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Animal Rights Activists Worldwide Protest Start of Dolphin Hunting Season in Japan

September 11, 2017 by Leave a Comment

The News

Animal rights activists in over 30 cities around the world marked the first day of Japan’s notorious dolphin hunting season with “International Day of Action” protests, an annual event organized by The Dolphin Project. In NYC, about two dozen activists demonstrated in front of the Japanese consulate in midtown Manhattan, educating locals and tourists about the atrocity and demanding that the Japanese government put a stop to it:

During the hunt, which lasts about six months, fleets of Japanese fishing boats surround pods of dolphins off the coast and drive them into an isolated cove in Taiji, Japan, where the dolphins are snatched from the water to be sold to aquariums or killed for their meat. “It’s a bloodbath during which families are torn apart and massacred. It’s nothing short of an act of terror,”  said Phyllis Ottomanelli “Captivity is the driving force behind the hunts. If you pay to swim with dolphins or see them in an aquarium, then you have blood on your hands.”

The hunt was largely unknown to the mainstream public until The Cove, a documentary thriller about the hunt and the heroic activists working to expose it, was released and won the 2010 Academy Award for best documentary film.

The Cove is an Oscar-winning documentary film about the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan

As the 2017 hunt began, advocates around the world took to social media to raise awareness.  Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society which has engaged in direct action in an attempt to stop the massacre, wrote “Since the early Sixties, an insidious trade of intelligent, self-aware, sentient beings has been growing like a malignant cancer within human society. It is a slave trade that has been the cause of unimaginable misery and has claimed the lives of thousands of dolphins. This cruel industry has spread across Europe and Asia with hundreds of marine aquariums operating, many of them with grossly inadequate facilities.”

On September 1st, animal rights activists in over 30 cities around the world protested the Japan’s annual dolphin hunt.

The dolphins are slaughtered by “pithing” – stabbing them behind their blowholes with a metal rod. This method severs the spinal cord, paralyzing the dolphins and supposedly causing a rapid death. Often, however, the death is prolonged. In 2011 AtlanticBlue, a German conservation group, documented a dolphin moving for over four minutes after pithing. Activists with The Dolphin Project and Sea Shepherd have witnessed dolphins drown while being dragged by their tails to the butcher house.

The cove turns red with blood during the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan.

Kim Danoff, a Virginia-based veterinarian and animal rights activist told TheirTurn that babies often watch their parents being killed before themselves dying from stress or starvation: “We must continue to fight until Japan outlaws the trade and massacre of wild dolphins.”

Your Turn

To learn more about Japan’s annual dolphin hunt and to find out how you can help, please visit The Dolphin Project.

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Every Nation is the Worst Offender

October 12, 2014 by Leave a Comment


In moments of frustration and anger, many of us demonize an entire country when we learn about the atrocities they commit against animals, but those feelings are misguided. Only a small percentage of people in any country participate in the abuse, and most are probably unaware. In addition, whatever country we happen to call home is probably committing abuses that are every bit as bad, so why point a finger?  Every nation is culpable:

The French insert tubes down the throats of ducks and force feed them:

Force-feeding of a goose to make foie gras

The Spanish set some bulls on fire and chase others through city streets:

photo: Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

photo: Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

The Chinese skin animals alive for fur:

skinned alive

Americans lasso young animals, wrestle them to the ground and twist their necks at rodeos:

Rodeo cruelty

Canadians club baby seals:

Canadian seal hunt

Africans tear the tusks out of elephants’ faces:

Photo: Mark Deeble & Victoria Stone

Photo: Mark Deeble & Victoria Stone

Australians hack flesh out of sheep to keep insects out of their wool:


Mexicans stab bulls to death to cheering crowds:


The Danish drive pilot whales into the shore and butcher them:

Denmark whaling

Photo: Sea Shepherd

The Japanese shoot harpoons with explosives into protected whales and serve animals at restaurants who are still alive:



This list goes on. Instead of vilifying entire countries, which does nothing to help their animals, we should target our anger – and energy – toward those who commit the atrocities and the authorities who have the power to stop them.

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Hundreds to Protest Japan’s Slaughter in the Water at Embassy

September 28, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

Thanks to The Cove and Blackfish, documentary films that expose the atrocities committed against wild and captive dolphins and whales, the public is rising up and fighting back against the worst offenders — Japan and Denmark. One protest at the Japanese embassy in England is six weeks away (Nov 7th at noon), and 277 people have already signed up to participate.  If you have any friends in or near London, please share this information.

In Taiji, Japan, thousands of dolphins are herded into the infamous “cove” each year and are either slaughtered for food or kidnapped for aquariums or swim with dolphin concessions. During each roundup, families are torn apart, and the besieged dolphins are tormented and held in nets with no food as their captors determine their fate.

In The Faroe Islands in Denmark, 1,000 gentle and intelligent pilot whales are driven into the shore each year and mercilessly butchered for meat in an annual ritual called “The Grind.”

In both Japan and Denmark, the government not only sanctions the brutality but also justifies these for-profit atrocities under the guise of tradition.

The Cove and Blackfish demonstrate the tremendous impact of documentation in general and undercover video in particular. These films, coupled with the direct action of Sea Shepherd and grass roots protests around the world, will assuredly lead to the demise of Japan and Denmark’s slaughter in the water. Following are the trailers:



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U.N. Court Curbs Japan’s Whale Hunt

April 2, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

The United Nation’s International Court of Justice ruled that Japan must stop its annual whale hunt in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, rejecting the country’s argument that it was conducted for scientific purposes and declaring it to be illegal. Japan stated that it would abide by the court’s decision.  However, Japan, along with Norway and Iceland, will most likely continue to hunt whales on a smaller scale in other areas in defiance of the International Whale Commission’s ban on commercial whaling.

News & Opinion

Japan has circumvented the international treaty banning commercial whaling by claiming that they were capturing and killing whales for scientific purposes. How did Japan get away with this for so many years, given that they didn’t produce scientific data; they admitted to selling the whale meet for food; and they used “tradition” as a defense for the slaughter? The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, whose activists have put their lives at risk sabotaging Japan’s illegal whale hunt in the Southern Ocean, put this issue in the international spotlight, which is what ultimately led to the court’s decision. Ironically, the Japanese government, which is responsible for terrorizing thousands of majestic whales before killing them, describes the activists as “environmental terrorists.” Please thank Sea Shepherd for their heroic work by supporting the organization, which will continue to boldly protect wildlife in the oceans.

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Japanese Newspaper Condemns Dolphin Roundup & Slaughter in Taiji

February 1, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

During the 2013 dolphin hunting season in Taiji, Japan, 834 dolphins were killed and 164 taken captive for aquariums and swim with dolphin concessions. In a ground-breaking editorial, The Japan Times calls for an end to the “herding, capturing and slaughtering of dolphins” in Taiji, challenging the government’s claims that the practice is a “tradition” that “adheres to the principles of the law.”

The cove in Taiji, Japan

Slaughter in the Cove

News & Opinion

Worldwide outrage, pressure from the U.S. Government, increased activism and resistance from within Japan will eventually lead to an end to the dolphin hunt. In the meantime, please encourage the people in your network to rent The Cove and to boycott aquariums and “swim with dolphin” concessions.

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