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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

On January 17, 2014, over 250 bottlenose dolphins were herded into a small trapping cove in Taiji, Japan, made infamous by the Academy Award-winning film, The Cove. The dolphins will be held until the brutal process of selection for the aquarium industry begins, which could begin as early as sunrise January 18.

Among the captives in this community is a young albino bottlenose dolphin, an extremely rare child, and one which is likely to be among those kidnapped. The considerable monetary value of this albino and the other dolphins taken captive is established by aquariums and marine parks, modeled generally after the U.S. aquarium industry, that make millions from using dolphins as entertainment. The incentive to drive these dolphins is made lucrative by this monetary incentive more than any other.

The fate of those not taken to perform in dolphin shows and exhibits is either death-by-spike or a process of being "driven" back to the open ocean by the same horrific cacophony generated by the "banger boats" that corralled them in The Cove. Those so driven will now be but a fractured remnant, without the youth of the next generation and likely without many of the elders to guide them. Those who escape capture or slaughter and are left to fend for themselves without their community are less likely to survive and thrive. With this process of capture/kill/drive the remnant, entire communities of dolphins who migrate along this coast of Japan are being decimated.

The unrelenting drive by the Isana Fishermen's Union to capture and kill dolphins is matched by a commitment of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Cove Guardians to document the truth of this hunt for a public who is largely ignorant of this horror. While The Cove brought the world's attention to Taiji, the hunt has continued till the present.

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
250 Dolphins Driven Into "Cove" To Be Taken Captive Or Killed

As of this morning, around 250 wild bottlenose dolphins have been corralled and are currently being held captive behind nets in Japan's infamous Taiji cove. Within hours, dolphin trainers will begin the process of selecting juveniles to transfer into captivity -- after which, fishermen will slaughter most of the dolphins that remain.

According to Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians, reporting from the scene, this dolphin pod is the largest in several years to be driven in by deafening "banger boats" to the Taiji's harbor for the annual dolphin drive hunt, subject of Academy Award-winning documentary "The Cove."

Among the imperiled pod, the conservation group spotted a rare albino dolphin, which will likely be chosen for a life in captivity at an aquarium or marine park.

CNN iReporter MoBrock, also watching the events unfold, says that the after all desirable calves are taken for captivity, most of the pod will face "death-by-spike" and processed for human consumption. Those deemed unfit for capture or consumption will then be forced back out to sea, forced to fend without the companionship of their pods.

Follow Cove Guardians on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on this story.

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2,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What YOU Can Do To Help

The slaughter of 20,000 dolphins, porpoises, and small whales occurs in Japan each year. Starting on September 1st and continuing through March of the next year, fishermen herd whole families of small cetaceans into shallow bays and mercilessly stab and drown them to death.

This annual slaughter of dolphins was virtually unknown until 2003 when Sea Shepherd globally released covertly obtained film and photographs of the now infamous bloody "Cove" in a village called Taiji. Beginning in 2010, and continuing to this day, Sea Shepherd has an ongoing presence of volunteers standing watch on site at the Cove. They are The Cove Guardians.

With your help, we will continue to pressure Japan to end this cruel and destructive slaughter of dolphins. We are passionate, dedicated, and committed - it may take time, but determination will win for the dolphins in Taiji.

We can all make a difference. If you would like your voices to be heard, please contact the respective representatives to tell them the massacre must stop!

Please help us end this slaughter. Your opinion is important - apathy allows this barbaric "tradition" to continue.


Consider applying to be a Cove Guardian and joining our team in Taiji. This position requires dedication, time, and resources. You must pay for your travel, lodging, food, and all other personal expenses.

Application process:

Send e-mail to [email protected] and express your interest.

You will be sent an information packet that includes links to the Onshore Volunteer Application and a supplemental questionnaire for Cove Guardians.

You will submit that package either by electronic or physical mail.

You will be notified if you are selected and provided more detailed information to help you in booking your travels to and stay in Japan.

Spread the Word:

Follow Operation Infinite Patience on social media and share with your friends and family. Ask them to help us end this atrocity.

Cove Guardian Facebook
Sea Shepherd USA Facebook
Cove Guardian Twitter
Sea Shepherd USA Twitter

Educate others on the link between the captive dolphin industry and the Taiji dolphin slaughter. Please discourage your friends and family from visiting dolphinariums, aquariums, or participating in captive dolphin programs like "swimming with the dolphins"

Contact the Authorities:

Help us end the brutal Taiji dolphin slaughter by voicing your concerns to the authorities in Taiji as well as the Japanese Embassy, US Embassy to Japan, US and Japanese Ambassadors to the UN, and the US Senate members of the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Japanese Embassies Worldwide:

Websites of Japanese Embassies, Consulates and Permanent Missions

List of Embassies and Consulates-General in Japan:

List of Embassies and Consulates-General in Japan

US Embassy in Japan:

Kurt Tong - Charge d'Affaires ad interim
Telephone: 011-81-3-3224-5000
Fax: 011-81-3-3505-1862
Send E-mail to the U.S. Embassy in Japan

Japanese UN Representatives:

H.E. Mr Kazuyoshi Umemoto - Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
[email protected]

H.E. Mr. Jun Yamazaki - Deputy Representative of Japan to the UN
[email protected].jp

United States UN Representative:

Samantha Power - US Ambassador to the UN
Samantha Power's Twitter
United States Mission to the United Nations Contact Form

US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations:

US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Wakayama Prefecture Office, Fishery Division:

[email protected]
Telephone: +81-73-441-3010
Fax: +81-73-432-4124

International Whaling Commission (IWC)

The Red House,
135 Station Road,
Cambridgeshire CB24 9NP, UK.
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 233 971
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 232 87
Email: [email protected]

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) / Convention on Migratory Species (CMP)

UNEP/CMS Secretariat
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1
53113 Bonn, Germany
Tel: (+49 228) 815 2401
Fax: (+49 228) 815 2449
Email: [email protected]

Mayor - Taiji Town Hall:

Telephone: +81-73-559-2335

Taiji Fishermen's Union:

Telephone: +81-73-559-2340
Fax: +81-735-59-2821

Hotel Dolphin Resort/Dolphin Base:

Telephone: +81-0735-59-3514
Fax: +81-0735-59-2810

Japan Fisheries Public Content Form:

Contact the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries

WAZA: The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums

[email protected]

IMATA: The International Marine Mammal Trainers' Association

[email protected]

· Premium Member
2,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Albino Dolphin Like an Angel With Fins

January 17, 2014 by Ric O'Barry, Earth Island Institute
By Karla Sanjur
Cove Monitor
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute

(We have a new volunteer Cove Monitor, Karla Sanjur, who is a graphic artist and a web designer. But today, she is in Taiji, letting the world know what is going on in the Cove. She witnessed a huge pod of bottlenose dolphins being captured, including a beautiful and rare albino dolphin calf, likely to spend the rest of its life as a curiosity in the Taiji Whale Museum. Tomorrow, the sorting of the dolphins will commence with the captivity industry - some will be chosen for captivity (mostly tractable females without blemishes). The rest will be slaughtered for meat. We want to thank Karla and all of our Cove Monitors for their efforts to protect dolphins and stop the hunts! - Ric O'Barry)

Today, all 12 hunting boats went out at about 6:40 AM. The ocean was flat, and there was zero wind. Perfect day for them; terrible day for the dolphins. I went up to the look-out point to see in which directions the hunters headed and to wait to see if they returned with a pod. As time went by, I really thought we might have a Blue Cove day because they were out at sea for a very long time and didn't seem to be in any formation. That changed at 10:20 AM when I saw a pod of bottlenose dolphins being chased by two of the banger boats.

It seemed to be a small pod, and there was some confusion as to why only two boats were chasing this one pod while the others remained at sea. After a while, the reason was obvious: While the two boats chased one pod into the cove, five boats were chasing another pod, and the rest remained in the horizon. The first pod put up a fight, but was driven into the killing Cove in the end. The second pod of dolphins was divided into two smaller pods, and one of them was driven into the Cove pretty quickly. The hunters removed the separating nets and joined pod #1 and pod #2 while pod #3 kept fighting for their freedom. I immediately noticed that there was a very rare baby albino bottlenose dolphin in this now merged pod. He shined under water and was always swimming next to his mother. He looked like an angel with fins.

A rare albino dolphin calf with its mother in the Cove. Photo by Karla Sanjur.

After about half-an-hour, pod #3 was driven into the Cove, and it seemed as though the day might finally be over. Wrong again. The remaining boats were chasing two more pods of dolphins. There is a chance these might have been one huge family that got separated while trying to escape and ended up in five smaller pods, but I don't know for sure. Pod #4 and #5 put up a fight as well. They were driven all the way to the marina and gave the banger boats a hard time. Unfortunately, in the end, the banger boats merged both pods around the marina and drove them in as one into the Cove. It is one of the biggest drives in Taiji history (according to some experienced volunteers here).

A large banger boat and two skiffs herd dolphins into the killing Cove in Taiji. Photo by Karla Sanjur.

Tomorrow when the sun comes out, entire families will be separated. Some will become slaves and live a captive life while others might be slaughtered right next to their relatives. This is the real side of the captivity industry. This is what paying to see dolphin shows or to swim with dolphins pays for.

Skiffs surround the dolphins and keep them captive with nets in Taiji. Photo by Karla Sanjur.

We need to educate people so they can understand that intelligent, self-aware beings do not belong in captivity. They belong in the ocean. But as long as this is going on, we will be here to document and report to the world in hopes of one day being able to end this.

Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project Facebook Page has up to the minute postings about what is happening in the Cove.

Photos by Karla Sanjur.

· Premium Member
2,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yoko Ono joins U.S. call to halt Taiji dolphin cull

The widow of John Lennon on Monday joined a rare U.S. request to stop the annual dolphin cull in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, days after the U.S. ambassador to Japan waded into the row.

Yoko Ono published an open letter to the people of Taiji, the small town made famous by the Oscar-winning film "The Cove," which documents the annual bloodbath, urging them to halt the cull for the "future of Japan."

Ono said the hunt, in which scores of dolphins are corralled into a cove to select the prettiest for sale to aquariums and butcher the rest for meat, was damaging the reputation of Japan.

It "will give an excuse for big countries and their children in China, India and Russia to speak ill of Japan," she wrote.

"I am sure that it is not easy, but please consider the safety of the future of Japan, surrounded by many powerful countries which are always looking for the chance to weaken the power of our country.

"At this very politically sensitive time, (the hunt) will make the children of the world hate the Japanese.

"For many, many years and decades we have worked hard to receive true understanding of the Japanese from the world," she said.

"But what we enjoy now, can be destroyed literally in one day. I beg of you to consider our precarious situation after the nuclear disaster (which could very well affect the rest of the world, as well)."

The reference was to the triple core meltdown at the poorly protected Fukushima No. 1 power plant following the March 2011 mega-quake and tsunami.

The letter, which was posted on her "Imagine Peace" website and addressed to "Japanese fishermen of Taiji," bore her signature and was dated Jan. 20. At the foot, it said: "cc Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe."

Ono's plea came just days after U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy tweeted her disapproval.

"Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG (US Government) opposes drive hunt fisheries," wrote Kennedy, the only surviving child of assassinated President John F. Kennedy, on Jan. 17.

Her comments were welcomed Monday by fugitive eco-activist Paul Watson, who said he hoped it would help convince Tokyo to put a halt to the practice.

"Hopefully this would put additional pressure to convince the Japanese government that this really has no place in the 21st century," he said.

Watson, founder of the radical Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is now in the United States, where he arrived last year saying he wanted to challenge a court injunction.

Japanese authorities are seeking his extradition and describe the methods Sea Shepherd uses against its whaling ships - for example, blocking boats' propellers - as "terrorist" acts.

Watson was arrested in May last year in Frankfurt on a warrant from Costa Rica, where he is wanted on charges stemming from a high-seas confrontation over shark finning in 2002.

The Canadian-born activist fled Germany but arrived in California on Oct. 28, more than a year later.

Sea Shepherd says around 250 dolphins have been corralled in the cove so far, and that some have been removed, but it is not clear how many have been killed.

Meanwhile, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on Monday defended Taiji's annual hunt, stating that dolphin fishing in Japan is carried out appropriately in accordance with the law.

"Dolphin fishing is a form of traditional fishing in our country," he said, responding to a question about Kennedy's criticism. "We will explain Japan's position to the American side."

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2,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)

· Premium Member
2,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Celebrities Tie Trade Agreement To Taiji, Demand Action From Obama

Celebrities Tie Trade Agreement To Taiji, Demand Action From Obama

A group of celebrities that includes Sean Penn and Gwyneth Paltrow wrote a letter addressing the brutal dolphin slaughter currently happening in Taiji -- they urged Obama not to sign a trade agreement until the hunt is banned. It was written by producer and activist Russell Simmons, and signed by Cher, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Hudson, Charlize Theron, Ellen DeGeneres and William Shatner, among others. The letter, which can be found in its entirety here, reads:

We, the undersigned, ask you to personally deliver this petition to President Barack Obama urging him to NOT sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) until Japan bans the slaughter and capture of Dolphins in Taiji.

We, the undersigned, are not using this petition to assert a position in regards to the TPP, rather we are underscoring that your influential voice in defense of the dolphins of Japan is instrumental in expressing to the White House the importance of making their slaughter and captive trade a key factor in the negotiations ahead. Corporations have spent the past two years marking-up the language of the TPP to serve their interests, should human compassion not be afforded the same privilege as business interests? Although we understand that the negotiations have been quite lengthy, at this point, we feel the only way to end these heinous crimes against dolphins migrating through Japan's waters is to inject our position into the current conversation regarding the trade agreement.

The letter cited Caroline Kennedy's tweet about the hunt, which drew international attention -- and criticism -- to Taiji.

The trade agreement is being negotiated by 12 nations that altogether make up about 40 percent of global gross domestic product. Simmons said the signatories aren't against the trade agreement -- just the dolphin hunt, which was revealed in the Oscar-winning documentary "The Cove."

The full list of signees is as follows:

Sean Penn

Mia Farrow

Sam Simon



Ann Wilson

Emily Deschanel

Ingrid Newkirk / PETA

Diane Warren

Courtney Love

Captain Paul Watson

Susan Sarandon

Chris DeRose / Last Chance for Animals

Jennifer Hudson

Nick Cannon

Melissa Carbone / TTO Productions

Shannon Elizabeth

Oliver Stone

Trevor Neilson / Global Philanthropy Group

Nathan Runkle / Mercy for Animals

Ellen DeGeneres

Gene Baur / Farm Sanctuary

Ian Somerhalder

Olivia Munn

Kellan Lutz

Shannen Doherty

Charlize Theron

Cameron Diaz

Alicia Silverstone

Channing and Jenna Tatum

Woody Harrelson

Pamela Anderson

Sharon Lawrence

William Shattner

Tony Kanal

Gwyneth Paltrow

Jennifer Aniston

Josh Grad

Reverend Jesse Jackson

· Offishul GTAA Lolcat
2,562 Posts
Just to be the devil's advocate in regards to the emotional aspect of this issue: if a giant herd of beautiful Jersey cows was being picked through for zoo specimens and the rest we would slaughter for delicious steaks, we wouldn't bat an eye, even if one of them was a "rare" albino calf. But someone from a different nation/culture may cry bloody murder! We might be careful to come down with a axe on these folk if this has been their way of life for generations, however wrong they may be.

That said:

I think the last post is a step in the right direction for a more effective approach to this problem, which isn't just about one cove on one island of Japan.

Japan has a historical track record of consistently ignoring international laws on fishing and whaling, and it is about time that the international community found a way to impose sanctions on them. The politicians in Tokyo don't care much about a bunch of eco-tourists in a boat, however they DO care about billions of dollars of manufactured cars and electronics headed to North America.

While a bunch of activists on a ship with a video camera may do well to raise publicity on this issue, if one in a hundred of us (35 million Canadians/100= 350,000 would write to our foreign minister and ask him to pressure the Japanese, a response on his part would be impossible to deny.

As we all know, most cetaceans are protected and are designated as such by the IUCN red list. If pressured enough, our foreign minister will be forced to bring it up to his Japanese counterpart and his colleagues at the UN. I know this sounds like a pie-in-the-sky way of doing things, but a bunch of well-meaning hipsters, hippies, and movie stars on a boat are not the promising solution to this travesty.

Chris Alexander is my MP. I'll talk to him about it.

And lastly, scientists should get their heads together and put aside their egos in order to properly classify the bottlenose so that it can actually have a proper IUCN designation. Right now it's status is "Data Deficient" meaning it is basically and legally open game.

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2,631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The slaughter of dolphins is NOT a tradition for these Japanese fishermen as they've only been doing this since the 1960s.

There is also a huge difference in the method these fishermen use to kill these dolphins compared to how cows are slaughtered in North America.

And these idiots were feeding the dolphin meat full of toxins including dangerous levels of mercury to their school children.

Please watch The Cove before comparing the slaughter of dolphins to cows. And this has nothing to do with race. Most Japanees aren't even aware this is going on. The Japan Times recently came out against these dolphin drives. Hopefully this raised awareness will help put and end to this practice.

· Offishul GTAA Lolcat
2,562 Posts
The slaughter of dolphins is NOT a tradition for these Japanese fishermen as they've only been doing this since the 1960s.

There is also a huge difference in the method these fishermen use to kill these dolphins compared to how cows are slaughtered in North America.

And these idiots were feeding the dolphin meat full of toxins including dangerous levels of mercury to their school children.

Please watch The Cove before comparing the slaughter of dolphins to cows. And this has nothing to do with race. Most Japanees aren't even aware this is going on. The Japan Times recently came out against these dolphin drives. Hopefully this raised awareness will help put and end to this practice.
Didn't know it was a relatively new practice...must have missed that part.

I agree with what you say; I'm just saying to avoid the same emotional sensationalism and out-of-context anecdotalisms that has made Greenpeace and PETA both totally annoying and irrelevant. From the sounds of it, Sea Shepherd stands right along side them.

I do not mean to slur the Japanese people, but the nation does have a poor track record over the last century in regards to ignoring international fishing regulations and agreements. Unfortunately this will not be stopped by tear-jerking news reports and Oscars but by the almighty dollar.

I'm glad the movie was made, as that's often the vessel to bring about awareness and eventual change to any issue. Just don't leave it there.

· Offishul GTAA Lolcat
2,562 Posts
However I do disagree with one of the sources that cite by implication that aquariums [and zoos] are evil and immoral. I feel that provided you give it a safe and adequate environment and there is no public danger, any animal can be held in captivity. I think their statement in regards to captive marine mammals is extreme and may detract credibility from the effectiveness of this lobby, akin to statements from PETA that tell me that I should get an aquarium screensaver for my PC instead of having a reef tank. Yeah right...

My aquarium is full of fish that once lived in the ocean, endured the terrifying experience of being caught and transported to the LFS; but now live a worry-free, predator-free life in my glass box.

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2,584 Posts
There's whaling on the Faroe Islands (Norway) and a "community" event. Of course there is a cultural history of whaling and have implemented legislation of what species are allowed in the hunt as well as methods to "humanely dispatch" but where does one really draw the line?
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