IDA's demos in San Francisco, L.A., Seattle & Portland a success
This year's international Japan Dolphin Day, held last week on
Wednesday, September 20th in cities around the world, was a
rousing success. Dozens of groups organized demonstrations
attended by thousands of people who are outraged and appalled
that Japanese fishermen continue to kill about 20,000 marine
mammals every year for meat. This annual atrocity -- the largest
massacre of dolphins anywhere on the planet -- usually starts in
October and continues through March, but this year the slaughter
began early, supposedly to ensure that the fishermen were able
to fulfill their government-sanctioned quota of kills.
As a coordinated effort, Japan Dolphin Day is an inspiring
example of the difference that animal advocates and
environmentalists can make when they work together towards a
common goal. Richard O'Barry -- who founded the Dolphin Project
) in 1970 and is one of the world's most
influential dolphin advocates -- praised the demonstrators for
speaking out for marine mammals. O'Barry actually started his
career in the 1960s capturing and training dolphins for the
Miami Seaquarium. One of these dolphins was named Cathy, who for
a long time played the role of Flipper in the famous TV series
of that name. When she died in his arms, O'Barry understood that
keeping dolphins in captivity is wrong, and he has spent the
rest of his life fighting for their rights.
"Japan Dolphin Day was a success for the victim dolphins in
Japan, and it was a public relations nightmare for the dolphin
hunters and the Japanese government," O'Barry recently wrote to
the demonstration organizers. "You sent a powerful message that
was heard loud and clear in Tokyo. The message was: 'YES, There
is international opposition to this secret, barbaric and
anachronistic practice and you can't hide it anymore.'"
IDA proudly took part in Japan Dolphin Day by co-hosting a
demonstration with Earth Island Institute (www.earthisland.org
at the Japanese consulate in San Francisco. Volunteers from both
groups carried signs and handed out literature to passerby
condemning the slaughter. IDA also held protests at the Japanese
consulates in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland, Ore.
What You Can Do:
Let Japanese officials know that international pressure will
continue to mount as long as the dolphin massacre is allowed to
go on. Demand a permanent end to the drive fisheries and the
preservation of dolphins and whales as natural treasures.
Japanese Ambassador to the U.S.
2520 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 238-6700
Fax: (202) 328-2187
For more information, including photos and video of the Taiji
dolphin slaughter, see www.savetaijidolphins.org