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The Cove

"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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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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Don't Miss The Cove on Sunday Night!
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Don't Miss The Cove on Sunday Night!

Posted 26 August 2011   by         Permalink | 12 Comments

Tags: dolphins, The Cove, video

Every year in a sleepy little Japanese village called Taiji, a horrific event takes place. And it took one small group of activists with undercover cameras to expose this bloody secret to the world:

This Sunday at 8.30pm on ABC1, you can see the Academy Award-winning film for yourself. The Cove threw the international spotlight onto Taiji and is so explosive that officials in Japan tried to stop it from ever being shown there.

Well now it has been, and as more people become aware and speak out for these dolphins, the harder it becomes for the brutal killing to continue. So make sure you tune in and tell all your friends to watch too!

Head here for more info on the film and ways that you can help save dolphins in Taiji.

Have you already seen the film? What did you think?

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Why Dolphins Were Never Meant to Be Locked Up

Why Dolphins Were Never Meant to Be Locked Up

Posted 27 July 2010   by Sim         Permalink | 9 Comments

Tags: dolpins, whales, Sea World, entertainment, circuses, The Cove

A couple of weeks ago, in Japan, Kuru the dolphin jumped out of her tank during a show at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. Former dolphin trainer (from Flipper) turned dolphin advocate and star of The Cove, Ric O'Barry has said "The habitat of that [dolphin] is so unnatural it leapt out of the tank in desperation. It wanted to end it. Why does a person jump out of a building?" Ric may have a point.

While this footage is shocking, it must be a common enough occurrence, since the handlers keep mats around the aquarium's edge to minimise injury when the animals do this exact thing! And why wouldn't she want out?

Each year thousands of cetaceans (dolphins and whales) are captured from the wild and placed into small tanks in 'Sea Worlds' around the globe. The animals are then taught to perform tricks for human entertainment. Basically its a circus for cetaceans. But most people never hear about the horrendous conditions these animals are made to endure.

Like other animals in circuses, these animals dont belong in prisons, but that's what many marine parks are. Everything about a whale or dolphin's life in captivity is restrictive. Dolpins and whales swim dozens and in some cases upwards of a hundred kilometres in a day. Yet in captivity their tanks are often so small that it only takes them a few seconds to swim from end to end. Many of these highly social animals are kept in solitary confinement. And for animals that rely on sonar, their small tanks must be like deafening echo-chambers.

To combat stress related ulcers and 'behavioural problems' these animals are often fed a cocktail of antibiotics and other drugs. Even still, most dolphins in captivity don't live to 20 years (less than half of their natural lifespan), and most orca whales, who could live to be 90+ in the wild, don't live past 10 years of age in captivity.

So it would come as little surprise if Kuru was hoping to end it the other week.

I'm sure you'd agree that locking any animal in a tiny enclosure and forcing them to perform tricks is cruel. Kuru and her cetacean buddies deserve a better life. Just like animal circuses, the strongest message we can send to marine parks with animal performances is simply not to visit them. We can all make a difference and give animals a better life.

What do you think about what happened with Kuru?

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Help Dolphins and Score Movie Tix!

Help Dolphins and Score Movie Tix!

Posted 21 August 2009   by Angie         Permalink | 70 Comments

Tags: The Cove, video, documentary, Japan, dolphins, dolphin slaughter, take action, giveaway

You learn something new every day... unfortunately!

So I thought by now I was pretty aware of international animal cruelty, but a new documentary I saw last week really shocked me. The Cove, which is being launched in Australia next week, exposes the mass slaughter of Dolphins in a little Japanese town called Taiji.

"Mass dolphin slaughter?? What the!!" Yes, that's right, each year, starting on the 1st of September a whopping 23,000 terrified dolphins are herded into a secret cove. They are netted in, unable to escape and are slowly speared or stabbed to death!

And why haven't we heard of this before? Because the Japanese Government has gone to painstaking efforts to keep the slaughter a secret, even from it's own people. Dolphin meat is being labelled and sold as other types of seafood and the vast majority of Japanese citizens have no idea this is happening, or that they are eating it!

International dolphin expert and former trainer Richard O'Barry has gone to incredible efforts to expose this terrible secret. In creating The Cove he took an elite team of scientists, filmmakers and free-divers to Taiji. He hopes the international outrage The Cove will create will put a stop to this barbaric practice... HOPEFULLY before this September's slaughter begins.

So what can you do? Fortunately, as Australians we're in a unique position to help! Taiji just so happens to be the Sister-City of Broome in WA. By putting pressure on Broome to sever it's ties with Taiji we will expose the slaughter and shame Japan. The good news is that most Japanese people see dolphins the same way westerners do as intelligent, graceful animals who should never be hurt or eaten but whilst the slaughter remains a secret sadly it will continue.

[UPDATE: Some great news! After a flood of letters, Broome Councilors met over the weekend and decided to sever their ties with the Japanese town of Taiji.

We still have a couple of 2-for-1 passes to giveaway to see The Cove (opening this week)! If you want to score yourself a pass then please write to Broome to thank them for taking a stand against the dolphin slaughter in Japan and severing their ties with Taiji. Then leave a comment below to let us know you've written.

Broome Shire Council: [email protected]

Thanks to everyone who helped in this campaign!]

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