Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Taiji Dolphin Slaughter Draws World-wide Condemnation

By Hardy Jones

Taiji, Japan Nov. 6, 2007


“This place is now a battlefield,” is how a police inspector assessed the current situation here in Taiji, Japan.

To my mind this is a huge exaggeration but shows the mind set of the people who live in this beautiful, remote and extremely quiet coastal village where local fishermen routinely capture and kill thousands of dolphins.

The dolphin hunters have been stunned by the appearance of wave after wave of filmmakers, environmentally concerned surfers, Hollywood celebs and journalists. On Monday, October 30 they had corralled some thirty pilot whales in the killing bay. As they began their grizzly slaughter 38 surfers paddled into the picture. Cameras rolled and then a remote controlled helicopter flew over bearing a small camera that recorded the butchery. The footage was soon appearing on TV and computer screens around the world.

The fishermen were apoplectic. What they fear and detest most is public exposure and here it is in spades.

For years BlueVoice operated in Taiji alone. Our documentaries appeared on National Geographic and PBS and caused avalanches of protest generated through the BV web site. The fishermen hate us and consistently tried to wrest our video from us. But they were powerless to stop us. Over the years others have joined the fight to save the dolphins here. They are welcome to the fight.

I received a very nice note from one of the surfers who had participated in this demonstration of support for the dolphins:

hi hardy having part of the surf crew into Taiji i appreciate even more the great work you have being doing all these years and we will be sure to put bluevoice out to people. with thanks, howie

But this year a critical mass seems to have been reached. Just as the surfers were escorted out of town for crossing the dolphin hunters nets, BlueVoice arrived. The dolphin hunters have not ventured out since we appeared – seven days with no dolphin hunting.

My notion is that the fishermen are reeling. I think they have always imagined that interest in this abomination would melt away. But the reverse is happening. Each time word about the tragic and brutal killings here reaches the world more attention is attracted.

The combination of television and internet exposure of the dolphin slaughter here and mounting evidence of the toxicity of the dolphin meat ought to bring an end to this savagery. BlueVoice will soon publish the results of tests of both dolphin meat and fish caught in the Taiji area. Early results show the dolphin meat is contaminated by both mercury and organic pollutants at levels far exceeding Japanese health standards.

Exposing Toxic Levels in Dolphin Meat Key to Ending Slaughters.

No comments: