Dolphins are intelligent, self-aware mammals with bonded social interactions. The Jananese drive hunts have been condemned by animal welfare experts around the world as brutal and inhumane, but pleas to stop them have been ignored.
Slaughter every year
These mammals are slaughter every fall in Japan for their meat and some are captives and trained to perform at entertainment sea park. Each year, over 20,000 dolphins and other whale species are killed this way, including bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, spotted dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, short-finned pilot whales, white-sided dolphins, and false killer whales. These brutal slaughtering was captured by “The Cove” filmmaking Team, Director Louie Psihoyos, Executive Producer Jim Clark, Producer Fisher Stevens, and all the team at the Oceanic Preservation Society.
Contamination of dolphin meat
“The Cove,” also sheds a welcome light on the actions of the government of Japan in trying to cover up the dolphin slaughter and the poisoning of Japanese people by mercury-laced dolphin meat. In 2009, dolphin meat was taken off school menus because of the contamination. These dolphin’s meat are not only being sold as food in Japan but to other parts of Asia, often labeled as whale meat. The majority of the world is not aware this is happening as the Taiji cove is blocked off from the public.
Exposing the secret
Ric O’Barry has been trying to get the word out for years but has been stymied by the local fishermen, the meat corporations, and the Japanese government. Director Louie Psihoyos, a critical member of the Ocean Preservation Society, intended to make a film about depleting ocean reefs and intended to have O’Barry be one part of an overall bigger picture. Then, while traveling in Taiji, he became convinced that the real story was exposing the secret dolphin killings and why what goes on in that deadly cove matters to the rest of Japan and the world.
The Cove only gives you the Western perspective on the subject because that’s what fits its agenda. It does take a few swipes at the arguments for dolphin hunting. The Japanese government views them as pests needed to be dealt with and blames the porpoises for declining fish levels, which to any rational thinking person would sound absurd. Which seems like the more likely scenario: pollution and over fishing lead to declining levels, or the sea creatures that have lived on the planet for millions of years are now to blame? The other token argument is that whale and dolphin killing is a part of traditional Japanese historical culture. This might hold true for some people; however, upon some minor research you find that the whaling tradition goes back only a couple centuries, no further than it did for European countries that have given up the practice.
What is happening in Taiji now?
Since the showing of the documentary The Cove, which exposes the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, many rumors have swirled around one question: Did The Cove stop the killing of dolphins in Taiji? Some media outlets have publicized statements that would lead the public to believe that dolphins are no longer being hunted there. Sadly, this is not the case. The killing of many dolphins, including bottlenose dolphins, still continues in Taiji. The policy of no killing of bottlenose dolphins apparently did not last long and was most likely nothing but a strategic short-term publicity stunt, aimed at reassuring the international media that bottlenose dolphins would no longer be killed. Bottlenose dolphins are being hunted and killed in Taiji again, along with many other species of dolphin.
Dolphin saving human
Thousands of dolphins block Somali pirates
BEIJING, April 14 (Xinhuanet) — Thousands of dolphins blocked the suspected Somali pirate ships when they were trying to attack Chinese merchant ships passing the Gulf of Aden, the China Radio International reported on Monday.
The Chinese merchant ships escorted by a China’s fleet sailed on the Gulf of Aden when they met some suspected pirate ships. Thousands of dolphins suddenly leaped out of water between pirates and merchants when the pirate ships headed for the China’s.
The suspected pirates ships stopped and then turned away. The pirates could only lament their littleness befor the vast number of dolphins. The spectacular scene continued for a while.
China initiated its three-ship escort task force on Dec. 26 last year after the United Nations Security Council called on countries to patrol gulf and waters off Somalia, one of the world’s busiest marine routes, where surging piracy endangered intercontinental shipping.
China’s first fleet has escorted 206 vessels, including 29 foreign merchant vessels, and successfully rescued three foreign merchant ships from pirate attacks.
About 20 percent of Chinese merchant ships passing through the waters off Somalia were attacked by pirates from January to November in 2008, before the task force was deployed.
A total of seven ships, either owned by China or carrying Chinese cargo and crew, were hijacked.
Tianyu No. 8, a Chinese fishing vessel with 16 Chinese and eight foreign sailors aboard, was captured by Somali pirates on Nov. 14 and released in early February.
The second fleet of Chinese escort ships arrived at the Gulf of Aden on Monday to replace the first fleet.
Dolphins save surfer from becoming shark’s bait
A pod of bottlenose dolphins helped protect the severely injured boarder
Surfer Todd Endris needed a miracle. The shark — a monster great white that came out of nowhere — had hit him three times, peeling the skin off his back and mauling his right leg to the bone.
That’s when a pod of bottlenose dolphins intervened, forming a protective ring around Endris, allowing him to get to shore, where quick first aid provided by a friend saved his life.
“Truly a miracle,” Endris told TODAY’s Natalie Morales on Thursday.
More stories of dolphins saving and protecting human here
Dolphins and Man…..Equals? Read here
Anti-whaling activists accuse Japan fleet of attack
The Sea Shepherd said the bow was sheared off the Ady Gil
Anti-whaling activists have accused a Japanese vessel of ramming their high-tech speed boat during a confrontation in the Southern Ocean.
Video of the incident appeared to show the Japanese ship severely damaging the Ady Gil, but all six crew were rescued.
Earlier the campaigners – who are trying to stop Japan’s whaling fleet – said they threw chemicals onto the whaling boat to prevent it being used.
The whalers said the activists tried to tangle their propeller with a rope.
In recent years the two sides have regularly confronted each other in the waters around the Antarctic.
Sea Shepherd spokesman Paul Watson said the incident had turned the confrontations between the whalers and the activists into a “real whale war”.
A statement on the Sea Shepherd website said a Japanese vessel that was accompanying the Nisshin Maru whaler “deliberately rammed” the Ady Gil, a high-tech speed boat that resembles a stealth bomber, shearing off its bow.
The crew of the Ady Gil, five from New Zealander and one from the Netherlands, were picked up unharmed by nearby Sea Shepherd vessel Bob Barker near Commonwealth Bay.
“The Ady Gil is believed to be sinking and chances of salvage are very grim,” the Sea Shepherd statement said.
A video apparently shot from on board the Japanese vessel showed the two ships smashing into each other at speed.
The Ady Gil was swamped by waves, its nose was torn off and damage could be seen to its side.
Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), which conducts the country’s whale hunt, accused Sea Shepherd of using the Ady Gil to attack its vessels.
They alleged the trimaran speedboat came dangerously close to the Nisshin Maru, trying to entangle its rudder and propeller with a rope and launching stink bombs at the vessel.
“The Sea Shepherd extremism is becoming more violent… Their actions are nothing but felonious behaviour,” the (ICR) said in a statement.
Japan’s fisheries agency said it was the fourth time this season that the anti-whaling activists had interfered with the whaling fleet’s operations, Kyodo news agency reported.
The Sea Shepherd group sends boats to Antarctic waters each year to try to stop the Japanese whaling fleet hunting whales.
Japan abandoned commercial whaling in 1986 after agreeing to a global moratorium but international rules allow it to annually kill hundreds of whales under the auspices of a research programme.
Conservationists say the whaling is a cover for the sale and consumption of whale meat.
Whale slaughter galleries
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