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Taiji sets dolphins free following int'l outcry over 'The Cove'

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window dressing

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It's a start. However, it will be interesting to see what happens once the outcry dies down. Perhaps a few brave souls could organize periodic tour groups to the city just to keep this topic on the boil for the next 30 years or so, until the current generation of city leaders die out.

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"Taiji residents say they have killed whales and dolphins for hundreds of years as part of their fishing lifestyle because their region is not fit for rice farming."

The usual BS, and now that they are an embarrassment both at home and abroad they are suddenly debating whether or not what they've considered an age-old right and necessity are no longer such?

Good on the documentary for achieving something great. I doubt Taiji will call off the slaughter if people don't keep reminding them, so make sure to keep coming out with updates and the like.

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Taiji residents say they have killed whales and dolphins for hundreds of years as part of their fishing lifestyle because their region is not fit for rice farming.

Oh yeah? If you want rice why don't you move to Niigata.

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This is horrible. I feel bad for Taiji. Yet another case of people not minding their own business and making ancient traditions and rights of another country fade away. This kind of crap makes me so angry. These people are not hurting anyone, they are killing a few dolphins for food, so what, they are the only ones in the world doing it, and dolphin tastes AWESOME!

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There is an "eco" fad going round the world at the moment which means the more dolphins and whales you save the cooler you are. it's time to let other fish have a chance

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"This is horrible. I feel bad for Taiji. Yet another case of people not minding their own business and making ancient traditions and rights of another country fade away."

ANCIENT tradition... hahaha. Classic. I'm sure throwing a net behind a huge diesel spewing boat to easily catch and slaughter a bunch of dolphins for nation wide export is 'ancient'. They may have caught and sustained their lives on a few of these wonderful creatures, for sure, and that may well continue, but the commercial aspect of it is quite new, as with whaling off of Australia for nation-wide consumption. What's more, if it's such an ancient practice why would they entertain stopping? The answer is simple -- they're embarrassed about how they are now seen, so they are discontinuing what is NOT NECESSARY.

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they have killed whales and dolphins for hundreds of years as part of their fishing lifestyle because their region is not fit for rice farming.

Do these people know they can buy rice at the supermarket now?

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Taiji traditions are incompatible with the modern world.

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the decision was made partly in response to the international outcry created by “The Cove.”

Good.

But only 'partly' in response? What was the other part, I wonder?

Maybe the influx of Japanese media coming to see (and record) what all the fuss is about?

Or the realisation that it really isn't a good idea to eat swimming thermometers?

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Taiji has killed about 2,000 dolphins a year

The Japanese government allows a hunt of about 20,000 dolphins a year.

Taiji is only killing 10% of the allotted amount. Where are the other 18,000 being killed?

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Altria, bamboohat

What's buying rice at the supermarket or moving to Niigata got to do with anything? The issue is providing the residents of Taiji with an alternative means of livelihood so they don't have to kill dolphins.

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They ALLOW 20,000 a year, doesn't mean they KILL 20,000 a year.

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Societymike,

OK, but why the allowance of 20,000 when only 2,000 are being killed each year, according to the article? Isn't it possible (likely?) that dolphins are also being killed elsewhere?

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The issue is providing the residents of Taiji with an alternative means of livelihood so they don't have to kill dolphins.

They could hold dolphin-watching tours.

Or they could move to Niigata. Or Tokyo.

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they are killed in Iwate in bigger numbers than Taiji but I guess one step at a time. Feel sorry for the locals but come on Dolphin tours and eco tourism will provide way more money than killing Flipper will.

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yeah japan just LOVES nature...loves to destroy it, is more like it

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Wasn't foreigners coming in and interfering. Flipper swam off and found help for his fellow dolphins by telling Porter Ricks of the oppression being inflicted on them in Japan.

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If the Taiji people were smart enough they'd turn this into a tourism attraction. Round up the dolphins and then charge tourists to fed them, then at the end of the day a big ceremony of releasing the dolphins.

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Looks like the town has bowed to international pressure. Some of the dolphin slaughterers are going to have a hard time when they front up to Harro Work next week and tell the clerks their only skill is spearing dolphins to death! In a way I feel a bit sorry for them : they should have realised years ago that the world has changed and planned to develop some other industry.

Hopefully the town of Broome, Australia can re-instate Taiji as a sister city - if they keep their nose clean and stay out of further trouble.

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Gaiatsu works every time in Japan.

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If it's there tradition, they should be allowed to continue - bobcatfish, spokesperson for the witchburners association.

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Meat from one dolphin fetches about 50,000 yen ($500) but dolphins can be sold to aquariums for 10 to 20 times that price, with some kinds going for as much as $150,000.

That's a big discrepancy. I wonder how they choose which dolphins will be meat and which will learn how to jump through a hoop of fire.

I don't see anything wrong with eating dolphin meat, as compared to eating meat of other animals, but Taiji does have a chance to quit the ugly slaughter without big financial loss.

And if they "humanely" (whatever method that is) killed some dolphins for their own meat (as opposed to selling it), there'd be less outcry.

I agree with those who point out they could do a lot more with tourism. I've been to Taiji and the scenery is quite beautiful.

O’Barry and his group not only oppose the slaying but also keeping them in aquariums.

But I think there is less public support of that strident stance. So Taiji could try to sell more dolphins to aquariums, and build a fabulous aquarium themselves.

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I wonder how they choose which dolphins will be meat and which will learn how to jump through a hoop of fire.

The young cute ones get to jump through hoops.

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OK, but why the allowance of 20,000 when only 2,000 are being killed each year, according to the article? Isn't it possible (likely?) that dolphins are also being killed elsewhere?

Yeah, of course they are. Try southern Chiba, for example. There is an annual hunt of pilot whales in southern Chiba. It used to be dolphins too, but they have already been hunted out.

I really get sick of the Japanese pleading the "It's a tradition" case. I don't so much blame the people as I blame the ridiculously ancient policies and beliefs of the governments. Japan has fought for over a thousand years to create their own Asian identity, and they have become so would up in their own BS they refuse to change.
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The Japan Times puts the Taiji figure even lower, not 2,000 , but rather 240:

Driving dolphins and small whales into shallow coves using nets is not subject to a ban by the International Whaling Commission, and Taiji fishermen have been given a local quota to cull 240 dolphins and whales this season.

So that would leave 19,760 dolphins that could be killed elsewhere. Southern Chiba and Iwate have been mentioned by Disillusioned and Spudman. It seems there must be quite a few places where dolphin-killing is permitted.

On another note, I'm beginning to wonder if this dolphin intelligence thing is not over-stated. Surely some of them must escape from each hunt. If they are so bright, then why do they keep returning to the Taiji Cove? One would think word would get around amongst the dolphins and they would stay away.

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The Japan Times puts the Taiji figure even lower, not 2,000 , but rather 240:

hardly an impartial source

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Dolphin meat, by the way, for those who don't know, is often labelled as whale and sold as such. Could account for the other part of the 20,000.

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stirfry:

hardly an impartial source

Point taken. But is there any impartial source for this information? At how many places are dolphins being killed in Japan, and how many at each place? Spudman indicated that more are killed in Iwate than Taiji. Why is everyone singling out Taiji?

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Spudman indicated that more are killed in Iwate than Taiji. Why is everyone singling out Taiji?

about 20,000 porpoises are speared off the coast of Iwate and EIA is running campaigns on this. Much more difficult to get info and pictures of this hunt as it takes place out to sea. Also the fact that dolphin meat is highly toxic and Taiji city was feeding it to school children up until recently might have something to do with it. But may I ask what difference does it make?

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cause Iwate has fewer tourists and to get to the coast means driving a car. Not easily accessible

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Check out Taiji on Wikipedia. They just spent millions on a big new dolphin slaughterhouse. I doubt they'll be turning to tourism any time soon!

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An official at the Taiji fisheries association, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the town abhors the publicity its dolphin-killing has drawn, said Thursday that the decision was made partly in response to the international outcry created by “The Cove.”

How about stopping it for the health of Taiji's citizens? It is a well established fact that all types of dolphins and pilot whales are highly toxic and harmful to the health of anyone who eats it.

the fishermen also caught 50 pilot whales, which were slain and sold as meat, he said.

"Chief medical officers of the Faroe Islands have recommended that pilot whales no longer be considered fit for human consumption, because they are toxic - as revealed by research on the Faroes themselves." http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16159-faroe-islanders-told-to-stop-eating-toxic-whales.html

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the decision was made partly in response to the international outcry created by “The Cove.”

The j-fascists are gonna love this.

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This is the best news of all. I want to thank those fisherman for setting them free. Dolphins are not food. Apart from the fact that their meat has high levels of mercury, it's not even delicious. They are sentinent beings we share the earth with and deserve our respect. They are the only animal used in curing Autistic kids. With some great results too. There is so much we don't understand about all animals, but especially dolphins. Slaughtering them should not be a culture anyone can be proud of. Thanks to Taiji fisherman, and thanks to everyone who made their voice heard about this issue.

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I wonder how they choose which dolphins will be meat and which will >learn how to jump through a hoop of fire. The young cute ones get to jump through hoops.

That's true but it has more to do with trainability than cuteness.

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I wonder how much of this comes as a result of the impending olympic city decision.

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I wonder how much of this comes as a result of the impending olympic city decision.

Too late the deal is sealed.(Rio)! Probably very little weight given to flipper and co.. The IOC decision is a bribe fest. Morals and ethics have very little to do with it.

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"Taiji residents say they have killed whales and dolphins for hundreds of years as part of their fishing lifestyle because their region is not fit for rice farming."

With global importation of food and national access of other foods isn't this an excuse for the continuation of this type lifestyle? It is no longer a necessity but yet they still do it.

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Maybe some, but I think most of it is due to the fact that what they have been hiding for all these years, has became a movie and winning awards around the world. Petition numbers has reached 125 some thousand people.

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Dilbert: I think the decision comes largely from humiliation on a world-scale. People, no matter whom, would like people to see them in a good light (some are better at being SOMEWHAT able to not care either way), and this is very, very much the case for the Japanese. You see it from the order in which a US diplomat visits Japan vs. other nations (Obama called Japan 12th, but China was one of the first, whereas it was HUGE when Hillary chose Japan first), to the Japan Film Board release dates of foreign films based in Japan (or in part) due to how Japan is depicted, to Japanese always asking what you like about the place and kind of shutting off if you criticize something.

Look at Obama City -- a nowhere place (aside from some minor tourism) extremely proud of their name due to the US president, and eager to make that known. Now Taiji residents want as much as possible to avoid hearing the name of the town they live in, and I've no doubt a number will even move. NOT because of what's going on there, because of the association many now make with the place.

It's a matter of appearance, and that's all. The town residents are probably for this reason adding additional pressure on the dolphin slaughter, and so the people who carry it out have released those in hold and will lie low until they think it's over (they won't give it up).

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KobeKid:

Also the fact that dolphin meat is highly toxic and Taiji city was feeding it to school children up until recently might have something to do with it. But may I ask what difference does it make?

Well, 20,000 dolphins are allowed to be killed per year in Japan, and Taiji is only killing 240 of them (Japan Times) or 2,000 of them (this article).

So Taiji is only killing a small per cent of dolphins, and yet no one is raising a stink about the other places. So I wondered why.

I rather doubt that Taiji was the only place putting dolphin meat on the menu in schools.

So... why is everyone picking on Taiji, while leaving the other places out of the discussion?

spudman:

cause Iwate has fewer tourists and to get to the coast means driving a car. Not easily accessible.

KobeKid:

about 20,000 porpoises are speared off the coast of Iwate and EIA is running campaigns on this. Much more difficult to get info and pictures of this hunt as it takes place out to sea.

That is why there is little publicity about dolphin slaughter in Iwate, but an intense focus on Taiji?

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Smithinjapan, Agree with everything except the last statement of them will not give it up. As long as they slaughter dolphons, Ric will be there, some medial attention will be there, I think they will give it up. Many of them quit for one reason. It's horrific. Even to them.

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mmmmmmm...dolphin....the other red meat...

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Dilbert: "Smithinjapan, Agree with everything except the last statement of them will not give it up. As long as they slaughter dolphons, Ric will be there, some medial attention will be there, I think they will give it up. Many of them quit for one reason. It's horrific. Even to them."

In one of my earlier posts I mentioned that this needs to be followed up... OFTEN... and clearly documented in the media to avoid what I mentioned. So, I agree... so long as the pressure is there. This community JUST built a huge and expensive structure for slaughtering dolphin; if they CAN they will lay low. What's more, I said they will do so HOPING it passes over. If it does not, they will not continue. That is a good thing, and a reason we must be vigilant.

There is no need for what they are doing in this day and age.

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Merely a gesture to take the heat off. I'm not a fan of killing dolphins but I also oppose "international outcries" driven by well edited movies and the like. Would I be happy to see the hunt ended, you bet but it's only really the business of the Japanese government. Unlike whaling this is clearly in their territorial waters.

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Unlike whaling this is clearly in their territorial waters

I am also against the killing of dolphins, although I don't really care about porpoises and whales. But this is indeed going on in their own waters and everyone on this bandwagon is forcing their belief system onto another people, country and culture. This also proves that the claim that the earlier anti-whaling was based on taking place in the Antarctic was total BS. Also, are dolphins endangered? Don't think so.

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Ossan: Just curious why you care more about the dolphins than porpoises or whales? I think we are on the same page on this one reguardless.

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They have been eating dolphins and whales for generations. Who are you to impose your culture?

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usaexpat; I believe that the intelligence levels of dolphins, particulaly bottle-nosed dolphins is exceptional in the cetacean world. The USN has been training and using them for various underwater recon and demolition missions for some time now. This exceptional intelligence and propensity to interact with humans has been misinterpreted and carried over to cover all cetaceans.

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This is why so many rabid whale-huggers seem to think whales are the >equivalent of human beings. They're not. So we can gleefully wipe them out, right? Because we are unable to play >chess with them they have no right to live?

Nobody, not even the Japanese are wiping them out, gleefully or otherwise. The Japanese whalers are taking non-threatened species, not the ones that are endangered. Now if you're talking about the "right to live" well I know that every meal you've ever eaten was made up by both animals and plants that all had the same "right to live" but that didn't stop you from excercising your own.

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So what??

I don't get the moralistic holier-than-thou Western crusaders. Always gotta tell other people their business and the Better Way to Live. I like dolphins and the meat supposedly has high mercury content so I don't need to eat them, but so what if someone else does?

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Cicada, there are plenty of other places where delicious dolphins are being hunted. I see no reason to make that information public.

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The movie is simply free speech, whether you agree with it or not. I don't like "international outcries" either, but this is simply how some people choose to effect change right or wrong. As many have pointed out, dolphin killing is happening all over Japan but the focus is only on the one town featured in the movie.

I don't have a problem with it just being legal to eat dolphin in Japan. But people should be well informed, the same way people are informed about where their meat comes from and how its processed in general. Some people would choose to stop eating dolphin meat, or supporting certain parks if they simply knew this information. I don't see what the big deal is with letting them know. Everyone gets to make up their own mind here.

The people of this town do want to avoid negative publicity, and as I said I don't like the concept of using an "international outcry" to pressure them. On the other hand, everything else hasn't worked and that probably has something to do with why the movie was made.

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it's a free country (or so I've heard) and if someone wants to convince you of something they are allowed to. If you decide to go along with it, then the idea had merit.

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I denounce and reject these protesters. There are problems in their home countries that they need to focus on before coming to Japan and trying to destroy local traditions.

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This story makes me want to go out and find some dolphin meat.

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This smacks of hypocrisy so bad. "We can eat this, this and that, but there's no way you guys can eat that, because we don't like that." Every culture has elements which seem barbaric, uncultured and distasteful to other cultures---does that make it wrong?

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bgaudry, best comment in this yet!

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sf2k: "it's a free country (or so I've heard)" Surely you can't be talking about Japan ??!!

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I denounce and reject these protesters. There are problems in their home countries that they need to focus on before coming to Japan and trying to destroy local traditions.

If anything being destroyed here, it's the lifes of the most intelligent animal on earth. And it's being done in very bruttal way. Those dolphins pass the territorial waters of many country, but are slughtered only in Japan. Shame on anyone calling this inhumane slughter as culture.

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"We can eat this, this and that, but there's no way you guys can eat that, because we don't like that." Every culture has elements which seem barbaric, uncultured and distasteful to other cultures---does that make it wrong?

It doesn't make it wrong, as long as it doesn't involve killing (barbaric slaughtering) the most intelligent animal we share this earth with. I wonder if any of you seen the Cove or any of the videos in Youtube? It's a shameful practice, even to those who are doing it. They have been hiding, not letting it to be documented. What kinda tradition needs to be hidden? World will be much better place without these brutal killings. Just the fact that studies with dolphins on autistic kids have been given positive results, the fact that some of the kids smiled or talked the first time with presence of dolphins, is enough reason to preserve them. There is still so much we don't know about them, please think twice before supporting this inhumane slaughter.

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Damien15--thank you for your extremely "objective" argument for not killing dolphins.

Personally, I am a meat-eater, thus I have no right to lecture other people about what they do or don't eat. For me, it's that simple. Personally, I don't think I would ever eat dolphin meat, as I think they are beautiful, intelligent creatures, but I have no right to push my views onto others.

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I hope ppl wouldn't see this as pushing one's views to others. If you study about one subject for years and years, wouldn't it make you more knowledgeable than someone who didn't? Wouldnt' that knowledge make your views more respectable than others? If it's educated views against uneducated views, which side draws more respect? People like me, who are amazed by dolphins capabilities, their ability to help us in many ways, can't bring themselves to accept that they can be slaughtered. By a country full of kind, civil people.

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Damien15- I am sorry, but your whole argument resolves around your own subjective viewpoint of both dolphins and the Japanese. You are entitled to your views, as are the people of Taiji- whether you like that or not.

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Intelligent? Maybe so but we are at the top of the food chain so bad luck for any animal that we humans decide to eat.

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bgaudry,

Don't have to be sorry, my argument resolves around collective knowlegde we have been gathering about dolphins. Sure you don't have to believe it. It's easy to be ignorant. More you study, more you understand.

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Damien15, man to counter balance you, I am actually going to go out and try dolphin. The more you experience, the more you understand.

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the power of MOVIE so powerful!

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It is true that dolphins are very intelligent. But so are pigs. And several other mammals. And to watch some video of dolphins being slaughtered is no less or more repulsive than seeing animals we reguarly eat getting slaughtered. Dolphin intelligence is especially high among cetaceans. But they aren't human beings.

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@bgaudry

Agree totally with your excellent posts.

@Damien 15

Your arguments about DAT (dolphine assisted therapy) display the same ignorance you see in others. I am sure Ric O'Barry wouldn't approve that dolphines from Taiji are caught and kept in captivitiy in questionable conditions for the 'rapidly expanding DAT industry'. In fact the Whale and Dolphin Conservation society is calling for a total ban on DAT because it is 'cruel and ineffective'.

Ineffective because: '- There is no scientific evidence to prove that the therapy is effective.'

Cruel because: '- Dolphins are removed from the wild to stock the growing number of DAT facilities, and this has both serious conservation and welfare implications for the animals.'

Exactly what Ric O'Barry is fighting against.

http://www.blisstree.com/autismvox/no-more-swimming-with-the-dolphins/

http://www.newscientist.com/blog/environment/2007/10/dolphin-assisted-therapy-cruel-and.html

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Cicada, you make a good point about the lack of villainisation of other dolphin killers around Japan (I think so myself as I was making a similar point myself on a prior topic discussion!)

Hephatsheput, agree with you too. No need to publicize the other dolphin killers just because Taiji has been targeted by these people (who conduct the despicable practice of anti-whaling which should be banned as it has no place in the 21st century). Indeed if the dolphin killers elsewhere were to be targeted who knows what is next?

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Well the only lesson that I can take from this is that I will try to put my time and study and opinion on the side of humane treatment. And I guess I think sometimes that means thinking of humans over animals. While ever there is people out there suffering, Im unlikely to make a racket about animal suffering.

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Sure, dolphin hunting is fine with most of the posters, but I'd bet they'd be singing a different tune once these dolphins become threatened or endangered, hunted to near extinction.

In fact, these hunters sometimes catch endangered animals, like Killer whales, which have all died in the process because they weren't released, but sold, which is simply unacceptable.

Until then enjoy your mercury steaks.

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Of course people would sing a different tune once a species is hunted to near extinction, because that is a clear sign that indicates over-exploitation has occurred.

And over-exploitation is Bad, because it may mean we spoil the party for future generations.

Sustainable exploitation on the other hand is good, because it balances the trade off between benefits for people today with benefits for people in the future.

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Tigris, Ric is fighting against all dolphin captivity, but I mainly care about the slughtering. Once we stop all the slughtering, we can focus on problems with captivity. And just because there isn't enough scientific evidence, doesn't make it ineffective. I just means more research has to be conducted. There are positive results. Some kids smiled first time in their life after meeting dolphins. Some kids said their first words. Can be cruel depending on their living conditions. But at lease they are helping humans, not looking cute and forced to perform tricks.

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Damien, eating them too also benefits humans, as the dolphin eating people of Taiji demonstrate through their years of doing so. If benefit to humans is what you care about then you should support and tolerate their choice to eat them.

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bgaudry,

Please go out and eat all the dolphin meat you can find. Don't worry about mercury levels, it won't kill you. And don't worry about the articles below either, they are just bunch of lies.

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/archives/2004-releases/press02062004.html http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/faroe605/mercury.html

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Damien15- your arguments and logic are weak. You obviously like dolphins a lot, I can respect that. The people of Taiji like dolphins, just as much as you, but in a different way- I also respect that.

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Davidatokyo, You know the reason for this slughter is not really for eating them, but let's say it is, I doubt very much that it's in benefit of humans, because of the high mercury levels in their meat. I always wanted to hear your take on the mercury issue. Just posted some links above about how bad the mercury is for humans. Please let me hear your opinion on this.

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thanks Damien15 for pointing out the elephant in the living room.

I posted this earlier but looks like it needs to be posted again...

the fishermen also caught 50 pilot whales, which were slain and sold as meat, he said.

meanwhile in the Faroe Islands which also holds small cetacean hunts,

"Chief medical officers of the Faroe Islands have recommended that pilot whales no longer be considered fit for human consumption, because they are toxic - as revealed by research on the Faroes themselves."

"Anti-whaling groups have long protested, but the Faroese argued that whaling is part of their culture - an argument adopted by large-scale whalers in Japan and Norway.

But today in a statement to the islanders, chief medical officers Pál Weihe and Høgni Debes Joensen announced that pilot whale meat and blubber contains too much mercury, PCBs and DDT derivatives to be safe for human consumption ."

here's the link for those who would like a detailed rundown of all the side effects of eating toxic meat. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16159-faroe-islanders-told-to-stop-eating-toxic-whales.html

It's the mercury stupid. Forget about tradition, hunting rights, intelligence, cuteness it's all immaterial. The meat is toxic. Hats off to the medical officers in the Faroes for giving the public a blunt assessment of the facts. Here in Japan we get silence and complicity between the gov't, media and dolphin hunters, who want to foist toxic meat on the unknowing public. How dare those hippies come over here and expose this! But what did you say in a previous thread about this David? Something to the effect that until someone dies from mercury poisoning.... problem with that argument is that there is no data forthcoming from Taiji on the health of it's citizens. For all we know there could already be victims. Damage to fetal neural development, high blood pressure, and impaired immunity in children, as well as increased rates of Parkinson's disease, circulatory problems and possibly infertility in adults, these are the effects they found in the Faroes. But they did a thorough study of the population.

And in Taiji? Two city assemblymen didn't believe O'Barry and the foreigners who told them about the high levels of mercury so they had their own hair tested. When the results showed dangerous levels of mercury they called for dolphin meat to be taken off the school lunch menu. They didn't ask for the hunts to stop they just didn't want the meat to be fed to their children. Both were run out of town. One now drives a taxi in Kanto.

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You pointed out that dolphin meat is toxic, and the people of Taiji still want to eat dolphin-meat. Fair enough.

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The reason for the dolphin slaughter is business. The reason for the rapidly expanding dolphine therapy industry is business based on questionable 'research'. But the biggest business - a multi-million dollar industry - is so-called animal rights activism which the movie 'The Cove' is part of. The movie is a propaganda tool for fund raising (click here for donations....). PETA averages almost 40 million dollars a year, Greenpeace is pulling in 35 million and HSUS a whopping 100 million. The hypocrisy of all those groups is that by far the most lucrative campaigns for fund raising happen to be animals which a lot of people in North America, Australia and Europe think are cute, intelligent or both - but are not on the endangered list of IUCN (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species).

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if one feels so inclined.....

And if the kids don't feel so inclined, but it's on the school dinner menu and they get in trouble if they leave food? Or if the kids have no idea what's in what they're eating, how are they supposed to make the decision? That's what parents are there for. Consume whatever you like in moderation, or to excess if that's the way you're inclined, but have a bit more sense when it comes to your kids. Or other folks' kids.

To get back to your question: are we going to ban them from eating junk food and other marine life containing mercury as well? Heck yeah. It's a given. Small amounts of junk, OK maybe no harm; but toxic substances???

Moderator: Back on topic please. Posts should refer to Taiji and "The Cove."

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Hmmm..I love dolphins, hence my choice of username however I didn't want to simply jump in and say 'save the dolphins!' without doing a bit of research first. Here are 3 good reasons why the dolphin slaughter should be stopped: 1) dolphins are endangered so we don't want to kill them til extinction (20,000 sounds like a lot to me!) 2) dolphins are migratory so they don't belong to Japan 3) dolphins are killed in a brutal way And on top of all this, their meat contains mercurcy.

Now I can say it--save the dolphins!!

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bgaudry :

Personally, I don't think I would ever eat dolphin meat, as I think they are beautiful, intelligent creatures, but I have no right to push my views onto others.

Same with me. On this thread I tried to show some inconsistencies of the anti-Taiji crusade. Firstly, Taiji is responsible only for a small percentage of dolphins killed in Japan, and yet the international focus is on this one municipality. Why? Apparently because it was easiest to film there, and because the town is vulnerable to international criticism, since the revenues involved are not so great.

But why is there not great outcry about the killings elsewhere? This is hypocrisy and the people of Taiji should feel that they are being treated unfairly.

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It's nice to hear the killings have stopped - at least for now.

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I'm VERY happy to hear this and also hope that the killings will stop but realistically I don't see them giving up their decades long tradition but one can hope. As an animal lover, I don't know how they can kill such a beautiful creature. I don't know if I can watch "The Cove" and it's probably best that I don't.

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Dolphin drive hunting (Wikipedia):

The Japanese town of Taiji on the Kii peninsula is as of now the only town in Japan where drive hunting still takes place on a large scale.

In other words, most or all of the Taiji catch is gotten by drive hunting, but the total Taiji catch itself is a small percent of the total Japan catch. Changing the perspective, we can just as accurately state that nearly all dolphins in Japan are not killed by drive hunting; only in Taiji are significant numbers killed in this way.

Taiji... is stepping up its dolphin hunting programs, having recently approved an estimated ¥330 million for the construction of a massive cetacean slaughterhouse in Taiji in an effort to popularize the consumption of dolphins in the country.

The source for this statement is a Sept. 4, 2007 Japan Times article by Jun Hongo, which includes a comment by local assembly member Yamashita, who is opposed to dolphin meat consumption due to mercury levels:

The town has chosen to expand dolphin use in school lunches while proposing to construct a new dolphin and whale slaughterhouse, for some ¥330 million, to "popularize the consumption of dolphins in the country," Yamashita revealed. "It is a serious concern that such meat is being served in school lunches."

One motivation for building the slaughterhouse may be to "popularize the consumption of dolphins in the country" as Yamashita states, but I think a more obvious motivation is that Taiji intends to change the way dolphins are killed.

The wikipedia article states:

The dolphins are usually not caught and killed immediately, but instead left to calm down over night. The following day, the dolphins are caught one by one and killed. The killing of the animals used to be done by slitting their throats, but the Japanese government banned this method and now dolphins may officially only be killed by driving a metal pin into the neck of the dolphin, which causes them to die within seconds.

However, it appears that this has not been the method used in Taiji. The wikipedia article continues:

It is not clear if this ban is strictly enforced however, as eyewitness reports of similar throat-slitting and evisceration style killings were reported as late as October and November 2006.

and a source for the "eyewitness reports" cited is a Feb. 14, 2007 Japan Times article, "Eyewitness to slaughter in Taiji's killing coves", by BOYD HARNELL. Harnell writes:

All the other dolphins in the killing cove were slaughtered. Some were speared; others had their throats cut. One observer said he saw a dolphin through his camera lens that was bleeding profusely and thrashing around for many minutes.

All of this indicates to me that The Cove has exposed some practices in Taiji that run counter to Japanese law. Yet the plans to build a slaughterhouse also seems to indicate that Taiji intends to stop using the banned method of killing dolphins.

Seen in this light, the recent Taiji decision to forego killing dolphins may not only be a response to the public outcry over killing dolphins, but is likely a response to an irritated Japanese government, annoyed that Taiji has ignored its ban on spearing and knifing dolphins.

If so, in the future, Taiji dolphins may be killed inside a private slaughterhouse "by driving a metal pin into the neck".

Whose victory would that be? I suppose we would be grateful for the public outcry to speed up Taiji's compliance with the law.

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And who said Wiki is correct? Will you all quit talking about this? Im sure there is somebody out there you could go and share your charitable cause with? Try the Christians theyre always available? So who can sit here and argue it the longest, Ive got several years Im sure. Go and save something that actually needs saving. I grew up with dolphins too. Every morning I would have a swim in the surf, and there would be dolphins. So now lets argue, who knows dolphins better!

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Besides, we all know that Japanese law is up for the debate now. There is a lot of fisherman in Japan, who I think dont agree with the recently established licenses and the cost-money making the government does, whereby they push the production to large industry. Fishing and its licensing should be decided locally. What comes in and out of your workable waters-if you do fishing for a living and are a small company, you wont be able to venture to far from your waters, it is the bulk fishing that the govt encourages with their licensing that is detrimental. Law is flexible yk.

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illsayit:

And who said Wiki is correct?

If there was something incorrect, why don't you straighten it out then? But in my post I cited the sources referred to, which was the Japan Times.

Im sure there is somebody out there you could go and share your charitable cause with?Try the Christians theyre always available?

I've not opposed dolphin hunting; to the contrary, I pointed out hypocrisies of activists. And in the last post I merely pointed out that

(1)Taiji is the only place in Japan using engaged in dolphin drive hunting and Taiji kills only a small percent of the total Japan kill.

(2) Taiji has been violating the ban on killing dolphins with spears, knives, etc (as depicted in the Cove), for the government restricts killing to a specific technique of "driving a metal pin into the neck".

Besides, we all know that Japanese law is up for the debate now. There is a lot of fisherman in Japan, who I think dont agree with the recently established licenses and the cost-money making the government does, whereby they push the production to large industry...it is the bulk fishing that the govt encourages with their licensing that is detrimental.

Are you suggesting that this is the reason Taiji fishermen ignored the government restrictions on method of killing? It's too expensive to kill dolphins using the mandated method?

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Whats the cost for the equipment? What's the cost for the license? I guess it could sound like suggesting, but assuming would be more correct.

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illsayit:

Whats the cost for the equipment? What's the cost for the license?I guess it could sound like suggesting, but assuming would be more correct.

It could be, as you suggest or assume, that the scale of dolphin hunting in Taiji is not great enough to allow viable compliance with the law.

This would get back to my own earlier assumption that the plans for a slaughterhouse indicated an intention to bring Taiji to a point where compliance was viable.

The opponents (such as Yamashita the assembly member) saw that only as an attempt to expand production, but it could be related to the economic reality of dolphin hunting in Taiji being threatened by legislation requiring that particular methods be employed.

However, the current debate doesn't even touch on the Taiji violation of existing law, because the activists are opposed to all dolphin killing, regardless of legal compliance.

Still, it is not necessary for one to take sides in that debate. It's possible to view objectively both the inconsistencies of the activists, and the failure of the fishermen to adhere to the law.

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Illsayit,

Go and save something that actually needs saving. I grew up with dolphins too. Every morning I would have a swim in the surf, and there would be dolphins. So now lets argue, who knows dolphins better!

Dolphins needs saving. Because they are being slughtered inhumanely. If you're saying they don't need saving, you must not know about them at all. Have you seen an autistic child smiling first time in his life, with the presence of dolphins? A kid, who saw their parents being murdered in front of him, never said a word in his life, overcalming this trauma, in presence of dolphins? You can stare at anything all day long, doesn't mean that you want to learn about them. All it takes is ignorance, which your comments show that you posses great deal of.

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Damien(15), I tried to answer your mercury question a couple of time but it got moderated on both occasions. Sorry!

But let me address this:

Have you seen an autistic child smiling first time in his life, with the presence of dolphins?

This doesn't preclude dolphin hunters from sustainable utilisation of dolphins, and vice versa. If people want to use dolphins to help autistic children, OK but there is no need to tie that to taking away the rights of hunters to hunt dolphins.

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Davidatokyo,

OK but there is no need to tie that to taking away the rights of hunters to hunt dolphins.

I think there is a need to tie that to taking away rights for slaugtering. Even if they helped just one child, it deserves respect. What if it was the child of one of those fisherman? Wouldn't they be moved by that? Could that fisherman keep on killing dolphins after one of them helped his kid smile for the first time? How can you appreciate them and slaugther them at the same time? Also I read your post on mercury issue before it was taken out. People can chose what they eat, only if they are aware of the effects to their health. Forcing the dolphin meat to the market or schools, without letting the public know about the potential health effects, is criminal. Those people care more about their pockets than health of the people they are pushing the meat to.

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What if it was the child of one of those fisherman?

They can keep a pet dolphin for their kid, and catch other dolphins for food. There are enough dolphins for both purposes.

How can you appreciate them and slaugther them at the same time?

Are you not appreciative for the lives that are taken to provide you with food? If you are not, you should be.

In conclusion, we seem to agree there is no reason to take away the rights of dolphin fishermen so long as their exploitation of dolphins is sustainable and thus allows for others to benefit from dolphins in a way of their choosing as well.

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Are you not appreciative for the lives that are taken to provide you with food?

Sure I am, very much. What I don't appreciate though, people, who think they have right to slughter the animals that most of the world love and respect. Why is it so much harder for those fisherman to respect the culture of rest of the world? Just FYI, no, we don not agree at all.

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Damien15- I love your argument that dolphins should be saved for their value to HUMANS! What do you eat Damo?

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bgaudry,

What's damo? Regardless, I believe we should only eat the animals we have to, spare the lives of others, as much as we can. They are not here for us to kill and eat, they are here, just like we are, trying to live their lives. Just because we have to eat some, doesn't justify that we can eat any and all. Humans respect life and intelligence. If we see an animal carrying same characteristics as us, wouldn't it be harder to kill them? Isn't there any respect to their life they have?

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Damien,

Not every human community developed in places where there was suitable environment for eating whatever animals it is that you like to eat.

People who live in places where whaling sprang up had marine animals to eat, that's why they came to eat those animals. It's not like they had flat arable land with paddocks full of farmed animals available for them to eat.

The way cetacean eating people developed was different to the way your ancestors developed. Show some respect for this, if you want your way of life to be respected as well.

Just because we have to eat some, doesn't justify that we can eat any and all.

If so, why don't you volunteer to give up eating the animals you eat, rather than telling other people to give up the animals that they eat?

Isn't there any respect to their life they have?

Don't the animals you eat deserve just as much respect?

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Davidatokyo,

Show some respect for this, if you want your way of life to be respected as well.

To me, saving lives comes before respecting traditions. I'm happy if my life is respected only by non-dolphin killing people.

Don't the animals you eat deserve just as much respect?

intelligent ones deserves even more.

Moderator: Readers, please stay on topic. Your posts should refer to "The Cove."

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OMG, what a great news "Tokyo film festival decides at last minute to include 'The Cove' "

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