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News / Save The Dolphins
06.06.12 Sea of Living Dolphins

The little town with a really big secret

Each year from September to May over 20,000 dolphins are slaughtered in Japan. Fishermen round them up by the hundreds using sound barriers to disorient and herd the frantic pods out of their normal migrations into hidden lagoons like the one featured in The Cove. Bottlenose dolphins, especially ones that look like Flipper, are pre-selected by trainers and sold off for upwards of $200,000 to marine mammal parks around the world, where they will remain in captivity performing as circus acts. After the trainers and spectators have left, the rest of the dolphins are inhumanely killed in what can only be described as a massacre.

The butchered dolphins are later used for food, but the Japanese government has intentionally sheltered people from the dangers of eating them. Consumers of dolphin meat run the risk of mercury poisoning due to high levels of the toxin within the animals. Adding to the danger, much of the pricier whale meat they purchase is actually mislabeled toxic dolphin meat. While the Japanese government defends dolphin hunting as part of their cultural heritage, this tradition has serious health effects on its own people.

The more lucrative captive dolphin industry is the driving economic force behind the dolphin slaughter in Taiji. In the U.S. alone, dolphinariums represent an $8.4 billion industry, while a dead dolphin fetches a mere $600. International law provides no protections against the killing of dolphins, and other slaughters occur in places outside of Japan. The
International Whaling Commission (IWC) affords no protections for 71 (out of 80, known) cetacean species, including all dolphins and porpoises, which is why Japan and other countries can legally kill them by the tens of thousands.

Will the slaughter continue?

Small cetaceans, namely dolphins are not protected by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). In fact, the IWC affords no protections for 71 (out of 80, known) cetacean species, including all dolphins and porpoises, which is why Japan can legally kill them by the tens of thousands.

The Japanese people have been intentionally sheltered from the slaughter, and the large majority are still unaware that much of the meat they purchase is actually mislabeled dolphin meat.

Contact AuthoritiesKeep it simple. Keep it kind.

Here are contacts in Japan.

Mr. Kenji Yamaoka- Minister of the Consumer Affairs Agency
Sanno Park Tower
2-11-1 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Japan 100-6178

Mr. Yoshiki Kimura - Governor of Wakayama

1-1 Komatsubaradori Wakayama City, Wakayama 640-8585 Japan

Fax: +81-73-423-9500

Fishery Division

Tel: +81-73-441-3010

Fax: +81-73-432-4124

Email: e0715001@pref.wakayama.lg.jp
Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen
Email: zeimu@town.taiji.lg.jp

Tel: 81735592335
Fax: 81-73-559-2801

Taiji fishermen’s union
Tel: 81735592340

Fax: 81-735-59-2821

Taiji Whale Museum

Oaza Taiji 2934-2 Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture Higashimuro gun
Tel: 0735-59-2400 Fax. :0735-59-3823

Tourism Bureau, Wakayama Prefecture
Tel: 81-73-441-2789
Fax: 81-73-427-1523

Website : http://kanko.wiwi.co.jp/world/english/index.html

Hotel Dolphin Resort / Dolphin Base

703-15 Moriura, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama Prefecture 649-5172, Japan
Tel: +81 0735 59 3514

Fax +81 0735 59 2810

Here is a suggested letter:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen & Honoured dignitaries of Japan,

I write to express extreme distress, anger and sadness at the annual dolphin slaughter and capture still being carried out in the Japanese town of Taiji. These dolphin drives are brutally cruel, completely unnecessary and have no place in the 21st century.

Japan is an advanced and otherwise beautiful country. It has the history and the capability to become the world leaders in marine conservation. It is unfortunate that the reputation of an entire nation is being tarnished by the work of a handful of people.

Dolphins are not fish, they are mammals. Dolphins breathe air. They have feelings. They have emotions. They have self-awareness. They are social, complex, intelligent beings. Even the nursing mothers and babies “iruka” are slaughtered with no mercy or they are stolen for a life of misery confined to small pools in aquariums. In the world of civilized nations, no wild animals are being eradicated like the dolphins are being slaughtered in Japan.

I understand that cultural food issues are complex, some people eat cows, pigs, chickens, some eat bunnies, dogs and cats, insects, etc. Yet the number of people who enjoy eating dolphin meat is dwindling, especially as people become aware of the issues of mercury toxicity.

The Japanese Government has the power to stop the hunts and I humbly ask you to appeal your representatives and work towards a move to end the annual slaughter.

Taiji could be a mecca for tourism if the dolphin slaughter stops. Dolphin and whale watching tours prove to be lucrative tourism activities elsewhere. Hopefully the thirteen fishing boats could replace their banging pipes and spears with binoculars, cameras, and other souvenirs of a joyous experience on your shores.

(your name and contact information)

Find a Japanese Consulate in your area


Current information on Taiji kills


Local dolphinariums:

Find your local dolphinarium and voice your concerns.


About SeaWorld:

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (abbreviated SeaWorld) is a family entertainment company owned by The Blackstone Group. SeaWorld is responsible for the operation and maintenance of eleven theme parks located throughout the United States.

Sea World Corporate Office | Headquarters
7007 Sea World Dr Orlando, FL 32821

Also, spread the word through friends, family, FaceBook, Twitter.






Keep it simple. Keep it kind.



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