Something Fishy In Taiji
The dolphin slaughters depicted in the Acadamy Award winning documentary ‘The Cove’ are not a thing of the past. The holocaust continues despite annual protests and an onslaught of emails, faxes and phone calls to the Japanese government and it embassies worldwide. Since the beginning of this year’s killing season in early September, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has had a representative in Taiji. Many volunteers from around the globe have joined Sea Shepherd in documenting the horrific crimes of nature that occur in this small of the Wakayama Prefecture. The fishermen are feeling the pressure of the international spotlight. They are squirming beneath the magnifying glass.
Many believe that this pressure will eventually tip the scales. Some say that the tides must be turned with positive change. Personally, I can’t really say what will or will not save these dolphins. All I know is that the Japanese citizens are starting to come out and praise the Cove Guardians (Sea Shepherd and the volunteeres) for their efforts. A chord is being struck! Things are happening.
Approximately nine and a half hours NNE of Taiji lies the city of Nanao. With a population of over 45,000 it thrives on tourism and is known for its wild dolphin watching enterprise. In fact, Nanao’s dolphin watching business is supported by Ishigawa Prefecture. (Nanao is part of Ishigawa Prefecture, just as Taiji is part of Wakayama Prefecture.) It wasn’t always like that. They used to hunt the dolphins. They used to kill them. Why the change? The reason why fishermen in Nanao chose not to kill dolphins anymore is because they realized that these dolphins present tremendous tourism potentials. Even the schools in Nano organize dolphin watching tours, as per the request of school children. In other words, dolphins in Nanao are considered a “resource.”
So what’s the problem in Taiji? Why can’t they adopt dolphin watching progams? It has been said that many citizens in the area are afraid to speak up.
Dolphins and porpoises are also killed in Futo or the Shizuoka Prefecture. The people of Futo collected 2883 signatures on a petition asking Shizuoka to stop dolphin hunts and presented it to the Shizuoka government. They weren’t afaid to speak up. They even took action and got a petition signed.
So, what is going on in Taiji? Why are the people so scared? They can’t wait for the fishermen to suddenly care for the townspeople. I have been told that these fishermen are uneducated and just plain stupid. The jobs that they have now are about all their limited mental capacity can handle. They are not capable of learning a new trade and tourism requires a certain amount of courtesy. How can they be kind to perfect strangers when they are givning their own neighbors the shaft?
Something is very wrong here. The people of Taiji are good, descent people and they feel that they have reason to fear the stooges with the blue tarps. The local law enforcement even acts like the killers are gods. They should be embarrassed by their conduct and maybe they are.
The only times that good people are afraid for their safety in the manner in which the citizens of Taiji are, is when they are under the rule of a totalitarian state or there is a heavy presence of organized crime. So where does that leave us? I’ll tell you where. We are going to speak out for the oppressed. We are going to be the voices of the town and of the dolphins. Join with me and let the Japanese government know that we won’t stand for it! Start emailing, calling and faxing now!
CLICK HERE for a video on how to say, “Stop killing dolphins,” in Japanese.
PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN
Prime Minister Naoto Kan
Cabinet Office, Government of Japan
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 100-8914 JAPAN
Online comment form #1: https://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/forms/comment_ssl.html
Online comment form #2: https://form.cao.go.jp/kokusai/en_opinion-0001.html
MINISTER OF FISHERIES
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 100-8950 JAPAN
Tel: +81-3-3502-8111 +81-3-3502-8111
Contact form: https://www.contact.maff.go.jp/maff/form/114e.html
EMBASSY OF JAPAN IN WASHINGTON D.C.
Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki
2520 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington D.C. 20008-2869
Tel: (202) 238-6700 (202) 238-6700
Fax: (202) 328-2187
I’d like to thank my friends Shannon Hu and Yi-chun Chen for the wonderful work they have done in helping me write this article. Below are links whereby you may verify some of their research. I hope your Japanese is good! More to come.
10月5日、富戸のイルカ猟再開に反対する 2,883名の署名とコメントを静岡県庁にお届け致しました。 共有2883人署名，於10月5日送到靜岡縣縣政府
Get the scoop when I do! Follow Me On Twitter!
With eleven of you, I make a dozen. With ninety-nine of you, I make a hundred. But I cannot do it without each and every one of you. You matter! Never give up! For the Dolphins.
Holise E Cleveland III
- ‘The Cove’ Dolphin Hunt Village, Taiji, Japan, To Hold First-Ever Meeting Between Fishermen And Anti-Hunting Activists, Including Ric O’Barry (huffingtonpost.com)
- ‘The Cove”s Ric O’Barry Boycotts Taiji, Japan Dolphin Hunt Negotiations Over Media Restrictions, Meeting Ends In Bitter Disagreement (huffingtonpost.com)
- Japan dolphin hunt town meets with activists (msnbc.msn.com)
- Japan dolphin hunt town has debate with activists (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Two sides to meet over Japan’s ‘The Cove’ dolphin hunt (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- How many lb’s of dolphin are killed every year in Taiji? (greenanswers.com)