Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 2 in Taiji

Well today was another great day for the wild dolphins of Japan.  The weather was so windy and the water was so choppy that the boats didn't bother leaving the harbor.  This gave us a lot of free time today to check out the local fish market as well as the captive dolphins in the city.

At the local fish market we saw hundreds of yellowfin tuna, mackerel, swordfish, and approximately 200 shark fins all stacked in a pile.  More than 2 million dolphins are killed every year by tuna fisheries, compare that to the 2000 that are killed in Taiji every year.  That is just the purse seiners, MILLIONS more dolphins are killed in drift nets, gill nets and on long lines every single year.  Anyone that eats sea life is significantly contributing to the deaths of many dolphins.  Go vegan and NO ONE get's hurt including the tuna.

Many of the fish we saw at the market were extremely young, and may not have had the chance to reproduce yet.  This is a serious issue that is causing the demise of all the animals in our oceans.  The shark fins we saw were extremely upsetting.  It was obvious that the sharks had been finned, most likely alive and tossed back into the ocean as there were no shark bodies at the market.

Human beings need to leave the oceans alone along with all the animals in it.  PERIOD.

After the fish market we stopped by the Taiji Whale Museum to peak through the fence at their captive dolphins. One of the dolphins is so depressed he doesn't move, just floats there lifelessly.  At the Taiji Whale Museum you can watch a dolphin show while eating dolphin at the same time.  Next to the museum there is a gift shop that we entered and saw that there was A LOT of whale and dolphin meat for sale.  It is so disturbing to see whale meat literally in the flesh.  It's is so dark and bloody, and there was even dried whale/dolphin fat with the skin attached.  You could see their smooth beautiful skin and the clean slice marks that mutilated the animals beautiful body.  HOW SHAMEFUL.

After that we headed to the Dolphin Hotel to check out their captive prisoners.  We noticed right away that there was one dolphin in particular who was spy hopping over and over again constantly.  We think that the intense confinement has caused him to start exhibiting neurotic repetitive behavior.  Then sea pens these dolphins are confined in are no more than 25ft by 25ft square.  As we sat and watched these dolphins playing with sticks and garbage that had floated into their pens (3 of the dolphins were playing with plastic bags in three different enclosures) the trainers came down with a bunch of equipment and it was clear they were going to administer something to the dolphin who was neurotically spyhopping.  We watched as they jumped into his pen, injected him with something and held his tail out of the water exposing a bloody raw tail fluke.  It then became clear to us that because the pen is so shallow that the dolphin is rubbing his tail against the bottom net every time he spyhops.  As he holds himself vertically in the tank and bobs up and down over and over again his tail keeps smashing on the rough netting on the bottom showing us his tank is barely deeper than the length of his body.  In each of these tanks there are 4-5 dolphins.

While the molesters were administering his drugs the other 3 dolphins in his tank huddled together in the corner, like small children hiding from their perverted abuser.  Once they were done the 4 dolphins swam side by side, all touching each other clicking and talking to each other probably communicating about their cruel confinement and treatment.

I can't believe how any person with any kind of intelligence would look at these animals and think that it is acceptable to keep them in such cruel conditions, while they are obviously going crazy like poor confined circus animals.

Anyone who chooses to support the captive cetacean industry, whether in Japan, China, the US, Canada or ANYWHERE else is directly causing animal cruelty.   Boycott ALL aquariums, dolphinariums or any kind of park where you can pay to interact with captive dolphins and whales.  They belong in the wild with their families and there is not an aquarium on the planet that can provide them with what they need and deserve.  That is why cetaceans NEVER live long in captivity just like poor Tiqa the 3 year old Baluga whale who died at the Vancouver Aquarium this month, she was their 8th dead whale and her mother's second dead baby.

Keep checking Sea Shepherd's Twitter for live updates!

The Cetacean Defense League,
Marley, Carisa, Adrienne

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