Ten Thousand Voices Needed for the Dolphins

I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change — ‘Network’ 1976.

Better yet, please show up at the Japanese embassy in London on December 18, and speak for the voiceless. We need 10,000 people to say ‘enough is enough’. We need the world to know that if they love dolphins, then the town of Taiji, Japan is hell on earth.

Ten thousand people is not an impossible number. It doesn’t even equal one person per dolphin per year. Almost twice this number of dolphins have been captured or killed in Taiji’s killing cove in the past decade. Factor in the Japanese government’s offshore dolphin hunting and that figure jumps to around 165,000 dolphins in ten years. It’s inhumane, it’s irresponsible and it’s not sustainable.

The dolphin drive hunt season is well underway in Taiji. We’re not even midway through the season and the level of brutality has reached its zenith. Just 11 days into the season, Dolphin Project Director Ric O’Barry was forced to bear witness to a juvenile Risso’s dolphin dying at his feet from the stress of the drive process.

These past three days, heart-wrenching testimony from our Cove Monitors revealed further horrors as around 50 pilot whales — many of them juveniles and calves, were driven into the cove. They have endured three days of the worst torture that man could possibly levy.

Day One:

We could see a large number of babies and juveniles. The pod swam tightly amongst one another, with tiny heads poking out beside the larger adults. At one point, the matriarch rolled onto her back and swam through the group, interacting with each youngster, while the large males swam around the periphery of the pod. Everyone was spy-hopping and their panic and confusion was palpable — Vicki Kiely, Senior Dolphin Project Cove Monitor

Day Two:

What took place this morning could only be described in terms of varying degrees of horror — Cynthia Fernandez, Dolphin Project Senior Cove Monitor

Pilot whale Taiji, Japan, 11-20-15

Dolphin hunters forced this pilot whale beneath the tarps to slaughter it. The killing method is brutal — a metal rod inserted behind the blowhole. It can take whales a long time to die. Image credit: Dolphin Project; Vicki Kiely; Cynthia Fernandez.

Day Three:

I watched as a youngster kept rubbing its little body against one of the surviving adult pilot whales. When I thought this scene couldn’t get more sickening, I saw another juvenile swim by with blood smeared across its dorsal fin. After over 62 hours of being held hostage in the cove, they were, once again, left alone overnight, with no access to food — Cynthia Fernandez, Dolphin Project Senior Cove Monitor

Juvenile pilot whale rubs against adult dolphin

Juvenile pilot whale rubs against adult dolphin. Photo credit: Dolphin Project; Cynthia Fernandez

“Assuming the dolphins ate a full meal at the time of their capture, they have not had any access to food for at least 62 hours,” said Ric, “these pilot whales are now confused, weak and dehydrated. They have been through a war and it isn’t over yet!”

Today is day four of this unspeakable horror.

Now you understand why this has to stop and why you must speak for them. This will never end unless we present a united front.

Ric explained:

We need people to educate the animal welfare industry. Please call and write to all of the UK-based animal welfare groups. Ask them to inform their members to mark their calendar for December 18th. Groups in the UK have millions of members who will show up at the embassy IF they are informed. If we get 10,000 people to the embassy we can stop the slaughter. The Japanese government can’t deal with that.

You are on the right side of history. This can end in our lifetime. No government anywhere in the world can or would openly endorse such brutality. It is time for them to speak out, to ask the Japanese government to stop this madness and to hold them accountable if they don’t.

It all begins with you.

Ten thousand of you.

Join Ric O’Barry in London at the Japanese Embassy on Dec. 18th between noon and 6 p.m.

For the dolphins’ sake, they must hear us.

Please note: This is an all-inclusive event where everyone shares a common goal. Please fly your own flags, wear your own colors and advertise your groups. All are welcome! For more information visit the demo event page.

Pilot whale Taiji, Japan 11-20-15

Body of a lifeless pilot whale floating beside living pod members Photo: Dolphin Project, Cynthia Fernandez, Vicki Kiely

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: victory — Winston Churchill

Dolphin Project would like to extend our sincere thanks to Candace Calloway Whiting for this beautifully composed video. Please watch it and share it in your messages.

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About Elizabeth Batt

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Elizabeth is a freelance writer, a former large animal nurse and a former certified NREMT. She is passionate about the ocean and its inhabitants and her work focuses on cetacean-related issues, including captive whales and dolphins. She graduated in psychology and sociology and lives with her family in beautiful northwestern Montana.

Author: Elizabeth Batt


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