Ask CNN To Report on The Captive Selection and Slaughter Of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales In The Cove


By Kirsten Massebeau

Today the roar of the banger boats, and the black smoke was an unwelcome sight to dolphin advocates on the ground in Taiji, Japan as the dolphin hunting boats known as  moved into formation. Twitter became alive with Tweets as The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project and other activists reported a large pod of pilot whales was being forced into the infamous killing cove. It wouldn’t be until the nets were drawn that bottlenose dolphins, most desired by SeaWorld, and friends to stock marine parks and aquariums would be noted within the pod.

In 2009 the documentary, “The Cove” staring Ric O’Barry would be released exposing the terrible capture and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. The world was shocked to watch dolphins, who science have determined are highly intelligent beings divided destroyed. The young and strong were selected for captivity, while their parents and grandparents were slaughtered for meat, and fertilizer. The entire process was so obviously cruel and inhumane that many thought it would end following the release of, “The Cove” and then it’s academy award win in 2010 for best documentary would give it even more impact but sadly that would not be the case. Sponsored by the captive industry in order to fill orders for marine parks the hunt would continue with captures escalating. Young dolphins would be hoisted into slings headed for captivity whilst their parents were simultaneously, slowly slaughtered.

In 2011 the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project representative, wildlife photographer and storm chaser Brian Barnes was on the ground in Taiji. His footage of a mass pilot whales suicide would shock the world as the hunters stood by and laughed as whales threw their huge bodies against the rocks to avoid being dragged to a slow death under the blue tarps now associated with terrible dolphin suffering.

Killing Dolphins at Taiji is Slow and Cruel from BlueVoice.org on Vimeo.

The supposed, “Fisherman” claimed this was Western foolishness, propaganda. They took every stop possible to cover up what went on once a dolphin was dragged beneath their tarps. Again though the terrible suffering would be exposed by Dieter Hagmann of Atlantic Blue in Europe. His time elapsed secret footage would prove once and for all that these dolphins were suffering beyond any slaughter known. Behind the blue tarps a striped dolphin would have a steel blade driven behind his or her blow hole. Then the “Fisherman” drove bamboo pegs into the wounds to slow the bleeding in order to hide their work. For approximately 10 minutes the dolphin flays, twisting and writhing as the butcher heartlessly slices this highly intelligent being slowly, showing no empathy or emotion for such obvious and terrible suffering. The footage was later analyzed by a board of scientists whose finding were featured in the Huffington Post: Several veterinarians and behavioral scientists who watched a covertly recorded video wrote, “This killing method… would not be tolerated or permitted in any regulated slaughterhouse process in the developed world.” That includes Japan, oddly enough.

Japan’s own slaughter guidelines for livestock require that the creature being killed must be made to lose consciousness and be killed by methods “proven to minimize, as much as possible, any agony to the animal.” But those guidelines do not apply to whale and dolphin killing, which is governed by Japan’s Fisheries Agency..

On January 17, 2014 a mega pod of bottlenose dolphins would be driven into the cove. Within the center of this pod was a mother with a rare albino dolphin calf. Mother and daughter clung together until the following morning when at day break International Marine Mammal Animal Trainers and the dolphin hunters roared into the cove to begin three long days of dolphin hell and suffering as mothers and juveniles were separated, the youths were hauled away in slings for over seas SeaWorld’s and marine parks whilst watching their mothers and fathers slowly dying in the red tinged water.

The images of the mega pod slaughter and capture, and the albino dolphin now dubbed, “Angel” would be imprinted on the world forever. As the days of horror unfolded Carolyn Kennedy Ambassador to Japan would Tweet:

Following Carolyn Kennedy’s Tweet on January 22, 2014 Anderson Cooper 360 spoke with Ric O’Barry, director of the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project, who argues the killing “is not traditional, it is not cultural, and it’s time to end this.”

Despite the growing awareness and the constant presence of the dolphin activists documenting and reporting on the capture and slaughter against these highly intelligent beings the dolphin drive continues. In addition, while SeaWorld may be failing in the United States because of the powerful documentary “Blackfish” that exposes the truth behind the death of Dawn Branchau and the abuse and exploitation of killer whales they are in fact expanding. SeaWorld has a contract with Samsung to build a mega size dolphinarium in South Korea, the Middle East, and China countries where they would easily be able to purchase wild dolphins captured from Taiji with the support of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums who depend on Taiji wild captured dolphins to stock their display facilities.

Taiji: Doomed. No words to describe how I feel. - Richard O'Barry Take Action Here: http://goo.gl/iEkkTr

Taiji: Doomed. No words to describe how I feel. – Richard O’Barry
Take Action Here: http://goo.gl/iEkkTr

Ric O’Barry has spent a lifetime trying to undo the captive industry that he had helped to design almost a life time ago. Now he stands at the cove along with other activists documenting what was once a secret kept from the world. As the nets were drawn into place by the hunters to hold the dolphins and whales overnight prior to tomorrows early morning selection for marine parks and slaughter, Ric had this to say:

Taiji: Doomed. No words to describe how I feel. -Richard O’Barry

Our voice is their only hope! Don’t buy a ticket and join Ric O’Barry of the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project.net and all the brave activists standing up and speaking out about “The Cove”.

Follow this link and contact CNN and let them know that again a huge capture and slaughter of dolphins, and small whales will be taking place in “The Cove” and ask them to cover it! 

Albino Bottlenose Dolphin Captured In The Cove Brings WorldWide Attention To WAZA’s Partnership with JAZA’s Taiji Drive Fisheries


By Kirsten Massebeau

A rare albino dolphin ripped from it’s mothers side has brought worldwide attention to the cruel dolphin drives that continue to take place off the coast of Japan in the town of Taiji. The ISANA Fisherman’s Union a small group of dolphin hunters are given a yearly quota for drive fisheries. The quota for bottlenose dolphins in the 2013/2014 season is 577. Prior to this drive of 250 plus bottlenose dolphins the dolphin hunters had already taken 71 for aquariums, releasing 160 for next year, and slaughtering 87 for fertilizer (Source)

In her article “A Japanese Plea for Help“, Leah gives dolphin supporters ways take action and publishes an open letter that was sent to Doctor Gerald Dick, Executive Director of Worlds Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) on January 17, 2014. An excerpt from the letter:

“In fact, the history of dolphin hunting in Taiji is short. According to “The History of Taiji,” edited and published by Taiji town in 1979, the first recorded dolphin drive was in 1933, with subsequent hunts occurring in 1936 and 1944. It was not until 1969 that dolphin drives have been conducted on a large scale. The history of the dolphin drives spans not so-called 400 years, but a mere 45. Furthermore, in 1969, the main goal of the dolphin drive was to capture pilot whales as prized showpieces for the Taiji Whale Museum. In other words, the dolphin drive was purely for profit, having nothing to do with cultural history. Since 1969 a close relationship began building between the drive hunt and aquaria as financial activities”.(Source)

. In 2010, WAZA made it clear that they supported, and were working with Taiji drive fisheries calling the capture and slaughter a transitional approach. (Source)

“Considering WAZA’s Code of Ethics, we believe that even culture and long history should not be acceptable reasons to inflict pain and agony on wild animals. Though you replied that “WAZA member facilities place animal welfare at the forefront of all animal acquisitions,” JAZA still allows its members to acquire dolphins from extremely cruel drive hunts, and, as we wrote you in previous petition, the number of dolphins caught using these unethical capture methods has only been increasing”.(Source)

In a statement issued at the beginning of the dolphin drive season 2013 WAZA  seems to try and distance themselves from the dolphin suffering in “The Cove” yet have such a close relationship with their Japanese regional Association, the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) who openly work with drive fisheries to obtain dolphins for aquariums and marine parks worldwide. Ironically JAZA, a supporter of the capture and slaughter in The Cove is on WAZA’s Animal Welfare Committee.

Who could stop this? According to Ric O’Barry of the Dolphin Project, WAZA and JAZA have the power:

“A member of JAZA is the notorious Taiji Whale Museum.  Dr. Dick and WAZA meanwhile have a policy statement on their website which is an excellent example of obfuscation, denial, and finger-pointing, in very polite language, to avoid the reality that JAZA member aquariums and other WAZA member aquariums subsidize the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji by buying live-caught wild dolphins from the dolphin killers at an outrageous price.

WAZA’s “inaction” seems clearly in conflict which their own mission statement which emphasizes conservation and sustainability.(Source)

What can you do? Sign the petition demanding the Taiji Whale Museum: Release the baby albino dolphin back into the ocean HERE

Follow this link to the ongoing event to help dolphins, and join the event demanding WAZA, JAZA, IMATA and the entire captive industry put an end to the cruel capture of dolphins that continues today in Taiji, Japan!

Champions for Cetaceans will be updating with the final heartbreaking results at the end of the capture and slaughter of the 200 plus pod still awaiting their final fate in The Cove!

Come join us on:

Facebook at Champions for Cetaceans and Save The Blood Dolphins for current drive updates on Facebook and I love Dolphins for updates and dolphin news

Follow The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project on Facebook and Twitter and the Sea Shepherds Cove Guardians on Twitter, Facebook, and Livestream

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Bottlenose Dolphins Dying for SeaWorld, IMATA and WAZA in The Cove


By Kirsten Massebeau

The 2013-2014 dolphin drive and slaughter in Taiji, Japan has never been more obviously supported by the captive industry than this year and last. The bottlenose dolphin prized by SeaWorld’s and marine parks worldwide are one of the species that demonstrates the enticing golden hand of captivity as it reaches out to the dolphin hunters sponsoring and encouraging them to capture more dolphins for the ever growing industry. During the current dolphin drive hunting season the ISANA Fisherman’s Union, the dolphin hunters, have had great luck driving in several pods of bottlenose dolphins. For each trained dolphin they can get upwards 175,000 dollars while a dead dolphin will only bring about 400-700 dollars for its meat, less depending on species. The bottlenose are most often used in fertilizer. 

Bottlenose dolphins captured and killed in drive season 2013-2014:

319 bottlenose dolphins have been driven into the cove. 71 bottlenose dolphins have been taken for aquariums while 87 were slaughtered. 160 have been released. The ISANA Union must occasionally release remaining pods if they want their supply to last.(Source)

A Taiji Dolphin at the Dubai Dolphinarium 2012

A Taiji Dolphin at the Dubai Dolphinarium 2012

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) While SeaWorld would have you think they have no connection to Taiji the absolute opposite is in fact true. In the early 1980’s SeaWorld began buying dolphins from the Iki Island dolphin drives and then moved onto Taiji, drive fisheries. (source)

The captive industry keeps the dolphin drive alive. The meat is toxic for human consumption and in truth the population that eat and use dolphin in Japan is small but as long as the captive industry needs new blood to stock their aquariums the terrible abuse, and slaughter will continue.

The captive industry claims to oppose drive fisheries yet the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) rationalize and reap the benefits of the cruel dolphin drives as does the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA):

Any individual who believes in IMATA’s mission and who supports its goals is welcomed into the membership. This includes extending membership to individuals who work for organizations that acquire dolphins from a drive fishery. A caregiver is welcomed by IMATA even if s/he participates in the selection and collection of live animals on the premise that those animals will benefit as s/he is exposed to the most current best practices in animal care and training. (source)

How can you help? Don’t buy a ticket to a dolphin show or swim with dolphins. Join the ongoing event pressuring WAZA and IMATA to end their long relationship with Taiji drive fisheries HERE. It’s time to end the aquatic circus model created by SeaWorld and accept the fact that dolphins belong in the oceans with their families.

Auschwitz for Dolphins


By Kirsten Massebeau

Photo provided by Heather Hill

Update on Jiyu Via: Pic A. Dilly
The poor sick dolphin jiyu at dolphin base “swim with” in taiji is gone and feared dead as there was a dolphin killer here when we arrived.
These trainers told the police they “love” dolphins–but this is how they solve a “problem dolphin”. –by selling him to the killers for meat?

Update Via Rosie Kunneke  We are at the dolphin resort/base now. We cannot see Jiyu anywhere.I saw a dolphin killer here yesterday and when we arrived here earlier, there was a dolphin killer hanging around. We suspect that Jiyu was killed…..he was the most depressed, unhappy, sad, skinny and neurotic dolphin I have ever seen…he was the true reflection of the horrors and cruelty of keeping dolphins in captivity….Jiyu we will never forget you or the message of cruelty of captivity you send to the world….a lot of people fought really hard for your life…I hope you find peace(where ever you are) and release from the pain humans inflicted on you…..thank you to everybody that answered the call to try and save/help this dolphin by contacting these horrible people and begging for his life and freedom…

Taiji, Japan is the modern-day Auschwitz for Dolphins. Each year over 2000 dolphins are driven into a cove by disabling their sonar with deafening sound. Once netted off in the cove trainers come from the Whale Museum. Dressed in wetsuits they enter the water to select dolphins for captivity. This selection process is brutal. Juveniles are ripped from their mothers sides. Many dolphins have drowned as the trainers tackle them in the water. Once selected they are kept netted off from their pod. The dolphin hunters then drag the rest of the pod under the blue tarps of shame where they die unspeakable deaths at the hands of the killers, their suffering lasting almost 10 minutes. The Japanese government claimed the dolphins die within seconds but thanks to Dieter Hagmann’s revealing secret footage that follows the hunters under the blue tarps of death and shame the world can see why the killers go to such great lengths to hide their dirty work. The film revealed to the world dolphin suffering so cruel beyond imagination.

Killing Dolphins at Taiji is Slow and Cruel from BlueVoice.org on Vimeo.

Photos Provided by Martyn Stewart”They say they love dolphins but I see them sitting in the cove watching the slaughter, They pat the ones in the dolphin pens for show, These guys have no shame…”(Martyn Stewart, 11/5/11, Taiji)

See the trainers website http://wave.ap.teacup.com/rajya/. It is called “Our Life”. I would ask them what about the lives of the dolphins? When do they start counting?

The dolphin trainers at dolphin base are not your usual young people in their twenties and thirties, full of life, hoping to make the world a better place. Somehow their world has become dark and distorted. Current scientific findings revealing brains the size of mans, and  superior intelligence in dolphins means nothing to the trainers. In Taiji dolphins are seen as no more than a commodity, dead or alive.

These young people may have become dolphin trainers for the glitz and sparkle but the world can see they are far from it in Taiji. These supposed “trainers” are in fact no more than soldiers in a death camp, who are abusing the inmates, and then showing up for the executions. In no way does their behavior suggest that they care for the dolphins. Instead they exhibit a perverse desire to dominate, and oppress, these gentle beings. Much like the dolphin hunters the dolphin trainers show no sympathy toward their charges. Their days are spent visiting the outdoor sea pens where their job is to break the will of dolphins that have already experienced such tragedy. These dolphins have watched their parents and family murdered.  They have swam in the blood of their families sometimes for days. Trapped in tiny pens with three to four other dolphins the trainers use food deprivation as a way to break their spirits. Some dolphins become so hungry, and stressed they have eaten plastic and garbage.

Photos provided by Martyn Stewart Trainers reached directly into the dolphins delicate stomach with bare hands.


The brave photographer who took these shots Martyn Stewart,  had a special message for the dolphin trainers that have taken such a dark path in life.

I constantly tell the trainers that they have blood on their hands. If they ceased what they do, it would help put an end the demise of a species. Use your skills to educate others, If you loved dolphins you would stop the dolphin trade and the blood that spills in the cove. (Martyn Stewart, October 8, 2011)

Photo Provided by Martyn Stewart Shouldn't They Be Free?

We can only hope that the dolphin trainers of Taiji will see the light and turn away from the cruel and dark path they have chosen, exploiting dolphins. If only they could see  how much more valuable our friends of the sea are swimming free with their families. They are so willing to work with man and share their gifts!

Japanese dolphin drive industries are supported by the dolphinariums, swim with dolphins, and aquariums worldwide. For every 100 dolphins slaughtered one to two are taken for captivity. Each day more and more marine parks are being built. The many middle eastern countries are adding them at exponential rates building whole communities around tiny dolphinariums stocked with dolphins from drive fisheries.

A Sick and Distraught Taiji Dolphin in Bodum, Turkey who once swam free Photo Provided by WDSF-ProWal

The life span of the Taiji dolphins in captivity lasts 5 years at the most, with many dying within the first two months of capture. Please take the pledge to boycott all marine aquariums, and dolphinariums!

Take action  and help us save the dolphins that travel past Taiji, Japan:

What can you do? Tell your friends to watch “The Cove” for free online: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/cove/ or have them watch “A Fall From Freedom” also online for free http://afallfromfreedom.org/.

Follow any of the links below to get involved in saving the dolphins that migrate past Taiji:

http://bluevoice.org/

http://www.seashepherd.org/

http://www.savejapandolphins.org/

http://savemistythedolphin.blogspot.com/

Yahoo Sells Risso’s Dolphin Meat from “The Cove”


The World's Eye is on You Taiji

The death tolls soars as day after day the dolphin hunters of Taiji drive pods of gentle, innocent dolphin families into the blood cove where their gentle beginnings have such tragic endings. Why a mere babe must die at the end of a sharp steel hook, spear and bamboo nail is beyond me. My heart goes out to the entire family that died today and for those that have been brutally murdered in the previous slaughters.

So many people wonder as I did who eats this meat? I was amazed to find out that our very own Yahoo is selling dolphin meat in Japan as revealed by the Environmental Investigation Agency team in Japan headed by Clare Perry. Rose Vassey of Hope4Dolphins wrote and eloquent

    • Hope4Dolphins wrote this excellent piece exposing Yahoo in March,

        “TOKYO (March 1, 2011) — Environmentalists Monday called on Yahoo! Japan to ban all sales of whale, dolphin and porpoise products on their fee based Store and Auction sites after discovering that whale products sold via the Yahoo! Japan sites were contaminated with toxic mercury pollution. Mercury can cause brain and neurological damage in humans.

        The Environmental Investigation Agency, a non-profit environmental group based in Washington and London released new results of eight whale products purchased recently from Yahoo! Japan Store sites and tested by a laboratory in Japan earlier this month. Five of the products exceeded the Government of Japan safety guidelines for mercury contamination in seafood for human consumption. The average concentration of mercury in the eight products was 1.78 parts per million, more than four times higher than the “safe” level of 0.4 set by the Government of Japan.

        One whale meat sample was more than 16 times the limit for mercury at 6.5ppm. The sample was sold as “dried whale from Taiji.” Taiji is the town where the Oscar winning documentary “The Cove” documented mass killing of dolphins in the nearby bay.

        Clare Perry, EIA’s senior campaigner who released the mercury results today in Tokyo said that “Yahoo! Japan has a responsibility to end the sale of whale, dolphin and porpoise products to ensure that mercury contaminated products are no longer sold to their internet customers. Thousands of dolphins, porpoises and small whales continued to be killed around the coast of Japan posing a threat to the health of anyone who consumes such products.”

        Kitty Block, vice president of Humane Society International said, ”Yahoo Japan is the biggest internet retailer in Japan and we appeal to them to help protect both the people of Japan who may eat these contaminated products, and also the whales, dolphins and porpoises that are killed in their thousands around the coast.” ( http://hope4dolphins.com/2011/03/yahoo-japan-selling-mercury-contaminated-whale-meat-environmentalists-call-for-ban-on-whale-sales-by-yahoo-japan/ )

        Numbers 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8 are specified as being from Taiji

      This is the second time that EIA has tested whale products sold via Yahoo! Japan
      Store sites. In 2010, similar tests found that half of 10 samples of whale meat sold via Yahoo! Japan exceeded the safe levels for mercury contamination.

      The mercury test results were provided to Yahoo! Japan but the company has refused to take any action to stop the sale of whale, dolphin and porpoise products via its store or auction sites.

http://store.shopping.yahoo.co.jp/wakayamaken/t-12.html

U.S. Yahoo owns 33% of Yahoo Japan. Yahoo Japan is the only country that even partially owns the Yahoo name. It seems this was a very strategic move to protect Yahoo U.S. from any responsibility. But we must remember they do own 33% and are still making profits. Every time you open that Yahoo web browser just remember Yahoo is reaping the profits from the flesh of innocent dolphins brutally slaughtered in, “The Cove”.

Call Yahoo and let them know that their support of the dolphin drive’s are unacceptable. Not only are they killing innocent self aware sentient being but they are poisoning the people of Japan.

Yahoo Corporate Headquarters:

Phone 408-349-3300  fax 408-349-3301

701 First Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Yahoo is notoriously difficult to get in touch with. Here is a link to a feedback email form. They want to know what we think?

http://feedback.help.yahoo.com/feedback.php?.src=MY&.from=p361.my.sp1.yahoo.com&.done=http://my.yahoo.co

Let David Filo and Jerry Yang know that Yahoo’s name is stained with the blood of innocent dolphins that are being slaughtered everyday to fill their pockets with gold! Let them know you will no longer use their products if the slaughter continues in The Cove. We may not be able to force our hand in Japan but Yahoo U.S. still owns their 33% of Yahoo Japan, and their relationship with Taiji Japan is unacceptable. Dolphins died for them today and we want them to understand the horror and terror that was inflicted on dolphins today thanks to their greed and willingness to do anything no matter now despicable to make a profit.

The Rising From “The Cove”


By Jaideep Sarkar

by Jaideep Sarkar

Around a year ago…

There is nothing more fun but to spend a Sunday afternoon with  some beers and a good movie. Well, not for everybody maybe, but for the ardent Homer Simpson fan, it is bliss. So I went over to the local grocery store and  grabbed myself a six-pack and thought of picking a movie from the Red Box station  at the store. Not too many choices were available and I picked up ‘The Cove’ absolutely not knowing what was coming my way.

Way down memory lane…

While growing up, I often traveled to the Andaman and Nicobar islands to visit my grandmother and cousins who lived there.We would often make the journey by ship and when the seas were on our side, it would take us 3 nights and 4 days to reach Port Blair, the capital. While most of my family suffered from sea-sickness and spent most of their time in the cabins fighting their nausea, I used to cherish each and every moment of the rolling and pitching journey. I never felt seasick and would spend most of my day on the deck, holding the rails and watching the vast expanse of the Bay of Bengal. Nothing is more  humbling, but to see this gigantic mass of water, sometimes glistening, as the rays of the sun kiss its surface and at other times turning into white foam as the waves crash on its surface. The beauty of the ship creating white foam every time it cut through the black waters and the melody that those crashing waters create with every forward movement was a surreal experience for me. But what kept me going for hours and hours on the deck was the anticipation to spot a fish in the ocean and if I were lucky, maybe, spot a dolphin. There is something insanely exciting when one sees an animal in its own habitat. Maybe because then, the animal has its sense of freedom and the sense of freedom brings out the best in it. Oftentimes, I would play a “spotting” game with other co-passengers in the same age group as myself. We would simply stand out on the deck and try spotting the inhabitants of this mystifying ocean. “There is something”, a spotter would shriek out and all the curious eyes would turn to a  particular direction, simply to find out that it was a mere illusion or some rubble in the sea. But one day, on one such voyage, things changed. While we were having our breakfast in the dining halls of the “M.V Harshavardhan”, the  captain’s voice came blaring out of the P.A system : “Passengers, there is a school of dolphins on the starboard side of the ship”. Commotion ensued when everyone decided at once to catch a glimpse of the beloved creatures in the  wild. I rushed to the balcony of the dining hall hoping to catch a glimpse of these creatures for the first time. And there they were. A little distance away, three or four dolphins were swimming without fear, without malice, without harmful thoughts, without complexities, without issues. Just disappearing under water and then jumping back up again, in complete harmony, as if, trying to entice the onlookers to join them in their enormous playground. That was my first glimpse of the dolphins.

(I didn’t have a video camera to shoot my experiences but for  my readers, about what I experienced, I found a youtube video to give a feel of
what it was like.)

Dolphins as seen in the wild.

Dolphins off the Catalina Island 2 provided by WaterDogE’s Channel, You Tube

Back to a year ago…

That lazy Sunday afternoon I saw ‘The Cove’. And I was disturbed. The very idea of having a beer and enjoying a movie was vanishing as the movie progressed and I was filled with an amalgam of emotions fluctuating between anguish for the creatures, being inspired by the courage shown by the crew and cast of the movie, yet utterly frustrated and angry towards the ignorant Fisherman’s Union of Taiji. The dolphins I had seen in the wild when I was younger were now frantic. They were  not swimming playfully, but struggling to save their lives. They were not chirping in joy, but squeaking in pain. Yet, they were in their own playground – the immense ocean, which itself had turned red and was not able to hide the  brutality of the merciless killings even in its vastness.

Dolphins coralled and killed. Photos provided by Vantive Foundation, Flickr

‘The Cove’ stirred me from within because on one side it showed the “coldness” of the human heart – the deceitful trickery that lures the innocent dolphins into a ring and then mercilessly hacks at them till the oceans turn red. But on the other side it showed the courage and passion that the same humans show towards saving another species. For me, regardless of the disturbing behavior of some humans, the movie still gave  hope that there will be someone from amongst us mortals who will stand up and say “NO” when something wrong is happening. And something wrong is sure happening. Its happening in ‘Taiji’ and probably many other parts of the world.

                                               Photo provided by Elyce Feliz Flickr

For those of you, who haven’t yet seen ‘The Cove’ I

have added a link to the documentary here so you can watch it.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/cove/

In the present…

Since I watched ‘The Cove’ I have always had the desire to participate in the cause to help dolphins and whales. A few months ago, I met the founders of the Champions for Cetaceans and thought of expressing myself through a common forum that is fighting towards the same cause. As I am writing my first blog, the International Whaling Commission is preparing to meet for its 63rd annual meeting from July 4th to 14th in the Channel Islands. Unfortunately, the IWC currently does not regulate the catches of smaller species of whales, dolphins and porpoises, known as the ‘small cetaceans’. Well, that is a problem. And if nothing else, such rules allow for the brutalities towards these species that have and continue to happen  in Taiji. There is an immediate need for an international body to help conserve and manage these species. The IWC can certainly step up to that role and help save the whales, dolphins and other endangered ‘small cetaceans’. I found a wonderful article on examiner.com that brings forward the issue of saving whales and dolphins and how the IWC can play an important role.

The above article also led me to a social media group Save Misty the Dolphin who are also fighting towards the same cause to protect the dolphins. The group has actually issued a letter to the IWC secretariat and  encourages concerned citizens around the world to join the cause and submit similar letters. I am sure going to send one and it would be of great help to these beautiful creatures if you could do the same.

In a few days, when we get together with friends and family on the fourth of July and watch the fireworks to celebrate our independence, I hope we think just once for the dolphins and think about their independence from human brutality. A small action on our part can make a big difference and possibly let these creatures be safe, secure and free in their environment. Lets hope we can change things so the IWC considers including ‘small cetaceans’ in its list of endangered species. Lets ensure that in future there will be a child  who will be equally mesmerized as I was by seeing a dolphin swim freely in the sea.

For reference, below is the letter that Save Misty the  Dolphin is sending to the IWC secretariat. Join the cause and help protect the dolphins!!

Dr. Simon Brockington
Secretary
The International
Whaling Commission
The Red House,
135 Station
Road,
Impington,
Cambridge,
Cambridgeshire CB24 9NP, UK.
Tel: +44
(0) 1223 233 971
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 232 876
email: secretariat@iwcoffice.org

Dear Dr. Brockington,
As the dates of the 63rd meeting of the International Whaling Commission approach, July 4-14, 2011, in the Channel  Islands, we are writing to urge the IWC to take strong and decisive action to fully protect whales AND dolphins.  The slaughter of whales and dolphins for commercial, scientific or cultural purposes is inhumane and highly inconsistent with worldwide efforts to protect our planet’s oceans. Numerous reports have proven that whale meat is highly toxic with mercury. Furthermore, the March 11 tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan resulted in radioactive water being dumped into the sea. According to a June 15 article published by the Associated Press, two Minke whales caught off of the coast of Japan were found to have traces of radioactive cesium. In the interest of public health, it is time to end the international consumption of whale and dolphin meat.
Following the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling, the IWC has issued Japan, Norway and Iceland  permits for scientific whaling. We strongly question the merits of this practice. Credible researchers around the world have managed to find ways to study whales without the use of lethal methodologies. Additionally, the fact  that the whale meat from the alleged “research” is sold commercially further underscores the need to end research whaling. According to Darren Kindley, sides of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, “Japan’s 20 years of “scientific whaling” has delivered thousands of dead whales and next to no useful knowledge of the whales they “study”. The meat is packaged and sold in the fish markets in Japan. This has more to do with sushi than science.”
Looking ahead to your upcoming meeting, we also note the questionable history of the government of Japan with regards to buying votes from international delegates to support the Japanese whaling agenda. The June 13, 2010 Sunday Times investigative article, “Flights, girls and cash buy Japan Whaling votes”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7149086.ece
uncovered a wealth of improprieties conducted by representatives of the Japanese delegation. We request that investigations be undertaken and that appropriate and harsh sanctions be levied against the guilty parties. Such behavior simply should NOT be allowed within the confines of an international regulatory body.
Having observed the annual Taiji dolphin drive hunt from September 1, 2010 to the close of the season in March 2011, we furthermore call on the IWC to afford much needed protections to dolphins. The drive fishery method employed by
the Taiji Fisheries Union is among the most cruel practices known to mankind. Like whales, dolphins are intelligent beings. They live in pods and nurse their young. We have witnessed pods of dolphins herded into the cove and then slowly and painfully slaughtered over the course of many hours. Calves swim in the blood of their mothers and fathers. This nightmare simply must end. We call on the members of the 63rd International Whaling Commission to fully PROTECT all whales and dolphins. The time to END whaling and dolphin hunting on planet Earth is NOW.