December 21, 2013 by Ric O’Barry, Earth Island Institute
By Ric O’Barry
Earth Island Institute
I’ve been in Taiji since last week, working closely with Sakura and other Japanese activists who are visiting. My friend Satoshi, head of Flippers Japan, is coming to visit here soon.
The good news is that there is a growing movement of Japanese animal rights activists who agree with us that the dolphin hunts in Taiji are cruel and should end. They are conducting demonstrations in Tokyo and coming to Taiji to see the dolphin hunts for themselves.
Sakura has been posting updates from Taiji for the past three months in both Japanese and English (including on our Dolphin Project Facebook Page).
She is really dedicated, talking to every Japanese tourist who comes to visit Taiji about the dolphin hunts. We wish we could clone her!
All this activity in Japan gives me hope for the future.
I need hope right now. The dolphin hunts here are still very ghastly and would make anyone sick.
Some other good news: the dolphin killers have announced they will be stopping hunts on their annual end-of-year break, from Dec. 24th through January 4th.
So at least some dolphins and whales will get a respite for the holidays.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, too. We cannot give up our efforts to stop the dolphin hunts here in Taiji and throughout Japan.
We should draw strength from our progress so far – we have accomplished quite a bit since 2003 when I first saw the dolphin hunts in Taiji for myself.
The Earth Island Dolphin Project Team and I will continue the effort for as long as it takes. I can guarantee to you that we will not give up!
If you are helping us with your volunteer work and spreading the word, my deepest thanks.
Take care and happy holidays to you and yours from all of us at Earth Island Institute and the Dolphin Project!
Photos of recent Risso’s dolphin hunt in Taiji by Sakura Araki.
Not Belong in Captivity!
ORCAS AND DOLPHINS DO NOT BELONG IN CAPTIVITY!
Orcas and Dolphins Do Not Belong in Captivity!
The recent documentaries Blackfish and The Cove show that putting dolphins and orcas in captivity is unethical and cruel, ripping them from their families that they would normally grow up with and depriving them of the freedom of the open ocean, instead confining them to small concrete tanks to do tricks for dead fish.
DONATE HERE to our efforts to STOP the SLAUGHTER/TRADE/and DISPLAY OF DOLPHINS AND WHALES IN CAPTIVITY.
DolphinProject.org “Release Me” :15 PSA
Director Lincoln O’Barry
Editor: Tracy Hof
Post: MPC LA
Song: Release Me
Special thanks to the amazing Frida Ohrn on vocals
Cosmos Music Group
Special Thanks to Elexis Stern at MPC LA
Help us spread the word so that millions of people can see this video and get involved. PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ISSUE
Dolphins have evolved over millions of years, adapting perfectly to life in the ocean. They are intelligent, social and self-aware, exhibiting evidence of a highly developed emotional sense. Here are just a few of the issues with captivity:
Captures of dolphins are traumatic and stressful and can result in injury and death of dolphins. The numbers of dolphins that die during capture operations or shortly thereafter are never revealed in dolphinariums or swim-with-dolphins programs. Some facilities even claim their dolphins were “rescued” from the ocean and cannot be released. This claim is almost invariably false.
Training of dolphins is often deliberately misrepresented by the captive dolphin industry to make it look as if dolphins perform because they like it. This isn’t the case. They are performing because they have been deprived of food.
Most captive dolphins are confined in minuscule tanks containing chemically treated artificial seawater. Dolphins in a tank are severely restricted in using their highly developed sonar, which is one of the most damaging aspects of captivity. It is much like forcing a person to live in a hall of mirrors for the rest of their life – their image always bouncing back with no clear direction in sight.
Dolphins and whales have been shown by recent scientific research to be sensitive with likely more ranges of emotions than humans, with culture that is handed down through generations, and personal names. They deserve our respect and the right to remain in the wild, free from harassment and harm.
Earth Island Institute’s campaign to protect dolphins and whales focuses on stopping the killing of these animals in the wild in places like Japan, Indonesia, the Faroe Islands and the Solomon Islands, as well as stopping the blood dolphin$ trade to dolphinariums around the world. In fact, these dolphin hunts are often supported by the dolphin trade to catch some individuals for captivity, while the remainder are slaughtered.
Click here to see a list of Captive Dolphin Facilities that have been Closed or Never Opened.
These success stories were accomplished by people like you taking action and stopping all support of dolphin shows and all swim-with-dolphin facilities.
WRITE A LETTER to Your Local Newspaper. Click HERE for a sample.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD – Let your friends, family, school mates, and service club members know about the problem of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.
For Further Information:
A great Editorial from the Los Angeles Times opposing captivity.
Ken Brower’s excellent Blackfish Review for National Geographic.
With the annual Taiji, Japan, dolphin hunt starting in September,Georgia Woodroffe goes into detail about the horrors facing whales and dolphins.
Earth Island Dolphin Project Blogs:
Tilikum in a scene from BLACKFISH, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Photo credit: Gabriela Cowperthwaite.