Monday, September 1, 2014

Protect the Dolphins and this is Why Part 2

How do they get the dolphins for places like Sea World and hotels that offer swimming with the Dolphins?

I just want to take a bit out of that man. It may look like the dolphin is laughing and smiling, the impression is coming from the permanent smile on a dolphin's face. But, that doesn't mean that he is happy.

Rick Barry after deciding that Kathy had committed suicide he became an advocate for the protection of dolphins by making a film called The Cove. He risked being arrested and jailed in a Japanese jail for the footage of this film but he put a spot light on this barbaric tradition in a Japanese village. The dolphin drive hunt in Taiji, Japan, takes place every year from September to April. According to the Japanese Fisheries Research Agency, 1,623 dolphins were caught in Wakayama Prefecture in 2007 for human consumption or resale to dolphinariums, and most of these were caught at Taiji.[1] The villagers would herd the dolphins into a cove by banging on boats and scarring them into this cove where they were separated into two parts. The dolphins that would be sold for in excess of $250,000 a dolphin would be in one part and the one's that they wanted to feed to their school children would be in another part where they were beat to death by the men in the boats. The brutality made the water in the cove red with blood. The screams and cries from the dolphins that were so mercilessly murdered for their meat. The annual dolphin hunt provides income for local residents, but has received international criticism for both the cruelty of the dolphin killing and the high mercury levels of the dolphin meat.

Japan isn't the only place where they capture dolphins for the money. Solomon Islands, hunt them the old-fashion way and the income is vital to the island where we need to re-educate.

At the same time, the sale of dolphins captured in the Taiji drive hunt for marine park display (via brokers such as the Taiji Whale Museum) appears to be a steadily growing profit source for the hunts. From 2000-2005, an average of 56 live dolphins annually were sold for captive display. From 2006-2012, the annual average has more than doubled to 137, with a total of 247 sold for captive display in 2012-2013, according to marine mammal advocacy groups.

So far this season, a total of 137 dolphins have been selected for marine park display, including the 40 bottlenose selected for sale over the weekend. According to Sea Shepherd, one of the first dolphins removed from the Taiji cove in the weekend roundup was a rare albino calf, which could be especially valuable in drawing crowds to a marine park
Whale And Dolphin Conservation has documented the growing role of the sale of dolphins to marine parks in Japan in driving hunts . According to Ric O’Barry, who was featured in The Cove and now works to try and bring an end to the Taiji hunt through The Dolphin Project, no one has documented the price that a live dolphin fetches for the Taiji fishermen.

But Barry says there is documentation showing the Taiji Whale Museum, which trains and brokers many dolphins from the Taiji hunt, has in the past sold Taiji dolphins abroad for as much as $150,000 each.

The 50-plus Japanese aquariums that keep some 600 dolphins and take many of the Taiji dolphins, as well as many aquariums abroad, do not pay such exorbitant prices. (According to Courtney Vail of Whale And Dolphin Conservation, the range is more like $40,000 to $80,000). But with growing demand for dolphins from China–which already has 35 aquariums displaying dolphins–it’s clear that the sale of live dolphins from the Taiji drive hunt has become a very lucrative business.

The steady demand for Taiji dolphins from Japanese marine parks has prompted three Japanese conservation groups–Elsa Nature Conservancy, Help Animals, and Put an End to Animal Cruelty and Exploitation (PEACE)–to renew a call for the World Association Of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) to ensure that members of the Japan Association Of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) stop acquiring wild dolphins from the drive hunts.

In the past, WAZA–which sets standards for member marine parks around the world–has declared that “the catching of dolphins by the use of a method known as “drive fishing” is considered an example of such a non-acceptable capture method.” But WAZA has also been reluctant to pressure Japanese marine parks over the purchase of dolphins from Japanese drive hunts, including Taiji, due to concerns over intruding on a cultural practice.

In their letter to WAZA–citing a history of Taiji published by the town in 1979–the three conservation groups challenge that concern, along with the idea that the Taiji hunt is a longstanding historical and cultural practice: “[T]he first recorded dolphin drive was in 1933, with subsequent hunts occurring in 1936 and 1944. It was not until 1969 that dolphin drives have been conducted on a large scale. The history of the dolphin drives spans not so-called 400 years, but a mere 45.”

It is not clear whether an end to sales of live dolphins to marine parks would eventually bring an end the Taiji drive hunt. But it would dramatically reduce profits from marine mammal hunts.  Ric O’Barry has no doubt about what that would mean for the Taiji hunt.

“The sale of dolphins is what keeps it going. That is the economic underpinning of the slaughter,” he says. “I don’t think selling dolphin meat would be profitable anymore. It’s all about money, lots of money.”

 Don't visit these hotels or Sea World, give them a message not to keep dolphins in captivity. If they were set free you could visit them for free, at the ocean.

Until We Meet Again

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