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Thread: Japan : Taiji

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    Japan : Taiji

    Fight to end Japan's dolphin slaughter ritual
    Mark Willacy
    February 02, 2012


    Photo: Fishermen haul slaughtered dolphins into a boat. (file photo: Sea Shepherd)

    Related Story: Protesters confront fishermen over dolphin slaughter

    Related Story: Dolphins escape after nets cut in Japanese hunt

    Related Story: Japanese fury over dolphin-slaughter doco

    Map: Japan

    While there has been much attention on Japan's renewed hunt for whales in the Antarctic, another hunt for marine mammals is in full swing along Japan's own shores.

    Every year Japanese fishermen harvest about 20,000 dolphins and small whales as part of what they say is a centuries-old tradition.

    The biggest hunt is in Taiji - a town in western Japan which was the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove several years ago.

    Two men - one a former US federal agent, the other a Taiji town councillor - are using very different approaches to try to end this so-called tradition.

    When dawn breaks over Taiji at this time of year, the banger boats head out for the hunt.

    They are called banger boats because the fishermen bang poles against their hulls to create an underwater wall of sound, which drives panicked dolphins towards the cove, and to slaughter.

    Scott West is the leader of a team of Sea Shepherd activists who monitor what goes on in the cove - a narrow inlet where about 2,000 dolphin and small whales are killed every year.

    "They now use a technique called pithing and this is where they will drag the dolphins by their tails up onto the rocky beach in the shallow cove area and drive a steel rod down through their spine," he said.

    Audio: Fight on to end Japan's dolphin slaughter (PM)

    "But the steel rod is removed and then a wooden plug is put into the hole and then pounded into place with a wooden mallet, all for the intention of keeping the blood from filling the cove."

    Every morning before dawn Mr West leads his team to the cove.

    "Right now we're headed into the harbour to go and let the dolphin killers know they're being watched and to make their happy morning less happy," he said.

    But the dolphin hunters are not the only ones being watched. Every morning when the activists arrive in Taiji harbour they are greeted by the police.

    Troy Coyle, a Sea Shepherd volunteer from Wollongong, laughs off the police surveillance.

    "It doesn't really bother me, but I find it really strange. I mean we probably have about five policemen per individual and everywhere you go they turn up," she said.

    Locals are also fed up with the activists, but Mr West is vowing not to budge until the killing stops.

    Toxic meat


    Photo: Dolphins are herded by fishing boats near the village of Taiji. (AFP: Ryan Nakashima)

    It is not just foreign activists who would like the slaughter stopped.

    While the pro-hunting mayor and the fishermen refused to speak to PM, town councillor Hisato Ryono did agree to be interviewed.

    He is against the hunt, not because it is cruel, but because he believes dolphin meat is poisonous.

    "I read that the council would use the dolphin meat for school lunches," he said.

    "So I did some tests of the meat and it was found that the mercury level in the dolphin exceeded the safe level."

    In fact, the samples were so toxic authorities decided against feeding dolphin meat to school students and even advised pregnant women not to eat it.

    Mr West says it is another reason to end the slaughter.

    "They're poisoning themselves, they're poisoning their children - it's insane," he said.

    Locals, like Mr Ryono, believe the days of the hunt are numbered.

    "It will end soon," he said. "The fishermen are not making profits anymore because the meat is not selling. No-one wants to eat it."

    Mr West says Sea Shepherd will stay in the town until the hunt stops.

    "We're confident that this is going to be successful, that there will be an end to this hunt and it's going to come about through infinite patience, which is the name of this campaign."

    But in Japan, even infinite patience, while seen as a virtue, can go unrewarded.

    xxx.xxx.xx

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    Ah bless the nips, and their whaling "for research purposes".

    Someone ought to start hunting them.

    I love dolphins. They are delightful creatures. Are you listening, Hayden?


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    they don't like fishes that eat their grub.

    could be wrong here of course.

    but i'll give them the benifit of doubt until i hear another believeable reason.

    research what.
    dolphins are my brothers and sisters. i love em. an the whales, amazing creatures.
    absolutly amazing.
    i don't find the japs too amazing.

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    Dutch Sea Shepherd activist Erwin Vermeulen was arrested on Friday 16th of December in Taji, Japan while attempting to make photographs of the transport of dolphins. The animals who were captured in the wild were being transported towards holding basins at the Dolphin Resort Hotel.

    Erwin traveled to Japan on his own initiative to investigate the slaughter of dolphins in Taji. His intention was to observe the transport in a peaceful manner and collect footage to reveal to the world what is happening. Annually the Japanese government provides 23.000 licenses to various coastal towns to slaughter dolphins of various species for consumption purposes.

    Police claim Erwin shoved a hotel employee even though Erwin strongly denies ever using violence. The arrest seems pre-planned since no witnesses saw him shove the employee and Erwin was not even questioned as police simply approached him and took him away.

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    US ambassador intervenes in Taiji Cove dolphin hunt
    Andrew Darby
    January 20, 2014


    A scene from the documentary The Cove.

    US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy has sharply raised the focus on Japanese dolphin hunts, describing the corralling of the mammals for slaughter as inhumane.

    Responding to local fishermen rounding up dolphins at Taiji, the town made famous by the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, Ms Kennedy tweeted: "Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing."

    "U.S. Government opposes drive hunt fisheries," she said of the Japanese dolphin and pilot whale hunts that annually take thousands of the mammals.
    Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG opposes drive hunt fisheries.
    — キャロライン・ケネディ駐日米国大使 (@CarolineKennedy) January 18, 2014
    Conservationists live-streamed the capture of around 250 bottlenose dolphins at Taiji over the weekend and continued the webcast on Monday showing fishermen separating from the pod dozens of individuals.

    Netted dolphins were seen swimming around in shallow waters while divers selected individuals to be slung beside skiffs and carried away to a section under closed tarpaulin canopies.

    The leader of the Cove Guardians group of Sea Shepherd, Melissa Sehgal, said 51 of the dolphins were chosen for further inspection for their potential for training as marine park performers.

    "I've been here for three years and this is absolutely the largest I've seen driven into the cove," Ms Sehgal told Fairfax Media.

    "We would expect that they will kill many of the remaining 200 tomorrow, although some might be driven out to sea."

    She said it had been an exhausting time for the dolphins, which had been without food for four days, as their family groups were separated, and the more trainable juveniles taken away.

    The Cove Guardians group is operating in cold winter weather within police barricades at the small town south of Tokyo.

    "What we are doing is completely legal, and within Japanese law," Ms Sehgal said.

    Fishermen in the town defend the hunt as a cultural tradition.

    A fishing industry official, who declined to be identified, told AFP: "We've got our lives. We can't simply nod (to protests) and end centuries of our tradition ...

    "If you want to talk about cruelty, you couldn't eat cows, pigs or any other living creatures," he said.

    He said dolphins died almost instantaneously when their spinal cords were cut at Taiji. There was no bloodshed and the sea did not turn red, unlike scenes in The Cove, he said.

    theage.com.au

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    Published on 19 Jan 2014
    Report by Mark Morris.

    Japanese fisherman have been filmed trapping hundreds of dolphins on Monday, in a controversial hunt that happens every year in Taiji Cove.

    According to activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who have been shadowing the fishermen, boats began herding the dolphins into pens on Friday.

    Most of them are expected to be killed for meat, with the remainder set to be captured to sell to aquariums.

    On Monday, fishermen in wetsuits wrestled with dolphins to select those to be killed or sold.

    The killing will begin after dolphins destined for captivity have been selected, probably on Tuesday.

    Fishermen say the cull is a traditional part of their livelihood in an area that has fished dolphins and whales for thousands of years.

    Japan has long maintained that killing dolphins is not banned under any international treaty and that the animals are not endangered.

    youtube.com

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    I hope the cnuts get another tsunami. Wiping them out wouldn't be a great loss.

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    If they're killed instantly what's the harm?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    If they're killed instantly what's the harm?
    A little bit OTT, dontcha think?
    Certainly this day and age when we, as a species, find it necessary to exterminate life forms of every nature - just because we can.

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    They are not exterminating the species, just culling a few jeff. Now try answering the questio rather than pontificating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    If they're killed instantly what's the harm?
    No harm at all, as long as the Dolphins are OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    Fight to end slaughter
    Fire with fire.


    Do they make soup with that?

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    The town councilman is right. While the hunt is cruel, feeding that meat to kids (in order to prove a point, surely- it isn't necessary, this isn't 1950) is criminal.

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    There have been numerous instances over the years in which dolphins have saved (or helped to save) peoples' lives.

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    As well as instances of them attacking people.

    they are wild animals, they are not the tv character of flipper.

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    Oh, piss off, wanker. There have only ever been rare cases of attack, and probably by juveniles. The other cases have far outweighed them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    , and probably by juveniles..
    Again, wrong.

    honestly, do yourself a favour and think before you post, will save embarrassment later...

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    Ok....it appears you are correct. But they are still sentient creatures, albeit wild.

    But the very fact that they are wild underlines the fact that they have in fact helped save numerous people from drowning, and it is a poor way to treat them, the way the Japanese do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    As well as instances of them attacking people.

    they are wild animals, they are not the tv character of flipper.

    Moron.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rural Surin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    As well as instances of them attacking people.

    they are wild animals, they are not the tv character of flipper.

    Moron.
    Which aspect of my statement do you disagree with ?

    Do you have anything useful to add to this thread or are you just cross thread stalking ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    But[COLOR="Yellow"] the very fact that they are wild underlines [/COLOR]the fact that they have in fact helped save numerous people from drowning.
    Eh? Come again?

    Are you saying that because dolphins are wild, that proves that they are savers of human life?

    Where's the logic in that?

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    There are numerous instances of Dolphins saving not only humans but other marine species.

    The fact that a few wild ones attack humans intruding in their natural habitat does not justify what these slanty eyed murderous scum are up to.

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