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 (www.dolphinproject.org) 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.
Ryozo Kato Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. 2520 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC 20008 Tel: (202) 238-6700 Fax: (202) 328-2187
Japan Dolphin Day: Abolish the Slaughter Attend one of IDA's protests on September 20th
Every year from October through March in small towns along the Japanese coast, fishermen kill about 20,000 marine mammals in the most brutal way imaginable. They use loud noises to disorient and herd whole pods of dolphins, porpoises and small whales into shallow bays, then stretch nets across the mouth of the bay to close off all exits. The next morning, the slaughter begins, as fishermen use sharp spears and hooks to massacre the helpless cetaceans. Most of them are butchered for meat that is sold in restaurants and supermarkets, while some are sold to marine parks where they spend years in loneliness and deprivation for the "entertainment" of audiences.
This annual slaughter is the largest massacre of dolphins anywhere in the world, and it continues because the atrocity is deliberately kept hidden from the Japanese people. That is why each year on September 20th, a host of groups around the world join together to organize an international day of protest to expose the killing and put pressure on the Japanese Government to end it once and for all. As part of this day of action, IDA and the Earth Island Institute (http://www.earthisland.org) will co-host a demonstration at the Japanese consulate in San Francisco to coincide with protests taking place around the world. Volunteers from both groups will carry signs and hand out literature condemning the slaughter. IDA will also hold protests at the Japanese consulate in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland, Ore.
What You Can Do:
1. Take part in Japan Dolphin Day on Wednesday, September 20th. See a list of events and contacts (www.earthisland.org/savetaijidolphins).
2. Attend IDA's protests against Japanese dolphin slaughter in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, or Portland, Ore. on September 20th.
Contact Melissa Gonzalez at (415) 388-9641, ext. 228 or Melissa@idausa.org if you have any questions. If you don't live in one of these cities, organize a protest at the Japanese consulate or embassy nearest you.
3. WRITE JAPANESE OFFICIALS TODAY. Let them know that the blood that continues to spill from the dolphins slaughtered in Japan stains our humanity and taints Japan's international image. Demand a permanent end to the drive fisheries and the preservation of dolphins and whales as natural treasures.
CONTACT: Ryozo Kato Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. 2520 Mass. Ave. NW Washington, DC 20008 Tel: (202) 238-6700 Fax: (202) 328-2187 email@example.com
Minister of Fisheries 1-2-1 Ksumigaseki 1 Chome Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8907 JAPAN Fax: 81-3-3502-8220
4. For more information, including photos and video of the Taiji dolphin slaughter, see www.savetaijidolphins.org .
FORTY stripy dolphins Ms Stewart said. which died after stranding themselves on a remote beach in Western Australia's southwest will be left to rot because of the difficulty in accessing the site.
Officers from the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) spent an emotional night trying to save nine of the dolphins, which were still alive when rescuers reached the beach. But they failed in their efforts.
A team of 30 CALM officers, volunteers and a local veterinary used quad bikes and walked for up to 5km to locate the mammals, which were spotted from the air over a 30km stretch of beach earlier in the day.
"Physically it was very draining and hard, and not to have a positive result was quite distressing for some of our team," CALM parks and visitor services officer David Meehan said.
CALM spokeswoman Jean Stewart said the dead animals were weighed, measured and sexed, and tissue samples had been taken, but their bodies would not be buried.
"Unfortunately we can't do anything about the remains and carcasses because (the area) is so inaccessible," Advertisement:
The stranding occurred about 100km south of the Dolphin Bay boat ramp in Bussleton, 232km south of Perth, where more than 50 false killer whales beached themselves in June last year.
In April 2005, 13 long-finned pilot whales were rescued and helped back out to sea after a pod of 19 beached themselves in the Busselton area.
Mr Meehan said it was rare to see such a large stranding of stripy dolphins, which were deepwater mammals and rarely spotted close to shore.
"They may wash up in ones or twos but nothing of this magnitude," he said.
Aerial spotters will remain in the area to look out for further strandings.
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