This winter, several volunteers have gone to Taiji, Japan at their own expense to monitor the annual dolphin hunts on behalf of Earth Island’s IMMP. They’ve provided updates for Ric O’Barry’s blog www.SaveJapanDolphins.org and filmed the unimaginable carnage as dolphins die among their own family in a welter of blood.
The videos graphically show that recent claims by the Japan Fisheries Agency are a lie. Japanese officials have said that since the The Cove came out, the killing of these dolphins has become more “humane.” There’s no such thing as a humane murder.
As volunteers maintain their vigil, Ric O’Barry continues his efforts to keep the international spotlight on Taiji. O’Barry was in Taiji briefly to meet several Japanese women who came to protest the dolphin killing. He also met up with rock star Sting in Tokyo, where he and Sting discussed the hunts with reporters. The musician urged an end to the hunts and said dialogue with the Japanese is the best way to resolve the issue. Many Japanese, he noted, are also outraged by the dolphin hunts.
Meanwhile, IMMP is making progress in the Solomon Islands to stop dolphin hunting there. For 450 years, villagers had killed 2,000 dolphins annually from dugout canoes. But the dolphins are getting scarce, so the islanders agreed with IMMP’s Ric O’Barry, Lawrence Makili, and Mark Berman to stop the practice permanently. IMMP has given $45,000 to two villages that agreed to end the killing of dolphins, to help develop alternatives such as sustainable fishing and tourism.
—Mark J. Palmer
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