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September 22, 2010

Japan Dolphin Day 2010

Join us to give dolphins a voice

Humane Society International

On October 14, 2010, animal lovers worldwide will unite for the sixth annual Japan Dolphin Day to speak out against the cruel drive fisheries of Japan, which slaughter hundreds of dolphins every year. Humane Society International will once again be promoting and participating in this important event.

The dolphin slaughtering season in Taiji, a small coastal town of Japan, often lasts from September to March. During this time, pods of dolphins are herded into a shallow cove by fishermen in small boats and then are brutally killed with lances and knives. A few will be kept alive to be sold into the captive dolphin industry, including swim-with-the-dolphins programs, where they may suffer for years. Some of the dolphins are used for their meat which, studies have shown, has high levels of mercury and is not suitable for consumption by children or pregnant women. Unfortunately, dolphin meat is still sold in Japan despite the risks and without any warning from the government.

The Taiji dolphin hunts continue because the fishermen make immense profits from selling some of their victims to the captive dolphin industry. Government officials also allow the hunt because they consider the dolphins to be pests who eat too much of the fish stocks around Taiji.

The world is watching

The popularity of the recent documentary, “The Cove,” has dramatically raised awareness of this issue. A new mini-series on Animal Planet called “Blood Dolphins” is helping to keep Japan’s activities in the spotlight. These drive hunts have been brought into the public eye as never before, and yet they still continue. Despite the increased publicity, most Japanese citizens remain ignorant of the cruelty that happens on their shores.

Dolphin advocates hope to draw further attention to drive fisheries on October 14 when individuals and groups across the globe will gather to protest this horrific activity. The blood-stained sea and panicked screams of the animals will not go unremarked as animal advocates worldwide make sure that their cries are heard for the dolphins.