Dolphin activist Ric O'Barry won't swim off into the sunset

Ric O'Barry

TOKYO —

On Sept 1, Ric O’Barry would normally be in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, protesting against the start of the annual dolphin hunt. But this year, the 70-year-old activist and his group didn’t go because of threats from Japanese rightwing groups.

“I’ve been going to Taiji since 1976, but it has become too dangerous for me. A lot of militants have threatened me,” said O’Barry who works for Earth Island Institute and comes to Japan about five times a year. “We are non-violent and we don’t want to provoke violence, so I’m not going. Even here in Tokyo, I stay in my hotel room a lot and avoid the lobby so as not to become a target. I don’t know who is who. I have nightmares of ninjas coming out of the shadows.”

His unwanted fame is the result of “The Cove,” this year’s Oscar-winning documentary about the dolphin hunt. “I’m not a filmmaker; I just happened to be in it—like the Taiji fishermen. What happens in Taiji is extremely cruel and when this level of cruelty is absolute, one should oppose it absolutely and that’s what I do and why I continue to do it despite the threats.”

Instead of going to Taiji, O‘Barry and his group visited the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and presented a petition calling for an end to the dolphin drive. The petition had 1.7 million names on it from 155 countries, including Japan. “Most of the signatures came on the night of the Academy Awards,” O’Barry said. “As we were receiving the Oscar, I held up a sign with a number which viewers could text and we got a million signatures.”

One of the big arguments that O’Barry has had to counter is that he is interfering in another country’s culture and tradition. “In Taiji, there are only 13 boats, with two men each, and they have been doing the dolphin hunt since 1933. That is hardly cultural or traditional. A while ago, before ‘The Cove’ came out, I stood in Ginza one day and interviewed 100 people on the sidewalk. Not one of them knew about this dolphin slaughter or the mercury contamination in dolphin meat. How can it be part of the culture if Japanese people don’t even know about it? There should be warning labels on dolphin meat saying it is highly contaminated with mercury and PCBs. If labels were there, nobody would buy the product. Japanese people are just as concerned about food safety as anyone else, but the government doesn’t give them the information.”

O’Barry said he is mindful of the economy in Taiji and wants to help. “We had a group of about 60 people ready to go to Taiji and spend our money to support the local economy. There is a huge boycott Japan and save the dolphins movement overseas, but we don’t support that. What we want to do is help the Taiji economy and support tourism as an alternative to killing dolphins but the militants—who aren’t even from Taiji—are stopping us and blocking a cash flow into the community.”

The momentum from “The Cove” is starting to slow down, but O‘Barry has been encouraged by the response. “The militants made it more popular than it would have been. If it wasn’t for them, it would be an obscure movie. Unfortunately, the Japanese media have spun the story in such a way that they are looking at what is wrong with the movie instead of what’s right about it. It’s not anti-Japan; it is about a lot of things. It is about mercury contamination and our relationship with the ocean, not just Taiji.”

O’Barry’s relationship with the ocean goes back a long way. His activities today are a world away from his youth when he was a dolphin trainer for the hit 1960s TV show “Flipper.” “I was capturing dolphins and training them. I had some great times with Cathy, one of the dolphins that played Flipper. I lived in a house near the dock for 7 years. On Friday nights, I used to take a TV set down to the end of the dock with a long extension cord and Flipper and I used to watch ‘Flipper’ on TV.”

But the turning point came in 1970. “We didn’t have the information then that we have today, namely that there are three things killing dolphins – pollution, fishing nets and captivity. Captivity killed Flipper. Cathy died in my arms in what I think was a suicide. Dolphins are not automatic air breathers; they die or commit suicide by not taking the next breath. That’s what happened to Cathy and that is what goes on in Taiji. I could have stayed with that industry, but couldn’t. I went from a guy who was probably the highest paid animal trainer in the world, buying a new Porsche every year, to a guy who rides a bicycle, but I have no regrets.”

O’Barry campaigns not just against the Taiji dolphin hunt but also against dolphins in captivity in marine parks all over the world. “I ask people not to buy a ticket for a dolphin show. That industry is based on supply and demand. It’s a multibillion dollar industry in America. Sea World alone last year made $1.4 billion in profit. Think about the size of the industry in Japan which has 50 dolphin parks.”

His latest project is a Discovery Channel mini-series called “Blood Dolphins.” Two episodes were filmed on the Solomon Islands that had a similar dolphin hunt as Taiji. “They have been doing it for 450 years. We spent a lot of time with them and they realized that it is no longer sustainable. Earth Island Institute offered to help them find a sustainable alternative and they agreed to it. In April, the dolphin hunt ended.”

O’Barry has no plans to go quietly off into the sunset. “I have turned down offers several times for Flipper revivals. When I walk out of this room, I could start my own dolphin park and make a fortune. I could get investors in the next hour but I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Instead, I want to try and go to Taiji where I also can’t sleep at night.”

For more info, visit savejapandolphins.com or http://animal.discovery.com/tv/blood-dolphins/episode-guide.html

  • 0

    alladin

    I think Ric O`Barry is going a great thing and I applause him for his efforts. I hope and wish he will be very successful. And as of the fishermen in Taiji, I hope all of their boats will sink to the bottom of the ocean and their business will all fold up. They are very sick people who are very cruel and evil to both the people that are around them and the natural surroundings that are all around Taiji.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    “In Taiji, there are only 13 boats, with two men each, and they have been doing the dolphin hunt since 1933. That is hardly cultural or traditional. A while ago, before ‘The Cove’ came out, I stood in Ginza one day and interviewed 100 people on the sidewalk. Not one of them knew about this dolphin slaughter or the mercury contamination in dolphin meat. How can it be part of the culture if Japanese people don’t even know about it?

    And there it is folks! The 'ostrich syndrome' exposed! As it states, most Japanese people never knew about the dolphin hunt until The Cove was released and then, most of the 'ostriches' took a right-stance against it saying it was attacking Japanese culture. What bloody culture??? The culture of lies and cover-ups? The thing I find most disturbing is, the Japanese keep stating that dolphin meat is not eaten by many people, so where does the meat of the 20,000+ slaughtered dolphins go? It goes to your supermarkets labeled as whale meat and given to your kids (and mine) at school. What a wonderful culture it is!

  • 0

    Pestronika

    How many dolphin/whale articles is JT going to run, anyway? You'd think this is the only issue facing the nation.

  • 0

    Mark_McCracken

    It appears there have been 15 stories about Ric O’Barry on this website. This one says almost nothing new.

  • 0

    cleo

    most of the 'ostriches' took a right-stance against it saying it was attacking Japanese culture

    No, an overly-vocal group of right-wing nutters said it was attacking Japanese culture and, as is the way of such folk, demonstrated how cultured they were by threatening people who disagreed with them. And you fell into the trap of thinking the noisy people speak for the whole nation. They don't, in Japan or elsewhere.

  • 0

    alladin

    Does Japanese people even know what culture is? I don`t think so because everytime the truth comes out about something, the Japanese people say it is a culture thing when in reality it is not. Like in Taiji. How can killing dolphins be a culture thing when not many people in Japan new about it until the movie made it known. Japanese people are so un-nowledgable about what is going in in their own country which is a very sad thing. Here we have a few people that are killing the dolphins and making the whole Japan look bad for their evil acts towards nature. When will Japan wake up to make real change to their lifestyles and the way that they cinduct business within their country!!!

  • 0

    Jkanda

    Ric O Barry seems to be a nice person from what he is saying. Is it the people around him that are doing all the wierd things? Does someone else have an agenda and using Ric's good intentions for their own purpose? And Ric has been visiting Japan and Japan has been nice to him. His approach is not hooliganish as some of the anti-whale activist. Non-violent protest would be good. But that Ninja thing, are you serious? I am doing raher dangerous job here, but I am not that concerned about Ninjas or anyone for that matter.

    Disillusioned after reading Ric's story from the horse's mouth, and ofcourse after what you said, I think I will watch the Cove. But I think you should also look at being a little soft with your emotions. Was reading the things peacefully until I came across your zealous post.

  • 0

    eigokun

    Dolphin/whale fishing is a back-country hunting practice with almost no public demand but paid off using taxpayers' money.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    Jkanda - Zealous? Maybe! But, when your kids are given this poison at school I'm sure you will become 'zealous' too. And, you should watch The Cove, but be prepared to find out a lot of 'truths' about Japan that you are not gonna like.

    Cleo - I am speaking about the general public and not just the right-wing fanatics. If you were to go outside and speak to any Japanese person about this they will give you one of two answers: "I know nothing about it." or "It is our culture."

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Disillusioned.

    And how many of those answers are True and not simply a facade for the nosy foreigner?

  • 0

    cleo

    If you were to go outside and speak to any Japanese person about this they will give you one of two answers:

    No ifs about it. I have spoken to people about this, and the two answers you mention were outnumbered by 'But who on earth would want to eat dolphin?' and 'I wish they'd stop it, it's disgusting'.

  • 0

    Iforgot

    Disillusioned after reading Ric's story from the horse's mouth, and of course after what you said, I think I will watch the Cove.

    The Cove can be seen online here:

    http://www.wisevid.com/play?v=9Abff9f85qcc

    http://www.vidxden.com/a12zmcbppb1f/TheCove2009DVDRipXviD.flv.html

  • 0

    Jkanda

    Disillusioned, would feel the same, if my own were force-fed too. But my own mum, who is a pure vegetarian forced shark meat down my throat for ages. From infancy, because shark meat was the first kind of fish meat given to infants traditonally, we were fed that.This happened until I started categorically to avoid eating it for the peculiar flavor.

    I think enough was done and said and done about dolphins and whales, and with time the people are just going to stop the hunt. No need to suffocate them with protests and dramas.

  • 0

    kyoken

    I have spoken to people about this, and the two answers you mention were outnumbered by 'But who on earth would want to eat dolphin?' and 'I wish they'd stop it, it's disgusting'.

    That's also my experience. Only if you start pushing hard the moral argument and claim the Japanese per se are so bad because of this issue, people revert to the defensive "its our culture".

  • 0

    littlejean

    JKanda

    I think enough was done and said and done about dolphins and whales, and with time the people are just going to stop the hunt. No need to suffocate them with protests and dramas.

    As eigokun said above, it seems there is low public demand, but what if someone creates a need. Say someone that operates restaurants nation-wide, like for example, school restaurants ? It is even more than the health issue (which of course is important) but it's a waste of money issue.

    All this tax-money-driven business is really sickening, but it's not specific to Japan : in southern France, in the Rhone river delta, they decided a little over 100 years ago to start farming rice. It is more expensive to produce there, than importing foreign rice. So they fix the price and get subsidies from the government. What excuse do you think they give to the EU for such an unfair behavior ? Of course ! Culture.

  • 0

    cleo

    what if someone creates a need

    That's exactly what they're trying to do, by putting it in school dinners.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    Ric O'Barry is a moron. His love has turned into so much hatred that it overshadows his reasoning. These anti whaling crusaders ( culture imperialsitic) are highly emotional and don’t acknowledge that there might be a valid view on the matter. The "other side" is just portrayed as pure evil. His film together with the highly close minded and ethnocentric anti whale campaign in fact does more damage than good because they dig ditches and incite people against each other.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    neogreenjapan - Is that right? Wow! you have a very good imagination. Regardless of your paid position, I have one question for you: Would you feed your kids dolphin meat?

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    Zenny11 - And how many of those answers are True and not simply a facade for the nosy foreigner?

    Yeah, a nosy foreigner that has lived here for over a decade and has kids going to school here. Would you feed dolphin meat to your kids?

  • -1

    susano

    neogreen..... its seems your reasoning is the one being overshadowed by emotion....

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    Obviously the whole anti whale hysteria shows cultural prejudice. They see themselves as they got higher moral values against people who hunt whales for food and tell them that what you do is barbaric, but you can keep on eating other animals, not just this one because we don't because they are holy to us. Fishermen in Taiji who hunt locally see pilot whales as a food source. A mobile source of protein. Get over it. The Taiji hunt is an important part of their inherited skills, their history and culture and an important way of supplying food to their local communities. Local fishermen in Taiji have been living peacefully in Wakayama for more than a thousand years and they have maintained nature’s balance all this time because they were utterly dependent on it to be able to survive. If the pilot whales were endangered that would be a whole new ball game but they are not. So whats the big fuss? Guys like him will just keep on alienating people in Taiji and the ditches will just deepen.

  • 0

    Monkeyz

    I've certainly heard my share of, "ENVIRONMENTALISTS JUST LIKE TO ATTACK JAPAN!" This is usually when I point out that environmentalists go after any country doing things like this. Japan is not special.

    And once again, just because you've been doing it for a while doesn't mean it's right. And the fact that they want to feed this stuff to kids who don't know any better just makes it absolutely abhorrent.

  • 0

    ReformedBasher

    Even here in Tokyo, I stay in my hotel room a lot and avoid the lobby so as not to become a target. I don’t know who is who. I have nightmares of ninjas coming out of the shadows

    Okay... I'll take you seriously then. I was surprised at how tolerant the people of Taiji are to these people, I think their welcome is wearing rather thin though.

  • 0

    paulinusa

    "It appears there have been 15 stories about Ric O’Barry on this website. This one says almost nothing new"

    Did you read the article? He sounds pretty thoughtful and compassionate.

    "His love has turned into so much hatred that it overshadows his reasoning."

    Hatred? Wow, even if you disagree with him, where is there one bit of hatred in this article?

  • 0

    Ranger_Miffy

    I saw "The Cove"...showing at 11 a.m. only in a little Shibuya art theater with really nice seats.

    I wish Ric Barry and friends all success and that this slaughter does not happen again.

    Really ashamed of Japan for this one. Will check out the website.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    Here is the reception it received in Taiji. As expected, people were not too happy about this film, and thought of it as biased, racist and hypocritical. One man interviewed could not understand why killing dolphins was worse than killing cows or kangaroos. These animals are being killed in extremely large numbers. Later on the clip, they talk about mercury. Since a Japanese researcher found out that levels of mercury in Taiji was 10 times higher than in the rest of Japan, the government has tested the residence of the community. While they found out that mercury levels were high the doctor said that they all seem to be in good health. Children in Taiji eat dolphins for school lunch once a month and the children are in good spirit. I thank all the open minded tolerant western crusaders for their concern. Now, if they could leave the people in Taiji alone, then everyone can get back to their everyday lives.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdnutBjbnOY&feature=related

  • 0

    ReformedBasher

    Here is the reception it received in Taiji. As expected, people were not too happy about this film, and thought of it as biased, racist and hypocritical.

    Might have something do with the it being biased, racist and hypocritical?

    The English teacher wanted to make the students think. Think the same way he/she does right? What does teaching English have to do with dolphins? I'd say the English teacher should be sacked.

    neogreen..... its seems your reasoning is the one being overshadowed by emotion....

    Compared to some of the tripe by the posters here? Like this gem...

    Does Japanese people even know what culture is? Say what? alladin, are you serious? That's just plain silly.

  • 0

    MrDog

    I could get investors in the next hour but I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Instead, I want to try and go to Taiji where I also can’t sleep at night.

    Jesus christ, he sounds like a Vietnam vet. "Harpoons... in the trees".

    I have nightmares of ninjas coming out of the shadows.

    And he wonders why he gets a frosty reception?

    Cathy died in my arms in what I think was a suicide. Dolphins are not automatic air breathers; they die or commit suicide by not taking the next breath. That’s what happened to Cathy and that is what goes on in Taiji.

    Oh, so now the dolphins aren't being slaughtered, they're committing suicide?? Well, at least now we know why swarms of them go near Taiji every year, they want to end it all. "I've had enough of all this swimming lark, it's just too stressful, let's get down to Taiji lads and hold our breath".

  • 0

    Ranger_Miffy

    What idiots (and a doctor, no less) are feeding this proven mercury-laden dolphin to their children and then saying, "they all seem to be in good health". SEEM is the operative word here. Mercury takes a while to manifest the nerve damage. Smokers, especially young ones, have the same blithe, ignorant attitude.

    People will leave poor Taiji alone when; they stop the slaughter of these intelligent, social, self-aware animals of the sea. Not the same as cows etc and you know it.

    Not a liberal vs whoever either, this issue. It's about living the right way on this shrinking planet. Save those Taiji dolphins, people.

  • 0

    Kersey23

    Even as much as I am opposed to the dolphin killings that go on there annually, I am also opposed to misinformation. I respect this man and his work but not when he bends the truth like he has done here.

    “In Taiji, there are only 13 boats, with two men each, and they have been doing the dolphin hunt since 1933. That is hardly cultural or traditional.

    This is very untrue on all accounts. First of all this community has a a very long history of whaling and killing dolphins. He needs to check his history books much better before sending out information that is TOTALLY INCORRECT and self-serving to his purpose.

    A while ago, before ‘The Cove’ came out, I stood in Ginza one day and interviewed 100 people on the sidewalk. Not one of them knew about this dolphin slaughter or the mercury contamination in dolphin meat. How can it be part of the culture if Japanese people don’t even know about it?

    Who did he ask? High schools students? Most people are very aware of what goes on down there. As for the "contamination". No most people don't know that. But still he starts out misrepresenting the facts.

    As for the "Ninja" crap? How ludicrous. That is just demonizing the country. He should have said, "RIght-wingers".

    Furthermore, 60 people can not go down and help a community although small but as large as Taiji. Many more people are needed and financial assistance is a must to help these people chose a different lifestyle。

    Honestly, I respect the guy very much, but After these comments my respect for him has waned a bit. I deeply dislike half-truths because the people who are against you who know that what you are saying is wrong, become more adamant about being against you. When unknowing people who want the dolphin killings to stop spread out these comments in just pisses others who know better which only defeats the purpose. Stop misinformation. Let's deal with hardcore realistic facts. No smoke screens.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Ranger_Miffy.

    I asked this before and as expected no answer was given.

    WHO or WHAT gives people/groups the right to tell other how to live their lives and what they can or can't do?

    This is what it truly boils down to and it is played out here on JT daily. See many posters here that THINK they got the right/justification to do those things.

    Ric O'Barry got traumatized by his beloved Dolphin dying(Whoopeee, Pets are lost daily), yet a the same time he comes across as a confused person(talking about ninja, etc). If he was that long involved with Taiji why was it NOT more public before "The Cove", etc.

    Sounds like "The Cove" will actually hurt and setback what he claims to have achieved over the decades in Taiji.

    To me he is like Bethune just a guy out to want to get on the Telly and be shown and get fame.

  • 0

    kyoken

    It's about living the right way on this shrinking planet.

    What exactly does this mean, this "living the right way" elitism propaganda? Who defines it? Based on what grounds? And how does it affect our lives if there are no dolphins around, no whales, no snails ...?

  • 0

    koriyamaboy

    Funny thing. I am teaching a unit on The Sea at the moment. One of the questions is Have you ever eaten...........? Tuna, octopus, etc. most of the kids say YES or show no real reaction. When the dolphin one comes up, they look at me like Are you crazy? No one eats that. Yes, eating dolphin is a real cornerstone of Japanese culture. The dolphin hunt should be outlawed.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    Get real people!! The dolphin hunt should be outlawed.

    Why? Because you say so? Japan is a country with 47 prefectures or was that 49? each region has it's distinct tradition and culture. There is no need for the people in Taiji to be ashamed of their culture because some outside imperialist say so.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    neogreenjapan: "...each region has it's distinct tradition and culture."

    I love it! You make it seem like they've been doing it for hundreds of years and it's an absolutely necessary part of life. They've been doing it for quite a short time as 'traditions' go, and it's most certainly not necessary -- in fact, it's become quite toxic; and now they want to dish it out to the Japanese children again. You crack me up.

    What's becoming an ongoing tradition, in reality, though, is the J-cops inability to enforce the idea that Japan is supposed to be a democratic society in which you can voice your opinion in a peaceful manner without having your life threatened. Instead, they warn those who are peaceful that essentially they are powerless to do anything about a group of little old men in black trucks with loudspeakers who threaten the lives of anyone who is against something that is supposedly Japanese. The reality of this situation is a farce.

    I bet if you asked any of these ultra-rightists if they've ever eaten whale and/or dolphin and 100% would claim yes they have and they love it, but the reality would be a good number of them probably don't even know what they are reacting against -- just that "gaijin are invading their ancient samurai culture!". I have lost pretty much all respect for this nation, from the corrupt officials vying for main office, to the police dropping the ball in any major crime or in dealing with anything until people are dead, to the white-washing of history and bribery of anything they want done. It's disgusting. This is yet one more example.

    Most interesting is that none of the regular "ultra-Japan defenders" have come on here to say anything -- they know they can't. We have people pushing mercury tainted meat on kids, and ultra-rightists threatening the lives of peaceful protesters... bottom line.

  • 0

    nedinjapan

    I say there is a lack of education here. Unfortunately the government does not invest in educating its people. They would rather see Japanese be proud of whatever they do and whoever they are. They can start education by letting people know these are not fish! Dolphins ARE NOT fish. They are among the most clever species in our planet. They have as much of a culture as people in Taiji, and that is something you will understand with proper education. You cannot educate people overnight. They need to be taught properly in schools and through media.

  • 0

    kyoken

    They would rather see Japanese be proud of whatever they do and whoever they are.

    You make this sound like it is a bad thing.

  • 0

    michaelqtodd

    And how does it affect our lives if there are no dolphins around, no whales..?

    @kyoken There is the small matter of having air to breathe for starters.80% of our air comes from the sea.Dolphins and whales (and sharks and tuna) control the food chain in the sea.Without that control the ecosystem of the sea would collapse = game over

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    Now, if they could leave the people in Taiji alone, then everyone can get back to their everyday lives.

    After a half an hour reading through the rhetoric in this thread I only found this comment worth replying to.

    The daily lives of these people is poisoning my kids and yours with this mercury tainted rubbish, which is relabeled and sold as whale meat because very few people want to eat dolphin, but nearly all will eat whale. Think about it people! 20,000+ dolphins are slaughtered each year, but there is no market for the meat. It is common knowledge the Japanese make no distinction between whale and dolphin meats and with the efforts (and success) of Sea Shepherd the supply of 'real' whale meat has dwindled and is being supplemented with dolphin meat labeled as whale.

    A couple of questions for those dissing Rick O'Barry's documentary:

    1) Would you give dolphin meat to your kids knowing it has up to 20 times the recommended safe level of mercury in it and feel confident it is healthy based on one doctor's report (who was obviously paid)?

    2) Would you eat whale meat knowing there is more than a 50% chance it is actually mercury tainted dolphin meat?

  • 0

    kyoken

    We are not dissing the documentary. The documentary is dissing the the people in Taiji by singling them out and using graphic pictures. That is what we try to highlight.

    Your questions are speculative and imaginary; personal freedom brings with it that you must decide what is good for you and your family, but you must not go out and praise your ideas, taste and fears as evangelism that need to made law. There is no grand daddy anymore that protects you and you must not act as grand daddy to others.

  • 0

    kansaifencer

    Imagine having wasted your life doing what he has done. From this article he sounds to me like he has a screw loose.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    kyoken - The documentary is dissing the the people in Taiji by singling them out and using graphic pictures.

    Singling them out? Graphic pictures? It's called, the truth! Get over yourself!

    BTW, I noticed you didn't answer either of my questions, which are neither speculative or imaginary. My questions are based on facts, many of which were exposed by Rick O'Barry's documentary, but have been known about for many years.

    So kyoken, would you feed dolphin meat to your kids knowing it is full of Mercury? And, would you eat whale meat in an izakaya with a more than 50% chance it is mercury tainted dolphin meat and not whale at all?
  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    Mercury and dolphins are two different issues. Anti whalers have a deep disrespect of people who eat whales. And then they get suprised if someone labels them racist or culture imperialist. So now the question is, would you feed your children toxic dolphins? My answer to this is, would you feed non toxic dolphins to your children?

  • 0

    richiesama

    Kersey23- Care to cite any of your comments? Or. should we just take yours with the same grain of salt that you are asking us to take O'Barry's?

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    Just want to share this beautiful paining from Taiji.

    http://www.town.taiji.wakayama.jp/kankou/image036.jpg

    Don't tell me that Taiji got no culture, in fact they have a very rich culture and they should be proud of their heritage.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    If I had time, I would love to go to Taiji. I work with food safety. Coming from a small coastal community with a rich maritime culture from my mother's side. I think it is sad that people enjoy the fact that whales, dolphins are being contaminated with toxic. People should not be happy about this, rather this is a loss to all human beings that our special planet has come to this stage that food has become dangerous to eat.

  • 0

    arrestpaul

    cleo - No, an overly-vocal group..... And you fell into the trap of thinking the noisy people speak for the whole nation. They don't, in Japan or elsewhere.

    That would include Ric O'Barry, the Hollyweird elite, the vegans and the animal-rights zealots. A small noisy group doesn't speak for the majority, they only "claim" that they do.

  • 0

    turbogus

    The film "The Cove" evoked a learning of an aspect of dolphins I learned in the USMC. This being that when men are in the water (due to torpedo or other) when dolphins were present, shark attacks ceased. Why slaughter a benevolent creature that has saved so many human lives? This is just my humble opinion, I am NOT seeking to coerce anyone to agree, so please hold off a text attack.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    turbogus.

    I agree and I also disagree. Dived a LOT with Dolphins of Skiathos(Greece), now by the Island is a shipping lane for freight and cruise ships going into Volos. Naturally you get a fair amount of sharks as they trail the Ships to eat leftovers dumped into the sea(ditto for seagulls).

    Now Doplhins being the natural enemy of sharks, I have seen a few kills of sharks first-hand. Not ONE was done to protect a human being, seen two to protect a young dolphin.

    Sharks also vary of scuba divers as our feet simulate the up/down movement of a Dolphin tail and as sharks got bad eye-sight(hence the attacks on surfers & swimmers/ mistaken identity).

    But fully agree that a Doplhin in water close-by will keep sharks away.

    One question for the Doplhin lovers:

    How do you feel about Tourist/Seaside resorts that offer swimming with "wild" dolphins on their beaches for money?

    Can't say those Dolphins are truly wild anymore as they will come when "called" and get treats, etc.

    For me there is little difference between that and a Dolphin show at a Sea-world.

  • 0

    stevecpfc

    Zenny11; The ones at the sea side can go away if they want. Can`t do that at sea world. I am sure even animals value freedom and have some understanding of it.

  • 0

    michaelqtodd

    @Zenny11 The dolphins in the sea do not get sounds bouncing off their tank wall`s back at them which mess with their heads. They also get to play with other dolphins and to swim fast.They are fun loving creatures.The rate of suicide for dolphins in tanks at aquariums is very high.Hence the need to catch another 500 a year in Taiji to replace them

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    neogreenjapan - My answer to this is, would you feed non toxic dolphins to your children?

    An A-typical point avoiding response! Answering a question with a question. And, where are you going to find said 'non-mercury tainted' dolphin meat? Do you know another close-by planet with dolphins? ALL dolphins and toothed whales have extremely high levels of mercury due to their diet of small fish like sardines, which are also high in mercury.

    Also, for the Flipper fans who believe dolphins are enemies of sharks you should stop believing urban myths and Hollywood garbage. It is a proven fact that, while they may share some animosity between species, sharks follow dolphins looking for food. Fact!

    Zenny11 - Can't say those Dolphins are truly wild anymore as they will come when "called" and get treats, etc.

    Great contradictory point. If this is the case, how can anyone support the slaughter of them?

    neogreenjapan - If I had time, I would love to go to Taiji. I work with food safety.

    Yeah, right! And, you would have loons like 'Private Space' chasing you out of the town for exposing the truth.

  • 0

    ReformedBasher

    @neogreenjapan

    If I had time, I would love to go to Taiji

    Nice sea and mountains, the locals as I remember were quite friendly. Just don't dress like a hippie or they will think you are with Sea Sherperd and might give you the cold shoulder, can't possible imagine why...

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    sorry pressed the wrong button.

    An A-typical point avoiding response! Answering a question with a question. And, where are you going to find said 'non-mercury tainted' dolphin meat?

    My point is that you have already proven to show racist attitudes towards people who eat whale meat so for you it does not make a difference whether whales have mercury or not but now you pretend as if you do care if they have mercury. Stop pretending you care about the people who eat whale meat when you disregard their culture.

    All sea food have mercury, and as I said, mercury has to be seen in a larger content. These people filled with cultural prejudice are busy trying to teach people who eat whales that it is bad for you. First, their argument was that there were too few of them, then when they found out that there were enough whales they changed their stance to it is barbaric and then to but you still should not eat it because it is toxic. Why just not simply say, I think my culture is better than your culture and since my culture is better than yours you must listen to us. Call a spade a spade. An ethnocentric culture imperialist.

  • 0

    seadweller

    Neogreenjapan - It is PEOPLE that eat too much fish!

  • 0

    cleo

    racist attitudes towards people who eat whale meat

    Racist attitudes are towards people on account of their race, not on account of what they eat. 'I don't like people to eat whales' is not racist. 'culture imperialistic people of the west' is racist.

    when they found out that there were enough whales they changed their stance to it is barbaric and then to but you still should not eat it because it is toxic.

    My stance has always been that it's impossible to kill a marine mammal humanely and so they shouldn't be killed, full stop. 'There are enough of them' is not a valid argument; there are plenty of people, dogs and cats around too, but that doesn't mean it's OK to go around gleefully slitting their throats and making them into sandwiches. 'you still should not eat it because it is toxic' is also not an argument; people can (and do) eat whatever rubbish they want. But feeding the same rubbish to children (whether it's mercury-laden seafood or sugar-laden soft drinks or cholesterol-laden burgers) is nothing less than child abuse.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    Many people in the world have come to hate the Japanese because of these aggressive ethnocentric campaigns. Japanese people and the people of Taiji could not identify with Cove at all. Therefore the people of Taiji are not open to influence. The only thing that the anti-whaling campaigns so far have seemed to do is just to condemn and dehumanize the Taiji people. Cove is a typical Hollywood movie typically with the good people against the evil people – not giving the other side a chance to argue their position. Movies like this stops any dialog and a positive development. If people chose to communicate with each other more respectfully and with a will to find out and understand each other.

  • 0

    japanisno1

    critisize anything about Japan and its the same old "our unique and special culture" crap - cant admit they wrong about anything, futile to argue with them.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    Alienated urban western people criticizing rural people for utilizing natural resources in a sustainable manner just outside their homes is wrong because they are Japanese? When people see animals today, they don’t connect them any longer to what’s on their dinner table. Animals is something you see on TV or pets. People in urban areas have become so alienated because they live protected lives and never have to deal with being personally responsible for providing and killing their own food.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    So you got a problem that some people think some people see minke whales as not divine like you do? You are close minded.

  • 0

    cleo

    not giving the other side a chance to argue their position

    Didn't the town of Taiji turn down the chance to have their side heard?

    When people see animals today, they don’t connect them any longer to what’s on their dinner table.

    The only animals connected with my dinner table are the little lurgies in the yogurt and the dog under the table hoping someone will drop something tasty. Don't assume that all urban western people (oops - not urban, I live in the inaka, and not really western, spent the greater part of my life in Japan) exist on a diet of burgers and steaks.

    Moderator: Stay on topic please. Burgers and steaks have nothing to do with this discussion.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    @cleo. I have read your posts and some of your views I think are fair enough.

    Didn't the town of Taiji turn down the chance to have their side heard?

    According to the Cove. This is not a very good reliable neutral source. Where in the movie did you see anyone given a chance to come with the other view? They did not portrait the town in a fair way. The entire town has a rich whaling tradition.

  • 0

    cleo

    According to the Cove. This is not a very good reliable neutral source.

    I've seen reports of the Taiji slaughtermen complaining about the way they and their 'work' are portrayed, about what they claim are 'factual inaccuracies' in the film - but I have seen no reports of them complaining that they were denied the chance to give their side of the story in the film, or contradicting O'Barry's claim that he offered them the chance to have their side heard.

  • 0

    dontpanic

    neogreenjapan - "Cove is a typical Hollywood movie typically with the good people against the evil people – not giving the other side a chance to argue their position. Movies like this stops any dialog and a positive development".

    "These culture imperialistic people of the west" "are so deranged" "backward imperialists" "proven to show racist attitudes towards people who eat whale meat" "people filled with cultural prejudice" "An ethnocentric culture" "Alienated urban western people" "because they are Japanese?"

    As far as I see it both sides have been had plenty of opportunity to put their points of view. Its the failure to engage in the debate with tirades like yours that prevent progress.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    As far as I see it both sides have been had plenty of opportunity to put their points of view. Its the failure to engage in the debate with tirades like yours that prevent progress.

    What progress? You already said that whaling is barbaric and outdated and my point is that by having views like yours is outdated. Are you against Native Americans hunting whales too?

    O'Barry's never even tried to understand why people do what ever they do in Taiji. He went in with this typical culture imperialistic attitude and was deemed to change fishermen harvesting dolphins. O'Barry don't have to agree with Taiji just understand why they hunt a natural renewable resource in a sustainable manner. They’re not doing it because they're evil people as the Cove wanted us to believe. Where in the Cove did it mention the rich historic whaling traditions? It is easy to criticize that when you come from a place with no whaling tradition isn't it? Condemning a culture because it is different is what culture imperialists do.

  • 0

    Jkanda

    Let the Taiji people sort out their problems. Who are we to stop them? If you are that concerned, go to Taiji, talk to them about it, in the most non-violent way. No need to create a scene. No need for TV and movie actors to go there and shed tears. Even if you don't do that, those people will stop eventually.

    Disillusioned, the other meat your children are eating, even though it is not toxic is bad. Did you see the link Kyoken has posted?

  • 0

    stevecpfc

    nrogreenjapan; The Tiaji dolphin hunts only stated in 1933. Before that they only hunted whales, hardly a centuries old tradition.

    Please stop calling anyone against this racist etc. It adds nothing to the debaye.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    Stevepc. Source please. Not Cove but a reliable source. According to Taiji Town.

    太地は日本における捕鯨発祥の地だと言われています。日本人が何千年も前から鯨類を利用していたのは多くの考古学的事実からわかっています

    http://www.town.taiji.wakayama.jp/tyousei/sub_kujiranomati.html

    Taiji is said to be the birthplace of whaling in Japan. From the archologic findings we can see that Japanese have been utilizing whales for thousands of years.

  • 0

    Jkanda

    stevecpfc, I think it is me here who is mixing up both the whales and the dolphins. Sorry about that. Last night watched the Cove and the slaughter video by Kyoken, and I am all angry and wild here.

    Not just whale meat, or dolphin meat, I don't want any meat anymore. And I don't want anyone, no PETA no outsider tell me what I should eat and not. A little tough, 'cos I am anaemic from birth, but I must. Even one person making a change would make a difference right?

  • 0

    Kersey23

    richiesama You can take what I say with the same grain of salt if you want. Or just research it for yourself. Go out and research it. Check history books or even wikipedia if you want to. Most information is easy to get access to. Think for yourself what is logical and what is not. I don't think it is intelligent when people just take others at what they say without questioning them. Too often we fly off and just repeat what others have said without any effort on our own to validate what is correct or incorrect and too often enough we are just blinded by our feelings to face what is and is not reality. The things I have said can easily be validated. I am just disappointed that Mr. Barry would go and speak half-truths. It defeats his purpose and only excites people who do not actually think for themselves.

  • 0

    Kersey23

    No disrespect intended richiesama.

  • 0

    stevecpfc

    jkanda; well irespect your decision.

    Let us debate, but not accuse wtongfully to helpus. Yes Mr I`Barry did wrong, but he learnt his lesson.

  • 0

    Jkanda

    I am sure that if given a non-biased education of this subject, and if done with respect to the people, all the ancient practices will stop.Not just Taiji people alone.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    There are no school-restaurants/cafeterias in Japanese primary and Junior High Schools.

    The food is delivered to the class-room and served by the kids(on a rooster). There is ONE meal per day and the kids simply eat of it what they want.

  • 0

    allforfun

    I go to the movies to relax, too, so as an expat, dubbing is a sad retreat....I don't blame the Japanese for wanting the movie in their native tongue....but I have to say the fact that they cannot handle it in subtitles and a bit of English says volumes about the sad state of English Education here.. Karen (www.insideoutsidejapan.com)

  • 0

    stevecpfc

    Zenny11; My niece just joined a Junior High school and they all eat in a dining hall. Granted , there are only about 60 pupils in the whole school and this may be totally against the norm. We do live in a very rural area though and this may b doen due to the small amount of kids. Doubt they would try an dgive them whale or dolphin though, the teachers are not the robots some would imagine from a countryside place. They have even talked about Taiji and what the kids think about it and eating dolphin. This suprised me, i only found out today. There are Japanese talking and acting on these issues but maybe they are not so vocal.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    stevepfc.

    Maybe the school has some extra space they can use, many rural schools have very few students now.

    Yes, whaling and Taiji is being discussed by the japanese and at schools, most are aware of the facts, but as you said it is very low-vocal and within close friendship, etc circles only.

    Many japanese won't discuss/acknowledge those issues though unless it is within a known circle of people.

    Need to ask my sons school if they will serve whale again as about 80% of it was left untouched last year. The school cooks in-house and is not supplied by one of the 3 wards big kitchens.

  • 0

    stevecpfc

    Zenny11; I was plasently suprised when sis in law brought it up and the kids said they wouldnt like to eat dolphin ot whale. I wouldnt recommend showing them The Cove though as some say, as i even found some bits disturbing and could be really bad for kids. Thing is the message is getting through and the kids and their parents dont consider it is an attack on Japan by Westerners etc... To me this is good news, as this shows at grass roots this is being talked about and my sister in law says the other parents werent even aware of Taiji.

    I give credit to O`Barry for a lot of this, but i must say it has given me a better feeling towards how Japanese and schools may look at this. Things will change regarding Tailji and other aspects of animal welfare. Those kids are not so daft. Hope this happen all over Japan.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    stevecpfc:

    The change is happening but it needs to come from the japanese themselves, you can't force it, etc. All you can do is educate people and let them work it out for themselves.

    Taiji was already often in the news years before "The Cove" was even made, so not sure how much true credit should go to "The Cove" as he had been working on that issue for decades.

    What many people her don't understand with me, I do love Animals and truly care for them but I was also raised as a hunter and understand that we need to provide food.

    For me there is a difference between a pet and an animal/fish/etc raised or caught/hunted for food. As a Hunter & Animal Lover I want to minimize the pain and suffering of the Animal(how I was taught), as a logical person I understand that this is an impossible target to achieve for commercial animal kills.

    Going back to "The Cove" shock-tactics movies didn't work for anti-war movies like "Acopalypse Now", "Mad Max", etc hence why they are no longer made, and it won't work for anti-whaling, etc either.

    Just my view.

  • 0

    stevecpfc

    Zenny11; I think the teachers din`t know until the publicity of the film. I knwo they taled about it at school as my nearest neighbours (only ones ho like me) spoke to my wife about it.They were a bit shocked about it and i think because they all went to a dolphin park before the holidays. The publicity generated is good and a reasoned debate in the Japanese media would be good. Without all the emotions, it would be best for the dolphin hunters to get new employemnt which could be done by a rich Japanese person or company. If they did this the good publicity worldwide would pay dividends. Imagine if Sony or Toshiba offered them good jobs instead of dolphin hunting. The PR would be worth millions in advertising. Everyone would be a winner.

    I think if these matters can be debated without fear of right wingers interfering, then Japanese would decide that image from the world comes first.I mean, dolphin hunting is not the norm, but it gives Japan a very bad image.

    Japan can come out of this looking good and with prde and without some thinking they have bowed down. It is a global world and some old things must be scrificed for the good of the many and to prevent friction with others.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Stevepfc.

    Not sure about your area, but local Tv-channels got a LOT of discussion programs granted mostly during office-hours. As I work from home I keep the telly switched on and watch them in the background.

  • 0

    KobeKid

    a link for Zenny the hunter, a hunters view of the Taiji dolphin hunts

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fe20100704cw.html

  • 0

    stevecpfc

    Zenny11; Don`t watch Japanese telly anymore, but missus commands me when she thinks something is on that will interest me. I got fed up with the mindless talent and cooking stuff. Get my fix from UK TV. Most of my knowledge about Taiji etc is from English language sites. I have tried to engag on Japanese sites with a bit of help from my wife and they all mocked my poor Japanese.

    Better this stuff is out in the open and unbiased. We had big debaye in UK about fix hunting and many foreign peopel joind in, but w never called thm haters and racist etc...

  • 0

    Zenny11

    kobekid.

    I have met and chatted with him. You are NOT bringing anything new to the discussion.

  • 0

    KobeKid

    met and chatted with who? Ric O'Barry? CW Nicol?

  • 0

    Zenny11

    CW Nicol. Thought it was obvious after your link. ;

  • 0

    KobeKid

    but had you read this article before?

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Yup, the Japan Times lands at my door every morning.

    He got his views and I got mine, we respect each other and except the difference in views.

  • 0

    Zenny11

    Make that accept.

  • 0

    stevecpfc

    Mr Nicol is not against whaling but doesn`t agree with japanese research wahling every year and is strongly against the methods of killing in Taiji and the way the locals seem to revel in the dolphins slow and painfill deaths. Bot word for word, but in fact he makes his position regatding Taiji more strongly.

    Moderator: Readers, the subject is Ric O'Barry, not C. W. Nicol. Please stay on topic.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    People who thought Cove was fair and balanced are blinded with ethnocentric anti whale sentiments which disregard the people who have a whaling tradition. Movies like Cove and know it all hysteric westerners do much more damage than good. Greenpeace, Seashepherd, good ole open minded Rick also need to survive so what better way to blow this up as much as possible and cash in from the campaign. These people are simple minded culture imperialists.

  • 0

    KevininHawaii

    So, Mr. O'Barry believes in his cause, but not enough to actually confront someone about what they are doing? It all sounds rather convenient - "I want to protest dolphins being murdered, but I might get a bruise or two..."

    neogreenjapan: get over yourself already. Your assertions: 1) The Cove is racist, and 2)"know it all hysteric westerners" show that YOUR world view are inherently racist. Not all Japanese people are whale & dolphin murderers, and not all westerners (you mean white people, right?) know it all (or think they do). I for one am against all whaling, by all countries, and find the "research" b.s. excuse used by the Japanese government especially offensive. I do not presume to typecast all of Japan over the actions of a few. At the same time, I do not like being labelled a "hysteric westerner" because of the actions of a vocal few.

    There are idiots among us, don't be one.

  • 0

    dontpanic

    "These people are simple minded culture imperialists".

    Or, if you open your mind, you might see they care about the animals in question. Where you see only anti Japan cultural oppression others see these animals are sentient and want to prevent cruelty and reduce suffering.

  • 0

    Icewind007

    This man, from what he said, truly seems to be looking out for the good of everyone. He knows his facts and he's made many sacrifices to get this across.

    He is not some hypocrite looking to make money off of publicity (coughal gorecough). He wants to keep a stable ecosystem, protect the people, and stop what is harming the economy.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    Pilot whales are not endangered and what better way to live an eco friendly way of lifestyle than to harvest nature's surplus in a sustainable manner? The natural habitat does not have to be destroyed and turned into agricultural land, the energy use is low in relation to yield. So here comes Mr FLipper from Hollywood wearing his leather shoes, chewing away on a hamburger lecturing the Japanese about culture.

    Not only that. Cove came out with flat out lies. I can accept that people dislike that some people hunt whales for food, but just because you do, makes no right to come with flat out lies. Pilot whales have been hunted for centuries in Japan. They are not only hunted in Japan but in other parts of the world too. Such as in the Caribbean. So why was it so stange for the people on Cove that they too supported Japan in utilizing a renewable natural resource? Pilot whales are not endangered. The current annual national quota in Japan is at 450. I can't remember if it was from the movie Cove or if it was from one of the interviews with the movie director, proclaiming that this was a mass genocide and 20,000 were being killed. Why do they have to keep on lying like this and spread false info?

    The most endangered whale species in the world is in USA, the North Atlantic RIgh Whale. There are only 300 or so of them left. Harpoon have not been pointed to them for eons, the whales are either rammed by big boats or die from nets entanglement. If the US government made laws and regulations about where the boats should go, these whales would not die like they do today but having boats go a different route would cost money, so the US government is right now not doing anything more than thinking about how to save these whales rather than saving them. This is completely ignored in the media. All these anti whaling fanatics are driven by the hate of the whalers more than the love of whales.

  • 0

    THIMK

    Ric O'Barry knows more about dolphins than most people - certainly more than the people that kill them in such wretched fashion.

    Stop making this about national pride. There is no shame in ceasing out-dated practices, or we'd still be baiting bears, skinning fur-bearing animals alive and herding bison off cliffs. Some things just become untenable in civilised societies; slashing dolphins to death with long knives is one of them.

  • 0

    giveitall

    @ neogreenjapan

    Why is it wrong?

    a) Because sentient beings are not "surplus products". They are living beings with rights.

    And, as O'Barry points out dolphins are basically small whales and the 20,000 hunted each year are surplus to Japan's other whale hunt limitations.

    b) "Eco-friendliness" includes not slaughtering sentient beings for the sake of commercial exploitation.

    c) There is nothing "green" or, laughably, "neo-green" about industrial scale hunting or meat farming.

    The past or the future? I know which sells better and makes more money. O'Barry is actually offering Japan a golden opportunity to take the latter.

  • 0

    Jkanda

    O'Barry is actually offering Japan a golden opportunity to take the latter.

    O'Barry statemnts at the interview sounded rather normal except for the Ninja part, and the boasting about how he made a choice to give up his superfluous life. But what you are stating about how this one man is offering this powerful nation Japan an ultimatum sounds rather scary to me. This statement is actually invalidating O'Barry's good intentions I think.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    And, as O'Barry points out dolphins are basically small whales and the 20,000 hunted each year are surplus to Japan's other whale hunt limitations.

    Where do you get the number 20,000? Where does he get this number from? Why does he need to exaggerate and come with lies like this? It is no 20,000. Maybe 20,000 whales have been killed throughout history in Taiji. But then again they have been killing whales there for more than 1000 years. Each year a few hundred are killed. He is a simple liar.

    b) "Eco-friendliness" includes not slaughtering sentient beings for the sake of commercial exploitation.

    Are there any industries in the world which is not commercial? Selective catching of marine fish and mammals is an environmental friendly form of producing food for human consumption because the environment remains unaffected, energy use is low in relation to yield, and there is no pollution from fertilisers, or pesticides.

    The past or the future?

    The future is to show respect and embrace cultural diversity while living in harmony with nature such as the fishermen in Taiji have been doing since even before Buddhism arrived in Japan over 2000 years ago. Sustainable utilisation of whales (and other natural resources) is a positive step towards humans living in balance with the planet.

  • 0

    cleo

    Where do you get the number 20,000? Where does he get this number from? Why does he need to exaggerate and come with lies like this? It is no 20,000..... Each year a few hundred are killed. He is a simple liar.

    Taiji is one of several Japanese villages where dolphins are hunted. The town this season has a nationally set quota of 3,015, of a total national quota of nearly 21,000.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22920804/

    I don't suppose O'Barry reads JT, but you never know. It might be nice for you to apologise for calling him a liar when you simply didn't have the facts.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    Also in the Cove, there was a big section of how the Caribbean nations were getting bribes from Japan to hunt in favor of Japan at IWC. What COve did not mention though however is that these countries too have a whaling tradition and hunt whales and dolphins!! Are the people really this stupid to buy these lies by Cove? And why does the Cove need to lie?

    Limited whaling is an essential part of life for communities in Grenada, the Commonwealth of Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Short-finned pilot whales, pygmy killer whales and a variety of dolphin species (all small cetaceans) are harvested. In addition, the Carib people of Dominica opportunistically harvest the large sperm whales, which occasionally wash up on their shores. This number is small, averaging only 1 or 2 whales per year

    http://www.worldwhalers.com/whalingaroundthe_world/caribbean.htm

    Did the Cove even mention that someone from the anti whale movement in the past represented a country in the Caribbean with a whaling tradition while not actually being a citizen of that country?

    Mr Flipper from Hollywood should stay in his country USA and harass the Native Americans for hunting whales.

  • 0

    cleo

    neogreen, did you deliberately switch 'dolphins' and 'pilot whales' or did you simply not notice you were talking at cross purposes with yourself?

    Expanding your own link-

    (Risso's dolphin) One regular hunt occurs in Japan, where about 250-500 are taken per year in a drive fishery. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/9461/0

    Drive and harpoon fisheries in Japan catch bottlenose dolphins for human consumption and to remove perceived competition with commercial fisheries (Wells and Scott 1999). Average catch from 1995-2004 was 594 per annum http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/22563/0

    (Striped dolphin) The average take between 1995-2004 was 502 individuals (Kasuya 2007), and there has been an annual quota of 725 since 1993 (through 2006). http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/20731/0

    Japan takes large numbers of spotted dolphins for human consumption. The catch in 1982 was 3,799, and annual catches between 1994 and 1997 ranged from 23 to 449 (Perrin 2002). Between 1995 and 2004, the average annual catch was 129 animals http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/20729/0

    (Dall's porpoise) The fishery currently operates with a quota of 9,000 *dalli-type Sea of Japan-southern Okhotsk Sea population and 8,700 truei-type Pacific coast-central Okhotsk Sea population (IWC 2002)*. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/17032/0

    Do the sums. It's much closer to 20,000 than it is to 'a few hundred'.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    neogreen, did you deliberately switch 'dolphins' and 'pilot whales' or did you simply not notice you were talking at cross purposes with yourself?

    I was referring to pilot whales. Have been all the way, I am suprised you was not able to understand this. The movie in Taiji was about Pilot Whales? Surely you did understand this, did you not?

    Cove should stop telling half truths and lies. If they stuck to facts they would still be culture imperialists but by coming with lies they are lying culture imperialists.

    The Striped Dolphins which was not mentioned what so ever in Cove is in the Least Concern category. So they want people to stop utilizing non endangered natural renewable resource because these animals are cute?

    Do you know of any reasons why the Cove had to lie about the real reasons for why the Caribbean nations voted in favor of Japan?

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    It's much closer to 20,000 than it is to 'a few hundred'.

    Few hundred pilot whales is not 20,000. The genocide in Taiji as proclaimed by the people in Cove is a lie. People who buy this lie are ignorant.

  • 0

    stevecpfc

    neogreejapan; It is not just Pilot whales killed. The 20,000 + figure is correct and does not just refer to Taiji. Nobody claoms that 20,000 a year are killed at Taiji. The main concern for me anyway is the cruel method of killing. I protest against what i consider to be animal cruelty worldwide and have even been arrested in the UK for an anti vivisection demo in the 80`s.

  • 0

    cleo

    I was referring to pilot whales. Have been all the way, I am suprised you was not able to understand this. The movie in Taiji was about Pilot Whales?

    I understand that you are confused. The movie is about what happens to the dolphins and whales that swim off the Taiji coast, not just about Pilot whales.

    Please provide a single credible link that shows anyone claiming that 20,000 pilot whales are killed in Taiji.

    Cove should stop telling half truths and lies

    Look in the mirror.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    I'm not confused but I greatly appreciate your concern. Cove says.

    The Cove exposes the slaughter of more than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises off the coast of Japan every year,

    They did not expose 20,000 dolphins slaughtered in Taiji and Japan does not hunt over 20,000. I exposed 2 lies in just one sentence. I only claimed that a few hundred pilot whales are being hunted in Taiji and that's closer than the lies Cove wants people to believe.

    Now going to other lies from culture imperialists. COuld you tell me why the Cove did leave the vital info about the Caribbean also being whaling nations??

    From reading this article. And seeing this film you would think that the 13 boats, with two men each are responsible for the genocide of 20,000 non endangered species. Then in this film they want us to believe that they first started hunting dolphins since 1930.

  • 0

    arrestpaul

    cleo - Please provide a single credible link that shows anyone claiming that 20,000 pilot whales are killed in Taiji.

    The Coves own advertizing refers to the slaughter of more than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises. Links aren't hard to find.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    While links is nor hard to find, why they lie about the Caribbean?

  • 0

    cleo

    neo -

    The Cove exposes the slaughter of more than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises off the coast of Japan every year

    That is not the same as 20,000 pilot whales at Taiji. I'm sure you can see the difference. I really do think you owe Mr. O'Barry an apology.

    The makers of The Cove aren't the only ones who have pointed out the links between Japanese aid to certain small countries and those countries' support of Japan at the IWC. In my professional capacity, I have come across many documents dealing with and describing the huge amounts of money Japan has been throwing at these tiny states. The Cove didn't say anything new about this.

    arrestpaul - see above. Can you spot the subtle difference between '20,000 dolphins and porpoises off the coast of japan' and 20,000 pilot whales in Taiji'?

  • 0

    giveitall

    I think the important issue to keep a focus on is that the big money corporations involved making it worthwhile, are all parasites upon Ric O'Barry work establishing the performing dolphin industry. What makes this campaign valid is that Ric O'Barry is essentially the father of this industry attempting to right a wrong he started.

    The multi-billion dollar "Dancing Dolphins" industry not "traditionally Japanese".

    It is funny how Japanese are willing to adopt Western commercial concepts wholescale when it suits them - Japan is a hugely Xenophiliac nation - but then reject morals, ethics or alternative commercial concepts when they arise, e.g. eco-tourism or dolphin/whale watching and instead turn into screaming Xenophobes attempting to conflate ethics with imperialism.

    What Japan needs to wake up to is the financial damage the dolphin/whaling debate is causing them. It is the greatest PR disaster in the world and it is sinking Japanese's reputation.

  • 0

    neogreenjapan

    @cleo

    Cove could have been more accurate and have stated for instance. The Cove exposes the slaughter of short finned pilot whales in Taiji event though this is not really a secret. I still wonder how they came up with the over 20,000 though. In the Caribbean nations, whales and dolphins are also hunted. Why they chose to leave this vital info out? These lies and half truths don't make this film any credible. These culture imperialists are harming their own cause.

    Anti whale is the 21st century variety of cultural imperialism--the assumption that the values of supposedly 'better' or 'advanced' countries will be pushed upon on more backwards nations. Japan together with many other countries in the world continue to harvest a natural renweable resource for food.

    A few species of whale are threatened with extinction. But most species are extremely numerous. So now culture imperialists want people to stop taking a renewable natural resource for food because they see these animals as divine.

    Around the world, many coastal communities rely on the cultural, nutritional and economic sustenance whaling provides. In most cases, their whaling traditions and techniques have developed over centuries. In all cases, their concern of their communities is vitally linked to their concern for the whale populations. A sustainable hunt of a natural renewable resource should be welcomed as it maintains a good balance with the planet.

    Whaling countries are wide spread such as Canada, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, Russia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, New Zealand and the United States.

  • 0

    giveitall

    It is not cultural imperialism, neogreenjapan.

    It is about human evolution and ethics.

    Japan is hugely Xenophiliac (love of foreign things, the opposite of xenophobia), it loves to adopt foreign concepts, technologies, trends. Its people and corporations have benefits hugely by doing so and even improving on them.

    What Japanese groups such as ELSA and ALIVE, and activists like O'Barry, Sea Shepherd etc are suggesting is that Japan adopt the highest ethical and environmental standards.

    They are offer Japan an opportunity, including business opportunity, to lead the world in environmental and animal rights, instead of appear like barbarian throwbacks.

    No one with a sane mind confuses indigenous fishing with high technology industries, all of whom have imported their technology from the West.

    If you want to point a figure as the "Cultural Imperialism" which is going on, it is the Imperialism of ruthless, conscienceless industrial capitalism which Japan has adopted - completely in opposition to its 1,000 year Buddhist traditions of vegetarianism.

    Sentient beings are not natural resources.

    Unlike other mammal meat industries, dolphins and whales do not belong to Japan. These handfuls of industrial capitalists - some of which are funded by our tax Yen - are in effect stealing them from the rest of us.

    They do not represent the true spirit of peaceful Japan.

  • 0

    cleo

    I still wonder how they came up with the over 20,000 though.

    Why is that, then? Didn't you bother to look at the figures I gave you? They add up to between 19,175 and 19,648. That's as close to 20,000 as you can spit at.

    In the Caribbean nations, whales and dolphins are also hunted. Why they chose to leave this vital info out?

    And if it was a film extolling the virtues of, say, Japanese paper-making, would you expect the low-down on every other paper-making industry in the world? Would you want a film on Kabuki to look at every other drama form in the world? Should a documentary on sumo make a point of noting that other countries have wrestling-type sports?

    they see these animals as divine.

    Just stop this nonsense. No one is claiming any animal is 'divine'. You only demonstrate that you are incapable of reasoned debate.

Login to leave a comment

OR
Continuing Education: Seminars and Workshops in April

Continuing Education: Seminars and Workshops in April

Temple University, Japan CampusContinuing Education / MBA

Undergraduate: Information session (April 9)

Undergraduate: Information session (April 9)

Temple University, Japan CampusContinuing Education / MBA

Special Offers

グローバルに
活躍したいあなたへ
外資系転職

バイリンガル人材の
ための求人サイト

見てみる

More in Lifestyle

View all

View all

Japan Investment
Properties

Listings Updated Daily

Search