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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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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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Denmark Arrests 14 Anti-Whaling Activists

September 2, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

As Sea Shepherd activists from around the world attempted to block the slaughter of 33 pilot whales in the Faroe Islands, the Danish Navy rounded up and arrested 14 of them. The slaughter is part of a “four century-old tradition” called “The Grind” during which hunters drive 1,000 pilot whales to the shore and hack them to death with hooks and knives. After the activists who were patrolling the waters were arrested, the hunters murdered all 33 whales. Here is video – taken from a safe distance – of a typical drive:

Your Turn

What could be crueler than rounding up 1,000 gentle and intelligent pilot whales and mercilessly slaughtering them? In 2014, can “tradition,” “culture” and “food” be used to justify this barbarism? Scandinavian countries are among the most progressive in the world, so why do the Danish sanction, protect and celebrate this annual bloodbath? Please help Sea Shepherd bring an end to what activist Pamela Anderson aptly describes as a “barbaric, psychotic frenzy.”

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SeaWorld Announces Construction of Bigger Orca Tanks

August 15, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

Animal rights activists are saying “Thanks, but no tanks” in response to SeaWorld’s announcement that they are expanding the size of their killer whale enclosures. While refusing to admit that the larger tanks are a concession to animal rights activists, SeaWorld said the new habitats will be “not just larger but more dynamic, and with a lot more of the kind of mental and physical stimulation that we know is so important for overall health and well-being.”

Sea world tank

Rendition of expanded tank

Your Turn

Why would SeaWorld invest millions of dollars in larger tanks? Based on the plummeting stock price, the public has already decided, thanks in large part to Blackfish, that the killer whales should not be held captive. The whale enclosures will eventually go either because people Boycott SeaWorld or because laws will be passed to outlaw them. To join the fight to free the imprisoned orcas, please see the Blackfish Take Action page.

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National Aquarium in Baltimore might Release Dolphins into Sanctuary

May 26, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

Research demonstrating the advanced intelligence of cetaceans (dolphins and whales) has triggered the National Aquarium in Baltimore to question the ethics of keeping its eight bottlenose dolphins in tanks and to consider moving them to a sanctuary in a warmer climate.

Dolphin bite at SeaWorld in Orlando

Dolphin bite at SeaWorld in Orlando, Nov 2013

News & Opinion

A lawyer for PETA says it best: “Captivity can’t even begin to replicate the natural environment. Zoos and aquariums claim to promote education. The only thing they teach is, it’s OK to have these animals locked up in these enclosures where they are bored, lonely and deprived of all control of their own lives.” If people want to see wild animals, then they can watch nature shows that document them living in their natural settings or even view them in their natural habitat, if that’s an option. To see how you can help free captive dolphins, please see The Cove’s Take Action page.

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