Movie inspires locals to fight against a fishery
Movie and speakers will raise funds for an awareness campaign
Jennifer Squires, Daily NewsPublished: Thursday, January 13, 2011
Every once in a while in life a piece of art inspires people to take action and help incite change.
When Oscar-winning documentary film The Cove came out in 2009, eyes were opened to the capturing and slaughter of 23,000 dolphins a year in a small fishing community in Taiji, Japan.
In the film, a group of activist filmmakers and freedivers go undercover to infiltrate the hidden Japanese cove to expose the horrors of the annual fishing expedition and make people aware of the animal abuse and cruelty sanctioned by the Japanese government despite international laws against commercial whaling implemented in 1986. Many dolphins are sold to aquariums and resorts and others are killed for their mercury-tainted meat, which is sold on the Japanese market.
The trio will travel to Taiji the first week of March, where they'll protest and raise awareness as part of the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians' ongoing efforts to stop the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. Daviduk, who has worked as an animal-rights activist for about 12 years with groups like Deer Aware and the Vancouver Island Animal Defense League, said they'll be there for the last three weeks of Japan's dolphin-hunting season.When Nananimo's Carisa Webster and Marley Daviduk, and Mike Vos from California saw The Cove, rather than just sit back and discuss the atrocities, they decided to jump on a plane and help fight for the cause.
"We'll be driving into the infamous cove every day and we're going to be documenting with film and stills the fishermen driving in the dolphins and slaughtering them," said Daviduk.
"Our goal is to continue documenting this hunt because it's hard for people to take action against something they can't really see."
As well as filming the hunt, they hope to educate locals about toxic dolphin meat served in elementary students' school lunches and sold as sushi. Daviduk said many Japanese people aren't really aware of the situation.
"There are 26 fishermen there that are involved with this slaughter, 26 fishermen that are leaving this huge blood stain on Japan's international reputation."
When The Cove is screened at Vancouver Island University this Monday, it will be accompanied by a talk with the future cove guardians. Also speaking at the event is cove guardian Tarah Millen, who returned to the Island from her Japanese expedition in November. Tickets to the screening are $10, available at Tourism Nanaimo, Boston Pizza and Thirsty Camel. The movie will be shown at VIU, 900 Fifth St., building 356, room 109 on Monday from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
In addition to the film screening the cove guardians are running a 'bottle nose dolphin drive.' People can drop off bottles for their account at either Nanaimo bottle depot or at 5977 Broadway Rd. in North Nanaimo. Those who want to help with their plane tickets can also donate air miles to account 85008048848.
For more information on their trip or fundraising, you can visit the cove guardians blog at thecoveguardians.blogspot.com, which they'll be updating every day while they're overseas.
Daviduk hopes people will be similarly inspired by The Cove and stressed that although some might fear it's too graphic, it's a beautifully made film and won an Oscar for a reason. "It really changes people's lives."