Raising the profile.
In 2003 the brutal activities of dolphin hunting in the Japanese coastal town of Taiji was exposed to the World. There will be many sat at home tonight unaware of what is going in over in the far East. Between October and March approximately dolphins are literally slaughtered, reports mention anything from 2,000 – 20,000 are killed a year.
Hunters drive dolphins into the cove by banging metal rods which disorientate the creatures, they are then trapped in nets. Some die of pure exhaustion while some suffer horrific injuries. What happens next is just pure mindless slaughter. Allegedly the act of cutting the dolphins throat has been outlawed and now the a metal spike is driven into the cervical region (neck) causing death in seconds (according to a Japanese scientist).
So what is being done about this? Diplomatic pressure is literally none existent. It may be a case of you turn and blind eye and so will we? Environmental activists such as Sea Shepherds Cove Guardians http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/ are volunteers who actively try and wear down Japanese fishing vessels. The Guardians are currently enduring on Operation Infinite Patience. Cruelty and carnage is often witnessed by the Guardians who are branded as “Eco Terrorists” by the Japanese Government.
Nature lover and film maker Hardy Jones made the film “Dolphin Defender”He filmed dramatic dolphin hunts. The documentary footage made headlines and sparked international protests. Jones also discovered the effects of chemical pollution on dolphins and orcas, the largest species of dolphin. He came to realize that threats to these marine mammals were threats to the ocean itself, and to us all.
What can you do?
There are many #taiji petitions that can be signed some. Others choose to email or tweet to Japanese officials. Such as the Japanese tourist board @visit_japan or the Japanese premier to the UK @jpn_pmo
You can visit the Sea Shepherd shop which includes a USA, Australian and European shop. http://www.seashepherd.org/shop/ Gifts such as hoodies and mugs can be bought, money then goes straight to helping fund Sea Shepherd. Simple donations can also be made.
Regarded as one of the most intelligent animals on the planet, dolphins seems to strike up affection from “most” humans. Animal lovers will see the actions in Taiji as appalling, the fisherman will just see it as a way of making money. There are approximately 50,000 dolphins in US waters and approximately 175,000 in the Pacific. So why worry about a few thousand in Taiji? Ignorance is not an option. If people or dogs were rounded up in such numbers in the same manner there would be an out cry beyond imaginations. Why protect the badger, why protect the Elephant? Animal welfare is indiscriminate, it applies to dogs and cats, dolphins and whales.
Easy fight then?
The fight for Taiji is not going to be won on the battlefield or in the Embassies of the World. Japanese whaling goes back hundreds of years, fisherman were seen as heroes for doing battle with the raging sea. Like many other countries they do not like being told what to do, especially by foreigners.
Environmental pressure from Eco groups and pressure from individuals is not going to make an overnight impact. Whether it be dolphins, elephants or tigers, the fight for animals is going to be a struggle. If your sat around doing nothing you can’t say you are doing your bit for the animal world.