Dolphin massacre in Taiji, Japan, and Why should you care?
Deadliest slaughter of dolphins, porpoises and other small whales
Sept 17, 2009: Wild dolphins are the only wild animal that is known to come to the rescue of a distressed human. Around two dozen fishermen in the small village of Taiji, Wakayama prefecture, Japan, corner the dolphins into a bay with a tightening "wall of sound." They then proceed to slaughter most of the dolphins as a "pest control" measure. Some of the dolphins are sold off to aquariums around the world. Though some of the dead dolphins end up in the fish market these are generally inedible due to the high mercury content.
A 2009 documentary has created the media focus that will hopefully end the massacre at Taiji, but that still leaves over 20,000 dolphins, porpoises and other small whales that are killed in Japan every year, making it the largest scale slaughter of cetaceans in the world.
January 23, 2011: Since then the documentary has received twenty five awards including the Oscar for the Best Documentary. The killing at Taiji has somewhat abated, but only because of the vigilance, media uproar and activist organizations.
Challenge Japan to End the Hunt - Should Japan's infamous dolphin hunt affect their chance of hosting the 2020 Olympics?
Japan is making their fifth bid to host the Olympics. Hosting the games will undoubtedly boost their economy suffering from the tsunami & the nuclear disaster. Japan's eagerness also gives the rest of the world some leverage. Once you have read this page please come back here to help the dolphins.
- Click here to sign a petition on causes.com
To: Jacques Rogge and the International Olympic Committee We respectfully ask that you do NOT consider Japan's Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid, until the Japanese Government agrees to end the brutal Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt, by making it illegal to hunt Dolph
"The Cove" - Trailer
In the 1960s Ric O’Barry trained 5 dolphins who played the title character in the TV sensation “Flipper.” But his close relationship with those dolphins led O’Barry to a radical change of heart. He came to realize that these deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and self-aware creatures so beautifully adapted to life in the open ocean must never be subjected to human captivity again. His search for redemption brought him to Taiji where the story begins.
This town that appears to be devoted to the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast. But Taiji fishermen, surrounded by barbed wire and “Keep Out” signs, wheted by a lucrative dolphin entertainment industry and an underhanded market for mercury-tainted dolphin meat, engage in gruesome hunt. This is so chilling -- and the consequences are so dangerous to human health -- that they go to great lengths to keep these operatoins covert.
Undeterred, O’Barry joins forces with filmmaker Louis Psihoyos and the Oceanic Preservation Society to get to the truth of what’s really going on in the cove and why it matters to everyone in the world. The result won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. It is directed by Louie Psihoyos, produced by Paula DuPre Pesman and Fisher Stevens. Mark Monroe has written the film is written. The executive producer is Jim Clark with Olivia Ahnemann being the co-producer.
Killings at Taiji since "The Cove".
With the media attention that "The Cove" generated the local administration has become more wary and cautious. The number of killings have gone down, but the practice has not been discontinued totally. If the actions by the Japanese government against the anti-whaling organizations is anything to go by, the slow down does not seem to be the result of a change of heart.
- Taiji Dolphin Slaughter Suspended, But Is The Policy Permanent? Sept 10, 2009
Taiji announced it will release captured dolphins without slaughtering any. No captures or slaughter took place while a team led by Richard O'Barry for Save Japan Dolphins Coalition and media from around the world converged on Taiji. Once the team le
- 'The Cove' In Taiji, Japan Persists With Dolphin Hunt, October 12, 2010
Most of the dolphins caught by Taiji residents were butchered, except for two that will be sold to aquariums and six young animals that were released into the ocean, said Scott West, a member of the Sea Shepherd conservation group.
- Search Google for Taiji killings
This link should give you a Google search result for "Taiji dolphin killings"
Why should you care?
I mentioned in the introduction that dolphins are the only wild animal known to come to help distressed humans. There are stories, myths, legends and movies around animals coming to the aid of humans in distress. But does it really happen? When the animal is the dolphin it is surprising to see how often.
- Wild animal heroes
This Squidoo Lens has a collection of incidents with links where dolphins in the wild have to the rescue of people and other animals in tight spot = around the globe.
What can you do about it
Sharing is this page and other links like it is a good place to start. Doing a bit of research on your own and thinking about the issue wont hurt. But if you are moved enough to actually start exploring your options, then please click the link below, it doesn't cost you anything except some more time.
- Save Japan Dolphins
Take action NOW.
The Taiji Story on NPR
I first heard of the Taiji massacre on NPR while driving back from work. Here are the stories that I could find on their website. The stories span over time as at first they examine the hunt, review the movie, comment on the first day and go on to hint that the end of the slaughter may be in near.
This should not, however, lead us to believe that all is well and we can now forget the issue. The killing continues elsewhere.
- Movie review of 'The Cove': A Stirring Crusade Against A Grim Trade
July 30, 2009: David Edelstein introduces the documentary "The Cove" by Director Louie Psihoyos and the protagonist Ric O'Barry. "You measure an activist documentary in two ways: first, whether it evokes a world, whether it brings the issues to burn
- Filmmaker Takes On Billion-Dollar Dolphin Industry
August 1, 2009: This story describes the risks movie maker Louie Psihoyos faced and the danger he and his crew put themselves in to make the documentary The Cove. They were, after all, taking on a $2 billion industry in the world's second biggest eco
- A Date With Dolphins, And Death, In 'The Cove'
August 1, 2009: Ric O'Barry caught the impagination of the world when he trained five dolphins to be Flipper on TV. This started off a lucrative trade in captured dolphins and when O'Barry realized the role of Flipper he had a change of heart. A few
- Hunters Pass On Opening Day Of Dolphin Season
September 5, 2009: That week marked the opening of six-month dolphin hunting season in Japan.This year, something different happened. After Taiji's annual dolphin hunt was covertly filmed for the documentary, the fishing village has suddenly found it
- Japanese town in 'The Cove' setting dolphins free
Tokyo September 10, 2009: 100 bottlenose dolphins were caught on Wednesday, September 9, in the first catch of the season. An anonymous official at the Taiji fisheries association said about 50 of the dolphins will be hand-picked for aquariums and th
YouTube vids on the Taiji killings
Dolphin Stuff on Amazon
- The Cove Movie: Welcome
This this the link to the website of the documentary
- SaveJapanDolphins.org ending dolphin slaughter in Taiji
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