The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice: Is the Japan Times awakening to the Taiji horror show & other related news

Stop the annual Taiji dolphin massacre, make your children proud

To the mayor and people of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture,

I implore you to read all of this very important message. Japan has recently undergone horrific natural disasters and the rest of the world has rallied to help you. Please don’t let their trust in you and goodwill be in vain.

Imagine you and your entire family are on an outing on a normal day, with friends and other families. Some strangers appear and begin to encircle you and herd you all toward an unfamiliar place. You are confused and try to run, but you are surrounded by noise and nets and frightened.

In that unfamiliar place, you see other people you know — distant relatives, neighbors — and many more you have never met.

Noise and shouting starts. Your friends and neighbors are shouting and screaming. The strangers begin to hit and stab everyone: the old, the young, pregnant mothers, babies.

Families try to run, try to protect their children. They call to them to run away, but no one can. You are all trapped. No matter what you say, no matter how you plead for your life, the strangers continue to stab and hit and kill.

Other strangers, who are different, try to stop the first group from hurting you, but they will not listen. The killing goes on all day until everyone you know is dead or lying drowning in each other’s blood, mothers calling dying words to already dead children and husbands. You cannot understand or believe that this has happened. You have hurt no one.

Sadly, the strangers go out the next day, and the next, and the next for months, hunting down and finding other families and killing them too.

Where on Earth could this happen?

I understand that a barbaric and horrendous dolphin slaughter is now under way in Taiji, a slaughter that takes place every year in your town.

I find this practice of stabbing and drowning such a passive animal cruel, unnecessary and totally out-of-place in a modern society. The way these creatures are herded and killed is inhumane and must be stopped.

There is no reason, except stupid pride and outdated tradition, to continue this barbaric practice. These are intelligent mammals your “fishermen” are murdering.

Fishermen can claim they steal fish from nets, or any other excuses they can think of, but this method is so pathetically savage as a “punishment” for these creatures — one that they don’t understand.

A wise race would celebrate the existence of these animals, promoting them and perhaps developing a tourist industry around visiting and viewing them, as Australians have with the beloved whales and dolphins that pass through our waters. People come from all over the world — including Japan — to feed, photograph and simply have the privilege of being near them.

I have heard the Japanese defend whaling and dolphin murder by saying Australia is hypocritical for killing kangaroos. This is done, however, when numbers have exploded, the animals have eaten all available food and are often starving. They are shot quickly and cleanly by professional shooters. The majority of the time there is no suffering, and the culls are regulated.

They are not murdered slowly en masse. Almost all Australian wildlife is protected, and culling is done as a last resort, not for annual amusement.

Dolphins are intelligent, harmless and pose no threat to us. To murder them in this way is just heartbreaking.

I have always considered Japanese people to be honorable, intelligent, meticulous and committed. After seeing this slaughter, however, my opinions are changing. There is no honor in this. This is barbarism.

Please show the rest of the world that you are committed to wildlife and environmental protection. Please make the world proud of you by outlawing this slaughter.

Please make Taiji a dolphin and environmental haven. Act now and don’t let this killing happen even one more time.

Please make this something you are proud to tell your children you stood up for, not something you are ashamed of in your past.


Keperra, Australia

Source: The Japan Times

Moore: Stop dolphin slaughter; avoid marine-mammal parks

By PAULA MOORE, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Environmental activists picket the Japanese embassy at suburban

Photo credit: AP | Environmental activists picket the Japanese embassy at suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines to protest the annual hunting of dolphins which starts in September of every year in Taiji, Japan. The activists alleged that Japanese fishermen herd hundreds of small whales and dolphins to a cove in Taiji, with ocean parks and aquariums purchasing some of them for dolphin shows, while the rest are slaughtered in the “largest and most inhumane killing of dolphins in the world.” (Aug. 31, 2012)

Dolphins have rich social lives, brains that are as complex as our own and pod-specific cultural practices that are passed down from generation to generation. Some scientists argue that dolphins should be classified as “nonhuman persons” and that their rights should be protected. The resident dolphins of Toshima, Japan — about 100 miles south of Tokyo — are considered official citizens of the small island and are fully protected while in the island’s waters.

But elsewhere dolphins are in danger. Every year in Japan, thousands of these intelligent, self-aware animals are killed in violent hunts known as oikomi or “drive fisheries.” Others are ripped from their ocean homes to be put on display in aquariums and marine theme parks or used in “swim-with” programs. These industries are inextricably linked. If you don’t support the slaughter of dolphins, then don’t pay to see them perform in dolphin shows.

Sept. 1 marks the official start of one of the most notorious dolphin hunts — the annual slaughter in Taiji, Japan, that was documented in the Oscar-winning film “The Cove.” Video footage of past hunts in this Japanese fishing village shows dolphins thrashing in their own blood for many agonizing minutes after being speared or having their throats cut. By the end of the slaughter, the entire cove is red with blood.


While most dolphins captured in Taiji end up as meat in Japanese supermarkets — despite the fact that dolphin flesh is so dangerously contaminated with mercury that some Taiji officials have likened it to “toxic waste” — every year, about two dozen live dolphins are sold to aquariums, performing-dolphin shows and swim-with programs across the globe. It’s these lucrative sales that keep the dolphin slaughter going.

A dead dolphin brings in only a few hundred dollars. But a single live dolphin can fetch $150,000 or more.

According to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, dolphins captured during Japan’s drive fisheries have ended up in aquariums all over the world. Even countries that no longer allow the importation of dolphins caught during the gruesome slaughter may be displaying animals purchased before the ban or moved through other countries to disguise their origin.

Dolphins suffer immensely in captivity. Eight former trainers at Marineland in Niagara FallsOntario, recently spoke out to the Toronto Star about the substandard conditions at that facility. Among other abuses, the trainers claim that five dolphins had their skin fall off in chunks after they spent months swimming in water so green that they could barely be seen in it. Photos of the dolphins show them with their eyes squeezed shut against the filthy water. According to the trainers, some animals have gone blind at Marineland.

In the open sea, dolphins live in large, intricate social groups, swim together in family pods and can travel up to 100 miles a day. In captivity, their world is measured in gallons instead of fathoms. Dolphins communicate with each other through whistles and body language. In tanks, their vocalizations become a garble of meaningless reverberations. Most aquariums keep antacids on hand to treat the animals’ stress-related ulcers.

No animal deserves to be torn from his or her rightful home, locked up in a tank or cage and forced to perform tricks just for our amusement. But the plight of a captive dolphin swimming in endless circles in a concrete tank is especially heartbreaking. Please stand up to this cruel industry. Before you buy a ticket, remember that patronizing marine-mammal parks and swim-with programs helps to support Japan’s bloody dolphin hunts — and condemns intelligent, social beings to a lifetime of misery.

Paula Moore is a senior writer with the PETA Foundation, Norfolk, Va. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

Source: Newsday

Dolphin murals spark marine awareness campaign in Philippines

A painter’s spontaneous reaction to slaughter of dolphins shown in The Cove turns into a movement for protecting ocean life

Mural painting of Dolphins Love Freedom led by AG Saño, Philippine

AG Saño’s ‘Dolphins Love Freedom’ mural – about 35,000 dolphins are painted on walls across the Philippines. Photograph: Tani Berin

After watching a documentary about the annual slaughter of 23,000 dolphins that takes place in Taiji, Japan, Filipino artist and environmental activist AG Sano was so overcome with emotion that he quit his job and dedicated himself to giving life back to these dolphins, one painted wall at a time.

“I could not sleep after seeing The Cove because of the images we saw. I tapped into the emotions flowing the next morning, looked for spare paint, asked a friend if I could paint his wall and he said yes,” recalls Sano.

Images of the dolphin mural were posted on Facebook, a complete stranger soon called Sano offering his house as a canvas and the momentum was born. As the invitations from strangers poured in and Sano travelled around the country with paint and brush, the site of a man painting dolphins caught people’s attention, sparked their curiosity and their participation.

“Everyone who walked by – whether policeman, businessman, politicians, street cleaners – would stop, watch for a while and then start asking questions. I would explain my advocacy, offer them a paintbrush, and soon they would start helping me,” says Sano.

Twenty months later, a spontaneous reaction fuelled by one man’s anger and sadness has evolved into an awareness campaign involving over 35,000 dolphins painted on more than 200 walls – from schools to houses to public buildings, and involving more than 25,000 volunteers.

Ric O’ Barry, the trainer of the five dolphins that appeared in the US TV show Flipper and who featured in The Cove, arrives in the Philippines on Tuesday to campaign against marine captivity and paint a dolphin with Sano. “Having him here to support the local campaign against captivity with the intention of bringing the issue to the international arena is the most important thing that has happened to our advocacy,” said Sano. “Once his brush touches the wall I shall call him our MVP – most valuable painter.”

Although a mural painter, Sano credits British graffiti-artist Banksy for inspiring him to use public art as a medium for sharing his ideas. “Painting dolphins on public walls to raise awareness was an instinct based on his influence,” Sano continues, “To meet one’s hero would be awesome. To paint a dolphin with him in the streets of London would be out of this world!”

Although Sano draws the outlines of each image, he asks the volunteers to choose the colors they want to use: “I need to give them the freedom for them to have a sense of ownership.”

According to Dakila Cutab, 31, a regular volunteer, it is this community ownership and collective effort that has been the source of the campaign’s rapid growth.

“It’s owned by the people who appreciate the artwork, those who contributed to convey the importance of these creatures, those that shared their time and resources to make those murals possible”, he says, adding ” Painting in groups has given me a sense of belonging”.

Sano says his original “crazy idea” was just to paint one dolphin for each of the 23,000 killed, so when he was asked by the department of natural resources to create the Philippines’ longest wildlife mural, a project designed to raise awareness for the need to protect the world’s oceans, he became a part of something that he never even dreamed of.

In May, 1000 volunteers from all sectors – military, government, media, artists, activists, students – joined him to paint a 1075-meter long “Biodiversity Wall of Nature” in Quezon city, showcasing over 200 species of marine and mammal life in the Philippines. “This was one of the biggest affirmations. Our goal was to stop the slaughter of dolphins but this whole thing grew inch by inch. We never imagined so many people and the government would support us,” Sano says.

Sano continues to paint murals wherever requested, both locally and in other countries. He has now turned his focus to ending the captivity of dolphins in the Philippines, many of whom he says come from Taiji, Japan.

Source: Environment Blog

SELVA Vida Sin Fronteras acknowledges Kevin Schafer’s important contribution towards protecting the highly endangered Amazon pink fresh water dolphin. Title photographs of our “The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice” were taken by Mr. Schafer. 


Editorial: SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras

Editorial Committee

David Dunham

Arno Ambrosius

Gustavo López Ospina

Mariana Almeida

Pieter Jan Brouwer

Assistant: Emilia Romero

The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice is associated with the International Environmental Mission, a grass roots citizens movement created by Chilean Senator Juan Pablo Letelier.

~ by FSVSF Admin on 13 September, 2012.

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