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City of Light to spotlight the plight of Japanese Dolphins Special

By Elizabeth Batt     Aug 27, 2013 in Environment
Buffalo - Buffalo, NY, will be highlighting the plight of Japanese dolphins on Sept. 1. The protest, timed to coincide with The Cove star Ric O'Barry and his trip to Taiji, will be hosted by two activists at Bidwell Park.
The peaceful and informational protest is just one of a planned 103 global events scheduled to commemorate the annual Japan Dolphins Day (JDD). Hosted by Christine Hutten and Adrienne Rothenberg, the dolphin advocates plan to share O'Barry's message with the people of Buffalo, NY.
As he does every year on Sept. 1, O'Barry, the campaign manager for the Dolphin Project and Save Japan Dolphins, will be heading to Japan with volunteer Cove Monitors and international supporters from six continents.
The peaceful contingent, which will this year include Guns N Roses singer/drummer: Matt Sorum, will gather on the beach at the Cove to ask for an end to the annual dolphins conducted in Taiji.
Centered around the small coastal whaling village situated in the Wakayama Prefecture of Japan, the drives occur every year between Sept. 1 and March 31. Cetaceans across several species are herded toward a natural inlet by boats and then either slaughtered for their meat or sold (at great profit), to the captive marine industry.
Last year, more than 1,400 dolphins were driven into the Cove.
Hutten told Digital Journal that she has been active in the animal protection movement for quite some time, but it was her trips to Marineland in Canada that really ignited her passion. "Having visited the infamous park on a field trip in the third grade," she said, "I fell in love with the animals there, but I felt it in my heart that something was very wrong."
After watching episodes of Whale Wars and Louie Psihoyos' Academy Award-winning documentary, The Cove, "I became sick to my stomach," Hutten said. The activist explained that further research only fueled her outrage. "I knew I had to do something," she said, "but wasn’t sure where to start."
Facebook helped. "It played a major role in how I got involved in JDD last year," Hutten told DJ. The social media site allowed the dolphin advocate to network with other like-minded individuals on a global basis.
Hutten stumbled onto the page of the Save Misty The Dolphin campaign, where administrators were asking for volunteers to host events for JDD 2012.
"I recruited my good friend and fellow animal advocate, Adrienne Rothenberg, and Japan Dolphins Day Buffalo, NY was started," Hutten said.
Several JDD events are hosted outside of Japanese Embassies but Buffalo doesn't have one. Instead, the activists will host their protest this year at Bidwell Park. The family-friendly event will offer information on the drives and the link to captivity plus several events for children.
"We include many things to attract children and teach them about dolphins," Hutten said. "Last year, we had a grab bag full of small dolphin toys, dolphin stickers, and a dolphin picture book."
The hosts also displayed a small kiddie pool with a medium-sized inflatable dolphin inside to give people an idea on how small the tanks are for cetaceans in captivity.
"We plan on doing the same thing this year," Hutten explained, "but with a few add-ons," she said.
There will be 12 inflatable dolphins at the 2013 event. Each one will be placed on a blue tarp to represent what happens in the Taiji Cove.
"Towards the end of our event," the advocate said, "we will take a few moments to pay our respects to the dolphins whose lives are cut tragically short." It will be done in silence, holding a dolphin.
In the run-up to Sunday, Rothenburg told Digital Journal that the duo are out pounding the streets to spread the word about their event. "We posted signs up around town last week," Rothenburg said, "and flyers will go up in the colleges and universities this week."
Japan Dolphins Day, Buffalo, NY is planned for Sunday, Sept. 1, from 11am - 3pm at Bidwell Park, Elmwood Avenue. (Intersection of Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway).
Further details on the event are available at the Facebook event page. Information on globally planned events can be found at Japan Dolphins and Save Japan Dolphins.
More about buffalo NY, japan dolphins day 2013, The Cove, taiji japan, taiji dolphin drives
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