Saturday, April 9, 2011

Introduction: Where it happens

Dolphin slaughter happens in many places around the world, but it is most popular in Japan, mainly the town of Taiji (The last known Futo hunt took place in 2004). Japan hunts and kills more cetaceans than all of the other hunting countries combined. The Taiji drive fisheries will take any species, and hunt mainly pacific white-sided, striped, spotted, bottlenose, rough toothed, and risso's dolphins as well as pilot and false killer whales. Cetaceans have a lot of blood in them, and it obvious when they are cut.

The largest hunts take place in Taiji, the Soloman Islands (where they're hunted for teeth as well), the Faroe Islands, and even Peru. They used to be hunted in Kiribati, Taiwan (where some are still killed, but a lot less), and even Hawaii, but no longer takes place. Much smaller, less known harpoon hunts of various toothed whale species such as orcas, pilot and false killer whales, porpoises and other dolphins take place in many other parts of the world, usually only killing a few hundred a year. In 1979, photos were taken on Iki Island of a fisherman stabbing dolphins to death with spears in shallow water. Even though that cetacean meat is polluted with large amounts of mercury poisoning (not dangerous to the animal though), they are hunted mainly for meat. A few of them end up in dolphinariums, but the majority of them are killed. Usually, when a pod is spotted, they are driven into a bay. In Taiji, fishermen bang metal poles with hammers to create sounds underneath the water that confuses the dolphins. The animals sit overnight to calm down, and are harpooned one by one the next day. The Faroe Islands even give children a day off school to come watch the slaughter. Many different species of dolphins such as spinner, dusky, striped, spotted, risso's, and bottlenose as well as pilot and false killer whales and porpoises are killed in different hunts around the world.

I am very sorry if this first post turns people away from my blog. I understand if my blog is too depressing for some of you, but we all need to know. I have decided that if I post pictures on my blog, I will put warnings. They may make some people sick. I just want to help get the word out for those who haven't already seen The Cove, a 2009 award winning documentary about dolphin hunting in Taiji, Japan. Even if you have seen it, my blog talks about it other parts of the world too.

3 comments:

  1. The Cove was a a great documentary, but very sad. The way the dolphins are slaughtered is horrible. We have to remember that these are highly intelligent creatures with very complex brains. They have complex communications systems and social structure. I've heard many say that dolphins would industrialize the oceans if they only had opposable thumbs. These kind of things should stop. Keep speaking out Haley. We need more people to raise awareness.

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  2. If the slaughterers only knew how intelligent dolphins are. They need to understand that dolphins are living creatures, and they can feel pain, just as we do. Fish can feel pain, but they are not intelligent and don't think about it. Say they get a hook stuck in their jaw, they don't grieve about about. Dolphins are smart enough to probably be thinking "what the heck are these people doing to me?"

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