On Friday (22nd) there were demonstrations across the world for the International Taiji Action Day for Dolphins.
A demonstration was held outside the Japanese Embassy in Piccadilly, London which began at 12pm. Around 150 protesters endured freezing cold temperatures to protest and raise awareness about what goes on in Taiji. The organisers Karen and Beka Stevens had brought with them a suitcase full of goodies such as leaflets and signs to pass on to passers by. The response by the public according to one protester was responsive and curious. The protesters stood outside the Japanese Embassy waving banners, shouting and chanting slogans as varied as “Shame, Shame, Shame on You”, “The World Knows About The Cove”, “Stop Killing Dolphins”, “No Capture, No Kill”, “Turn The Cove Blue” , “Stop The Slaughter in The Water” and “You’re Not going To Win The Olympics”. The proper Londoners came up with a bit of “You Ough’r Stop The Slaugh’er in the Wa’er, Innit!” SchNEWS spoke to one protester who said “the demo was great but the Embassy staff were very heavy handed “. The Met police soon arrived to restore order to the murky London thoroughfare which they established by getting the protesters to move a few metres across the road. Professionals could not have done it better.
The dolphin express hit many cities and countries across the globe, including London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Bath, Liverpool and Chester here in the UK, Duisburg in Germany, Bosnia, New York, Miami, Salt Lake City, Boulder, Colorado, Chicago, Ottowa, Toronto, Mar Del Platta in Argentina, all the way to Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane Down Under. Protesters everywhere held demonstrations outside Japanese Embassies to stop the slaughter of the dolphins killed in Taiji, Japan.
This story was uncovered in 2003 when Sea Shepherd globally released footage that can be seen in the documentary The Cove (2009), a film that investigated and challenged Japan's dolphin hunting culture. It exposed the mass dolphin kills and demanded a change to the current Japanese fishing practises that are adding to the devastation of fish populations, not to mention highlighting the dangers (to those stupid enough to eat it) of dolphin meat due to mercury poisoning.
Every year around 23,000 dolphins and porpoises are killed by Japan's whaling industry. The dolphins are in a state of migration when they are driven into a cove where they are ensnared and slaughtered with spears and knives by fishermen in small fishing boats. The season starts on September the 1st and carries on through to March of the next year. The town of Taiji had pretended to be devoted to the spectacle of dolphins, whales and porpoises that swim off its coast for tourism's sake but the truth was definitely not devotional but rather cruel and needless. Just around the corner from the marine tourist haven was an isolated cove with barbed wire and keep out signs where the Taiji fishermen continue to go with their polished spears ready to kill. And for what? Profit as always. Some of the captured dolphins, the ones that don't dye the sea red, create a hell of a revenue for the townsfolk by being sold to aquariums and marine parks for captivating entertainment. The dolphins that don't end up playing cheap tricks at amusement parks are hacked into toxic supermarket chunks.Since 2010 Sea Shepherd have established a watch team there known as The Cove Guardians. Visit the site to see videos, read the latest news and even see a live stream from the cove.