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article imageOp-Ed: Call to action issued for 200-300 bottlenose held in Taiji Cove

By Elizabeth Batt     Dec 12, 2012 in Environment
Taiji - One day after driving in and slaughtering 55-65 striped dolphins, fishermen in Taiji, Japan, drove between 200-300 bottlenose dolphins into the cove. Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians are asking for your help to save them.
It's almost unimaginable that just one day after one of the most horrific dolphin slaughters this year in Taiji, Japan, another 100 plus bottlenose dolphins now face the same fate later today.
With a glut of striped dolphin meat already flooding the shelves in Taiji supermarkets, boats once again left the harbor last night to hunt for more. This time they hit on the money dolphins and they refused to miss out on a dime. According to Cove Guardians with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS):
The greed of the dolphin killers was clearly evident today, as they lost two parts of the large pod during the chase, however instead of being satisfied with 60+ dolphins they managed to drive into the cove, they made sure that every last dolphin was driven within the cove and made their way back out to drive every last dolphin. They were then netted off and left overnight.
Now the Cove Guardians are issuing a call to action in an attempt to help the dolphins trapped in the Cove:
Today in Taiji, a pod of over 100 Bottlenose Dolphins were driven into the cove, where they have now been netted off and left overnight. Tomorrow, they face slaughter, or a life in captivity -- sold to dolphinariums within Japan and around the world.
There are only 4 of us on the ground, we need your help to get the word out there to end this drive hunt and captive trade. Share this video to social networks and bombard the below contacts with emails, calls and faxes to urge that they stop supporting the horrific drive hunts and captures within Taiji, Japan.
[The pod has since been determined as much larger, possible 200-300 animals.]
Cove Guardians along with social media activist group Save Misty the Dolphin, are urging people to contact IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers' Association) and WAZA (Worldwide Association for Zoos and Aquariums), because of their indirect association with the drives.
There is also a large contingent of WAZA members in the United States.
There is also a large contingent of WAZA members in the United States.
WAZA membership map
Several members of IMATA and WAZA either directly purchase dolphins from Taiji or train dolphins that have been captured in the hunts. Taiji's dolphins end up in Japanese dolphinariums and are shipped around the globe.
According to, in Japan alone, there are 51 facilities that currently hold captive cetaceans. Forty-nine of them actively display these marine mammals, two of them operate seasonally. This interactive map created by Ceta-Base, shows where these facilities are located.
Several of the facilities named are members of WAZA. The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium for example, is just one member that sources its dolphins from Taiji. Ironically though, the bulk of WAZA members are based in the United States.
How can you help?
Save Misty the Dolphin told me that people can use this sample letter to register their protest personally. They can send the letter via e-mail to:
Phone: 312-692-3193
Fax: 312-939-2216
Phone +41 (0)22 999 07 90
Fax +41 (0)22 999 07 91
Additional details on how to help the dolphins, are also available on the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian website. Comments may also be made to:
Japan Fisheries Public Content Form, Japanese Embassies Worldwide, or via Twitter to the following entities:
US Ambassador to Japan @AmbassadorRoos
Japanese Prime Minister @JPN_PMOUS
Embassy in Tokyo @usembassytokyo
Political Minister at Japanese Embassy in London @norishikata
For the 100 plus dolphins in the Cove, sources estimate that these dolphins may only have only around six or seven hours left at best, before their fate is determined. Sandy McElhaney an administrator with Save Misty the Dolphin told us that in regard to IMATA and WAZA, "We would like them to sit up and take notice today. They have never really felt our heat. NOW is the time."
Update: As of 7:35 PM MST 32 dolphins were taken captive over about six hours. One calf died after becoming trapped in the nets. Once it was released its mother tried to hold it afloat but it was too late. Dolphins were presenting massive gashes from being hit by boat propellers according to Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians. The rest of the pod will again be left overnight, a second night without food.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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