Help Save the Taiji Dolphins
The Dolphin Drive Hunt
Dolphins and pilot whales are being slaughtered by the thousands in a small fishing village in Japan.
The dolphin drive hunt in Taiji, Japan, takes place every year from September to April. According to the Japanese Fisheries Research Agency, 1,623 dolphins were caught in Wakayama Prefecture in 2007 for human consumption or resale to dolphinariums, and most of these were caught at Taiji.
The annual dolphin hunt provides income for local residents, but has received international criticism for both the alleged cruelty of the dolphin killing and the high mercury levels of the dolphin meat.
The Cove documentary
A film titled The Cove was secretly recorded over five years with high-tech video and sound equipment in Taiji. This full-length documentary was funded by billionaire James H. Clark and shows controversial dolphin killing techniques and discusses high mercury levels in Taiji dolphin meat.
Since the release of the film, a larger number of activists, mainly non-Japanese, have visited Taiji to protest or film the dolphin hunts. The activists observe and monitor the hunting throughout the hunting season from September until it ends in April. The Taiji fishermen responded by constructing an elaborate structure of tarps to better conceal the drive-hunting activities in and around the cove. Activists report that they have been harassed when trying to document the hunts by local supporters of the dolphin fishermen.
Dolphin slaughter in Taiji cruel methods
Fishermen hold large poles underwater and bang them with hammers to create a wall of sound that disorientates the animals and causes them to swim toward the shore. Here, mothers and babies are separated by ropes, some dolphins are tied to boats, some become injured or break their pectoral fins in the watery panic, and some die from stress or exhaustion.
The reasons given by officials are varied. Some say the dolphins and whales are killed for their meat; meat tainted with high levels of mercury and served to Japanese school children. Others say the ‘hunt’ is a form of ‘pest control’ insisting the dolphins are competition for the fishing industry. The killings have also been directly linked to the lucrative trade in dolphins for the marine park industry. Investigators have reported seeing dolphin trainers assisting fishermen in herding the dolphins in order to choose those deemed suitable for a life in an aquarium.
Save the dolphins
Whatever the reasons given, there is no excuse for such extreme cruelty.
The Labor party and the Liberal party are refusing to condemn this brutal slaughter, and so it is up to us to speak up for the dolphins in Japan.
Supporting Animals Australia
The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.
The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.
The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.
The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Animals Australia as they encompass similar ideals.
The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:
What can we do?
Let the Japan Tourism Agency know that you will not be visiting a country that has such blatant disregard for life. The beauty and culture of Japan is only strengthened by its amazing wildlife and this should be promoted not destroyed: