200+ Dolphins facing slaughter/captivity RIGHT NOW – Info and what YOU can do to help!

Lovely fisherman running over the dolphins on purpose. Taken yesterday.

If you remember a few months ago I wrote a couple of articles on dolphins/whales in captivity. I spoke specifically about ‘The Cove’, otherwise known as Taiji, a small fishing village in Japan.

Hundreds of dolphins in the cove right now that need YOUR help

Taiji has been the epicentre of dolphin trade for a while now. Yet despite protestations about the cruelty of their practices this annual dolphin drive still takes place every year for 6 months and thousands of dolphins are killed. Hopefully by now you have seen in the news, or on social media, that 250+ dolphins were driven into this tiny area 3 days ago. Here I have outlined the situation and what you can do to help.

Beautiful albino calf about to be ripped away from his/her mother

Now let me paint a picture for you. These dolphins have been forced into the cove and trapped there. In those three days they haven’t been fed and are confined to a small, shallow area. Lucky for some of them they should get used to that because over 40 of them have been brutally herded into nets and sold to marine parks. They will now live their lives in tiny, shallow tanks for our viewing pleasure. One of these, and the first to go, was a rare white bottlenose calf. This albino baby is basically pure gold to the greedy marine park owners. The baby was ripped from his mother and for 30 minutes after her baby was taken the mother searched for him, she then went under the water and didn’t resurface. This baby has already been advertised as the new attraction at the Taiji Whale Museum.

Taiji Whale Museum flaunting it’s kidnap (Google translate from original Japanese)

This dolphin selection has been taking place for two full days, in that time the dolphins are brutalised and deliberately run over by the fisherman who work in the cove. They are seen constantly trying to escape and even throwing themselves onto the rocks to try and escape the fishermen. In between the fisherman are seen laughing, joking and eating with the marine park trainers who have come to pick their dolphins. The remaining 200+ dolphins have been left for another night in the cove frightened and hungry while they wait for dawn and the process to begin again. Once the selection process is finished the remaining dolphins will be slaughtered by shoving rods through their blowholes, a dolphin can take up to 5 minutes to die this way, and often the fishermen miss as the dolphins thrash around screaming, trying to escape.  Update 20/01: The 200 remaining dolphins are due to be slaughtered at dawn today in Taiji. We are expecting them to release the smaller dolphins (mostly babies) where they will probably die, too small or too young to fend for themselves. At least two of the dolphins, one taken for captive selection, have already died from the trauma of being in the cove and many others have been injured.

Dolphin with blood and tissue hanging out it’s mouth from injuries inflicted by the Japanese fishermen

This annual hunt has often been defended as being part of the fishing villages ‘traditions’. This is completely incorrect and is a poor excuse. The dolphin hunt has been going on for around 45 years, NOT centuries and as far as I’m aware selling dolphins to marine parks is hardly a tradition. A lot of people have also commented that if we, as a race, eat meat then how can we argue with this? Well, dolphin meat is highly toxic and therefore not fit for human consumption for a start. So their meat is not even being eaten. Our practices do not also find us purposely running over animals, starving them or keeping them for days on end in fear, ripping families apart. Whether you disagree with other animal practices or eating meat there is NO excuse for this. The fact that other bad things are happening in the world is not an argument against fighting for other awful things to be stopped! You’re basically saying animal abuse is ok because we eat meat, doesn’t really make sense does it?

Families clinging together for their last few moments, trying to help each other escape

I have for a long time been an advocate of stopping this inhuman practice and I have been so angered by this new development that I’ve gone ahead and signed up to go out to Japan next year and work with The Cove Guardians. But not everyone can do that. There are a lot of things you personally can do to help though:

– Talk to the media, bother them even. Media representation is very important and the more people you reach the more they reach. Here is a list of newspapers and media outlets you can contact http://callofthecove.wordpress.com/media/

– Message the embassies while your at it too: http://callofthecove.wordpress.com/embassies/

– STOP GOING TO MARINE PARKS! The only reason this still continues is because of the money the fisherman make from selling these dolphins to marine parks!

Off for a life of enslavement that we support

– You may think petitions don’t work but it’s a small amount of your time to voice your opinion. There are quite a few out there but here’s a main one: http://takeaction.takepart.com/actions/cove-help-save-japans-dolphins?cmpid=action-share

– Follow Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians on Facebook or on Twitter, another good one is Call of the Cove

Don’t just sit back and let awful things happen, do anything you can to try and get the message out and stop this happening. To quote Einstein: “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,  but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” This isn’t tradition, this isn’t about food, this is about MONEY. No creature deserves this treatment and these ‘people’ (in the loosest sense of the term) need to be stopped.

One of the Taiji dolphin murderers: An excellent specimen of humanity right there

Please help the dolphins in whatever way you can! Stop people like the guy above profiting from the abuse, torture and death of wild animals!

Thanks to The Cove Guardians for all of their photos and work and @callofthecove for their info/photos and tireless work

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