thanks Mo! It has a lot of good links:)
After reading the title, I thought the article was going to be able Taiji’s hunt for big whales. Not sure if you know about it or not, but there are a few “whaling ships” (with harpoons) that are stationed in Taiji. Hunting for minke, sei and other whales is yet another hunt of the Taiji Fishermen’s Cooperative…
Thanks Brian! No I didn’t know their where whaling boats actually stationed there. I knew that the dolphin hunters of Taiji also participated in hunting the poor Minke. A picture that you shared last winter of a minke in a sling on the way to the slaughter house was just heartbreaking.
Fantastic Blog Kirsten–very thorough -and factual -Thank You
Thanks Alyson! I think it has several great links and amazing video. Dieter Hagman is a real hero in getting footage from behind the blue tarps.