Credit for banner picture – Unattributed at the moment
Yesterday’s (19 February 2016) Taiji Action Day march to raise awareness for the dolphins being captured and killed in Japan, was blessed with sunshine and a good natured spirit. The well attended march (including a wonderful contingent from The Netherlands and lots of Sea Shepherd tops and flags) made its way from Cevendish Square to the Japanese Embassy in Piccadilly.
Picture – Dominic Dyer (from the Born Free Foundation) with a group of Taiji Action Day Protestors
But, it was not lost on anyone on the march (and indeed the pubic that sought information on the Taiji dolphins’ plight), why we were there.
Dolphins are still being captured and killed (Daily Mail, 9 February 2016) in Japan’s Taiji cove – whole pods/families of dolphins are herded and netted in the cove (the Red Cove Action Team reports daily on any atrocities).
Some dolphins are shocked with electrodes to subdue them (some die from the shock), so the dolphins can be hauled into boats and transported into a captive life; to forever to be held in aquariums around the world catering for human ‘entertainment.’
These once wild dolphins, swimming freely near Taiji, Japan are now captives of the Centre for Oceanography and Marine Biology “Moskvarium,” located on the territory of the VDNKh Exhibition Centre.
Performing belugas at Moskvarium, Moscow, Russia, Photo credit: Evgeniy Chesnokov, http://evge-chesnokov.livejournal.com/700384.html
“As Russian law prohibits the capture of bottlenose dolphins, due to their endangered status in the country, the only ‘legal’ way to obtain them is to purchase the mammals from Japan.”
Ric O’ Barry (Dolphin Project) was recently detained for 19 days (“Japan Deports Ric O’ Barry” 5 February 2016) upon landing in Japan for ‘daring’ to even try to protest the unethical killing and taking of wild dolphins in Taiji Japan.
Those dolphins that are ‘damaged’ in the process at Taiji might also be killed, or the slightly more fortunate end up at a later stage in a dolphin rehabilitation centre (but potentially spend the rest of their lives in captivity if they can not be rehabilitated successfully back into the wild, or indeed they are also just killed). There is no ‘upside’ for any of the dolphins abused in Taiji.
The actual numbers of dolphins killed in Taiji’s annual onslaught are horrendous; with fourteen dolphins killed for every one dolphin taken into captivity. The final death toll per ‘season’ can be well over one thousand dolphin, the dolphin’s spinal cord is crudely cut and the agonising and painful death is not quick, merciful, humane and indeed ‘acceptable’ in any so-called civilised society.
The dolphin meat trade that the killed Taiji dolphins ‘supply’ is a bogus industry. The polluted seas (Oceans of Plastic) the dolphins and other cetaceans, birds and marine life encounter, means their bodies sustain and tolerate high levels of man-made toxins (mercury, lead, cadmium, PCBs and DDTs etc.). But this toxic absorption also means the consumption of dolphin (and marine life in general) can be extremely damaging to human health if consumed in even modest quantities.
The recommended human intake of mercury is 0.4 ppm (parts per million), dolphin meat contains upto and in excess of 2,000 ppm. So why are ‘toxic’ dolphin and whale meat products still marketed (under false labelling) in Japan? Why is the Japanese Government condoning and/or ignoring the poisoning of its own people, or anyone else that so happens to eat dolphin (labelled as ‘fish/whale’) products in Japan? It is not as if Japan is not familiar with the concept of the devastating consequences of mercury poisoning – reference the 1956 “Minamata Disease” (mercury poisoning) identified in Japan from toxic waste dumping. So why (in the past) has the Japanese Government sought to subsidies dolphin and whale meat in compulsory school lunches for its own children, just so the Japanese Government can prove its ‘right’ to kill whales (in contravention of the International Whaling Commission and the United Nations’ International Court of Justice) and dolphins, no matter what the risk to its nation’s health? What madness is this?
So, why does the abuse of dolphins in Taiji persist? Is the killing and exploitation (and human consumption) of dolphins purely based on some deluded and slavish notion of “tradition?” Of course, this “tradition” is mixed with the morally corrupt income derived within Taiji’s jurisdiction and actively ‘accepted’ by the captive animal/aquarium industry. How can coves of dolphin blood be tolerated in a so-called humane society in the name of “tradition” or “culture?”
That’s why we march.
That’s why “There’s no excuse for animal abuse” Taiji.
References to related IWB articles and YouTube:
“THE COVE“ – Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009, THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and free-divers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret……
Link to YouTube – Dominic Dyer’s speech, 19 February 2016
Link to YouTube – London Against Dolphin Slaughter, 16 October 2016
A Sample of Pictures below from ‘Taiji Action Day,’ 19 February 2016
Credit to Ursa Pirjevec Rekita for some of her excellent photography I have added below…..