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'Cove' director gives free DVDs to Taiji residents

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I'll bet quite a few residents will watch it even if out of curiosity. The officials at Taiji city hall won't be happy about this.

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Can we just add a section to the site called "The Cove/Whaling News"? It seems there is an article every day about one or the other.

And yes, I am being cynical.

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it will be a much better world when people are content with believing what they believe without trying to push their beliefs on others

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it will be a much better world when people are content with believing what they believe without trying to push their beliefs on others

It's not really pushing a belief on them though...just showing them a documentary of what is going on in Taiji. It's up to the residents to decide whether to do something about it or ignore it.

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they can see the movie if they want without it being peddled to their doors like jahovas witnesses

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@Debucho, 100%agree!!

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My feeling on this is: If they (Taiji residents) want to eat toxic meat let them. I think the real issue is the barbaric manner in which they slaughter the dolphins.

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How do I buy a Japanese version of 'The Cove'? Is it available in the shops?

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Ignore above post. I just found it :)

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Debucho: "they can see the movie if they want without it being peddled to their doors like jahovas witnesses"

You act like they forced you to become a Jahovah yourself instead of simply not answering the door or asking them to go away. In a way you're pushing your beliefs on them by using them as an example.

Anyway, the first thing I thought when seeing the headline was... ouch. I have no doubt a lot of the DVDs will be tossed without watching, and more than a few tossed part-way through watching. But even if a few watch the DVD the people who sent them accomplish what they aimed to, which is awareness, and which is why people like Debucho are incorrect in assuming it's some kind of grand conspiracy or what have you. The people deserve to know that the meat they are given (and if you want to talk about PUSHING things on others, talk about whale/dolphin... especially in elementary schools!) is extremely tainted.

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I think the real issue is the barbaric manner in which they slaughter the dolphins.

Western views probably view the dolphin hunting as barbaric. Do the people of Taiji see this as barbaric? Why pring your western beliefs to to a small town in Japan? Why do the people of Taiji need to change because of what a western person deems 'barbaric'? People should keep thier beliefs in thier own country.

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people like Debucho are incorrect in assuming it's some kind of grand conspiracy or what have you.

I never said conspiracy. If dolphin lovers want to go around and knock on people's doors selling their beliefs for free, then fine. But they are no different than the black vans peddling their beliefs on the street. And look silly.

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Why pring your western beliefs to to a small town in Japan

They are my own beliefs. Two wrongs do not make a right. Stop the pathetic argument of 'they do it, so why can't I'. All forms of unnecessary animal cruelty should be frowned upon and challenged regardless or race, greed or Nationality.

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cleo, thanks! Saw the footage...some nasty stuff! Bus still can't give up my steak, burgers and chicken. LOL!

However, as a dolphin lover, (and not in the edible sense), I still do not understand what is 'barbaric' about the Taiji hunting. If you look up the word in the dictionary, it will give you a Western translation of the word 'barbaric'. If you ask a person from Taiji if the hunting is 'barbaric', I can bet they will say no. So why should they listen to westerners? As I stated, I love dolphins and wish the killings would end. However, I do not believe I should bring my moral issues to a town where I never grew up in.

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All forms of unnecessary animal cruelty should be frowned upon and challenged regardless or race, greed or Nationality.

And who dictates where that fine line of animal cruelty exists?

Moderator: Stay on topic please.

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It's not really pushing a belief on them though...just showing them a documentary of what is going on in Taiji. It's up to the residents to decide whether to do something about it or ignore it.

They don't want to see it. If they did they could change their minds and they definitely don't want to do that.

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Is whale/dolphin meat still served in Japanese schools?

Using your line, two wrongs don't make a right. If it isn't served in schools, does that mean it's wrong?

Is whale/dolphin meat sold in supermarkets?

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Interestingly, the senders of the DVD's placed non-existent organizations/addresses as return address, according to Japanese press.

Why the charade?

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It doesn't sound as though this is really being pushed on the Taiji residents. The guy just gave them free DVDs. You can't help but hear black vans blaring out all kinds of rubbish - at least with this the residents have the choice.

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It doesn't sound as though this is really being pushed on the Taiji residents. The guy just gave them free DVDs.

Yeah, I got a free brochure on the great ideas of the LDP the other day too. More trash fro the bin I suppose.

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Gurukun: "I wonder if there is a movie called "The Farm"? Let's see how Cows and chickens are slaughtered in the U.S."

The Farm would apply to every single industrialized nation, Japan among the leaders (just go to Kanoya, Kagoshima... the entire town smells like sh....t, literally, due to the factory farms on its borders). This isn't an Eastern/Western thing.

Debucho: " If dolphin lovers want to go around and knock on people's doors selling their beliefs for free, then fine."

And yet before you talked about what Jehovahs do as though it were offensive. Now it's 'fine'? And if you're talking about money, I don't think they asked for funds for the DVDs, my friend.

"But they are no different than the black vans peddling their beliefs on the street. "

Oy, vey! people and their contradictions. No, this is not at all like the people in the black vans... the people that have to listen to the garbage they scream while the police do nothing can likewise do nothing. If it's outside my workplace I cannot speak or even think because of the ridiculous crap they spew. Here we are talking about a DVD in a mailbox -- no one is forcing them to watch it, nor keeping them from simply throwing it away along with The Watchtower magazines.

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Sending the residents of Taiji a copy of the DVD is no more offensive then receiving an ad or a credit card application in the mail. No one is forcing them to watch it.

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Gurukun: Anyway, there are plenty of books and even movie adaptations about the whole industrial farming issue. It's not relatively well known in Japan, but recently with all the foot and mouth disease and bird flu Japan's part in it is coming to light as well.

Read 'Fast Food Nation' for starters. Quite a good read (movie stinks, though a nice cameo by Bruce Willis).

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Too bad there's no equivalent to a "do not call list" for junk mail in Japan... including those to block the Watchtower and the Cove...

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I've seen the film. The toxicity issue gets brief mention, but the film is 70% "dolphins are special, like people" and 25% seeing animals die is traumatic. The other theme of the movie of course was the pretty clear portrayal of Taiji townspeople as behaving like gangsters.

The whole point of the Cove is to raise money from outraged westerners at the expense of the people of Taiji - it is not aimed at trying to persuade Japanese about anything. This is just another stunt to sell more copies of the DVD and drum up more donations back in the US.

Peace

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Hikozaemom,

I think you are wrong about the motive. I think the point of the movie is to educate and put an end to drive kills. I believe this is what drives Ric and Louie. I believe both of them would gladlymove on if drive kills were stopped. I sensed that Ric feels guilty for popularizing the capture of dolphins through his work on Flipper. This is his self imposed penance to try to right what he feels he wronged. To ascribe other motives is not born out by any evidence?

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I don't think these people think they're going to get rich pursuing the Taiji dolphin hunters. Agree or disagree with them, what it comes down to is a passion for their cause, not money.

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who dictates where that fine line of animal cruelty exists?

It isn't a fine line, Gurukun. Unless the lust for flesh makes you blind.

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Shrkb8 - On motives. I'll grant you - the makers of the Cove generally seem to want to make the documentary, primarily for the dolphins themselves. Hence the huge emphasis on what special animals they are throughout. Then yes, you have the story of the redemption of Louie. But it gets murkier when it starts getting into the realm of persuading people of the need for change. I mean, you have tearful young good looking western animal rights members that westerners can relate to reacting to the footage and so on.

But the portrayal of Japanese throughout the movie swings between mocking and sinister. It isn't like they couldn't have aimed the movie at a Japanese audience, spending more time talking to the town counsellors worried about mercury and so on, but it gets a total of less than 5 minute editing time, tagged on the end, almost as an apparent editing afterthought. In the 90 minutes up to that, you have the mocking treatment of Japanese representatives at the IWC and government people giving their side of policy on the issue (accompanied by playful music and dismissive put downs by westerners cut in immediately), and then a very long drawn out "Mission Impossible" style portrayal of Taiji as some kind of hostile territory where the young adventurer conservationists set up the cameras - the whole town from the police, to fishermen and others are portrayed as sinister. This is what caused the biggest issue with screening the movie in Japan.

So whatever the genuine sympathy for dolphins, the documentary was clearly made in a way intended to portray Japan as the bad guys. Which is funny because they are meant to be trying to change Japan. It's a personal conclusion, if their approach is to kind of "Sea Shepherd" the whole thing and show themselves fighting against the bad guys for the dolphins, all I can conclude is that they are seeking support at home for their fight against Japan, rather than trying to reach out to Japan. Hence my feeling that the movie was more about fundraising than trying to change Japan through constructive persuasion.

Moderator: Readers, we remind you to keep your comments focused on what is in the story. References to other animals are not relevant.

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guys if you are gonna compare it to Jehovah's witnesses , at least spell it properly like the posters said, don't answer your door, or politely tell them not to call anymore,,,my friend did that and they don't call anymore the people delivering or posting the dvds are doing just that, nothing more,,,there will be many things that in life we agree with or disagree with,,, here the article is simply saying that the people of Taiji are having the option to see it or not to see it , simple

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I'm alway struck by how many of you see the anti-dolphin and whale hunting groups as anti-Japanese in general, when I don't think these people have that sentiment and aren't trying to convey that in any way. The fact is that the authorities in Taiji ARE hostile to outsiders (yes,gaijin) who want shine a light on their "tradition". Let some of the local residents, some of whom probably don't know what specifically goes on, view the dvd and form their own opinion.

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They'd probably throw it away. Or send it to the DVD smasher or something.

Their fault for acting like gangsters.

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"They'd probably throw it away."

Throw away a free DVD that's the cause of all this uproar without even considering a peek? Some may, but I think just as many won't, just out of curiosity.

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Paulinusa - it must have been tough when you were in Taiji, finding how everyone there was hostile to you as a foreigner for trying to shine light on their tradition.

Unless of course that is a "fact" you learned from the editors of the Cove...

This highlights exactly my point to shrkb8, the documentary sought to portray the Japanese government and residents of Taiji as sinister, not to engage or persuade them, and that is why I can only conclude that this is a publicity stunt for the folks back home, just like the movie itself was.

Some people believe anything they see on tv.

Peace

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Hikozaemon - Of course they used The Cove to generate publicity, but I cannot honestly say that they set out to portray the people of Taiji as 'gangsters', they were very clear in showing that the people in the movie were the fishermen or city officials and therefore obviously had vested interests in stopping the filming of the activities, and they were not the average person on the street. And I think when the people of Taiji see the movie they will be somewhat shocked at the practise that is part of their 'heritage'.

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hikozaeman,

As an American watching the Cove, I never took the documentary to be condemning all Japanese. I took it that the Taiji dolphin hunters were very confrontational (Private Space must be a national embarrassment, not Japan's best ambassador) and callus toward the fate of the dolphins. I took it the government officials in chqrge of regulating the dolphin hunt were pro dolphin kills to the point of misleading the public. But I did not take away that all Japanese are cruel and arrogant. In fact I thought there was a good highlight of those who stood up to stop feeding the mercury laden dolphin meat to school kids in Taiji. I thought them very brave in the face of the opposition of the fishermen union in Taiji.

So perhaps, it is Japanese that perceive the documentary to be against all Japanese. I didn't see it that way, and I have no dog in the fight.

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genkigonzo - look at the comments above - the movie clearly has a lot of people convinced that the people of Taiji are like gangsters. Which was precisely the number one criticism of the film in Japan.

Not many people watching the film like yourself will bother questioning what is going on beyond the camera lens, and the editors of the Cove clearly took a line of portraying the entire town in a negative light in order to reinforce the "heroism" of the activists there. That was an editorial decision, but ultimately, it renders the supposed "point" of the movie - ostensibly to show Japanese people the supposed barbarity of the hunt, completely meaningless.

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look at the comments above - the movie clearly has a lot of people convinced that the people of Taiji are like gangsters

Just looked through the whole thread and it seems only two posters are of the opinion that 'the people of Taiji are like gangsters' - one of whom is you, Hiko.

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kill the dolphins, but dont be so cruel when you do it? don't feed children food with high levels of toxicity? animals have feelings too? this documentary was all over the place. i thought it was poorly arranged but masterfully edited to say what we are doing (or trying to do) is a worthy cause and the people who we are trying to stop are evil.

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Hey cleo, some of the comments of other posters get cleaned up quickly. But I don't think it is going too far to say that the film portrays Taiji and its people in a negative light.

What I have trouble with is:

1) I'm not pro-killing any animal, but I'm not against it either if it is done properly and the animal isn't endangered. Dolphins are no exception. Not being opposed to killing a species of animal isn't the same as being pro-killing it.

2) That this movie itself was well made. It wasn't. I think it was edited in a manner that was deliberately antagonistic towards the people of Taiji, as is this publicity stunt.

The main criticism throughout was very specific - and it was about the negative portrayal of the townspeople of Taiji. And I think it was a valid criticism. I don't blame the central figure in the documentary for this, he appears to be a bit more understanding about working in Japan, but the producers obviously took an editorial line that hyped up that Taiji is "hostile territory" for the activists, and this is what caused the upset.

I understand the upset of the protesters and posters against the dolphin hunt. They think that killing dolphins is like killing people. I get that.

Where is the understanding from those people for people that don't see things their way?

Peace

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Well, I'll fess up and admit that I haven't seen the film so I can't comment on how the people of Taiji as a group are portrayed. If only there was a copy available with the dolphin-snuff scenes edited out...I have neither the stomach nor the inclination to sit through those.

From other footage on You Tube, Sea Shepherd etc., I get the impression that with the best will in the world, mind, it would be extremely difficult to put a positive spin on the likes of Private Space.

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Hey Cleo - this is my first time back here in a while. I see the moderators are a lot more proactive than before, but I think that is a good thing, since the trollfest that this site became is part of what put me off in recent years.

FYI - the first two lines of the post above are to you, the rest was to another guy, who was deleted, and my post was kind of edited into one single response to you. Credit to the moderators, I don't know how many people they have patching up posts but they are doing a pretty good job and I think it is what is needed to get this site back on track.

Anyway, I of course know where you are coming from on this and have complete respect for you and your position, and understand not wanting to watch the dolphin snuff stuff. I can tell you that I have heard rumours of complete reposts of the movie on Vimeo, so worth a look there. The "dolphin" snuff stuff really is only at the very end of the movie, in a single 10 minute scene. There are no shock cut edits to it or anything - the movie very deliberately avoids that, most likely as a way of raising the importance and impact of the single, sombre slaughter scene right at the very end. It is definitely possible to watch, knowing when the scene will start and to skip it - or for anyone else to edit out that scene (although obviously, for the film makers, that one scene is the "mission" that the entire movie is about).

The first quarter or so is about the status of dolphins and Japan's position on it in the IWC, presented in a mocking light. Then there is a long, maybe about a third long explaining why the center character has dedicated his life to trying to rescue dolphins, and why Taiji is where they focus their attention, which is interesting, and probably the part most interesting to you. The next block of the movie is where it comes off the rails a bit - it turns into an adventure action film about trying to get cameras into the bay where the slaughter takes place in Taiji, and staff trying to deal with apparent intimidation by locals. This is the part of the film that really makes it pointless showing in Japan, unfortunately, but makes it exciting to watch outside Japan as an eco-activist adventure movie.

From a Japanese viewer perspective, the most relevant part is the 5 minute bit at the end where they address domestic Japanese concerns about mercury and other chemicals. It is well stated, and if the movie was really aimed at Japanese, is what the other 90 minutes should have been. The central guy in it mentions the matter throughout the movie in interactions with Japanese, but the movie editors relegate it to a postscript in the movie.

Oh yeah, and private space. Hehe, indeed, it seems true enough that there were locals very aware and sensitive to what the activists were doing. I think Private Space is the biggest issue - he really becomes the face of Taiji in the movie, and that is what upsets the residents. Of course he's a nutter, but again, it all just goes into showing the activist as heroes fighting bad guys, rather than making any kind of case that might persuade anyone in Japan.

Incidentally, while I think the film is unhelpful, I also hope that the DVD being delivered around isn't just an unedited version of the dolphin snuff scene itself. That would be even more obnoxious than sending the movie around.

I think it is really a lost opportunity - the elements were here to make a better and more persuasive movie that people in Japan would actually pay more attention to.

Peace

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Oh yeah... "spoiler alert"...

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I don't expect many of the residents to actually watch it. They might actually learn something and anyone who has lived in Japan for any length of time knows that, in this country, ignorance is truly bliss!

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This must be the only movie/documentary, where it mentions at the end, "animals were hurt during filming"

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Anyone who sees how these dolphins are killed would have to agree it is not quick and it is not humane. Recent Sea Shepherd video is even more damning than the documentary. Add to that that there is no discrimination between young and mature and mothers and their young and it worsens the outrage. The world reacts to cruelty and it is not singled out at Japan or dolphins.

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This must be the only movie/documentary, where it mentions at the end, "animals were hurt during filming"

and the only country where this would be generally seen as a good thing.

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Hikozaemon - I think you have missed an important point in the documentary itself -- the slaughtering of the dolphins are absolutely unnecessarily. despite whether or not you agree on the multi-billion dollar marine animal entertainment industry is moral or not, the whole process of capturing the dolphins and slaughtering of the "unchosen ones", is inhumane.

btw, from a canadian's view, this is what I think of taiji after the film: a small grp of inside ppl crazily defends this bloody practice out of greed rather than tradition, a few brave locals who knew and stood out to speak up against it, and a large majority who are simply ignorant about the cruel practice.

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Shrkb8 - I disagree. I thought the slaughter was impressively quick. The fact that those guys get so many dolphins in the boat as quick as they do is impressive. I think that final scene would only really hold shock value for people not familiar with animal slaughter.

Cloverwings, what slaughter is necessary? As I said above, I'm not "pro" killing dolphins per se, I'm just not against it. Lack of necessity isn't a reason for opposing anykind of animal killing.

I think the fact the movie creates an impression of people in Taiji as "ignorant" and "crazy" like you say, is precisely the problem with the documentary.

I'm all for a documentary making the argument to Japanese on the merits of not killing dolphins. But calling your audience those kinds of names, or telling them it isn't necessary isn't going to do it. The movie had a brief bit at the end that would have been more effective for that.

The reason this issue never gets resolved is the complete lack of empathy for the point of view on the other side, going both ways.

Peace

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Hikozaemon - "Lack of necessity isn't a reason for opposing anykind of animal killing" -- it appears in your world that bloodshed does not need any justification. guys, this discussion is meaningless if we are talking to a person that lacks respect for the sanctity of life.

btw, your arguments just lump and try to blur the important discrete points into generalization -- if you truly have read, we are talking about there is a SMALL GROUP of ppl who practice cruelty and greed, while the majority remains blindfolded about this practice (aka, ignorant). I don't think so Hikozaemon. get a grip.

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for ever imposing on others

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Hikozaemon,

You must have watched a different video. In the more recent Sea Shepherd video. The are dragged by their tails and left to struggle against the rope while trying to breath. Then a a guy stabs a long rod about six times behind its blowhole and then it kicks and struggles in pain for a long time until it finally dies.

In the Cove they show them stabbing dolphins and then the dolphins struggling to keep their blow holes out of the water while they slowly bleed to death or drown as blood fills their lungs. How fast they load them after the slaughter has nothing to do with the cruelty of their death.

Your perception of both the portrayal of the Japanese and the manner of killing the dolphins seems heavily colored by your bias.

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slaughtering of the "unchosen ones", is inhumane.

Anyone who sees how these dolphins are killed would have to agree it is not quick and it is not humane.

'inhumane', 'not humane'?

By who's standards?

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Gurukun,

The dolphin drive kills are cruel and inhumane. First the argument was the killing method was near instantaneous. Now that that has been proven to be inaccurate you want to argue standards to measure humaneness. It seems the argument changes whenever the perpetrators (the fishermen and the fishing ministry officials) are caught not telling the truth. The strategy has been deny it, hide it, misrepresent it, then try to divert the argument. The death is not instantaneous or anywhere near so. Anyone that sees the dolphins struggling after the stabbing can only conclude that the animal was frightened and in pain for a prolonged period of time. And again there are no limits as to age, and whether there is an infant/mother pair in the group. This killing does not meet the standards used in hunting either.

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'inhumane', 'not humane'?

By who's standards?

If you don't even know what 'humane' means, what's the point in discussion?

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The are dragged by their tails and left to struggle against the rope while trying to breath.

This is the same tactic used by whalers in the Antarctic, to drown an animal that is not killed by the exploding harpoon and subsequent rifle shot. Absolutely horrendous. I don't know how these people sleep at night.

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Shrkb8,

That's exactly my point. By your standards, the way you were brought up, you see this as inhumane or barbaric. Why does the whole world need to follow your standards. If the fishermen of Taiji saw the hunt as inhumane or barbaric, do you think they would be doing it? Why does Taiji need to follow the standards that westerners base thier beliefs on?

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I don't know how these people sleep at night.

cleo,

That's my point again. Those people in the Antarctic have done this for ages. They see nothing inhumane of barbaric about how they kill those whales. Obviously you couldn't sleep at night after watching something like that because of the way you were raised and the beliefs that you have formed based on western standards.

Who is the judge that deems everything, around the whole world to be humane/inhumane and what/why would be the baseline for it?

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Gurukun; You do realise that this has nothing to do with the Antartic and is about dolphins not whales, don't you?

It is not just "Westerners" againts the Taiji hunts, many Japanese also oppose them.

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stevepfc,

Hai. Sure do. I oppose the fishermen in taiji as well. But my point is, why should the fishermen of Taiji listen to outsiders that bring in thier western ways and beliefs? If Others around Japan disapprove of the way they are killing the dolphins, then so be it. Let it be a discussion for the people of Japan.

Just opposed to Westerners butting thier nose into everything around the world and forcing what they believe is immoral/inhumane or wrong, as well.

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They see nothing inhumane of barbaric about how they kill those whales. Obviously you couldn't sleep at night after watching something like that because of the way you were raised

Sounds like you're saying the dolphin killers and whale killers weren't brought up right. I agree.

what/why would be the baseline for it?

It isn't difficult. Causing deliberate and unnecessary suffering is inhumane. Causing suffering and then laughing about it (like Private Space and posters who write 'I know the way food animals are raised is horrible but it doesn't stop me eating meat LOL') is beyond the pale, and Hiko's pleas for mutual empathy notwithstanding, I do not have it in me to 'understand' where these people are coming from.

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Sounds like you're saying the dolphin killers and whale killers weren't brought up right. I agree.

No, I'm saying, because of the way you were raised, you see the killings as barbaric. You do not need to understand it. It's the way it is. As I stated up on the thread a couple of times. I wish the killing in Taiji would end too. However, I understand that this method is a part of thier tradition/heritage. I, and any outsider, should have no right in butting in thier business as long as the dolphins aren't an endangered species.

You state that 'causing deliberate and unnecessary suffering is humane. And you believe this because of where and the way you were raised? I get and understand your point wholeheartedly, but why is this belief, or why should this belief be the standard for all countries around the world?

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Gurukun; We live in global community and our behaviour can effect those on the other side of the world. Japan is not isolated any longer and is part of the world community. It expresses its own views often and foreigners do regarding Japan, that is modern life.

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Psihoyos told The Associated Press, “To me the film is a love letter to the people of Taiji.”

Hahahaha, if Louie Psihoyos goal is to be annoying and insulting to Japanese, it seems he's already accomplished it.

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We live in global community and our behaviour can effect those on the other side of the world. Japan is not isolated any longer and is part of the world community

stevepfc, point well taken and understood. By I stil do not think that it is fair for westerners to try and change a tradition of any country based on thier own beliefs. If they can't stand seeing it, don't look.

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Gurukin,

You act as though their are no standards in Japan, and I know that not to be true. I am sure cattle Japan are killed more mercifully than the dolphins. There are no people in the Antarctic that have been doing this "for ages", so I'm not sure what you are talking about. How can a killing method that relies on power boats be traditional or a heritage?

When is the action of two dozen people out of 270,000,000 the Japanese standard? I would say Taiji is an anomaly not a cultural tradition. If they went out in traditionally made boats and took dolphins in a traditional way going back generations, you might have a case. But that is not the case here, by a long shot.

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Never said that the actions of about two dozen people are the Japanese standard. In that context, the actions of these two dozen fishermen in Taiji are the standard in Taiji. They have been doing this for centuries. And about the power boats? Technology is fair game.

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Shrkb8.

As been pointed out before there are differences between a hunt being traditional and a hunting method being traditional.

Right now very few people hunting whales are using traditional hunting methods, like the american natives, etc are not using them.

Said that exploding harpoons ARE traditional as they been used for 130+yrs.

One question that was never answered for how long does something need to be done to become a tradition? 5yrs, 10yrs, 50yrs, 200yrs, 1000yrs?

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Zenny11,

Since this article is on dolphins, not sure what the reference to exploding harpoons is all about. This is about drive killing of dolphins. But comparing the take of American natives to the Japanese take is orders of magnitude off.

People make like anyone complaining about the cruelty fo current drive killing techniques is a foreign assault on the traditions of the entire nation of Japan. If you actually watched the Cove with an open mind, you would see it is targeted at the fishermen and officials who perpetrate the killing. There is no attempt to assault the Japanese people or culture. The same fight has been going against the killing of baby seals in Canada, against shark finning in numerous countries.

These are not assaults on culture. They are assaults on cruelty. If anyone believes that the kills are not cruel, they should have no heartburn with making the videos available.

I am unaware of any hunting method in any industrialized country that drives entire herds of mammals into a confined space and then takes all the members of the herd regardless of age, sex, mother/infant pairing.

The addition of technology to any hunting scheme is a game changer and must be assessed in light of its impact on breeding populations. Taking out whole pods is bad practice.

Combine the indiscriminate killing with the cruelty and the objection of people around the world, and I am unsure why anyone would jump to the aid of the 28 fishermen who do it, especially when one of their main representatives is someone like Private Space.

The 28 fishermen could alter their methods, be more discriminant and let females with young and all juvenile dolphins go. But they show zero compromise. Instead they hide it. They call dolphins pests and claim they impact fish populations. The arguments are ludicrous and laughable.

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In the Cove, they discuss how the hooks used to stab the Dolphins were purpose designed to kill dolphins as quickly and humanely as possible and that the fishermen using them were skilled at aiming for vital organs.

Watching the slaughter scene, I saw nothing that convinced me otherwise. It was amazingly quick - industrial efficiency. Even the one foundering dolphin they couldn't pull up appeared dead in less than a minute, which is a testament to the effectiveness of the spears used and how they were used.

If your problem is with the fact that they are killing dolphins at all, then sure, you would have a point, but I'm not convinced that the methods or manner of the slaughter shown in the cove left much to be desired.

Peace

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It is not just "Westerners" againts the Taiji hunts, many Japanese also oppose them.

It is not just "Westerners" support the Taiji hunts, many Japanese also have no problem with them too.

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And what tactic(s) will Psihoyos and the other animal-rights zealots resort to after the residents choose to ignore his film a second time?

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Gurukun,

They certainly have not been using motor boats to drive entire pods of dolphins in for centuries. Taiji has been a whaling center for centuries. But, Taiji did not start targeting dolphins until the mid 70's. In fact Taiji only started going after short-finned pilot whales in 69. Not sure how that can be counted as a tradition.

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But in fact the populations of dolphins in Japan have been decreasing not increasing.

No doubt in relation to them being culled and/or lack of food sources. If they were really concerned about the dolphins, the people behind the video should have focused on Taiji fisherman changing to more sustainable fishing practices and better stock management. That way the dolphins and fishermen would have a bigger pie to share. On the other hand trying to come a reasonable compromise and fish not being cute, don't get you into the lime light.

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Hikozaemon,

You've got your pro-dolphin kill glasses on. The Japanese fishing ministries quit supplying data on the kills. Recent data shows 10 minutes between stabbing and dieing. 10 minutes is not amazingly quick by any measure. It is cruel and inhumane. Even the live capture video shows the handlers drowning candidates for live capture after punching them and holding them underwater for extended periods of time in an effort to exhasut them into submission. Again cruel and inhumane. If you think its so quick and humane, you should have no problem with distribution of the videos.

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The fisherman claim that they kill the dolphins, because the dolphins are eating their fish stocks. Increase the fish stocks, fisherman have no reason to kill the dolphins. Telling someone to stop something, without offering a viable solution to thier perceived problem isn't going to be that helpful, sometimes it can almost be counter productive.

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Good Jorb,

Your argument is circular. If the Taiji fishermen kill dolphins because of their impact on fish population (which is unsupported by any evidence), and the fishermen have implemented better fish management procedures which have increased the populations, why are they still doing dolphin drive kills?

Comparing the dolphin drive kills to culling animal overpopulations is baseless until you show an over population of dolphins. Historic dolphin population statistics do not support that argument however.

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it would be supreme irony if those DVDs were used as parts of a contraption that catches dolphins.

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The fisherman claim that they kill the dolphins, because the dolphins are eating their fish stocks. Increase the fish stocks, fisherman have no reason to kill the dolphins. Telling someone to stop something, without offering a viable solution to thier perceived problem isn't going to be that helpful, sometimes it can almost be counter productive.

How are you going to "Increase the fish stocks"? Wave a magic wand?

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Mr. Dog,

According to Good Jorb, the fishermen at Taiji have improved their fish managment practices which should increase fish populations. However,given the evidence that dolphin populations have not increased in Japanese waters, the argument that dolphins are the cause of any declining fish population is laughable. All signs point to man being the reason fish stocks are declining - either through overfishing or pollution. The argument that dolphins are the cause of fish population declines is an unsupportable excuse not a valid reason to justify drive killing of dolphins

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The article quotes a "senior member of the association" but never says what association..is it the unnamed town hall official cited earlier in the article? A member of the local fishermen's Union?

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How are you going to "Increase the fish stocks"? Wave a magic wand?

The same way, other countries are increasing fish stocks, mostly by reducing fleet sizes, re-training fishman into a different job field and increasing the costs to enter into the field. As well as enforcing catch quota's based on statistical analysis that would leave enough fish to repopulate the population and the introduction of fish farming. Common sense no? No magic wands needed.

According to Good Jorb, the fishermen at Taiji have improved their fish managment practices which should increase fish populations.

Where did I say that? Geeze... I said Taiji Fisherman, have to focus on improving their management practices, to increase fish populations. Are they doing that right now, I assume not, only because of the lack of information available to the public.

However,given the evidence that dolphin populations have not increased in Japanese waters, the argument that dolphins are the cause of any declining fish population is laughable.

Perhaps because dolphins have been culled. The fish population do doubt has been overfished by Japanese fisherman, just like most of the world fish stocks have been. It's unfortunate reality, that humanity created such problems but an unchecked dolphin population could consume the remaining fish stocks.

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Good Jorb,

Sorry, a statement you made earlier regarding Taiji fishing managemnet practices could be read two different ways. It appears I chose the wrong interpretation.

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There’s nothing wrong with slaughtering dolphins. It's Japanese culture.

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@ crazyjohn

from the Ric O'Barry's blog...

"I've also already been asked by one of the town's residents: "What is so special about whales and dolphins and not cows and chickens?" I doubt that I know enough Japanese, or he knew enough English for us to have an intelligent conversation. But, I'll be happy to answer the question here as I see it.

There is a difference pertaining to the ecosystem and either farmed animals or wild animals. When a cow or chicken is removed from a farm, nothing is removed from the ecosystem. When a wild animal is removed from its natural habitat, not only is that animals life taken, but it's also depriving possibly millions of others of animals who depend on what has been removed both while it's alive and after it dies in it's natural environment. This is especially a problem when whole populations of dolphins are removed and permanently depressed in numbers in the ecosystem."

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Crazy John,

Taiji only started targeting dolphins in the mid seventies. It is not a culture or tradition.

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Crazy John,

Studies and video evidence shows that the Taiji kill method takes an average of 10 minutes for until the victim dies and then it is usually by drowning. That is a slow, cruel death by any measure. So there is something wrong with slaughtering dolphins in this way.

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I asked before.

How long does it take for something to become tradition/culture? 6yrs, 10yrs, 50yrs, 500yrs, 2000yrs?

I know of quiet a few widely accepted "traditions" that were started less than 10yrs ago.

Sorry, I don't see "it ain't a tradition" as a valid argument here.

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There is a difference pertaining to the ecosystem and either farmed animals or wild animals. When a cow or chicken is removed from a farm, nothing is removed from the ecosystem. When a wild animal is removed from its natural habitat, not only is that animals life taken, but it's also depriving possibly millions of others of animals who depend on what has been removed both while it's alive and after it dies in it's natural environment. This is especially a problem when whole populations of dolphins are removed and permanently depressed in numbers in the ecosystem

This just shows that Ric O'Barry is full of it and just an aging hippy. I'd like to see his proof that "possibly millions of others of animals" depend on a dolphin of whale being killed. Unless he's talking about bacteria.

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The people of Taiji started whaling back in 1675. This has continued for hundreds of years. But during the 1980's some whaling became illegal by the IWC. In Japan a dolphin is considered a whale. It's a small sized whale. So they started killing dolphins instead. Don't you know that dolphins are whales? It's just the difference in size. So this is Japanese culture and tradition.

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actually Mr. Dog this comment is not from Mr. O'Barry but a trained scientist who is presently visiting Taiji. And of course plankton would be included in this assessment.

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Crazy John,

You are incorrect. dolphins are not whales. Some dolphins though are called whales. The fact remains that drive kills of dolphins did not start until the mid seventies. Drive kills of dolphins are neither part of the culture nor part of the tradition.

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Zenny11,

A tradition is something handed down between multiple generations. 26 people doing something since the mid seventies hardly qualifies. Culture, in this meaning, is a set of beliefs, practices and ways of life across multiple generations for a defined population. Again, 26 people out of 3500 doing something since the mid 70s would be a real stretch of the definition.

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Sorry, I don't see "it ain't a tradition" as a valid argument here.

Neither do I. On the other hand, 'It's a tradition' (when it clearly isn't) isn't a valid argument, either.

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Shrkb8

At least in Japan, a dolphin is considered a small sized whale. There is historic proof that dolphin drive fishing has been used as far back as 1675 up to the start of the Meiji period in a city called Kesenuma in Miyagi prefecture. So this is Japanese culture and tradition.

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Crazy john,

The only place dolphin drive kills take place today is Taiji. The 26 fishermen who do it only started in the mid 70's. Hardly a culture or tradition.

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@Shrkb8

You are incorrect. dolphins are not whales. Some dolphins though are called whales.

Typical anti-whaling "fact", that you just blew out of your blowhole there. Even from somewhere like wikipedia you can find this:

"The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales). This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga whale.

So by your "logic", if dolphins aren't whales, neither are sperm whales, killer whales, pilot whales, and beluga whales.

Also, I hope all you people who donated money to these guys are happy with your cash going to free DVD's that will more than likely be trashed by people who don't want to see their townspeople demonized.

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Mr. dog,

Thank you for supporting my argument. I don't contribute to that organization, but it seems like money well spent. The movie does not demonize the townspeople. It shows what a drive kill really is. It shows that the fishing officials either misrepresented it or didn't know what was going on. I do have to admit that Private Space would be an embarrassment to any town.

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@Shrkb8

Nice the way you completely ignored the dolphin/whale part of my post. The SS have you trained well to ignore facts.

Anyway, so you approve of money, given to protect whales, being thrown away? Send some to me, I can do it far better than those guys ;)

I have no idea of how I "supported" your argument. But if you want to think that, fine.

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Mr. dog,

Dolphins are a family unto themselves. Killer Whales and Pilot Whales belong to this family so their common name is deceptive. The whales are separate families from the dolphins. Hopefully, that is clear enough for you.

I think if you take the preponderance of evidence, which I do not ignore.... The dolphin drive kills of the 26 Taiji fishermen that only started in the mid 70s are neither tradition nor culture. I buy that whale hunting and fishing are a tradition in Taiji, I don't buy that the current drive kills are. And regardless, the current kill method does not kill quickly as evidenced by recent videos and most rational and unbiased viewers would consider it cruel.

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Shrkb8

Dolphins are toothed whales. See that last word? W-H-A-L-E-S.

I'd have more respect for you if you just admitted you were wrong.

I like the way the director can say this:

“I hope the people of Taiji feel a sense of relief when they see ‘The Cove’ because they’ll realize that it is just a handful of local environmental thugs giving a whole nation a black eye, not them,” Psihoyos told The Associated Press. “To me the film is a love letter to the people of Taiji.”

When the handful of environmental thugs are him and his SS sheep.

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Shrkb8

The dolphin drive hunt didn't just start suddenly during the 1970's. They've been doing this for centuries in Tajii to small sized whales which includes dolphins.

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Who cares? Supposing dolphin hunting didn't start until last year.

So long as it is done humanely and sustainably, there is no good reason not to allow it.

The arguments about "tradition", and "specialness" are moot.

The only impact showing the Cove DVD to anyone is likely to have is to either make them squeamish about eating any kind of meat, or it's going to piss them off for out of towners sticking their noses in where they have no business, dictating what they should and should not do without any objective merit.

This is a simple clash of values - one group desperately wanting to change the values of the other, one wanting to be left in peace. Simple neo-colonialism.

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Hikozaemon; The hunt at Taiji is not done humanely, there is proof of that. Japan is part of the global community and rel;ies heavily on exports. Goodwill and an understanding of each other are important in the 21st century.It is a good idea not to participate in activities that may drive away consumers. Taiji is a small place that does not relect Japan. it is a samll town where those who dare to speak out against diophin hunting will be sent to Coventry or worse threatened.The tradition is not supported by most Japanese, but a vocal minority of mostly right wing thugs will threaten those against it and even those who try to show the film. taiji residents will mostly be too scared to admit watching the film and i doubt anyyone would have the guts to admit being against the hunt. Taiji represents bullying, threats, repression and cruelty to animals and they will use any means they have available to continue.

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So long as it is done humanely...

There is nothing humane about terrifying animals so that they flee in panic, or about casually injuring captive dolphins to prevent other pod members trying to escape, or about a slashing and stabbing bloodbath, or about dragging the animals by the tail until they drown, or about killing in front of other pod members. All of which goes on in Taiji.

The killing of entire pods, which has also been observed in Taiji, is not sustainable hunting.

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Mr. Dog,

First off,dolphins are a separate family. I stand by that, it is well documented. Second the key point that you seem to keep avoidng, possibly because it is so damning, is that the drive kills of dolphins (which is what the article is about) only started in the mid seventies and in all of Japan on 26 people do it. This makes the whole culture and tradition argument unsupportable. Point us to any evidence that the motorized drive kills of dolphins occured in Taiji prior to the mid seventies. They did not start these drive kills on pilot whales until the late 60s.

The director of the cove has his own anti dolphin kill organization is not a leader in SSCS. You call the Cove watchers thugs, what have they done to be called thugs? They've not threatened anyone with violence. All they do is watch and report. That is not a thug by any definition.

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First off,dolphins are a separate family. I stand by that, it is well documented. Second the key point that you seem to keep avoidng, possibly because it is so damning, is that the drive kills of dolphins (which is what the article is about) only started in the mid seventies and in all of Japan on 26 people do it.

1675年には現宮城県気仙沼市の唐桑では、イルカの群れが押し寄せてきた時には、唐桑半島と大島の間に建切網を張っての追い込み漁が行われていた記録が残っている。唐桑では明治初めの頃までイルカ追い込み漁が行われていた[6]:12[7]。

According to wiki entry under イルカ追い込み漁(dolphin drive fishing) the known record dates back to 1675.

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Hikozaemon,

You ask who cares about the tradition and culture argument. You treat it like the those against the drive kills are the ones who introduced it. It is the drive kill advocates who try to use these arguments. We are just pointing out how tenuous the argument really is.

As others have said, video evidence shows the killing methods are cruel. and taking out whole pods of mammals with such long gestation periods and relatively low reproductions rates is not a responsible sustainment management practice.

The clash is over 26 people performing a cruel act. It is amazing to me that it is still allowed in such an advanced country like Japan, now that it has come to the light of day. Seems like stubborn pride over reason and sensibility.

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As others have said, video evidence shows the killing methods are cruel. and taking out whole pods of mammals with such long gestation periods and relatively low reproductions rates is not a responsible sustainment management practice.

This of course, depends on the estimated population and the amount of catches which no one has provided so the point is moot.

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Nigelboy,

Point me to some evidence that shows motoized dolphin drive kills in Taiji in the 50's. The type of hunt you are referencing used nets and is more like net fishing than the current drive kills. That type of hunting did not continue in Taiji and modern drive kills on dolphins only began in Taiji in the mid seventies from any source I can find.

Only 26 people in all of Japan do this anymore. By today's standards it is cruel and inhumane. It is a poor management practice. It's time to put it to an end.

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Point me to some evidence that shows motoized dolphin drive kills in Taiji in the 50's. The type of hunt you are referencing used nets and is more like net fishing than the current drive kills. That type of hunting did not continue in Taiji and modern drive kills on dolphins only began in Taiji in the mid seventies from any source I can find.

Let's get back to your original comment which is

"Second the key point that you seem to keep avoidng, possibly because it is so damning, is that the drive kills of dolphins (which is what the article is about) only started in the mid seventies and in all of Japan on 26 people do it."

Next time, you should be more specific and state "motorized drive kills" which of course are more efficient than the methods used before motorized engine was invented. This is a no brainer.

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Nigelboy,

You missed my whole point. There was no drive killing of dolphins in Taiji in recent history until the mid 70s (the late 60s if you include pilot whales). That is drive killing by any means - the old ancient way with hundreds of boats and nets or by motorized sonic means. Sometime, generations ago, dolphin drive kills were abandoned in Taiji. So the dolphin drive kills in Taiji are a recent phenomenon.

But that does not matter. Even if it were traditional, it is only done by 26 people in all of Japan. It is not a good management practice. It is cruel and inhumane by modern standards. It should be stopped.

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You missed my whole point. There was no drive killing of dolphins in Taiji in recent history until the mid 70s (the late 60s if you include pilot whales). That is drive killing by any means - the old ancient way with hundreds of boats and nets or by motorized sonic means. Sometime, generations ago, dolphin drive kills were abandoned in Taiji. So the dolphin drive kills in Taiji are a recent phenomenon.

I think you're missing the whole point. In regards to the my response above, my answer is a simple "SO???"

But that does not matter. Even if it were traditional, it is only done by 26 people in all of Japan

And you're acting like the whole population is doing it. My response to you is that if only 26 people in all of Japan are doing it and it's not illegal, just let it go.

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Nigelboy,

The first point is that it should be illegal because it is cruel by today's standards and it is not good managmeent practice. The second point is that we should not ignore a wrong just because it is limited to 26 people. Third is that your current argument is a 180 flip flop on the tradition and culture argument that has been so vehemently used as justification by the drive kill advocates.

You would think Japan, one of the most modern and forward leaning countries in the world, would take action against cruelty of the magnitude that occurs in the Taiji dolphin kills.

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The first point is that it should be illegal because it is cruel by today's standards

"Today's standards" were developed due to increase demand which neccesitated efficiency. Consideration for cruelty had nothing to do with it.

it is not good managmeent practice

Elaborate.

The second point is that we should not ignore a wrong just because it is limited to 26 people.

You should stick those 26 individual and not the other population.

Third is that your current argument is a 180 flip flop on the tradition and culture argument that has been so vehemently used as justification by the drive kill advocates.

Whaling has been a tradition of some coastal areas of Japan. I see nothing wrong with this statement.

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Nigelboy,

I am afraid the arguments are circular and I am just repeating myself.

Japan should change their laws to forbid drive killing of whales and dolphins becasue it is cruel and bad resource management practice.

The current killing method is not traditional and for all the reasons previously cited is a lame rationalization for ignoring the cruelty.

I am not sure what you mean by "most countries" but most industrialized countries have outlawed drive kills and have protected dolphins and whales. Even the Chinese have ridiculed Japan for its whaling and dolphin killing practices...how ironic is that?

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Japan should change their laws to forbid drive killing of whales and dolphins becasue it is cruel and bad resource management practice.

You're repeating because you're not answering. For instance, you need to elaborate on what you mean by "bad resource management practice". Secondly, the definition of "cruel" is subjective and laws regarding animal cruelty usually does not include animals which are consumed.

The current killing method is not traditional and for all the reasons previously cited is a lame rationalization for ignoring the cruelty.

Why does it the killing method also have to be "traditional"? Hence, my response to your "current killing method is not traditional" would be, "SO???"

I am not sure what you mean by "most countries" but most industrialized countries have outlawed drive kills and have protected dolphins and whales

Now, you're going back to dolphins again? Please make up your mind. There is a reason why you're going in circles.

Moderator: You're both going around in circles. Please stop posting repetitive comments and focus your comments on what is in the story and not at each other.

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I would think out of 3500 people, some would be curious enough to watch. If they watch, they would better understand the perception of those opposing the drive killing. Understanding both points of view is a step in the right direction. I believe a percentage of those who view it will change their minds and be concerned for the plight of dolphins in the dolphin kill/capture.

Information is enlightenment. It allows freedom of choice. The Taiji fishermen should not fear information or different perspective if they truly feel they are in the right.

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you need to elaborate on what you mean by "bad resource management practice"

Do you really need it explained to you in words of one syllable why wiping out whole pods including pregnant and lactating mothers and their young, is bad resource management?

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cleo.

Than how about the anti-taiji guys advocating that a "standard" on how to catch and kill those Dolphins are implemented & enforced? The Hunt is legal as it isdoen within limits of the J-Goverment and done within J-Territory. Traditional or not, etc shouldn't even be mentioned here.

We both know it won't happen as the Anti-Taiji guys like the Anti-Whalers, etc only got ONE goal in mind and that is the end of all hunting for all animals.

Those groups need to get clear on what they actually want to achieve and not weave round using different arguments, points, justifications, etc in order to less confuse their opposition about their real goal.

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Zenny -

I agree with you that 'It's tradition' is not an argument.

You suggest setting up standards for killing that are more humane than the present methods; my take on this is that if you can't do it properly, then you just don't do it. The take of the pro-Taiji people appears to be, What the hell, do it anyway and be damned, and jab a boathook at anyone who tries to get in your way.

Moderator: Readers, once again, we remind you that the focus of this story is the Taiji dolphin hunt, and not how other animals are killed.

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Glad everyone is backing off the tradition argument. The weaving around has been on the pro drive kill side, the anti drive kill stance has been consistent. Drive kills are cruel and they should be stopped.

If a few residents watch the DVD and begin to see the other side, perhaps opposition to the drive kills will come from within Taiji and the practice will stop....just as it has through the rest of Japan.

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Shrkb8.

Not so sure, how many justifications we seen from the anti-whaling guy?

Cruel killing method, Intelligent animals, Mercury in meat, sold to Aquariums, etc.

If the hunt is cruel than propose a more humane method.

Intelligent animals - they recently been severly downgraded in intelligence by scientists.

Mercury - No argument there, said there are many other fishes that we consume nearly daily with just as high mercury contents. As an aside toothed whales(Dolphins) got the high mercury content not other whales.

Sold to Aquariums - it is a buyers market, as long as there is a buyer there will be someone providing.

My point was decide on one cause you fight for don't make up a mish-mash.

Off to lunch.

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Shrkb8

I have a question for you. If the dolphins are killed humanely, will you still be against the killing of dolphins by the Taiji fishermen? Is that your logic?

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I am personally against killing dolphins and whales. But if the killing were humane, the populations managed responsibly, and the young and their mothers were spared, I would not be so outraged. I am a realist and I do believe in compromise. But drive kills do not meet any of these criteria. It is the cruelty of the drive kill that outrages the general populace.

I have never raised the mercury poisoning argument. If the people are aware of the mercury levels and still choose to eat the meat, that is their worry, not mine. The pest argument used by the fishermen, does not stand up to scrutiny. The tradition argument, as I think recent writers on both sides have stated is not a reasonable argument in this case.

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Shrkb8

Thanks for your answer.

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Shrkb8 also thanks for your answer.

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Zenny11 and Mr Japanese,

You are both welcome.

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I think that the video evidence shown in the Cove shows that the methods used are quite humane. It was quick and professional. Much more quick than anything I've ever witnessed on wild animal hunts I was taken on as a kid. I'm not buying the cruelty argument on this.

This is a simple, you can kill animals or you can't issue. The techniques used in Taiji are fine, as killing animals goes.

The issue here is you have some people being culturally selective about which animals are okay to kill, and are trying to impose their values on people in other countries.

Peace

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I think that the video evidence shown in the Cove shows that the methods used are quite humane.

And I think that the methods used by the Taiji dolphin killers as shown on other video is far from humane.

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Hikozaemon,

The drive kills are not a hunt. These animals are herded, tied up by their tails and then stabbed and left to die. It takes an average of 10 minutes for them to die after the trauma of the herding and the towing around by their tails. Most of them die by drowning. I know of no other herded animal that is killed in such an inhumane method. The death as evidenced by Sea Shepherd video is hardly instantaneous which is the fishing ministry and the fishermen claim.

Perhaps in your OPINION it is not cruel. I believe however, your opinion is in the minority as evidenced by the outrage expressed by the world. Why a country would expose itself to worldwide opposition, disgust and ridicule for 26 fishermen is beyond me. Other Japanese communities that used to practice this barbaric practice have abandoned it, why put up with the arrogance of 26 bullheadedness fishermen. The actions and antics of Private Space alone is a sad representation of the Japanese people.

I get that the Japanese citizens do not like foreigners to force their opinion on Japan. But rational thought should prevail. I believe most reasonable people would find the drive kills cruel. The Japanese people should watch the videos - the cove and more recent SSCS video- make up their minds and then pressure their government to do what is right. Why Japanese nationalists protest showings of the The Cove is fascinating to me. If that happened in the states, it would make more people want to see it to see what they are trying to hide. Japan should end this national embarrassment.

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By the explanation given in the Cove itself by Japanese fisheries, the hooks used to pull the dolphins up double as spears, also used to pierce the vital organs of the dolphin and kill it instantly - the catch and kill is a single action. There was one stabbed dolphin that they failed to pull in, and tried to swim away - it died in less than a minute - another testament to the effectiveness of the spears used and how they were used by the fishermen. Very sad to watch of course, but still by any measure of animal hunting, within the bounds of what is accepted in hunting other animals, and still quick speed.

I think I understand your view of the cruelty is as much in how they are herded to the Cove, as the killing itself. Well, yes and no. People use the same techniques to herd rescued pilot wales away from sandbanks for example. The noise does seem to disturb the dolphins, but the goal, in the case of rescue or slaughter is the same - to herd and steer them in a certain direction. And remember, the not all the herded dolphins are killed. About half are sold to acquariums around the world (Taiji being the number one supplier of acquarium dolphins around the planet). I don't think that the use of sonic walls to herd dolphins is again, of itself, necessarily cruel.

If you are arguing that any taking of life is cruel, I would find it harder to argue against that.

My problem here are the legions of people that insist that dolphins are separate and different to other animals, because they are smarter or cuter or whatever. That's crap, just people trying to impose culture. I think more than 90% of the people who scream about this issue on this site fall into that category, although I don't think that includes you.

Peace

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Shrkb8 - the slaughter scene was not 10 minutes long in total, and they picked up and stacked dozens of dolphins so I think you are exaggerating.

As for "the rational should prevail", no, I disagree, this is entirely my point. I think there should be measurable objective criteria for what people can and cannot kill and how they go about it. For example, killing endangered animals or unsustainable hunting, needlessly cruel hunting - these are pretty much universally accepted.

Beyond that, in terms of what animals outside that you can and cannot kill, that comes down to culture. I'm not of the view that the majority of the world should impose it's view on minority cultures of what people should think.

It's the old missionary mentality - destroy local religions and customs, "save" their souls by making them like the rest of us, for their own good, and so that they don't offend us.

Your arguments cross the barrier from accepted international minimum standards, and into the realm of the missionary mentality lecturing to people that they are different and that is wrong. And that is why this issue is unresolvable, until people defending the right to have the choice to hunt dolphins give up.

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Hikozaemon,

Both studies and video evidence show that it takes the dolphins 10 minutes to die. Autopsies show most drowned. You must not have watched the recent Sea Shepherd video. It shows the stabbed dolphin struggling for minutes after it is stabbed multiple times. It also shows these animals struggling tobe free of the ropes while they await their death. This is not like hunting by any stretch of the imagination. And video evidence shows the length of the suffering of the dolphins. Stacking up already dead dolphins is not the measure. It is how long each animal takes to die. Some of the video shows them dragging still struggling dolphins to the gutting barge...they are clearly not dead yet. Other video shows the handlers drowning dolphins they are trying to take for captivity. They hold them underwater in an attempt to exhaust them into submission. several drown by this method.

You are turning a blind eye to the real evidence of cruelty.

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I saw the Cove, no blind eyes. It was filmed with hidden cameras, for the first time ever is the billing, and none of what you describe happened. I don't think the anti-dolphin hunting agenda of the Cove is in doubt, and I think their footage is credible.

I don't have the same faith or value on anything to come out of Sea Shepherd.

The story here is about the Cove DVD, and the debate is whether the Cove will convince Taiji residents to change their views. All I have said is that I don't think it will, because I don't think the climax scene of that film approaches "tolerated" cruelty I know exists the world over in other cases.

It is nothing like what you described in your post - that's not willfull blindness. And you haven't addressed anything I said above.

Peace

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Got one thing to ask.

People talk about the outrage of the world by the majority, how much of the world population is that actually? Lets talk percentages and figures. Do the outspoken people breach ONE Billion, etc?

Or is it just a very vocal minority that makes a lot of noise and fuss in the media(which laps it up as it makes money for them), etc?

The way I see majority of the people could care less as they got more pressing matters to worry about(if they are even aware of the issue).

Just my thoughts.

Reason I am asking I am part of a few hobbies and belong to dedicated forums that are heavily into those hobbies and if I go by those forums they are also "The Majority" but in reality they are an insignificant speck of humanity that few know or care about.

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Zenny11 - not just that. Supposing they are a global worldwide majority. So what? I mean, the majority of people think it's fine, why should we tolerate people with different or dissenting views?

So like you say, even if the presumption that this is a billion to one thing, what right does that give the billion to take away the rights and freedoms of the one? That's the old missionary led colonialism, that this debate fundamentally represents.

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Hikozaemon - I don't have the same faith or value on anything to come out of Sea Shepherd.

-The story here is about the Cove DVD, and the debate is whether the Cove will convince Taiji residents to change their views.

Watson has repeatedly said that he will make up lies if he doesn't have any facts that could prove his babblings. He has no credibilty outside of the animal-rights zealots and is ineffective without resorting to acts of violence.

It's been 5 days since Psihoyos decided to annoy the residents of Taiji with his propaganda film. Has anyone changed their mind or are they just using his DVD's as coasters for their drinks? Why hasn't anyone in Hollyweird offered Psihoyos another directing job? Are they disappointed with the work he did attacking Taiji and the Japanese?

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some good discussion going on here. I'd like to add one more voice, one with a little more experience and authority on the subject of the degree of humaneness of the Taiji drive hunts...

"What horrified me in Taiji was that the dolphins were not harpooned, and thus secured to be quickly dispatched. Instead, the hunters were simply throwing spears into a melee of the animals swimming in a small inlet they had sealed off from the sea, hitting them here and there. Then they'd retrieve the spear by hauling in a rope tied to it and hurl it again or use it close up to stab with. This was a far cry from the efficiency — and respect for life, and death — of an Inuit hunter or a whaler at sea.

That first time I witnessed the Taiji killings, I saw a dolphin take 25 minutes to die, while on another hunt I saw one that thrashed and bled for a horrible 45 minutes before it succumbed to its wounds. Killing, if justified and necessary, should surely be merciful and quick — yet I even saw an old grandmother laughing at a dolphin's death throes and pointing out the animal to the small child with her as if it was some kind of joke. That really hurt and shook my belief in people.

In addition to this catalog of horrors, though, as a former marine mammal research technician in Canada, it shocked me that all those dolphins were being captured and killed with no government inspector or fisheries biologist on hand to take data and monitor the kill. I protested about what was going on to the fishermen, and to Town Hall officials in Taiji. I even went to Tokyo and protested to a senior official in the Fisheries Agency, but he just sneered and said, "What does it matter, they die anyway."

CW Nicol

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Hikozaemon,

I am not asking you to trust Sea Shepherd. The video speaks for itself. Do you think they faked it? It is clear there is a faction that just refuses to honestly and reasonably assess the evidence that is available. Discussion with those in denial is futile.

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Zenny11,

You are right. When compared to the world population, the percentage of those who have been exposed to these atrocities is small. But of those who have been exposed, it has obviously hit a nerve. And how many silently support those who are vocal? We will never know. But there is at least some evidence...the funding of Sea Shepherd. The number of organizations lining up against the dolphin kills and captivity. The constant presence of volunteers. The movie itself. The acclaim it received. The number of emails and calls to Japanese officials and the hotel where Misty was isolated. The growing number of countries that have outlawed importation of captured dolphins.

The more people are exposed to the videos, it seems the more the resistance grows. So just like democracy, you will never account for everyone. But of those who

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Sorry, fat fingered an enter somehow

Of those who do act, in some way, shape or form, I am fairly sure of where the majority will lie on this issue.

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I ask that Japan join the international community in respecting and protecting whales and dolphins - mammals - not fish - with inner lives and family bonds much like our own.

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@shrkb8

First off,dolphins are a separate family.

The same family as Sperm Whales. So they aren't "whales" anymore?

Second the key point that you seem to keep avoidng, possibly because it is so damning, is that the drive kills of dolphins (which is what the article is about) only started in the mid seventies and in all of Japan on 26 people do it.

I'm "avilding" it because I've never mentioned it in any of my posts. I don't care about drive kills.

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Mr. Dog,

In zoological taxonomy dolphins are a separate distinct family from sperm whales and from Baleen Whales, just as humans are separate from monkeys and apes under Primates. So my statement and arguments are accurate. Drive killing of dolphins is the focus of the Cove. To avoid the drive kill is to avoid the focus of the movie and is to be off target on the article. The Cove is about the drive kills in the Cove. The distribution of the DVDs is to try to get the people to realize how cruel and heinous these drive kills are.

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I thought the purpose of the Cove was to tell people about the mercury contents in the dolphin meat.

Atleast that is what I read here from some posters here and other sources, or has it changed since?

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In zoological taxonomy dolphins are a separate distinct family from sperm whales and from Baleen Whales.

1) Baleen whales aren't "toothed whales" like dolphins and sperm whales.

and

2) "a separate distinct family from sperm whales" is like saying Cod are fish but Baracuda aren't.

Again. I'd have more respect for you if you just admitted you were wrong.

I thought the purpose of the Cove was to tell people about the mercury contents in the dolphin meat.

Atleast that is what I read here from some posters here and other sources, or has it changed since?

Good point. Now it's all about how cruel drive hunts are. The mercury bit was just their foot in the door or a chance to say "why do you do this to yourselves?" when all they really care about is their un-endangered sepecies of cutesy toothed-whales.

Q: Why didn't they go all crazy when those HUGE jellyfish appeared out of no-where a few years ago and everyone started slicing them into ribbons with specialized nets?

A: Because huge ugly jellyfish aren't cute.

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Zenny11 - the mercury discussion was a 5 minute afterthought at the end of the documentary. If the documentary were really aimed at changing Japanese attitudes, it would have spent 60 minutes focussed on that, and not arguing that dolphins are mystical creatures, and then painting Taiji as a town full of deranged racist fanatics.

Takes away from the message a little when you waste time on shenanigans, and shows the agenda of the filmmakers is fundraising at home rather than persuasion abroad.

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Do you really need it explained to you in words of one syllable why wiping out whole pods including pregnant and lactating mothers and their young, is bad resource management?

Yes.

Because again, you're using emotional arguments rather as opposed to using scientific figures whether or not such hunting has any substantial effect on the resources.

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Nigelboy

Dolphin females take about 5 years to reach sexual maturity. They then give birth to one calf every two to three years with a gestation period from 11 to 17 months depending on the type of dolphin. They suckle their young for at least two years. It does not take a rocketscientist to figure that if you take whole pods out without regard to sex and age, you will decimate a breeding population in no time. It also removes diversity from the breeding stock. So taking out entire pods is not a responsible management practice.

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Shrkb8

What I was looking for is the evidence that the stocks are depleting because of the catches. It's a no brainer that catching something from the wild removes the diversity from the breeding stock. However, what I'm interested in is some scientific study to indicate that such current program governed/managed by the Fishery Agencies is in fact causing any depletion.

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@Nigelboy

What I was looking for is the evidence that the stocks are depleting because of the catches.

You won't get it mate. Because these anti-whaling/anti-dolphin-killing people don't understand scientific data and don't even bother to listen to facts. It's all about emotion, and that we shouldn't be killing these "beautiful, intelligent animals" and that is all that matters to them. They don't listen to reason.

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scientific study to indicate that such current program governed/managed by the Fishery Agencies is in fact causing any depletion

The dolphin killing is not governed or managed by the Fisheries Agency or any other official body that might introduce a bit of regulation. Taiji is a free-for-all. - see KobeKid's CW Nichol quote above.

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From EIA web site,

"The Government of Japan currently permits the killing of more than 22,000 dolphins, porpoises and small whales off its coast each year, with the products sold in commercial markets across Japan. Numerous EIA investigations have confirmed that the hunting, landing, transportation and distribution of small cetaceans and small cetacean products are almost completely unsupervised. With over 400 boats authorised to hunt small cetaceans, the system of self-regulation is wide open to abuse."

"It was not until 1993 that national catch limits were set for all exploited species. However the basis for the quotas is uncertain, since there is no real knowledge of stock structure, abundance or status of the exploited populations. A review of the available scientific data makes a mockery of the Japanese Government's claim to support a policy of sustainable utilisation of marine resources. With respect to the striped dolphin, scientists have concluded that some of the coastal population units involved in the Japanese coastal fisheries may have been hunted to extremely low levels or even local extinction - and yet a quota of 700 dolphins is still assigned to fishermen in Wakayama, Shizuoka and Chiba. In addition, the quotas are not legal controls and have no punitive provisions, so fishermen may violate them without breaking any laws and without fear of punishment."

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these anti-whaling/anti-dolphin-killing people don't understand scientific data and don't even bother to listen to facts.

• The IWC Scientific Committee has expressed its concern over the unsustainability of Japan’s Dall’s porpoise hunt 12 times in the past 16 years.

It would seem there is a shortage of scientific data supporting the dolphin/porpoise hunts, unless you have some to share Mr. Dog.

Japan has come under repeated pressure from the IWC to reduce or stop the small cetacean hunts. In 2001, the IWC urged Japan to halt the directed takes of Dall's porpoises until a full assessment by the Scientific Committee has been carried out. The advice and recommendations of the IWC Scientific Committee and Commission have been largely ignored, although in recent years the catch quotas have been slightly reduced.

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"The Government of Japan currently permits the killing of more than 22,000 dolphins, porpoises and small whales off its coast each year, with the products sold in commercial markets across Japan

For a Flipper loving individuals, the 22,000 number might sound large but considering the estimate of nearly 1.4 million, it's a drop in the bucket. Another emotional argument there again.

Numerous EIA investigations have confirmed that the hunting, landing, transportation and distribution of small cetaceans and small cetacean products are almost completely unsupervised. With over 400 boats authorised to hunt small cetaceans, the system of self-regulation is wide open to abuse."

From 1997 to 2006, there has been only total of 9 cases of over catching out of 270 quotas set during that time. Talk about using "emotions" once again.

With respect to the striped dolphin, scientists have concluded that some of the coastal population units involved in the Japanese coastal fisheries may have been hunted to extremely low levels or even local extinction

The striped dolphin number is among the highest for small cetaceans with an estimate of 504,334 (CV=55).

The IWC Scientific Committee has expressed its concern over the unsustainability of Japan’s Dall’s porpoise hunt 12 times in the past 16 years.

There is no evidence showing a stock depletion from the 2003 numbers cited by Fishery Agency which was presented to the 2008 IWC meeting. The catches attained has been constant throughout without any evidence of depletion. It appears the numbers presented by Fishery Agency is quite accurate. In any case, just to "please" the IWC Scientific Committee, they implemented the PBR.

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Nigelboy; japanese figures cannot be trusted as they have been proved to be false many times when studied carefully by impartial people without an agenda. One only has to look at the outragous claims by the Japanese extreme right regarding the Korean Green frog to know not to trust Japanese figures.

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stevecpfc - japanese figures cannot be trusted as they have been proved to be false many times when studied carefully by impartial people without an agenda.

Hahahaha, and who would these "impartial people without an agenda" be? The out of work film director or the out of work Hollyweird actors?

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stevcpfc: not at all , respected scientists. The total lack of good data from the Japanese fisheries aganecy, the illegal overfising of many types of fish and a history of fiddling with data. This leads to other nations to have a lack of trust with Japan over fishing and whaling matters. The Japanesechave behaved similar in manner to the Spanish and are not trusted worldwide due to this.

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@Nigelboy

For safe management of small cetaceans exploited by Japan, studies are urgent on the population structure, abundance and validity of catch statistics. The results should be open to scientific communities.

Dr. Toshio Kasuya

This has yet to happen.

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This has yet to happen.

I believe people familiar with the subject knows that Kasuya has been a vocal opponent on Japan's research most notably that of lethal one.

It's really simple KobeKid. If the resources are significantly depleting as these anti-dolphins claim, please cite the evidence/research to prove your stance as opposed to nitpicking studies done by Fisheries Agencies which Kasuya et al has done. It's always the same old, "not enough samples", "not enough coverage", or "not enough (insert stuff here)" because unless you hand count every single species, it's never going to accurate.

Again. If you're able to catch a 1,000 (name your dolphin/whale here) every year at a same designated period and location without too much variation, in all likelihood, the estimates are indeed correct and the limit is "sustainable".

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@Nigelboy

let's see, shoot the messenger and the MOF's word is the bible... riiiiight.

"If you're able to catch a 1,000 (name your dolphin/whale here) every year at a same designated period and location without too much variation, in all likelihood, the estimates are indeed correct and the limit is "sustainable"."

Dall's porpoise catches have gone from 15,000 to 7,000 in the past several years so according to your last comment this would make them unsustainable.

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let's see, shoot the messenger and the MOF's word is the bible... riiiiight.

At least get the ministry right. And as if EIA is a word of god.... right!!

Dall's porpoise catches have gone from 15,000 to 7,000 in the past several years so according to your last comment this would make them unsustainable.

Do you mean from 7,000 to 15,000?

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