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Fishermen kill 30 more dolphins in Taiji: activists

22 Comments

Fishermen in the small Wakayama town of Taiji killed more than two dozen striped dolphins on Thursday, campaigners said, as global outrage over the slaughter grows.

Activists from the militant environmentalist group Sea Shepherd said the hunters were herding the animals into a screened-off area because they wanted to hide what they were doing.

"They continue to use tarps to cover the slaughter, and physically drive the pod under the tarps... to avoid cameras," Melissa Sehgal told AFP by telephone from Taiji.

"You can hear the dolphins splashing below," she said, as the fishermen stab a metal spike into their spinal cords. "It was approximately 30 dolphins -- striped dolphins -- that were all slaughtered this morning."

Boats search the open ocean off Japan's Pacific coast for pods of dolphins. When a group is located, the fishermen drive them toward the cove by banging on submerged metal poles attached to their boat.

This creates a sonar wall from which they flee. By positioning several boats in an arc, the hunters can funnel the creatures into a small bay. Once there, nets are strung across the mouth of the cove to prevent the dolphins' escape.

Activists say the pod can be kept there for several days while some of them are selected for sale to aquariums and dolphinariums, which are prepared to pay handsomely for a prime specimen.

Many of the rest are killed for their meat, which features in the diets of a small number of coastal communities in rural Japan. It is not widely consumed and the Japanese government recommends limiting intake because of the high levels of mercury it contains.

"Over 1,200 dolphins have been driven into the cove since Sept 1, when the season began," Sehgal said. "Of those 1,200, over 600 dolphins have been slaughtered, not including today, and 149 have been taken captive."

The hunting season in Taiji is to go on until the end of February, according to an official of the local fishermen's association.

© (c) 2014 AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

22 Comments
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This is Japan, deal with it. If you want to make a difference, go to your own country and solve the millions of problems there. I hate it how people get up into Japan's business.What makes the dolphin any more special than a ant?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Maybe fishermen should become cowboys to kill land animals. Learn cowboy culture from USA where Kobe Beef is valued very well. Wakayama Beef?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What return on investment? They haven't accomplished anything. The dolphiners are still dolphining, and if anything the protestors have just strengthened their resolve. The return on investment is zero, or even negative if you consider the sentence that precedes this one. That's a bad ROI in any industry.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@strangerland

So true. That's why these protests are pointless, they will only serve to strengthen the resolve of the Japanese in continuing the hunt. So you have a bunch of protesters spending thousands of dollars to go to a small village in one corner of the world, year after the year, to accomplish nothing.

I think you have missed the return on investment these few thousand dollars have when multiplied by sensationalist international coverage which produces an outpouring of financial support. To quote Paul Watson "If you do not know an answer, a fact, or a statistic, then simply follow the example of an American President and do as Ronald Reagan diid -- make it up on the spot and deliver the information confidently and without hesitation." and "Survival in a media culture meant developing the skills to understand and manipulate media to achieve strategic objectives."

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

These dolphins are not endangered. Let's move on to the next bleeding heart story.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

aussie-musashi - ..... Its like a web, so when you break up the pod by killing some, keeping some for captivity you are effectively destroying the entire pod. Those dolphins who are driven out to sea again cant survive effectively, and usually wind up dead on the shore soon after.

Is that because you believe dolphins aren't subjected to natural predation at sea? Are you suggesting that all dolphins die of old age in the oceans? Do you have any evidence that these dophins "usually wind up dead on the shore soon after" or is that animal-rights propaganda?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It's not just about killing dolphins. It's about pride and defying the wishes and demands of outside powers. People who can't get that don't yet understand the Japanese mentality.

So true. That's why these protests are pointless, they will only serve to strengthen the resolve of the Japanese in continuing the hunt. So you have a bunch of protesters spending thousands of dollars to go to a small village in one corner of the world, year after the year, to accomplish nothing.

The level of development has been grown through in the countries who stopped whaling. Japan is just stuck clinging to relics of the past, trying to halt or deny the rapid changes in values in our era.

One whale is a huge amount of food. Enough to feed a lot of people for a long time. That alone makes whales a good source of food.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Fukuppy wrote; " It's not just about killing dolphins. ... ..pride and defying the wishes and demands of outside powers. People who can't get that don't yet understand the Japanese mentality"

You idiot we know that.

The level of development has been grown through in the countries who stopped whaling. Japan is just stuck clinging to relics of the past, trying to halt or deny the rapid changes in values in our era.

The sooner the cultural level of thinking evolves the better for every living sea creature the Japanese Department of Fisheries hunts to extinction.

...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Surely there must be other ways to boost the local economy of the town so that dolphin hunting is less profitable. Loads of tourists filling up the hotels or ryokans but asking for vegetarian meals of local crops, perhaps? Visit the whaling museum and leaving comments that encourage them to find alternatives to capturing dolphins for food or slave sales? Maybe people wishing to get away from the urban life could move there en masse and set up businesses that educate and employ the young and make them more a part of the 21st Century? I have relatives in a Japanese fishing town who now run whale watching cruises. There must be other ways to supplement their economy. People don't talk about it, but if I bring it up they inevitably say "it is a Japanese custom." I ask if they have ever eaten dolphin meat and they reply "no." Most have never even been to Wakayama Prefecture.

It's not just about killing dolphins. It's about pride and defying the wishes and demands of outside powers. People who can't get that don't yet understand the Japanese mentality.

I do feel sorry for these poor creatures, though, herded inland and kept terrified for days until they are brutally murdered.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Good job guys..give those tree huggers something to do with their lives.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Dolphins live an interconnected life with other members of their "pod". Its like a web, so when you break up the pod by killing some, keeping some for captivity you are effectively destroying the entire pod. Those dolphins who are driven out to sea again cant survive effectively, and usually wind up dead on the shore soon after. This is what the Taiji fishermen are failing to address with their "tradition"

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

as global outrage over the slaughter grows.

What "global" outrage? Most of the people in the world don't care about dolphins. This is the usual small numbers of animal-rights activists repeating their usual "we are the world" so you must do what we tell you to do propaganda.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Good on JT for keeping us posted on this ongoing slaughter.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

We don't get a running body count from cow slaughterhouses, not sure why this is news for a few dozen flippers.

global outrage over the slaughter grows

I think this is overplaying it a little. Sure, some people think it's no good and all power to them, but it's hardly the pressing issue of the day. I'm guessing the elites over at Davos have important things on their minds.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

CraigHicks:

" I appreciate that the fisherman are using a humane killing method now, to be in line with factory farming killing methods. "

Really?? How? Have you been allowed access under the blue plastic sheet? Tell us more!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Somehow I have the feeling the dolphins end up mislabeled as bluefin tuna in some hotels and department shops.

-4 ( +3 / -6 )

Whats the problem if they are not hunting endangered species?

0 ( +5 / -6 )

Who wrote this story, its the same as yesterdays story and how long are they going to continue to write the same stock story? The pattern is: no. dolphins killed, Sea Shepard, dolphin meat, aquariums, etc. low level journalism.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Page to write to the governor of Wakayma. He may be more concerned about a potential boycott of products from Wakayama. Kiishu pickled plums come to mind. I love them but won't be buying them.

https://www.pref.wakayama.lg.jp/secure/teigen/teigen.html

general wakayama page http://www.pref.wakayama.lg.jp/chiji/mail/index.html

Too bad for the other regions of the kii peninsula but it may be the only way to wake them up. Other ideas?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

And how much of the local community does it really help? Just a very, very small group I am sure. The more Japanese people are exposed to this the better. Hopefully more Japanese people will join alongside the foreign community in helping to abolish this awful, unnecessary practice. Keep up the good work activists!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Surely there must be other ways to boost the local economy of the town so that dolphin hunting is less profitable. Loads of tourists filling up the hotels or ryokans but asking for vegetarian meals of local crops, perhaps? Visit the whaling museum and leaving comments that encourage them to find alternatives to capturing dolphins for food or slave sales? Maybe people wishing to get away from the urban life could move there en masse and set up businesses that educate and employ the young and make them more a part of the 21st Century? I have relatives in a Japanese fishing town who now run whale watching cruises. There must be other ways to supplement their economy. People don't talk about it, but if I bring it up they inevitably say "it is a Japanese custom." I ask if they have ever eaten dolphin meat and they reply "no." Most have never even been to Wakayama Prefecture.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

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