The following is a blog by Hayden Panettiere on behalf of The Whaleman Foundation.
Over the last two weeks, there has been a lot of misleading and confusing information being reported from Taiji Japan. Some reports went as far to say the brutal dolphin drive fisheries had ended for good. Some stated that no dolphins had been killed at all. Others reported that all the captured dolphins had been freed. I wish that this were all true, but sadly, this is not the case.
The brutal Taiji dolphin hunts officially started again on September 9th when thirteen fishing boats left Taiji’s harbor around 5:30AM and located a large group of about 100 bottlenose dolphins and 50 pilot whales, which they promptly surrounded and drove them into the capture nets.
The fisherman then brutally slaughtered all the pilot whales, which are members of the dolphin family, the larger cousins of the bottlenose dolphins, and are also, ironically, the same species that were being slaughtered in Taiji nearly 2 years ago when I along with 5 other activists including fellow Whaleman Foundation and Save The Whales Again! Campaign spokesperson’s Isabel Lucas and Dave Rastovich, paddled out in the blood filled waters. Last week, the tranquil emerald waters of Taiji’s notorious killing cove, a Japanese National Park, were once again turned blood red.
The news concerning the bottlenose dolphins was not as grim. Of the 100 or so captured, about 30 were selected for sale to captive marine parks for as much as $150,000 each while the fisherman, for the first time ever, released the other 70 bottlenose dolphins back into the wild this past weekend, sparring their lives for now.
But there has been no official end to the hunts and this may have been only a one-time gesture by the fisherman to relieve some of the international pressure and outrage they are getting due to our collective actions starting 2 years ago and being yet gain intensified with the release of the documentary film “The Cove”.
Even though the release of some of the bottlenose is a good first step, we must not overlook the fact that the fisherman brutally slaughtered all 50 of the captured pilot whales and the 30 or so captured dolphins that are to be sold into captivity will see their average lifespan shortened from 30 - 40 years in the wild to surviving less than 6 years in captivity.
Getting this information out to the public at large while educating and getting this information out to the Japanese people is key. Most Japanese citizens do not know about these hunts and the fact that over 20,000 dolphins and porpoises are being slaughtered every year by Japanese fisherman because the Japanese Government is suppressing this information.
Even though Taiji has received the most attention where over 2,000 dolphins are killed each year, nearly 18,000 Dall’s porpoise are slaughtered in the brutal Japanese offshore harpoon hunts every year which unfortunately gets very little attention, so we hope to change that starting right now! Dall’s porpoise are so cute, they look like little killer whales, and we need to stop their needless slaughter as well as end the Taiji slaughter.
Also, most Japanese are also unaware that dolphins, whales, and porpoises are the most contaminated animals on the planet.
Their meat is highly contaminated with Mercury, DDT, Dioxin, and other contaminates and is unhealthy for human consumption, with pilot whales being one of the most contaminated. Extremely high levels of mercury have been shown to cause birth defects, neural damage, and even death so they should not be slaughtering any of these amazing creatures for food.
I’m not going to rest until we stop all dolphin and porpoise hunting and end commercial whaling but I can’t do it with out your help so please organize all your friends, family, and classmates and get them to sign our petition and supportThe Whaleman Foundation, and if you haven’t seen The Cove, go see it! The time to act is now!! Its time to Save the Whales Again!!
The Whaleman Foundation | Copyright 2011 | All Rights Reserved | Site Designed by Bluwave Media