Brighton (PRWEB UK) 29 August 2013
Members of the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA), including WhaleFest and Dolphin Connection Experience in the UK, are calling for a mass public protest against the slaughter of dolphins and porpoises that is about to start in Japan.
From this September to next March, a dolphin drive hunt made famous by the film ‘The Cove’ will see thousands of dolphins and porpoises hunted or trapped by nets and then bloodily slaughtered, either by harpooning or by having a metal stake driven into their head.
WCA members help specialists to document the cruelty of the drive, track the captive displays whose purchases motivate the fishermen involved, and support Japanese nationals who oppose the drives most effectively in ways appropriate to the culture.
“The World Cetacean Alliance urges everybody who cares not only for the health and wellbeing of these animals, but also for the way in which humankind relates to nature, to take action over the massacre that is about to happen in Japan,” says Ian Rowlands of WhaleFest. “Lodge an objection with your local Japanese embassy or with the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. And help to make sure the world’s marine parks also oppose the slaughter.”
Younger dolphins taken from the pods that are trapped in the killing cove at Taiji are sold to aquatic parks across the world. These sales – at around $150,000 per dolphin - help to fund the drive and contribute significantly to its continuation. (Sources: 1 and 2.)
Some of the world’s zoos, aquariums and marine attractions directly support the drive by paying the hunters for these live show dolphins. Many others are conveniently ignoring it. (Sources: 1 and 2.)
“A dead dolphin is worth around $600 for its meat. A live one sold to a marine park is worth up to 250 times that figure,” says Amanda Stafford of Dolphin Connection Experience. “Cutting off that demand could have a big impact on future culls. That’s why – in addition to directing our protests at Japan - we also need to tell the marine park industry that we will not tolerate their use of these animals for entertainment purposes any more and that we expect them to actively oppose this annual outrage.”
Ongoing legal cases in the USA, combined with the publicity surrounding the book ‘Death At SeaWorld’ and the documentary film ‘Blackfish’ have highlighted the plight of captive orcas and other cetaceans at marine parks.
“Recent events have opened the public’s eyes to the realities of incarcerating intelligent, sociable, sentient beings in cramped conditions and forcing them to perform for ‘entertainment’ purposes,” says Dylan Walker, WCA Secretariat.
“The WCA urges everyone to boycott parks using cetaceans for entertainment that do not actively and publicly oppose the Taiji hunt. We live in a global community, where every one of us can influence what is happening, even if it is on the other side of the world. Now is the time to act. Now is our chance to make a difference.”
WCA Honorary President Jean-Michel Cousteau agrees. “The time has come to view captivity of whales and dolphins as a part of our history – not a tragic part of our future,” he says.
Notes to Editor:
Source: 1 - Advocacy for Animals, 13th April 2009
Source: 2 - Daily Mail, 5th January 2013
The World Cetacean Alliance is a new and powerful global partnership working together to protect whales and dolphins from the many threats that they face – including capture in fishing nets, hunting, pollution, habitat loss, and captivity.
The Alliance - which was launched on 8th June 2013 by Honorary President Jean-Michel Cousteau - is already represented by partners in 13 countries worldwide with a combined network of over 750,000 supporters.
Its partners are charities, whale watching businesses and members of the public. They include Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, the Orca Research Trust in New Zealand, WhaleFest UK – the world’s biggest cetacean festival, Cetacean Society International in the USA, the Canadian Marine Environment Protection Society, Punta Norte Orca Research in Argentina and Comet Corporation in South Africa.
Comment/further information: Dylan Walker - Planet Whale. E: dylan(at)planetwhale(dot)com
T: +44 (0)1273 355011 / 07900 471490.