♦︎Art by Keiko Olds♦︎
Dolphins killed as Taiji's controversial hunting season resumes in Japan
Dr. Lee Ehmke, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) President
WAZA Executive Office, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)
I am appalled at WAZA’s ‘Dolphin Management Protocol’ that permits WAZA-member facilities like JAZA to continue to acquire dolphins in association with cruel drive hunts. Over 55 percent (!) of JAZA facilities hold dolphins that were most likely acquired from the drive hunts.
I ask you to take swift action:
Repeal the endorsement of this protocol and end with it the continuing endorsement of I am appalled at WAZA’s ‘Dolphin Management Protocol’ that permits WAZA-member facilities like JAZA to continue to acquire dolphins in association with cruel drive hunts. Over 55 percent (!) of JAZA facilities hold dolphins that were most likely acquired from the drive hunts.
I ask you to take swift action:
Repeal the endorsement of this protocol and end with it the continuing endorsement of the brutal dolphin drive hunts. Enough of WAZA turning a blind eye to the ongoing dolphin slaughters. The time for member facilities to be held accountable for WAZA's own Code of Ethics that condemns and prohibits the acquisition of dolphins from the wild through indiscriminate and cruel methods, like the Japanese dolphin drive hunts, is NOW: Send a clear message that dolphin drive hunts must end by expelling any member facilities that continue to acquire dolphins through drive hunts.
WAZA MUST AGREE THAT IT WILL EXPEL ANY MEMBERS WHO ACCEPT ANY DOLPHIN THAT IS COLLECTED FROM A DRIVE HUNT, ESPECIALLY FROM A DRIVE HUNT FROM THE INFAMOUS COVE OF TAIJI.
$TOP $UPPORTING TAIJI'$ DOLPHIN $LAUGHTER AND EXPEL THE TAIJI WHALE MUSEUM IMMEDIATELY FOR ROUTINELY VIOLATING THE WAZA CODE OF ETHICS !!
The Dolphin-Killing Season Is About to Begin in Japan; Here’s What You Can Do About It
A former fisherman who admits to having killed thousands of dolphins in Japan’s infamous dolphin hunt sat down with Australia's version of 60 Minutes to discuss why he is now trying to end the slaughter.
In an interview with reporter Liz Hayes, third-generation dolphin hunter Izumi Ishii describes how he grew up believing that killing and eating dolphins was something that everyone did. And although he says that he “felt really sorry for the dolphins,” Ishii began participating in the hunt when he was just a child -- killing countless dolphins over the course of his career.
Ishii says that years of hunting dolphins left him with feeling of sorrow and regret, so much so that in 1997 he quit the practice and cut ties with his colleagues. Now the former dolphin hunter has begun to campaign against the annual hunt, urging others throughout the world to write letters to the Japanese government asking that the hunt be banned.
“I have so far received nearly 900 letters,” says Ishii.“My plan is to take these letters to Japan’s Fisheries Ministry. I would like to get more and more voices so that the Fisheries Ministry cannot ignore voices gathering across the world.”
When i was detained in Japan and sent back home after over 30 hours in Osaka International airport, I was told I was a potential threat to the village of Taiji.
I was caused of being an eco-terrorist. I said that I was only taking pictures of their culture and not interfering in the daily activities. I was told that my previous work was damaging and invaded personal privacy.
I claimed that the Japanese were free to film my culture without any hassle and they stated theirs was different.
This season I will go back with the strong possibility of being sent home again.
I will show the world just how prejudice Japan really is and let the world understand their is so much more to this cruelly than meets the eye.
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/international-team-to-tackle-world-zoo-aquarium-organization/article/378022#ixzz3A7KF3KNO
What You Can Do to Help Stranded Cetaceans
Please write your comment on the administration of Japan
EB: So if WAZA made a stand and asked JAZA to oust those aquaria sourcing from the drives, do you think JAZA would agree to the request, or withdraw from WAZA?R. O'Barry: It is not possible to know what JAZA will do. These are not rational people. Their only motivation is money.Jost said around 50-100 people were expected to attend the demo. Barbara Napoles, founder of Save the Blood Dolphins, told DJ that the main objective of the day was, "for Ric and Sakae to have a discussion with Dr. Dick."O'Barry will also be hand-delivering a 14,000+ signature-strong petition to WAZA, on the day of the meeting.The meeting and the demo will be held at the IUCN building: Rue Mauverney 28, 1196 Gland, between 1 PM and 3 PM. Further details are available via the event's Facebook page.Napoles is hoping that the event, combined with a planned Thunderclap and attendance pledge, will get WAZA's attention." WAZA needs to wake up," Napoles said, "they need to expel JAZA."
About Ric O'Barry
Richard O’Barry has worked both sides of the dolphin street - the first ten years with the dolphin-captivity industry, the past forty against it. O’Barry graduated from the Diver’s Training Academy in 1960 as a commercial deep-sea diver and scuba instructor. He served in the U.S. Navy for five years, where he received a commendation for his underwater work. While working in the 1960s as a diver and trainer for Miami Seaquarium, O’Barry captured and trained dolphins, including Hugo, the first orca in captivity east of the Mississippi, and the five dolphins that played the role of Flipper in the popular American television show of the same name.
When Kathy, the dolphin that played Flipper most often, died in O’Barry’s arms, he realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks was simply wrong. From that moment, O’Barry knew what he needed to do with his life. On the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, he founded the Dolphin Project, an organization dedicated to educating the public about the plight of dolphins in captivity and freeing captive dolphins without jeopardizing their well-being when the owners allow them to be released. O’Barry launched a searing campaign against the multibillion-dollar dolphin-captivity industry, informing the public about what really goes on at dolphin shows and urging people not to buy tickets to watch dolphins play the fool. O’Barry has since rescued, rehabilitated and released more than twenty-five captive dolphins in Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas, and the United States. With more than fifty years of experience with dolphins, he has shared his firsthand knowledge of the dangers of dolphin capture and training methods at lectures and conferences around the world. In 1991, in recognition of his contribution to the protection of dolphins, O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. In January 2007, he became a marine-mammal specialist for Earth Island Institute and director of the Save Japan Dolphins Campaign. On behalf of Earth Island Institute, O’Barry leads the international effort to stop the killing of dolphins in Japan, end the trafficking in live dolphins to theme parks and swim-with-dolphins programs, and speak out against the captivity industry. O’Barry is featured in the Academy Award–winning documentary The Cove, which brought to the world’s attention the tragedy of dolphin slaughtering practices in Taiji, Japan. He has been involved in an international effort to publicize the film and, through it, to educate people everywhere about the largest mass killing of dolphins in the world, and the efforts to stop it. In 2010, O’Barry and his son, Lincoln, made Blood Dolphin$, a television series on Animal Planet and Planet Green, about O’Barry’s efforts to protect dolphins from harm. Also in 2010, O’Barry was voted the Huffington Post’s Green Game Changer and included in O Magazine’s Power List. In 2011, he received Europe’s prestigious BAMBI Award: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jw1gcMSZYc
The original edition of Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1988; a second book, To Free a Dolphin, also coauthored with Keith Coulbourn, was published in 2000. Both books are about O’Barry’s work and his dedication. O’Barry and author Hans Peter Roth’s new book, Die Bucht, about the actual cove in Japan and the making of The Cove, was published in Germany in 2010. O’Barry is a Fellow National in the Explorers Club, a multidisciplinary society that links together scientists and explorers from all over the world. Each member is an accomplished individual with at least one fascinating story to tell. O’Barry lives with his wife, Helene, and their daughter, Mai Li, in South Miami, Florida, and in Ribe, Denmark.
Vulnerable youngster at risk in captivity, expert says.http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140128-dolphin-albino-animals-science-japan-hunt-taiji-world/An albino bottlenose dolphin is seen swimming in a pool at the Taiji Whale Museum on January 18, 2014.
A rare albino dolphin calf, rounded up in a dolphin hunt off of Japan earlier this month, is now on display at a Japanese whale museum, where experts say its long-term survival is in doubt.
"Albinos stand out and tend to be targeted by predators," said Taiji Whale Museum Assistant Director Tetsuya Kirihata in a statement, according to some media reports. "She must have been protected by her mother and her mates. We will take good care of her."
But that may be difficult, according to Stan Kuczaj, director of the Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Laboratory at the University of Southern Mississippi.
"Calves that have stranded for various reasons have sometimes been nursed back to health by humans, but others have died," Kuczaj said. "So the calf could survive, but that is certainly not guaranteed.
"We know little about the effects of trauma [and] stress on young marine mammals, but it seems likely that this calf was very stressed by the hunt and so could be at even greater risk," he continued, "especially since it was separated from its mother."
Efforts to reach the Taiji Whale Museum directly were unsuccessful.
Animal advocates quickly dubbed the dolphin "Angel" in an effort to draw the world's sympathy to what they say is the brutality of dolphin hunting.
The young albino calf proved attractive to Taiji's dolphin brokers, who sell captured dolphins from Taiji to marine parks across Asia and beyond.
According to the animal-protection group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which closely monitors the Taiji drive hunts, the albino was the first dolphin selected for capture and sale.
Naomi Rose, a dolphin and killer whale expert at the Animal Welfare Institute, said that despite assurances from the museum about the calf's safety, the young dolphin shouldn't be there in the first place: "Taking a dependent calf goes against every established conservation principle there is.
"It was wrong ethically, biologically, and in terms of management," she said. "It was wrong on every level and just plain cruel."
Albinos in the wild—which can be shunned by others in their group or make easy targets for predators—often don't survive.
Most albino alligators, for example, are taken by predators before they reach adulthood. Albinos are also more susceptible to diseases.
Albinism is relatively unusual: Scientists estimate that albinism in mammals occurs in about one of every 10,000 births.
The condition is seen across a very wide range of species and is due to genetic defects that inhibit the production of melanin, or skin pigment. (See more pictures of albino animals.)
Other albino cetaceans—which include whales and dolphins—of note include "Migaloo," a white humpback whale that can be seen off Australia, and "Iceberg," a white killer whale first seen in the waters off Russia in 2012.
Concerns About Hunt
The Taiji hunt, in which fishers herded an unusually large pod of 200 to 250 bottlenose dolphins into a netted shoreside bay, reportedly killing 42 dolphins, drew criticism from the likes of Caroline Kennedy, the new U.S. ambassador to Japan.
"Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing," Kennedy said in a Tweet. "USG opposes drive hunt fisheries."
The hunt takes place annually in the small Japanese village of Taiji from September to March and and was the subject of the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. (See pictures of the Taiji dolphin roundup.)
This year, over the course of four days in mid-January, the Taiji fishers selected 52 dolphins for sale into captivity, slaughtered 41 for meat, and then drove the surviving pod members back out to sea, according to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Despite the fishers' use of tarps and other screening strategies, Sea Shepherd and some news organizations obtained photographs and video of the hunt, which helped fuel global response.
In Japan, some 50 aquariums keep around 600 dolphins and take many of the Taiji dolphins, with business also coming from many aquariums abroad, including a growing number in China.
Japan bucks trend: Captive dolphin biz big
Surging numbers: Visitors learn about dolphins at Shimoda Aquarium in Shizuoka Prefecture on Sunday. The aquarium is one of just a handful in Japan that does not take dolphins from the wild but instead breeds them on-site. | ROB GILHOOLY
Photos of Angel in the Taiji Whale Museum by Ric O'Barry/Dolphin Project.
Date: 2013/09/12 Statement of clarification
Iwasaki and Kai (2010) also report that other methods are employed in the killing:
Placing a vinyl sheet over the rocks facilitated the transport of the striped dolphins to the killing area and also the full application of the spinal transection technique. In addition, by driving a wedge into the cut, bleeding was controlled. Exsanguination occurred 10 to 30 minutes later at the time of gutting, and this did not affect the quality of the meat (for consumption).
Iwasaki and Kai (2010) concluded:
Harvest time was shortened, improving worker safety. Bleeding was controlled by the wedge, and this opens up the possibility of commercial utilization of the blood and prevents pollution of the sea with blood. The individual who developed the spinal cord transection technique has pointed out that prevention of bleeding and internal retention of blood using the wedge risks prolongation of the time to death. An additional review to compare time to death with the Faroe Islands is required.
Based on this minimal data, Iwasaki and Kai (2010) claimed that the new method is more humane. This claim is based on a shorter TTD recorded in four species where the spinal transection technique was utilized, compared to only one instance where the conventional spear method of killing was used on a striped dolphin. TTD is defined by Iwasaki and Kai (2010) as the termination of movement and breathing.
We analyzed videotape footage of a dolphin drive hunt involving striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) conducted in Taiji, Japan in January 2011 (for the video, see http://youtu.be/dzOw51BmqWK ). The video material was systematically analyzed by one of the authors (A. B.), a veterinarian. The video footage used in this analysis was recorded covertly and provided by an independent video journalist.
Events and event intervals were documented, tabulated, and timed using the time base available on the video material. The authors also compared their observations and analysis to the data and assessment reported in Iwasaki and Kai (2010).
The results of the author’s veterinary and behavioral analysis of the video documentation of the killing method used are presented in the table (Table 1). The timing of events and the method of killing are described in detail in relation to dolphin anatomy and the physiological and behavioral responses during this process.
For illustration and clarification purposes, still images derived from the video material were used to overlay outlines of cetacean anatomical structures in relation to use of the rod and wooden plug (Figure 1, Figure 2). The images are still photographs taken from the video footage of the drive hunt that we analyzed and referenced to the written description of the killing method described in Iwasaki and Kai (2010).
FIGURE 2. Dolphin skeletal and soft tissue and point of insertion of the metal rod. This image shows the overlay of skeletal and soft tissues on a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba). This overlay shows the relationship between the skeletal and soft tissues compared with the external anatomical features (eye, mouth, blow hole, dorsal fin, and pectoral fin) and with the course and positioning of the metal rod.