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Home » Archives » August 2006 » What to Do about Japan Dolphin Day?

What to Do about Japan Dolphin Day?

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 Posted: 09:44 AM JST

Dolphin activist Richard O'Barry is organizing another Japan Dolphin Day to protest what he calls the 'Japanese Dolphin Slaughter', for September 20th. In his latest article he asks for input on ideas: "Sign another petition? Protest? Or pack?"

DolphinDay Logo(by Richard O'Barry) - There is only so much that one can do with all the various marine mammal issues. The question is: How do we budget our time and money so that we can be more effective in our attempt to stop the Japanese dolphin slaughter? Do we simply sign another petition and get on with our life? Or show up on September 20th for Japan Dolphin Day and protest in front of a Japanese embassy or consulate office? Or pack our bags and head for Japan to do something more about the problem?

(Does anyone have any new ideas for other options? Please let us know, we are willing to try almost anything as long as it's peaceful and lawful.)

Let's take a look at the three options we have so far:

1. Sign a petition: Petitions are always a good thing. Sometimes, however, they can be counter-productive. Once you sign it -- and that takes about four seconds -- you may be reluctant to do more than that. After all, you did sign a petition that clearly states that you are against this barbaric practice. So you did your part, right? Do you really need to do more than that?

The dolphin captivity industry has a new petition floating around. Several marine mammal scientists and others in the industry have signed it. We did, too. Everyone feels good about that, and it would be helpful if the one million signature goal is reached and government officials in Japan actually respond to it. But the question remains: Will any of those who signed on do anything else to stop the annual dolphin slaughter and the related captures for dolphinariums? Or did their involvement stop with a signature? The answer is blowing in the wind.

2. Protesting the dolphin slaughter: Here's another option you might consider. Showing up at the international Japanese embassies every year is one sure way to let the Japanese government know that we will not go away until the dolphin slaughter has been abolished. Protesting puts a face on the petition that we all signed. Actually, one can participate in both actions. You can sign a petition and show up for a few hours to express your opinion. We are talking about investing a few hours for just one day in the entire year. Total time invested: Two hours and four seconds.

We have invited the authors of the new petition to join us for Japan Dolphin Day. We sent the invitation to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The WCS are the "owners" of more captive wildlife than any other corporation in the world. They own tens of thousands of animals at the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo Central Park Zoo, among other holdings. If their industry showed up for Japan Dolphin Day, it could be the start of something big. WCS is associated with the American Zoological Association and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Their home-page states that they are "concerned about wildlife and conservation," yet there is no mention of the Japanese dolphin captures and killings.

We also requested that WCS contact others in their industry, such as the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA.) We would like to invite them to the demo. Check out their website to see how serious IMATA is about this issue. IMATA's video is quite revealing.

3. Pack your bags and head for Japan is the third option. Not enough people are considering this one. The Japanese whalers told us that they do not want westerners showing up to witness the dolphin slaughter or the related dolphin captures. So why not give them exactly what they don't want? Let's show up in full force!

We need more creative ideas. We all need to work together on developing a long-term strategy that will bring attention to the problem. We need more people who are willing to show up in Japan. We need to commit more money to this issue. You may not realize it, but this issue is actually bigger that the whaling issue. It's even bigger than the tuna/dolphin issue. In spite of this, it's still an obscure issue due to the fact that most NGOs are not really thinking about this problem -- it's not on their agenda. By the way, we are including the dalls porpoise slaughter in this. Most NGOs who work on marine mammal issues don't even have a budget set aside for this issue. Amazing but true -- check it out. Think about it -- how much is your NGO spending on this particular issue. Don't know? Ask!

As of this writing, 32 NGOs have pledged to show up and give the dolphins a few hours of their time on September 20th. They have also pledged to ask their families, friends and members to show up, too. This is helpful indeed. Thank you very much.

If I have left anyone off the list by a mistake, please contact me: ricobarry [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Thanks, Ric
www.SaveTaijiDolphins.org

Animal Welfare Institute - Washington DC
Begley's Best - Los Angeles
Born Free Foundation - London
British Divers Marine Life Rescue - London
Captive Animals Protection Society - London
COMARINO - Mexico City
Committee for a Dolphinarium-free Belgium - Brussels
Dolphin Project - Miami
Earth Island Institute - San Francisco
Environmental Investigative Agency - London
Friends of Dolphins - Toronto
Global Ocean - London
GAIA - Brussels
Society for Conservation of Marine Mammals - Berlin
HSUS - Washington DC
HSI - International Cities
In Defense of Animals - National Cities
International Animal Rescue - London
Last Chance for Animals - Los Angeles
LINC - Hong Kong
Marine Connection - London
Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition - Boston
No Whales In Captivity - Vancouver
Nomades des Oceans - Paris
NY Whale and Dolphin Action League - New York
One Voice - Paris
Orca Network - Seattle
Rattle the Cage - Miami
Responsible Animal Care Society - Vancouver
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - International Cities
WDCS - London
WSPA USA - Boston

Keywords: opinion_piece

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1 comments so far post your own

1 | At 09:55am on Sep 02 2006, Ric O'Barry wrote:
SaveTaijiDolphins.org

Abolish the Annual Slaughter Now!


JAPAN DOLPHIN DAY 2006: Let's abolish the annual dolphin slaughter!

Every year from October through April fishermen in some remote Japanese villages eradicate about 20,000 dolphins and porpoises in the most brutal way imaginable. This is the largest massacre of cetacean anywhere in the world. The fishermen have told us they kill the dolphins primarily as a form of "pest control." They say the dolphins eat too many fish, and they need to eradicate the competition.

If the fishermen didn't get a permit from Tokyo, they would have to stop the killings immediately. We need to let the Japanese authorities know that these crimes against nature are unacceptable to the rest of the world. Therefore, we have organized a world-wide protest to send a powerful message to the Japanese government: STOP THE DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER.

The Japanese government and fishermen say dolphin hunting is part of Japanese culture. In reality, however, the majority of the Japanese population doesn't know the dolphin slaughter exists. If they knew, they would help us stop it. Our team has traveled to Japanese fishing villages several times to document and expose the dolphin massacres to the Japanese people -- and the fishermen have done all they can to hide their bloody work from our cameras. They don't want the Japanese people to know the truth. "It's none of their business," they say.

Our Japanese colleagues tell us that outside pressure can stop the dolphin slaughter. So why not give the Japanese decision-makers in Tokyo some serious, outside international media pressure? The goal is to make this the biggest global protest against the annual dolphin slaughter in history, and we hope that everyone who is opposed to the dolphin slaughter will show up and demonstrate. We need your help in making the international day of protest successful.

To pull this off, we need TENS OF THOUSANDS of non- violent, peaceful protesters in front of Japanese embassies around the world on September 20th.

The event is not limited to animal protection groups, and we would like to add some schools and civic groups to the list. Children should be educated about this issue and have the opportunity to participate in the global effort to stop the dolphin slaughter. What a great learning experience for a child that would be; especially if they actually won as a result of their effort. The Japanese government and dolphin hunters expect environmental/animal protection groups to protest. They don't, however, expect regular people to demonstrate in front of the various Japanese embassies. This is why we are asking you to please contact your friends and neighbors, local schools and civic clubs. Ask them to show up in front of any Japanese embassy or consulate office to protest the dolphin slaughter.

SIZE DOESN'T MATTER

The IWC instituted a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986. Twenty years later, whaling continues. How many whales have died during this moratorium? About 27,000 whales have been killed since the moratorium went into effect. Many NGO's and government agencies are working on the whaling issue, and that's a good thing.
Now consider the sad fact that more than 20,000 other whales are deliberately slaughtered in Japan every year. That's right, 20,000 whales are killed in the most brutal way imaginable every year in Japan. Dolphins are whales.

Why are we doing so little to stop this madness? I think it has to do with size - or the lack of it. The great whales are spectacularly big. Thus, the 1000 great whales get more attention than the 20,000 smaller whales. Our coalition tried to bring attention to this injustice at the IWC meeting in St. Kitts. Take a look: http://www.earthisland.org/saveTaijiDolphins/newsIWCprotest.html
Any one of these 20,000 smaller whales are no less - or more - important than the 1000 larger whales. The problem for these smaller whales is that the same people who are concerned about the larger whales are apparently not as interested in the smaller whales. Why is this? When it comes to experiencing pain and suffering, size doesn't matter.

On September 20th you will have a small window of opportunity to bring attention these smaller whales. All you have to do is get yourself to the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate office at high noon. We don't want your money. We are not asking you to go to Japan. We know first-hand that showing up in Japan is very expensive and dangerous. We are only asking you for your good energy - for just a few hours - on Japan Dolphin Day. That's it.

Please note that this will be an all-inclusive event. In other words, the protest will not take place under the umbrella of any one group.

What, When, Who, and How

Q: What is it?

A: It's the annual international protest against the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world.

Q: Who's doing this protest?

A: Anyone and everyone can participate: Animal welfare groups, environmentalists, bands, schools, ordinary citizens, dolphin trainers, everyone.

Q: Where is the protest?

A: At the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate office. Here's the international list: http://www.learn4good.com/travel/japan_embassies.htm

Here's the USA list and map: http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/visa/map.htm

Q: What do I do:

A: Simply show up with all of your friends at any Japanese embassy or consulate office and protest these crimes against nature. You can also call or write them - or do all three: show up, call them, and send a protest letter.

Q: When do I do it?

A: At about noon on September 20th. Check with your local NGO.

For more information: www.SaveTaijiDolphins.org or contact Ric O'Barry at 305-669 4834 ricobarry@bellsouth.net

Who We Are:
Animanaturalis - Barcelona and Mexico City
Animalisti Italiani Onlus - Rome
Animal Voices Radio - Toronto
Animal Welfare Institute - Washington DC
Animal Rights Hawaii - Waikiki
Animanaturalis - Barcelona/Mexico City
Begley's Best - Los Angeles
Blue Voice - San Francisco
Born Free Foundation - London
British Divers Marine Life Rescue - London
Campaign Whale - London
Captive Animals Protection Society - London
Care for the Wild - London
Cetacea Defence - London
Cetacean Society International - New York
COMARINO - Mexico City
Committee for a Dolphinarium-free Belgium - Brussels
Dolphin Care UK - London
Dolphin Project - Miami
Djurrsttsalliansen - Stockholm
Earth Island Institute - San Francisco
Environmental Investigation Agency - London
Friends of Dolphins - Washington DC
Global Ocean - London
GAIA - Brussels
HSUS - Washington DC
HSI - International Cities
In Defense of Animals - National Cities
International Animal Rescue - London
Last Chance for Animals - Los Angeles
Life Conservationist Association - Taipei
LINC - Hong Kong
Marine Connection - London
Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition - Boston
No Whales In Captivity - Vancouver
Nomades des Oceans - Paris
NY Whale and Dolphin Action League - New York
One Voice - Paris
Orca Network - Seattle
Rattle the Cage - Miami
Reearth - Nassau
Responsible Animal Care Society - Vancouver
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - Den Haag
Society for Conservation of Marine Mammals - Berlin
VictoriaDreamSpace -Vancouver
WDCS - London/Washington DC
WSPA - London/Boston
Zoocheck - Toronto

"Eighty percent of success is showing up"
Woody Allen
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