Japan’s Taiji Cove annual dolphin hunt began September 1st and continues until March.
Fisherman round up entire pods of dolphins and small whales from the open ocean, driving them into the Taiji cove where they capture the most attractive dolphins (those without visible scars or flaws) for a life in captivity in Marine Parks, and send the remaining animals to be slaughtered for human consumption.
Each year the killing quota is set by the Taiji Fisherman’s Union, dictating which species of cetaceans can be targeted for slaughter and captivity, and how many of each can be taken. The 2014 – 2015 quota was 1,398 animals of seven cetacean species to be killed or captured. This killing season the quota has been raised to 1,873.
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is focused on ending the Cove dolphins slaughter. “Most Japanese did not know dolphins were hunted in Japan until our educational campaign began, and they are equally unaware of the dangers of eating mercury contaminated dolphin meat,” says Ric.
In 2009, Tajii’s annual slaughter was brought to the attention of the world through Ric O’Barry and the Academy Award-winning documentary film ‘The Cove’.
The world was outraged, yet the slaughter continues.
Taiji is the last Japanese town to conduct the brutal drive hunts.
This will be Ric O’Barry’s 13th season on the ground in Taiji to oppose the brutal dolphin hunts. For over 7 years, Ric stood alone at the cove in Taiji. Now, scores of activist’s join him through the Dolphin Project’s Cove Monitor program (see below).
For the next six months activists, citizens and animal lovers will converge on the Cove, using livestreaming video and daily posts sent out to over 1 million followers on social media to continue to educate and inform people worldwide about the hunt in real time.
Modeling an Alternative for The Cove Dolphins of Japan
One sustainable model for Taiji and the wild dolphins there can be found in the small town of Futo. In 2004 they ceased hunting dolphins. Now working with former dolphin hunter Izumi Ishii and the other fisherman of Futo, Ric O’Barry is helping to promote tourism in the area. Izumi runs a dolphin and whale watching business, including taking guests out on stand up paddle boards to see the dolphins.
“When people come in close contact with wild dolphins they naturally want to protect them. It’s a good deal for people. It’s good for the town of Futo. Better yet, it’s good for the dolphins,” explains Ric O’Barry.
5 Ways You Can Help The Cove Dolphins:
Join Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project on the front lines by becoming a Cove Monitor.
Cove monitors serve as the eyes of the world in Taiji. Monitors are trained by the Dophin Project staff to video, write and photograph the happenings at the Cove which are then sent out to the world in daily posts. The bigger the presence in Taiji, the more effective the project will be at exposing the brutal killings and bringing them to an end.
Press the share buttons on the left of or below this post to spread this story out via social media, and do the same for every photo and piece of news and petition you come across about the Cove’s dolphins.
Avoid any and all Marine Parks.
“Dolphins use echolocation,” explains O’Barry, in his book, Behind the Dolphin Smile . “In captivity dolphins spend their lives living in a tank that reverberates sound. The dolphins stop talking, and are driven mentally insane. “
Start your own campaign for raising funds and awareness about the inhumanity of the Cove and/or Marine Parks.
Every time you shop at Amazon, use the link below and a portion of your proceeds (at no extra cost to you) will be donated to help the Dolphin Project. Save the link on your desktop for future use.
Together we are making a difference. Believe it.