The water is shallow with many rock spurs and islets, which create a fu nel right into the cove. (McCurry) It has always been known to Japan as it’s “whaling town. ” This countries’ histor y dates back to the 1 600’s when townspeople set up a large whaling company. It see ms to have taken another century before the “nettechnique” was invented to capture whales sa fely and more efficiently. The people of Taiji say they depended on what the sea could offer t hem and whaling was a great source Of food. So once the netwhaling was invented, this was huge for the industry in Taiji.
However, history also shows that the dolphin hunts did not really start until 1969. It was riginally started to catch pilot whales for the Taiji Whale Museum and it was discovered how much profit hunting dolphins could bring in. (Whiting) Therefore there is no re ason for them to defend against it being a tradition or part of their culture as it just started rec ently. The capture and slaughter of dolphins is done by about 26 local fishermen. Th ey kill the dolphins with permits given to them by their government (FactsCove Guardia ns).
Then there are other teams of local people who are considered to be “killers” and others to b e the socalled “trainers”. Most Of the fishermen are involved with other types Of fishing but t at would only 8293300 2 bring in about $24,000 U. S. dollars to live on and they claim that isn’t enough. ( FactsCove Guardians) Taiji’s Mayor, Kazutaka Sangen, said dolphins remain an important resource for the town. “There are no other industries here. We can’t harvest rice or vegetables and there’s very little fresh water,” said Sangen, 62. “If we couldn’t hunt dolphins and whales, t his town would have died out a long time ago. st The dolphin hunt takes place anywhere from as early as September 1 March. On the morning of, before sunrise, the groups of the 26 fishermen get into their boat s and head out into he ocean in search of dolphin pods. A few ways they search for dolphins is th e known migratory pattern or groups of birds in the sky that eat up the dolphin’s scraps. The type s of dolphins the Taiji fishermen look for Striped dolphins Bottlenose dolphins, Pan tropical spotted dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, Pilot whales, Roughtoothed dolphins, PseL_Jd0 orcas, pacific Whitesided dolphins, Baird’s beaked whales, and Dall’s porpoise. Whale and Dolphin Con servation) Once a pod is spotted, all of the hunting boats get into a formation, which is a n even spaced line and each boat lowers a metal pole into the water. Each pole is flar ed out on the end and when banged against the boat, it amplifies the sound underwater, compl etely confusing the dolphin’s sense of direction. It has been said this sound is awful to the people helplessly watching on the shore and it echoes throughout the cove. The fishermen cont inue to drive dolphins into the cove and once there, the area is netted off and for the dolph ins there is no escape. Dolphin Captivity) The selection process for a pod can take days depending on the number of d olphins. It is a very exhausting process for the dolphins. They are terrified, hungry and wor n out. Once the olphins are pushed into the shallow parts of the cove, it is roped off into sect ions. Trainers and 8293300 3 killers will jump into the water to begin selecting which dolphins are best for c aptivity and the fate for the remaining dolphins is not good. Many will be killed and very few a re ever released back into the wild. If any dolphins were let go, they probably would not surviv e without the protection on their pod.
If a dolphin is picked for possible captivity, it is dragg ed Onto the beach for further inspection. They have never been out of the water before and hav e never experienced what gravity can do to their bodies. When it swims in the ocean, water pressu re is equally distributed to it’s whole body, so when a dolphin is dragged onto the beach, p ressure is put on their internal organs. If chosen, these dolphins will be put on stretchers awaiti ng transport to their new home. The remaining are babies who have been torn from their parents or ones who may have marks on them and not worthy to put in a tank.
The remaining ones hav e tried to escape, getting tangled in nets or have watched their whole family being torn apart, n ot understanding what is happening to them. What dolphins are left, are herded under tarps so he press can’t see the horror. (Dolphin Captivity) A metal spike, repeatedly stabbed to sever the dolphin’s spinal cord. Taiji fishermen say this process is extremely quick and has been perfect ed over time only lasting three seconds. Taiji mayor Kazutaka Sangen says “the method of hunti ng has been changing, becoming less crude. (Varley) In the award winning movie “The Cov e”, this killing process was filmed and it actually took over seven minutes for the dolphin to bleed, suffocate and die. These dolphins have now watched their whole entire family torn apa rt, taken away and now brutally murdered. The dolphins are thrown alive or dead onto the fisher men’s boat and taken to the slaughterhouses. (FactsCove Guardians) As humans we cause a lot of pollutants in the air, which eventually ends up in the ocean. Dolphins eat the fish and mercury from the pollutants is absorbed into the do Iphin’s body. 8293300 4 Mercury is the second most toxic poison in the world.
In the United States the limit for methyl mercury in commercial marine and freshwater fish is 1. 0 parts per million (pp according to the FDA- They recommend that pregnant women, young children and nursing m others avoid large amounts of mercury in their diet from eating fish. Take Action Frequently Ask ed Questions) In fetuses, this poison can cause brain and spinal damage. In adults mercury poison can cause the following: Impairment of speech, hearing and walking, muscle weak ness, skin rashes, memory loss, lack of coordination, mental disturbance and even (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) death. Mercury’ is passed from a person’s gut into the bloodstream and into all organs. It is attracted to lipids which our brain has the highest content. It basically will des troy proteins and enzymes essential to cell function “says Boyd Haley, a biochemist at the Unive rsity of Kentucky. 8293300 5 Testing was done on dolphins to find out their levels of mercury in their bodie s. The study showed levels from 10 to 100 parts per million. That is an extremely high level of poison ing. Japan’s allowed level of mercury is only 0. 4 parts per million.
So why on earth would people kill very intelligent dolphins that have an extremely high level of mercury poisoni ng that can cause death? Well it seems the only warning from the Japan government is to pregn ant women. The toxicity levels in dolphins are pretty much kept quiet to the people in Taiji. (W hale and Dolphin Conservation) Dolphin meat also seems to get the Japanese people more mo ey than the local seafood so it’s sold throughout Japan in supermarkets. Some is labeled as act ual dolphin meat and some is labeled as whale meat. This is sent to other Asian countries misla beled as whale meat and sometimes hidden in canned tuna.
So we want to know what motiv ates these Taiji fishermen to hunt dolphins. Well profit is definitely the answer to this questio n. Millions of dollars profit that is. A trained dolphin sold to other countries like China and Russia can bring up to $48,000, while an untrained dolphin brings in only $10,000. If any traine d dolphins are old to Japanese aquariums, they can be sold for Killing a dol Phin for meat only brings in a few hundred dollars. According to information that was collec ted from the 201 2201 3 dolphin hunting season, the Taiji Fishery Union made over 2 million dollars from capturing 247 dolphins.
Because Of the amount Of money these dolphins can bring in, there are tons of waterparks, swim with dolphin programs and aquariums not only in A sia but all over the world and it’s been proven that Taiji is the leader in the capture and selling of these dolphins. In October of 201 3, there was an article in the news aboutJapan’s future plan to pen a waterpark where visitors can swim with dolphins, then choose which one to eat. (Take Ac tion Frequently Asked Questions) There are currently 34 aquariums in Japan that have captive dolphins that do 8293300 6 tricks for profit.
A wild dolphin can swim up to 100 miles a day playing an inte racting with their pod. The sad truth about a captive dolphin is that they will live their life in a ta nk that is less than 1/1 0,000 of 1 % space and working 12 hours a day for frozen, dead food. Statis tics show that only 53% that actually survive the grueling captive will die within the first 3 months . Many of the olphins die from the captive process, transport process, depression and sep aration from their pod, chlorine poisoning and stressrelated illnesses. Dolphin’s brains have been recognized as the second most intelligent to hum ans.
They have a sense of self awareness, can recognize their family members, have bas ic emotions, can solve problems, work together in teams, communicate with each other and ca n even recognize themselves in mirrors. They are also very playful, social beings. Hopefully the research will continue on these intelligent creatures Of the sea to make us humans more a ware. (Varley) Operation Infinite Patience was founded on December 31,2011 by Captain Pa ul Watson from the Sea Shepherd.. They are called Cove Guardians and this group of vo lunteers stays in Taiji, Japan from the beginning of the dolphinhunting season to the end of the season.
They are there to photograph, document and report everything that happens to the do Iphins. They are in Taiji to celebrate when no dolphins are harmed that day, or to document wha t happens to the unfortunate dolphins that do get caught, or to track where the meat goes or t o follow any captive dolphins to see where they are taken. This group is helping to be the dolphin’ voice. By being there to document these horrible happenings, not only are the Japanese citize ns becoming aware, but the whole word is. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and new s ites are covering the stories.
Even celebrities are getting involved. (FactsCove Guardians) The C ove Guardians are not allowed to get in the water and cut the fishing lines to help release dol phins. They are not 8293300 7 even allowed to step beyond lines painted by the local police or they will be i mmediately arrested. But that is why it is called Operation Infinite Patience because this w onderful group of eople have to have patience each and everyday and endure the good and th e bad and to help make the world aware of what secret Taiji is trying to hide. Whale and Dolphi n Conservation) people can help to stop the slaughter and captivity of dolphins by becoming educated. There are several movies called “The Cove and Blackfish” that tells t he stories about dolphins and whales slaughtered in coves or taken from the wild. People can apply to be a Cove Guardian in Taiji, Japan but it is a volunteer basis and all expenses have to be paid by each individual person. Please do not buy any tickets to visit aquariums, dolphin sh Ows or swimming with dolphin programs because this is profit to the fisherman and aiding the c aptivity of dolphins.
Also your word can be spread through social media and emailing U. S. Senates or Japanese Embassy s to express your concerns. (Take Action Frequently Asked Questions) Dolphins and other sea life need our help. Our oceans are in danger and we may even see the devastation in our lifetimes or our children’s lifetimes. Overfishing is hap pening faster than they have time to repopulate and this is having devastating results on our oce ans. Thousands of dolphins are killed each year and pretty soon there won’t be any left.