Do you consider Taiji’s killing cove “old news”? Even though the horrors of the annual dolphin and whale slaughter in Taiji, Japan were exposed as far back as the 1970’s by Hardy Jones and further exposed in the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, the brutality continues to this very day. Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed five pods of Risso’s dolphins, a family of bottlenose dolphins and a pod of striped dolphins barbarically torn from the sea and massacred by the fishermen in Taiji. In one of the slaughters of the Risso’s dolphins, they ruthlessly butchered a baby (pictured). Additionally, these fishermen recently drove a pod of pilot whales into the killing cove where they were held for 20 hours without food and then, at sunrise, the adults were mercilessly stabbed to death including the matriarch. In a truly repulsive display, they murdered her while laughing and mocking the spectators. The young were driven back to sea to fend on their own without their mothers as the fishermen don’t want them counted in their “quota”. These babies will surely die without their mother’s guidance. Do you consider any of this “humane”? Now more than ever, it is important to keep this topic alive and we hope you will offer a first time exposé to your readers and in the event you have already covered it, a follow-up piece. Having witnessed this hunt first hand over the past few years, we’d like to offer you a few angles that might assist in your research and your continued attention on the Taiji Dolphin Hunt.
DEFINITION OF “HUNTING” AND “HUMANE”
The fishermen of Taiji and their supporters including the Mayor of Taiji, Kazutaka Sangen, claim this is a “humane hunt” under the ruse of “tradition”.
The first part of the hunt is the chase. It can last anywhere from 1 to 8 hours. The dolphins and whales are forced via “banger poles” into mass confusion that leads them to the cove. For a human, this is the equivalent of somebody smashing cymbals in their ears for hours while they are blindfolded and relying on that sound to get through a maze. Then, to make everything more psychologically frantic, their own overwhelming concern of getting their young through this same maze. As you know, dolphins and whales are family oriented and like us, the protection of their young outweighs everything. To make matters worse, the abuse toward these sentient beings from the Taiji fishermen during this part is nothing short of atrocious as we witness them running over the dolphins with their boats and hitting them with their propellers drawing blood and pain well in advance of their “humane” slaughter.
Often the pod is forced into the cove, which as a human can only be the equivalent of moving from a pool into a bathtub – with your entire family included. Then, they are confined there from one to three days with no nourishment and concern for the loss of nourishment needed for the young in the pod from the nursing mothers.
This was well depicted in The Cove and we won’t go into detail here, but you can see the true horror in Martyn Stewart’s short film “From Dawn To Death”:
THE TREATMENT OF THE YOUNG:
Most babies and juveniles are dumped back at sea after the slaughter of their mothers so the fishermen don’t have to count them in their “kill quota”. We feel they should be included in that quota as they are more than likely to perish without their protection of their mothers.
This is not “hunting”, this is torture that any sensible humane hunter would balk at. The people responsible need to be challenged on what is considered a “humane kill”. Please call them or write them, obtain and read their laws and literature, and challenge what is allowed in this “hunt”. If you watch an actual drive (takes place from 4:30 EST to 11:00 PM EST almost daily here), you will be able to point out numerous violations in the laws.
Japan will be hosting the Olympics in 2020. Our hope is that we see a change in Japan prior to this worldwide event. If not, we plan to use the attention focused on Japan at that time to continue to expose and educate the public until they stop this corrupt, heartless drive.