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Taiji

"Give these souls a voice."

"Give these souls a voice."

Posted 17 September 2013   by 4_da_animals1         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: dolphins, whales, Taiji, hunting, Japan, The Cove

By now you might have heard that the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan has started up again for another season. It’s hard to believe that this cruelty still goes on but Emma -- Unleashed member and volunteer for Sea Shepherd -- reminds us that we can all make a big difference for dolphins in Taiji. Here’s her story:

I have always felt a natural pull towards the ocean. Growing up as a kid, I used to watch Steve Irwin’s documentaries all the time, and he introduced me to Sea Shepherd -- a non-profit conservation organisation whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of ocean wildlife. Volunteering for this organisation in Adelaide, I was introduced to the Cove Guardians.

What is a Cove Guardian? What are they protecting? These were the questions I asked. I was recommended a documentary called The Cove.

Watching The Cove I grew more and more horrified. I discovered that dolphins are not happy in captivity. For a creature who is used to travelling up to, and sometimes over, 100 kilometres a day, living in a tank is the equivalent of a human living in a bathtub.

“The dolphin’s smile is nature’s greatest deception,” says Ric O’Barry, former trainer of the Flipper dolphins and the star of The Cove. His whole world changed when he watched a dolphin die in his arms. She blocked off her blow hole and stopped breathing, suffocating herself to death whilst living in captivity. Ric now dedicates his life to fighting for dolphin rights.

According to Save Japan Dolphins 1,200 to 1,800 dolphins are killed in Taiji each year, with up to 23,000 killed nationally in Japan.. Fishermen in boats hold large poles underwater and bang them with hammers to create a wall of sound, which disorientates the dolphins' sonar systems, so they can be herded into the cove. Trainers then pick the dolphins who will be sold to marine parks. These dolphins are often sold for $150,000 or more. Countless dolphins in captivity have come from Taiji.

taiji1.jpg
(Photo thanks to Cove Guardians.)

Then the slaughter begins. Whole family units are speared, and hacked at, with knives. One dolphin, in this year’s slaughter, put herself between the slaughtermen and her baby, in a desperate attempt to protect her calf.

The slaughtered dolphins are sold for their flesh. But thankfully this cruelty is being exposed, and together we can turn the tide...

Ric O’Barry and his colleagues used surveillance techniques to gain footage of these horrors and expose them to the world. You can check out their incredible efforts in The Cove. Since then, Save Japan Dolphins and the Cove Guardians have carried on this work, returning to Taiji each year to document and expose the slaughter. Thanks to their efforts awareness is growing.

This year, Japanese activists are standing side by side with people from around the world, at the Cove, in their plea to end this cruelty. And you can stand with them too...

What can we do to help? Simple. Give these souls a voice.

  • Don’t visit marine parks: There are plenty of great dolphin-friendly tours that let you see these incredible animals in the wild.
  • Speak out: Send a message to the Ambassador of Japan in Australia urging Japan to end the slaughter. (Click here to send your message now.)
  • Show suppport: Leave a message of support for the Cove Guardians on their facebook page, or find out how you can get involved here.
  • Spread the word: Most importantly, spread the word. Purchase, watch and share The Cove with all your friends and family. This secret needs to be exposed for the world to see.

taiji2.jpg

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Why is this man crying?

Why is this man crying?

Posted 11 September 2013   by Karen         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: dolphins, whales, Taiji, hunting, Japan

This is Satoshi Komiyama, a caring Japanese man who entered the waters of Taiji Cove this week. He is pleading for the lives of wild dolphins who have been captured in underwater nets. Some will be sold to marine parks around the world, where they will live out their lives in captivity.

satoshi.jpg

Later, this idyllic Cove will become the site of one of the world’s most brutal slaughters -- where countless dolphins will be mercilessly killed for their flesh.

Surrounded by police who were there to defend the notorious annual hunt, Satoshi did the only thing he could do -- he held up his sign, and pleaded. But it was only after he submerged his head under water that he could hear it -- families of panicked dolphins crying out in distress. After returning to the surface, Satoshi tried to describe what he heard, and he broke down.

The battle for Taiji dolphins has only just begun, and Japanese advocates like Satoshi are backed by a growing international outcry against the brutal capture and slaughter of these intelligent animals. You can help show Satoshi that Australians stand united with him for the dolphins of Taiji. Click here to send an instant message to the Ambassador of Japan in Australia urging him to end this cruelty.

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Bloody slaughter of dolphins to resume.

Bloody slaughter of dolphins to resume.

Posted 31 August 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: dolphins, whales, Taiji, The Cove, hunting

Every year in September, animal lovers from around the world turn their attention towards the Japanese fishing town of Taiji. This date marks the start of the infamous Taiji dolphin drive hunt.

In case you haven't heard of the dolphin hunt before, here's the bare-bones of it. Every year, local fishermen take to the sea near a secluded cove and begin to drive dolphins and small whales towards the shore. There, 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.

cove.jpg The-cove.jpg

The bewildered animals are kept enclosed by nets overnight, and as the sun rises on the cove, the sea turns red as 'drive fishermen' pierce the dolphins and whales with long spears. Some fishermen use hooks to haul live dolphins into the boats where their throats are slashed. The dolphins' shrieks fill the air.

The animals that are killed are sold as meat (despite often containing dangerously high levels of mercury). The dolphins that are captured alive are sold to foreign dolphinariums where they will live their lives in captivity.

The goings-on in Taiji were brought to world attention in the Oscar-winning doco "The Cove". Since then, pressure has been steadily applied to those in charge of the hunt and those who allow it to continue.

There have been some major successes in the last couple of years. The number of dolphins killed in recent years seems to be in decline. In Australia, the coastal town of Broome suspended their sister-city relationship with Taiji after a campaign by Unleashed and Animals Australia supporters.

You can help keep the pressure on Taiji, and bring an end to this senseless slaughter. Take a moment to send an email to the Japanese Ambassador in Australia, letting him know of your outrage and disgust at this annual massacre. Head here to take part in this important campaign: http://www.unleashed.org.au/take_action/taiji-dolphin-hunt/

P.S. You might also be interested to learn more about ending a similar massacre that occurs in the Faroe Islands every year.

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