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Dolphins News Archive

Save Japan Dolphins Day

14 October is the international Save Japan Dolphins Day.  You are cordially invited to join this meaningful activity to save the dolphins in Japan.

In Taiji of Japan, over 20,000 small cetaceans are killed annually.  The local fishermen argue that it is their rituals.  But in fact, they drive pods and pods of dolphins to a small bay and pick the young ones for selling to aquariums to make money.  The remaining dolphins are massacred and died a long painful death in their own blood.

The painful cries of the dolphins can be heard throughout the infamous Cove.  The blood of the dolphins turns the infamous Cove all red.

For details, please browse the following webpage:

ACTION: Peaceful Protest
Date: 14 October 2010
Time: 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm
Venue: Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong , 46-47/F., One Exchange Square, Central

Protest signs can be downloaded through the following links:
[black and white]
Please STOP killing dolphins!

If you can’t join this event, PLEASE at least show your care by writing to the Japanese government and ask them to stop killing dolphins:

[For those not in Hong Kong, please check this website to see if there is any petition organized in your place:

Faeroe Islands: Sea Shepherd Undercover Operation Exposes Cetacean Mass Slaughter
July 20, 2010

On July 19, 2010, a pod of 236 pilot whales was ruthlessly slaughtered in the town of Klaksvik in the Danish Faeroe Islands. Sea Shepherd was able to document the slaughter through the efforts of an undercover operative who had been living among the locals in order to capture footage of “the grind.” The grind is a cruel method of whaling that involves stranding pods of cetaceans in coves before severing their spinal chords with knives.

“Pilot whales are known to travel in pods of 200-300 members. Two hundred and thirty-six pilot whales were slaughtered last night in Klaksvik: bulls, pregnant and lactating females, juveniles, and unborn babies still attached to their mothers by the umbilical chord. An entire pod that once swam freely through the North Atlantic has been exterminated in a single blood bath,” said Sea Shepherd Undercover Operative Peter Hammarstedt.

The Faroese government claims that the deaths of these whales are quick and painless, but the newly released grisly footage shows otherwise.

 “One whale had five to six brutal chops to her head,” reported Hammarstedt. “The islanders basically used her as a chopping board. Her death would have been slow and extremely painful. Some whales are hacked repeatedly for up to four minutes before they finally die.”

It was equally apparent that the grind is indiscriminate and ruthless.  “Babies had been cut out of their mother’s dead bodies and left to rot on the docks,” said Hammarstedt, who photographed a number of dead infants and fetuses. “Pilot whale groups are strongly matriarchal; I can’t imagine the fear and panic that these mothers must have felt as their families were wiped out in front of them.”

The Faroese pilot whale grind is similar to the annual Taiji dolphin slaughter in Japan. The main difference is that there are at least eighteen different coves in the Faeroes where a grind could potentially take place, as opposed to one cove in Taiji, making it all the more difficult to anticipate where the killings will occur or to get there in time to intervene and prevent the murders.

Pilot whales are classified as “strictly protected” under the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. By allowing the slaughter to continue in the Faeroes, Denmark fails to abide by its obligations as a signatory of the Convention.

Source and photos (Caution: horrifying bloody photos inside):


Shocking moment dolphin desperate to escape captivity leaps out of its own tank during marine show
9 July 2010

This startling footage shows the dramatic moment a dolphin suddenly leapt out of its tank in a desperate bid to escape captivity. The dolphin, a species known as the false killer whale, had been taking part in a marine show at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in southwestern Japan when it jumped on to the floor near its tank.
A U.S. tourist who was among spectators at the event shot the video footage and sent it to the former dolphin trainer for the 'Flipper' TV show.  Ric O'Barry, 70, who now makes a career out of freeing dolphins, said the video highlights the cruelty the animals suffer while in captivity.
The footage shows the stricken dolphin, called Kuru, lying on the floor as staff desperately wrap it in a mat and use a crane to lift it back into the water.  The other dolphins in the tank appear to be distressed and gathered around the side where the creature leapt out.
Mr O'Barry said: 'The habitat of that false killer whale is so unnatural it leapt out in desperation.  It wanted to end it. Why does a person jump out of a building?'
Hideshi Teruya, who manages the dolphin section at the park, said that it suffered minor scratches and bruises on its head and fin, but had a healthy appetite for mackerel and squid after it was returned to the tank.  He said: 'It was playing around and jumped out by accident from the momentum.'
Kuru, which means 'black' in the local dialect, was captured six years ago in the seas around Okinawa.  Mr Teruya denied the captivity was cruel and said the tank was not overcrowded and followed aquarium guidelines.
But Mr O'Barry said the guidelines were inadequate and that dolphins were used to roaming for many miles a day, not swimming in a circle and doing flips at shows.  He added that keeping them in a concrete box was cruel because it bombarded them with strange sounds and deprived them of their key sensory skill.  He said: 'It proves that captivity doesn't work. They are free-ranging creatures with a very large brain.   They're self-aware and putting them in a small tank in a stadium setting is abusive.'
Mr O'Barry featured in a film about Japanese dolphin hunting - The Cove - in which he attempted to stop the slaughter of the animals for food in the town of Taiji.  It used hidden cameras to show how the dolphins are killed - workers herd them into a cove and stab they with spears as they writhe in the water.  The film, which won best documentary at the Oscars, opened in Japanese cinemas this month despite protests and threats.

Source with photos and video:


The whaling ban stays
Agadir 23rd June 2010

After two days of closed-door discussions delegates to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) were unable to reach consensus on a proposal that would see the legitimization of commercial whaling.  The moratorium (ban) still stands and Japan, Iceland and Norway continue to whale outside of the sanction of the IWC.

It was clear that, despite many presentations by the pro-whaling advocates, the majority of nations were not convinced by the arguments that any whales being killed under commercial whaling was acceptable.  Nations also rejected the view that quotas could be given whilst the moratorium still stood. It became obvious to delegates that the moratorium was fundamental to any allocation of quotas, be they in the thousands or the hundreds, or even tens.

The Latin American countries and Australia were clear on their opposition to the proposed deal if it undermines the moratorium. After weeks of uncertainty, even the EU took a strong position and rejected the proposed version while continuing to still be willing to negotiate.  It appears that the pro-deal advocates decided that it was too risky to push their proposal to a vote, and so risk it being publicly rejected in a devastating vote.

“We now call on governments to work together to ensure the moratorium is implemented fully and effectively ending commercial, and so-called scientific whaling, which have no place in the 21st century. WDCS believes that the IWC has a strong future, but not one that legitimizes this cruel, unmanageable and unnecessary industry,” says Nicolas Entrup, spokesperson of WDCS in Agadir.

The 62nd meeting of the IWC whilst not taking forward the ‘deal’ will now look at a number of important agenda items.  One important item still to be debated is the demand by Demark that Greenland should be allowed to expand its hunt to include 10 humpback whales per year.

Source: http://www.wdcs.org/story_details.php?select=676
More information: http://www.wdcs.org/publications.php

River dolphin captivity plan exposed: A new threat now faces the peaceful dolphin denizens of South America’s Amazon River
23 December 2008
Plans to display Amazon river dolphins in a new aquarium in Norway have horrified animal welfare and conservation experts.
WDCS’s Anti-captivity Campaigner Cathy Williamson said: “These animals are entirely unsuited to captivity, not only are they highly intelligent and social, but with their acute hearing and refined echolocation they are also specially adapted for the murky, fish-rich waters of the Amazon: a far cry from a small, isolated tank. In captivity, they die younger and breed less successfully.”
Capture from the wild is a brutal and sometimes lethal process, which further endangers the survival of the species. Amazon river dolphins already face a huge number of threats as new development and industry encroach upon their habitat. There are now so few of the dolphins left that they face a high risk of extinction.
WDCS has launched a campaign with the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance to stop the display, which is planned to open in Kristiansand in 2010. The groups are urging the city of Kristiansand, which owns the plot where the aquarium is to be developed, to withdraw its support for the project.
Source: WDCS Magazine Issue 44 Autumn 2008

20 February 2009
Breaking News!!!
The plan to keep Amazon river dolphins in aquarium was cancelled in response to online protest and the efforts of local group, the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance!
Source: WDCS Magazine Issue 45 Winter 2008/09

Dolphin meat bad for the health, say Japanese scientists

US IWC Chairman Pushes For Resumption Of Commercial Whaling
The Washington Post reports that despite the risk of hunting on depleted populations of whales, the IWC team, under the leadership of previous President Bush’s appointee William Hogarth, is pushing to reward Japan’s intransigence with commercial whaling.
The Post reports that, the draft proposal, which does not specify how many whales could be killed under the plan, would allow Japan to engage in "coastal whaling" off its shores in exchange for a cut in the number of Antarctic minke whales it takes each year in the Southern Ocean. Several anti-whaling nations have pushed for the creation of a whale sanctuary in the Southern Ocean, the site of the current whale hunt. The coastal whaling provision would apply only to Japanese coastal waters, and it is unclear whether it could be expanded.
The controversial plan is being pushed ahead despite the new US President Obama taking office just a few days ago. The deal is supposedly being shepherded through by Dr. William Hogarth, the US Commissioner to the IWC, who also serves as the commission’s Chair. It is suggested that Hogarth has spent the last two years trying to develop the compromise and bring it to fruition before his tenure as Chair ends after the next meeting of the IWC, which is to be held in June of 2009. Hogarth is reported as saying he is well aware that he could be replaced before the paction finalized or be instructed to kill the deal. Obama could "decide he doesn’t want me, and I respect that," he said. "I will make sure they are on board with the process we’re doing."
The quote implies that the new US President will also support the initiative. WDCS believes that this process flies in the face of everything President Obama stands for and the US delegation should withdraw their support for this initiative immediately and throw their full support to ending commercial whaling once and for all.
In the meantime please help persuade the USA to change its position on support for a compromise on whaling by sending an email to President Obama calling for a change of policy.