As always the 2012 Academy Awards began with a bang. Stars walked the red carpet with the glitz and glamour the world has come to know. As the stars stepped one by one before the snapping cameras describing their outfits another procession, a single file procession was happening on the other side of the world. A pod of 98 beautiful pantropical spotted dolphins was driven into the cove in Taiji, Japan, made famous by winning an academy award only a few years prior in 2009. Horrified volunteers watched as families, mothers, babies, children were driven under the blue tarps by the brutal hunters where they were slowly slaughtered. One dolphin caught on video was partially paralyzed spinning out of control, suffering a slow death last 10 minutes.
The killers of Taiji show no mercy to these dolphins families all in the wake of scientists calling for cetaceans to be given status and non-human persons http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16174092. Although the 2009 documentary has brought great attention to the dolphin hunts off the coast of Taiji, Japan it has not convinced the hunters to stop. Tim Burns of Save Japan Dolphins recounts local reaction to what was a particularly bloody day of suffering for dolphins at the cove:
“Normally, the “Town of Taiji representatives” stare into the Cove as it is happening, but today, once the blood began to flow, they all backed away from the cliff and just looked at us. Normally they smile and joke back and forth with each other, but not today. Today they witnessed as we did the brutal disregard for life that these 26 hunters have. Today they all witnessed how no care is taken for a “humane” end to these dolphins’ lives, but rather an intentional barbaric slaughter. I suspect tonight at the diner table there will not be any talk of a great, rewarding day at work”. http://savejapandolphins.org/blog/post/today-was-awful#.T0vCd8S9-b9.facebook
Money talks in Taiji and there seems to be no lack of orders for captive dolphins. A dead dolphin is hardly worth a 1000 dollars for their meat today. Many of these beautiful sentient beings end up packaged on the sale shelf or in dog food. The meat is known to be toxic with Mercury, PCB’s and other toxins http://bluevoice.org/news_dolphinmeat.php So what drives the hunt? A captive dolphin can be worth as much as 200,000 dollars trained. These dolphins are then shipped around the world by companies like Hong Kong Airlines that use dolphin coffins http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-27/airline-moving-dolphins-in-flying-coffins/3853928/?site=newcastle to carry these traumatized victims to their ultimate destinations, SeaWorlds, Swim with dolphins, marine parks, and dolphin assisted therapy. All for the sake of human entertainment and pleasure.
Many stars, some on stage last night, like Ben Stiller have stood up for the dolphins in Taiji. Public Service Announcements featuring some of our most famous hero’s of the film industry have spoken out against this cruel hunt. Ultimately the message is the same. Please don’t buy a ticket to see or interact with dolphins in captivity. The captive dolphin industry supports the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji. A handful of greedy men are making the money of so much dolphin misery. Isn’t it time we stopped it.
Let us fight for our ocean counterparts that they may too someday swim down the red carpet of the ocean loved by humans, treated as the amazing and beautiful stars they really are in their own world the oceans. Our voices together can end this. Alone we are but one drop of water, together our voices become an ocean that demand change for the monarchs of the sea.
Join us as we fight to save the monarchs of the sea each and everyday!