Tag Archives: Dolphins

Dolphin activists to meet Japan’s ‘Cove’ mayor

27 Oct

By Frank Zeller (AFP)

TOKYO — Japan’s dolphin-hunting town of Taiji, put under the spotlight in the Oscar-winning eco-documentary “The Cove”, will host a meeting with environmental activists next week.

Every year fishermen in Taiji herd about 2,000 dolphins into a secluded bay, select several dozen for sale to aquariums and marine parks and slaughter the rest for meat, a practice long deplored by animal rights campaigners.

Dolphin activist Ric O?Barry, the central character in “The Cove”, said Wednesday he had accepted an invitation to join a public discussion on the issue with Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen and the local fisheries union.

Japanese fishermen, who also hunt whales, have defended killing the sea mammals as part of a centuries-old tradition in the island-nation.

“It is obvious that a large gap exists between the town officials and the fishermen of Taiji, Wakayama prefecture, and anti-whaling groups now,” said the organiser, called the Association to Contemplate Taiji’s Dolphin Hunt.

“We recognise that there are various cultures, religions and beliefs on Planet Earth, and we would like to begin slowly, by acknowledging each other?s stance,” the group said in a statement announcing the November 2 event.

The group added: “A debate on dolphin hunting will likely be unproductive at this juncture, so we have decided that this meeting will be a forum to exchange relevant particulars in the first instance.”

The meeting, which will be open to the media but not the wider public for security reasons, will also be joined by representatives of environmental groups Sea Shepherd, the Whaleman Foundation and the World Ocean Fund.

The talk comes during the annual September-April hunting season, for which Taiji town has been allowed a catch quota of 2,241 small whales and dolphins.

O’Barry, an activist with the Earth Island Institute, who has suggested Taiji promote ecotourism instead of dolphin hunting, said in a statement: “There is a bright future for Taiji without the killing of dolphins.”

“We hope Mayor Sangen has an open mind during this meeting and will see that we can work together for a better future for the dolphins and the people of Taiji,” said O’Barry, a former dolphin trainer for 1960s TV show “Flipper”.

“The Cove”, directed by Louie Psihoyos, won the Academy Award for best documentary this year, and has been followed up by a series on cable channel Animal Planet called “Blood Dolphins”.

The team that shot “The Cove” over several years often worked clandestinely and at night to elude local authorities and angry fishermen, setting up disguised cameras underwater and in forested hills around the rocky cove.

Right-wing nationalist groups in Japan — known for their ear-splitting street demonstrations using megaphones — have attacked “The Cove” as anti-Japanese and tried to stop its screenings by harassing movie theatres.

This forced the film’s distributor to scrap screenings in June, but it managed the first commercial showing at a police-guarded Tokyo theatre in July, despite a brief skirmish between right-wingers and supporters.

The association that is setting up the dialogue added in its statement: “We do not know how many years it will take, but we sincerely hope that this meeting is a positive first step for both sides”.

“In order to foster communication among the concerned parties, we are considering having regularly scheduled meetings.”

Call for action 14th of oktober for Taiji Dolphins (Dutch)

4 Oct

Donderdag 14 oktober zal EDEV – Een DIER Een VRIEND in het kader van de wereldwijde Save Japan Dolphins Day een protestmars houden in de binnenstad van Rotterdam.

De Japanse overheid geeft 23.000 vergunningen per jaar aan de kustgemeenschappen om dolfijnen van verschillende soorten te slachten. De dolfijnen worden eerst gevangen in een inham, waarna zij de volgende dag doodgestoken worden met lange speren, vissershaken en messen. Een aantal dolfijnen wordt met grote winst verkocht aan aquaria en zogenaamde ‘zwemmen-met-dolfijnen-programma’s’ over de hele wereld. De in gevangenschap levende dolfijnen-industrie subsidieert daarmee dus deze slachting. Een levende dolfijn die verkocht wordt aan een aquarium levert een velen malen hogere winst op dan een dode dolfijn die verkocht wordt voor het vlees. Het vlees bevat overigens enorme hoeveelheden kwik en andere verontreinigende stoffen. EDEV wil, net als alle andere dierenvrienden in de wereld, dat dit stopt. Daarom protesteren wij op deze dag en vragen de autoriteiten van Japan om actie te ondernemen.

De protestmars zal om 12.00 uur beginnen bij het Centraal Station en we lopen dan langzaam via de Weena en de Karel Doormanstraat naar het Japanse Consulaat op de Van Oldenbarneveltplaats. Onderweg zullen we folders en protestkaarten aan mensen uitdelen. Om 14.00 uur is de actie afgelopen.

Wil je meelopen? Geef je op door deze email te beantwoorden met daarin je naam en telefoonnummer en geef a.u.b. aan of je met meerdere personen komt.

Voor meer informatie over de dolfijnenmoord in Taiji zie: http://www.savejapandolphins.org <http://www.savejapandolphins.org/>

P.S.: Het Consulaat ligt op hooguit 15 minuten loopafstand van het Centraal Station, dus als je (eerder) weg moet, ben je zo bij het station.

The Black Fish cuts nets to free dolphins in Taiji, Japan

29 Sep

The Black Fish is a young organization in Germany, The Netherlands en Sweden. Former Sea Shepherd crew-members decided to join hands and work together in fighting whaling, captivity and industrial fishing. The Black Fish we will be focusing on investigation and intervention. I think we going to here a lot of these guys and girls the coming years, starting with this awesome and brave action:

press-release: The Black Fish cuts nets to free dolphins in Taiji, Japan

Divers from the European conservation organisation The Black Fish have last night cut the nets of six holding pens in Taiji, Japan, that were holding dolphins caught during a dolphin drive hunt a few days earlier. During this hunt a number of dolphins were selected for the international dolphinarium trade and transferred to these holding pens. In rough weather conditions the divers swam out and cut the nets of six of these holding pens, allowing a number of dolphins to swim back out to sea. No arrests were made.

Fishermen transfer selected=

Fishermen transfer selected dolphins caught at the drive hunt to sea pen for the dolfinarium trade

by The Black Fish

Every year, between September and April, the sea around the fishing village of Taiji on the east coast of Japan turns red as it becomes the scene of one of the biggest mass slaughters of marine wildlife in the world. The dolphin drive hunt, which recently made global headlines through the Oscar winning documentary ‘The Cove’, is responsible for capturing and killing over 2,000 dolphins of Japan’s annual quota of 20,000. Fishermen drive the dolphins from sea into a cove, where some animals are selected for dolphinariums while the others are killed for their meat.

The Black Fish and other marine conservation and animal welfare organisations run ongoing campaigns to push for the closure of the remaining dolphinariums in Europe, where some of the dolphins caught at Taiji inevitably end up. Dolphinariums are already banned in United Kingdom. The Black Fish believes that it is unacceptable to keep dolphins, orca’s and other marine wildlife in captivity, given the vast areas which these animals normally inhabit, the miserable and squalid conditions under which they are often kept and the stress that public performances put on them.

Co-founder of The Black Fish, Wietse van der Werf, explains about their decision to intervene: “The connection between the dolphin entertainment industry and this annual drive hunt can no longer be denied. To be successful in our campaigns in Europe we need to get to the root of this illegal trade, which is right at Taiji.”

The Black Fish is aware of the sensitivity surrounding the hunt at Taiji this year. With an international media spotlight on the Japanese dolphin hunts, tensions within the country have heated up and Japanese nationalists have seized the opportunity to defend this ‘traditional’ activity. While we acknowledge that change also needs to come from within Japanese society, we vow to continue to work for the protection of these defenceless dolphins and push to make dolphinariums and the drive hunts which supply them history.

More info about this great new group:

The Black Fish official webpage (dutch page, English language)

Paul Watson / Sea Shepherd about The Black Fish