by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals.

A group of divers from the European conservation organization, The Black Fish, successfully swam into Taiji’s infamous cove last night and cut the nets of several dolphins destined for aquariums around the world.

“In rough weather conditions the divers swam out and cut the nets of six of these holding pens, allowing a number of dolphins to swim back out to sea,” a press release on the organization’s site reads. “No arrests were made.”

Admittedly, I’ve never heard of this group before — but their MO is one of “investigation and intervention”, taking action “on the issues of whaling, industrial fishing and marine animals in captivity.”

You can read more about the group here — but if such actions persist, I wouldn’t be surprised if Taiji fisherman take more aggressive (and violent) means to defend their trade.

[UPDATE: According to a Black Fish rep, Japanese sources are saying that no dolphins escaped. From their Facebook page:

"We have always stuck to the facts. We have made claim to have cut nets in order to allow the dolphins to swim out, which we did. We couldn't be sure exactly if and how many dolphins managed to get out as we were operating in the pitch black during a thunder storm. The police in Taiji and a Japanese reporter now say that no dolphins managed to get out. While this might be the case, as unfortunate as it would be, we do believe that we should treat the information from these two sources with some caution. What we know is that we did whatever we could to set these defenseless dolphins free. Giving them the best chance of getting out of there and back out to sea before ending up as an attraction and locked up in a tank to entertainment humans for the rest of their lives."]

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Mr Philips

    To hell with their ‘trade,’ are you implying that the dolphins should not be freed, in case the fishermen take more aggressive action? Lives were saved, some people refuse to stand by out of fear of aggressive retaliation.
    A ‘human’ who picks on an another species of life is nothing but a bully, and a bully is always an ignorant coward. Nothing to fear Michael.

    • imforthewhales

      If only those boats had also been sunk on the way out…

      Still, a great result. I can’t imagine the Japanese actually setting free these dolphins of their own volition. This is the kind of action that works, this is the kind of action that has real , tangible results.

      I am sure those dolphins that are now free realise what a gift they have been given by these brave souls…even if they are unaware of the life sentence of torture they have been saved from.

      • Boo radley

        Its satisfying to see more and more people getting out there into the field, willing and able to fight the good fight, doing what is needed to make the japanese wake up from their macabre dreamland and smell the roses. for those on here who think that somehow the japanese still stand a chance with their evil trade, think again. You are going to be an endangered species before too long.

  • AnimuX

    Outstanding effort by The Black Fish. Hopefully this will have a real and negative impact on Taiji dolphin trade profits.

    • georgina

      Never heard of the Black Fish but i fully support what they do.

      • Boo radley

        Its good to see these new groups being formed to carry out much needed actions against the rotten organizations of the world.

      • David

        New group? It is the same people with a different name.

      • Boo radley

        Sort of like Sealord/ Nippon Suisan Kaisha (Nissui). and the government of Japan/ ICR right?

      • David

        No not the same. The groups you mention are openly related and don’t try and hide any connections.

        From the Sealord website, “Sealord is jointly owned by the Maori people of New Zealand and Japanese seafood company Nippon Suisan Kaisha (Nissui).” Amazing how close to your wording.

        From the ICR website, “It is a nonprofit research organization whose legal status is authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Government of Japan, as a foundational judicial person.”

      • Boo radley

        Well the reason it sounds the same is because i am talking about the same companies. Sealord did hide the fact that their major shareholder was involved in the distribution of whale meat…the truth eventually came out …leading to a boycott of Sealord by consumers, and leading to the bailing out of commercial whaling interests by this company.

        What is clear is that when Japanese people find out the truth about Japanese controlled whaling interests, they object to it as can be seen by these comments left on a greenpeace website.

        http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/TEMP-international/news/features/Whaling-receives-criticism200108/

        Whaling is not a Japanese tradition. There is no need to conduct whaling under the name of research when there is an oversupply of whale and the demand is unlikely to increase. It makes me angry that Japan goes against global convention (…). We should stop whaling immediately. Tokyo

        It is simply unjustifiable that an endangered species is not only killed but put on the market in the name of research. (…) They conduct it under the name of “science” and insist that whaling is a “traditional culture” to people around the world as well in Japan. (…) Both the government and public who advocate whaling should be awaken from their self-deceptive view of whaling as “traditional” or “scientific.” Kochi

        When you say “research”, what parts of whales are you actually “researching”? Aren’t there other alternatives such as stool tests? (…) Please stop whaling as it is a waste of life, and we need to teach our children the importance of life. Osaka

        If you think that japanese commercial whaling is is about research, i have a bridge that I would like to sell to you…going cheap!

  • Beth

    While I am elated that the dolphins are free, these types of action ruin it for eco groups trying to change Japanese thinking, rather than force their opinions on others. Until the “thinking” is changed, dolphin hunts will continue. To change a culture, you have to try and understand the culture. Japan is a proud nation that is hardly likely to back down when confronted with incidents such as these. All this incident did was push any change that had been achieved backwards.

    • David

      Many people on both sides of the issue agree with you Beth. And have tried to explain to those that do and support such actions that it is counterproductive.

      But you are wasting your breath. They refuse to see the results of their actions. Maybe it is because protests, education and discussions don’t make for good news stories and have limited PR potential. It makes you wonder if they are in it to help the animals or to stroke their own egos.

    • don miguelo

      On one hand I agree with this wisdom, but then on the other hand, those are some lucky dolphins that are now free.

    • The Voice of Reason

      These types of actions ruin it mostly for those eco groups who think a war can be won by fighting only on a single front, and who often care more about their own revenue than about getting results (and, in effect, making themselves obsolete as soon as possible).

      In order to start changing people’s minds, one has to make them listen first, draw their attention. You can do that by waiting politely until the damage is done and they’re ready to start taking you seriously… OR you can draw the line and show them they damn well better start taking you seriously.

      Some civilized (so they claim) people will be upset now. On the other hand, several innocent animals have escaped a lifelong prison sentence for the sole purpose of entertaining those civilized people. I say: well done, Black Fish.

      “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth… and live in its dead wastelands for ever and ever, regretting that they never made a stand back when they could still have made a difference. Amen.”

    • Michael Raymer

      Show us an instance where passive protest has affected any change in the thinking of people who are making a lot of money in an inhumane industry and I’ll shut up. Show me where “Greenpeace” tactics have worked one iota on the cetacean harvesting industry. Show me how an editorial or commentary would have set these dolphins free. Your comment about “change that had been achieved”…what change? When and where has there been any change? Show me please.

      • David

        “The Procter & Gamble Company is being recognized for its longstanding financial and scientific commitment to advancing alternatives to animal testing and for its instrumental support in the passage and strengthening of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods. This committee is made up of several federal agencies that work together to advance alternatives to animal testing.”

        http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/the_humane_society_of_the_united_states_honors_corporations_at_humane_awards.html

        “There is a growing demand for products from animals raised in accord with humane care standards, a demand escalated by best-selling books, the media, advocacy and popular culture. Educated consumers want those farmers who treat animals and workers humanely to stand out from the competition and to prosper. HFAC’s program gives them the means to identify those farmers and reward them with their business.”

        http://www.ashoka.org/adouglass

      • annaB

        > David said:

        “The Procter & Gamble Company is being recognized for its longstanding financial and scientific commitment to advancing alternatives to animal testing …..”

        http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/the_humane_society_of_the_united_states_honors_corporations_at_humane_awards.html

        ===================================

        David, here are some links to some more recent facts about P&G. Don’t kid yourself.

        http://animals.change.org/blog/view/are_you_boycotting_procter_gamble_yet_time_to_start?

        http://www.uncaged.co.uk/pgtesting.htm

        http://www.pandgkills.com

        > David said:

        “There is a growing demand for products from animals raised in accord with humane care standards…”

        http://www.ashoka.org/adouglass

        ===================================

        Again David, don’t kid yourself:

        http://humanemyth.org/

      • georgina

        David, you could not have picked a worse example to make your point. Procter and Gamble is known to conduct animal testing on their products, and while they are trying to phase out of that they have not. At least not yet.

      • David

        Well annaB, your definition of humane is obviously not universally held. You obviously believe any killing of animals is inhumane, oh except those that you consider below consideration.

        You see you just have drawn a line where above the line is sacred and below the line is OK to kill. Everybody whether consciously or not does this; just your line is much different than the majority of the world.

        And thanks for the concern but I am not kidding myself. I understand my position. You are the one kidding yourself because you believe and act like you are better and more knowledgeable than others, when really you are just as willing to have animals killed as long as they are small and/or pests.

      • annaB

        David,

        The issue is not your position, the issue is that you failed at supporting it with facts.

        It would be nice if you could stick to the topic and refrain from going on an unrelated rant.. but I must admit I’m somewhat curious as to how you’ve determined that I:

        - obviously believe any killing of animals is inhumane

        - oh except those that you consider below consideration.

        - you just have drawn a line where above the line is sacred and below the line is OK to kill

        - you are just as willing to have animals killed as long as they are small and/or pests.

        You got all of this from one comment? wow. That’s impressive. I better watch what I write, pretty soon you’ll have everything about me figured out.

        Seriously. I haven’t written any of the above, so please stop assuming you have any idea whatsoever what I believe because you don’t know me. Stick to the facts and things you know or believe and please stop assuming you no anything about anyone other than yourself. Thank you.

        And you say I think I’m more knowledgeable than anyone?

        Um, I merely pointed out that P&G was a poor choice to use as an example and that it did not prove your point. And I pointed out that whether there is a demand for products from animals raised in accord with humane standards may be great, there are many cases and examples where that is just not the case.

        Whether consumers believe they are purchasing such products and companies make such claims about their products does not in any way mean that it is true. I gave you a link to information and facts illustrating that in fact, in many cases these claims are misleading and the care standards no more humane than other products.

        Sorry you didn’t appreciate it but take the opportunity to learn something new by checking out the links I provided and just pick valid examples next time.

      • David

        “Stick to the facts and things you know or believe…” So if I believe what I have said about you, then you agree it is OK for me to post it. Well thanks, that issue is solved.

        Now the other issue was my response to someone asking for examples of non-humane actions being changed without violence.

        Is P&G changing their actions? Yes, they aren’t all the way there but they are changing. Did the change do to violence? No, so it is a good example of what was asked for.

        Do some farmers adhere to a new humane policy? Yes, they don’t all and some lie, but some are changing their practices. Are they changing due to violence? No, so another good example of what was asked for.

        So both examples are exactly what were asked for. Problem two solved.

      • imforthewhales

        David…you are no different? You are happy to see whales killed, but you might not be happy to see humans killed. So try not to be to high brow in this discussion.

      • David

        imforthewhales, what am I no different than?

        And where does you get that I am happy to see whales killed? I am not happy or sad about it. If you are happy or sad about everything that happens in the world, I think that would indicate that you are manic depressive.

      • Boo radley

        If you are neither happy or sad over anything,or incapable of any emotions, that just means that you are autistic. Or a moron.

        People without feelings or passion or empathy will never understand those who possess feelings and passion and empathy.

        David, you appear to be sorely lacking in all three.

      • David

        So another person who either can’t read or intentionally misstates what other people say. Although I have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Apparently you bias against people with disabilities.

        The question asked and answered was specifically about killing whales, but somehow you read that as meaning everything in the world.

        I don’t care if the Japanese kill whales or not, so it doesn’t make me happy or sad. Just like all the cows, chickens, pigs, etc. that were killed today don’t make me happy or sad. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that I am happy or sad about.

      • Boo radley

        David, if that is true, then that explains a lot. I would not discriminate against you because of it, but yo must face facts that there are something you cannot do. obviously you are incapable of feeling empathy for the whales, that much is clear. If you criticize people who do have empathy for them, then it would be wrong of you to discriminate against us.

      • Michael Raymer

        “I don’t care if the Japanese kill whales or not, so it doesn’t make me happy or sad.” Well, that just makes no sense whatsoever. If you don’t care about this issue then please explain your ongoing presence, not on this site but, specifically on the threads devoted to whale and dolphin hunting. Many times now I have accused you of being here to do nothing but cause trouble and make arguments for their own sake, rather than present any genuinely held beliefs. And here you are, directly confirming my suspicions. This makes you a troll. I’ll keep this in mind in the future, not that this is any new revelation for me.

      • David

        Boo are you really think people are that ignorant? You use ‘autistic’ and ‘moron’ as slurs but now you try and say you really didn’t mean it in a bad way. Just like racists that say ‘but I have a black friend so I can’t be racist’.

        “obviously you are incapable of feeling empathy for the whales, that much is clear.”

        And why is that obvious? I have the ability to feel empathy, I just don’t feel it for whales. Hunting them is legal, the numbers taken don’t endanger the species so I feel no worse for them than the millions of other animals legally killed every year.

        And what do you mean by accusing me of discriminating against people who do have empathy for whales? Disagreeing with you is now some type of discrimination? Point out facts is discriminatory?

      • David

        Well Michael, it started when I was flipping channels and saw this group of fools break at least 3 international laws in less than 5 minutes. Continued watching showed most of them had no clue how to operate a boat and as a result were a hazard to others and themselves.

        So I decided to look deeper and did some online searches starting with the Animal Planet site then SSCS’s own site and expanding from there.

        I found that not only were they unsafe at sea and breaking numerous international laws but they were constantly lying. Whaling wasn’t illegal. Whaling in the sanctuary wasn’t illegal. The UNWCfN did not give them any powers. Australia did not have a claim to the waters where the whaling occurred.

        Having made my living for many years at sea, being a law abiding citizen and generally believing lying is wrong. I made the decision to spread the word about what I saw as a problem.

        The longer I posted and the more I read just strengthened my view of the SSCS as dangerous lying criminals.

        You can accuse me of whatever you like and call me whatever names you want, as it seems one side can get away with things that get others censored, but it won’t stop me from exposing the facts.

      • Kevin

        I’m with David. The more I look at this, the less I like these interventions.

        I think there are a lot of thinking people that agree, but the thinking people taking the opposite view on this site too often can’t express rational opposition, and are offensive and rude. I’m sorry you were a victim of that David, but I’m glad to see you stick by your convictions.

    • romika3

      Beth: I totally agree with you 100%. I have been preaching this for years. When dealing with issues that have deep cultural roots you first must understand and then work hand in hand with the people to bring about change not against them. This has been my issue with the SSCS. All the years they were in Eastern Canada not once did they attempt to work with the fishermen. It was all attack, demonization, threats, using the issue to bring in money etc. Fishermen are proud and independent people. They will not back down to threats etc.

      • imforthewhales

        Fishermen do back down…when they have raped and pillaged the ocean to such an extent that there are no more fish left. See Canada.

      • georgina

        Ahhh, romika, i think you may be running out of things to talk about. This is not a SSCS thread but about dolphin capture and slaughter in Taiji.

        Also, all you do is attack, attack, demonize, and attack SSCS supporters. Have you ever wondered why they/we support them? Rarely if ever respond to questions directly asked to you, and always find a way to weasel your way out of words.

        Remember, there are always two sides of a story.

    • imforthewhales

      This comment has been removed.

    • Kimitake Hiraoka

      Yeah Beth. Here’s what you need to do:

      1. Find an emotive issue that isn’t necessarily one of conservation or animal rights importance. Preferably, it will involve a cute or photogenic subject, such as seal pups, whales or dolphins – something Hollywood can work with.

      2. Get your friends together and stir up some racial hatred to tie in with your cause. The more emotion involved, the less the people will think for themselves and the better it is for you! (But be sure to recruit to your organisation one member of the target racial group to deflect any accusations of racism)

      3. Commence carrying out acts of violence and vandalism against the unarmed civilians who are offending your “cause”. But choose wisely! You don’t want your targets to be a militaristic people. For instance, don’t go after Americans – they’ll blow you to pieces. Stick to passive countries that have renounced the use of force.

      4. Once you’ve commenced your campaign of violence, try to gain the attention of TV networks and see if they won’t document your actions. There’s big bucks to be made here and they can make you famous! The more monoey you have, the more you can spend on expensive toys and vehicles to make the next season of your TV show more exciting!

      5. Remember, the truth is irrelevant. As one activist once said, “if you don’t know a fact, make it up on the spot”. Lying is an effective tool, particularly when your supporters have stopped thinking for themselves.

      • don miguelo

        Things are almost always like that. Look at the civil rights movement in America, for instance, personified by Dr. King Jr and Malcom X. There were people during the Holocaust that stood around and did nothing, and those that joined the retaliatory violent Resistance. I could go on (but Why if you are already not listening?).

        And since I had some spare time, I put together a little list of my own for some choice people to read:

        1. You should be envious of people who care about things passionately and seek them out (especially anonymously), in order to pull them down to make you feel better about yourself.

        2. You should have an unassailable and high opinion of yourself. Make sure you show that with the appropriate, mocking tone. Grind into the dust the tiniest of mistakes made by anyone else, and if they don’t make mistakes, ignore them. Or make some up and then pin it on them! Change the subject, they have no idea what distraction is, go crazy with it!!

        3. Remember, you yourself should never start an equal and opposite campaign with your ends in mind, just take potshots at the people who are you’re your stinging words. You see yourself as a spokesman for the rational majority, and heaven forbid if regular people saw all these unchallenged, passionate comments! How would they know that all of it was sooooo untrue?!! PHEW, good thing you’re such a regular knight in shining armor online.

        4. Inflame racial tensions in the guise of pointing them out. Again, distraction is your friend! No one wants to look like they’re racist, if you associate an environmental cause with that, it taints the momentum! (Don’t report them to the administrator or anything). You’re ALL ABOUT social justice (paradoxically).

        5. Try to smear ALL people who care as radical terrorists who know how to manipulate the media as wisely as any govt or politician does. Pull quotes out of context to make them look like monsters. Dismiss all of Hollywood (where money and awareness can come from) as idiotic time wasting. Make sure no one can see that you are really just wanted to be, say, CAPTAIN Watson’s boyfriend, except that you follow his every move like an obsessed stalker. No one sees right thru all the vitriol to that, I’m sure.

      • Kimitake Hiraoka

        Gosh, I nearly forgot:

        6. If someone raises a legitimate point that undermines your campaign, launch personal ad hominem attacks to draw the discussion away from the point that has been made. The more personal, the better.

      • annaB

        > Kimitake Hiraoka said:

        “3. Commence carrying out acts of violence and vandalism against the unarmed civilians who are offending your “cause”..”

        ===================================

        Please provide examples to support this statement.

        In this situation, as in most (if not ALL) others, targets are not living beings but rather inanimate objects, property, profit, etc.. In this case, NETS were cut… HOW does that translate into “violence towards unarmed civilians”?

        (And How do you carry out acts of vandalism towards a person..? I’m not quite sure. An example of this would also be appreciated.)

        And the “cause” here is the enslavement or murder of sentient and highly intelligent living beings. Monetary damage to those who profit from this or damage to property used to accomplish it IMO should be the last of our worries.

      • don miguelo

        You would know, wouldn’t you, Kimi?

        Oh and “undermining a campaign” takes more than online ego-petting and a petty desire to think you’ve won all conversations. All I’m saying if you can’t take it don’t dish it out to start with.

        Why don’t you get out there on your own boat and arrest Captain Terrorist himself? Now that’s a post that might actually change my mind and be worth the read. Or would a gentleman like you not kiss and tell?

      • Kimitake Hiraoka

        Miguelo-san,

        I will not take it upon myself to arrest Watson for his great many crimes. Not because he doesn’t deserve to be arrested, but because I will not take the law into my own hands. Why? Because I have no authority to enforce the law, just like the thugs from the Sea Shepherd. No authority whatsoever.

        Sure, I disagree with what those thugs do. But that does not give me the right to throw acid at them or shine weapons-graade lasers into their eyes. Nothing does. Don’t you see?

      • annaB

        Well actually, you do. Have the authority to make an arrest, that is.

        It’s called a citizen’s arrest and I believe the Japanese whalers did just that:

        http://www.worldculturepictorial.com/blog/content/nz-denounce-japans-arresting-pete-or-her-law-citizen

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen%27s_arrest

        The Japanese whalers are illegally killing whales. But your issue is with Sea Shepherd throwing rotten butter at them… Interesting priorities, but now that you know you do have the authority to make the arrest, I guess there’s nothing stopping you from doing it.

      • David

        “It’s called a citizen’s arrest and I believe the Japanese whalers did just that:”

        Not all countries recognize citizen arrests. And no the Japanese whalers did not conduct a citizens arrest of Peter Bethune. The Captain of a vessel at sea has the power to arrest/detain people.

    • Darth Infidel

      Enough dry debate. Time for something educational and *fun*.

      Let’s all watch Star Wars one more time… as it would have been written by respectable, non-confrontational environmentalists.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Vc6oc8v_s

  • RebeccaC

    The Actions of this group are commendable as no large chairity has even shown a presence in Taiji. Rick Obarry was unable to even visit due to his concern for his people safety. Since when is Japan allowed by the international community to basically cull every living creature out of the ocean that just swims or migrates by? Does
    Japan not have aresponsibility to any
    conservation or anything but greed? They
    flagrantly thumb their noses at basically every nation of the world bedsides it’s fellow whaling nations & no one does anything about it! Japan should feel nothing but shame for it’s actions & we need to speak out against these atrocities!

    • Paul L

      Sea Shepherd has been in Taiji since the hunt began, making sure it stays in the spotlight – and it was Sea Shepherd crew who founded The Black Fish.

      • crumpets are yummy

        keep the pressure on Blackfish! FOR THE TIMES…THEY ARE A CHANGIN….

  • http://theblissfulchef.com/blog Christy

    Beth and David I would have to agree. I was just on the ground in Taiji. We are all happy that dolphin lives were saved, but these actions may have negative consequences for other organizations and people still coming there. There is a bigger picture and unless you are present in Taiji you can not be sure of the backlash illegal activities might cause and hinder the ability to continue a presence there (Sea Shepherd is there currently for the duration of the season).

  • Kimitake Hiraoka

    What is it with these ‘Defender of the Cutest’ types and committing crimes? Is there no end to the violence and vandalism carried out against Japanese interests in the name of pick-and-choose animal rights activism?

    • imforthewhales

      Is there no end to the violence perpetrated by the Japanese against wildlife? is there no end to the persecution by the japanese to defenders of the oceans and crimes commited by the Japanese against them? Is there no end to the vote buying by japanese officials in the IWC? when will the Japanese stop lying tot he world about their “research” which we all know is just commercial whaling in disguise? What is it about Japanese who pick and choose the cutest animals to kill and turn into sushi?

      kimitake…you sound a lot like Glen Inwoods mate, david@tokyo….

  • http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/stopkillingwhales Enviromending

    We would be really grateful if you would consider helping to ‘spread the word’ about this new petition. It is being translated into multiple languages, but ALL signatures must be gathered to ensure that a ‘collective voice’ is heard.

    The Facebook page offers resources like ‘sample letters’, email and postal addresses for embassies, Prime Ministers, industry bodies and other decision makers. It also offers an opportunity for people to ask those who have just returned from Taiji questions. We are hoping to encourage others to go over there and to become truly ACTIVE in this campaign. It’s time for these heinous crimes to STOP!!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/WE-will-NOT-support-Whales-and-Dolphins-in-Captivity/151890801502673

    I hope you will consider helping, in whatever way you can. If you have any questions please ask the founder of the organisation behind this, via the email address that I’ve provided to you. Many thanks :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leonard-Greene/1306324129 Leonard Greene

    Kudos to Blackfish for their freeing of the Taiji Dolphins. It should become evident to Taiji that many are opposed to their slave auctioning of the Dolphins they capture, let alone their butchery of them for Mercury laced meat.

    • Mick

      @Leonard Greene

      “..for Mercury laced meat.”

      I’ve heard this many times. Why do various opponents of the dolphin hunt only seem to be concerned about humans eating mercury contaminated dolphin meat? I’ve never once heard them voice concerns for the dolphins who are eating mercury contaminated fish. Why no concern about the dolphins health? For that matter, why no concern for the mercury contaminated fish?

    • Michael Raymer

      Who says that there isn’t concern? Many people are very concerned. This is why so many of us are in favor of “Green” technologies that lower emissions. Where did you get the idea that people weren’t concerned about mercury poisoning at the dolphin/whale and fish level? For one thing, it’s been linked (possibly) to the intentional grounding of cetaceans when there is no other discerable cause. Of course, with the Japanese being so hot to “research” cetaceans, you would think that they would have released some info on this, but none has been forthcoming. Strange.

      You might want to think about what accusations you make. This one was as baseless as any that I’ve seen around here in a while.

      • Mick

        @Michael Raymer

        “Where did you get the idea that people weren’t concerned about mercury poisoning at the dolphin/whale and fish level?”

        As I said, I’ve never heard anyone voice their concerns about the dolphins eating mercury laden fish. And I’ve never heard anyone voice their concerns about the mercury laden fish, either. I most definately have never heard anyone talk about doing anything to protect the dolphins from mercury contaminated fish.

      • Michael Raymer

        Mick, since you have shown a proclivity for not paying any attention to anyone who dares take a position that you don’t agree with, how surprised do you think I am that you remain woefully uninformed about this. This very subject was covered in “The Cove”. Why don’t you start there. You are here, on a website devoted to environmental issues. Why don’t you count up the topics relating to airborne pollutants and their effect on the planet. Then search the web.

        If nothing else, I am here, telling you that I am concerned about sea creatures having no choice but to ingest mercury laden food sources. I am also concerned about land based animals and birds ingesting pollutants such as pesticides. Not because of this thread, not because I happened across this site one day. Because I have always been concerned about these issues and my parents taught me to be.

        It’s not my or anyone elses responsibility to grab you by the back of your head and shove your face into these concerns. You are either going to take the time to learn about them yourself, or you are not. But, just because you choose to remain ignorant and uninvolved, do not paint the rest of us with your own personal brush.

        And, by the way, what’s wrong with being concerned about the people who are eating these contaminated products? And, keeping in mind that I have seen your posting history over the last few months, since when did you start caring for anything BUT people? You don’t give a damn about dolphins, so what was the point of your original question?

      • Kevin

        I think everyone should focus a lot more on the fact that Americans at home are contributing to the toxic mercury poisoning of millions of marine mammals rather than the silly hunting of 23,000 animals per year. Cutting a net saves 10 lives. Cutting your coal use would save millions, and reduce the tragic eventual consequeces for humans of mercury poisoning as well.

      • Mick

        @Michael Raymer

        “You are here, on a website devoted to environmental issues. Why don’t you count up the topics relating to airborne pollutants and their effect on the planet.”

        Articles about “airborne pollutants” and vague support for “green technologies” does not equal to specifically voicing your concerns about the mercury contaminated dolphins and taking specific action to help the mercury laden dolphins and fish.

        “You don’t give a damn about dolphins, so what was the point of your original question?”

        My point is; those people who loudly declare their love for dolphins, only express concern about humans eating mercury contaminated dolphin meat. They never express concern about the dolphins being contaminated with mercury themselves.

      • Michael Raymer

        Same old argumentative nonsense. When you realize that you can’t win a debate (because your stance is indefensible and just plain wrong) you try to change the parameters of the debate and ignore the relevant responses to your questions. It gets old. Again, “The Cove” addressed this issue. The concern over the effects of methylmercury on the aquatic ecosystem is decades old. If the specific concern over the contamination of dolphins seems new to you it is because it doesn’t occur to anyone who isn’t a freakish monster to kill dolphins for food. And since it affects the entire aquatic food chain, all species are included.

        “Because methylmercury is formed in aquatic systems and because it is not readily eliminated from organisms it is biomagnified in aquatic food chains from bacteria, to plankton, through macroinvertebrates, to herbivorous fish and to piscivorous (fish-eating) fish. At each step in the food chain, the concentration of methylmercury in the organism increases. The concentration of methylmercury in the top level aquatic predators can reach a level a million times higher than the level in the water. This is because methylmercury has a half-life of about 72 days in aquatic organisms resulting in its bioaccumulation within these food chains. Organisms, including humans, fish-eating birds, and fish-eating mammals such as otters and whales that consume fish from the top of the aquatic food chain receive the methylmercury that has accumulated through this process.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylmercury

        Is that good enough for you? Oh hey, they didn’t mention dolphins either. Does that mean it’s not true? Do you want the different breeds of dolphins listed individually?

        As someone who makes it clear that you care nothing for your environment or anything that doesn’t fit your own selfish perceptions, it is strange that you try to micro-analyze other peoples motivations. But you’re not clever enough to even do that, are you. No, you just look to try to minimize and distort. Keep trying. It takes practice.

      • Kevin

        If I may summarize this debate for those who don’t care to read deeply into MR’s sophistry:

        Mick: “I haven’t heard people voice concern for mercury poisoning of dolphins”
        MR: Why do you say people aren’t concerned. I am concerned.
        (note that Mick didn’t say people aren’t concerned. He pointed out they don’t voice that concern, they just talk about the hunting.)
        Mick: I simply am noting that people focus on the hunting issue and talk about people eating mercury conaminated dolphins but not the mercury toxicity to the dolphins.
        MR: You just ignore my arguments. This was covered in the Cove (apparently MR is confusing the explicit message that people shouldn’t eat dolphins due to mercury contamination with Mick’s point about direct concern for the dolphins)
        Mick: Simply supporting green technology is not what I mean. People just don’t talk about the mercury effect on the dolphins.
        MR: Exasperation. Ad hominem attacks. Irrelevant detail about methylmercury. Lack of addressing Mick’s point. Accusations that Mick is the one with an inability to follow the thread of an argument.

        Mick, just note that I’ve been down this path with MR in other cases. Don’t bother. I don’t think he is intentionally messing with you here, he just gets exasperated too easily and can’t read well.

      • Michael Raymer

        And to summarize Kevins contribution to this debate……………and that’s about it. I don’t need you to explain me to others Kevin. And for someone who points out, “Ad hominem attacks. Irrelevant detail” from others, just what is the above? And what are these other paths in other cases you are referring too?

        Again, insted of focusing on the topic at hand, you guys try the old, “Yeah but why aren’t you speaking out about this other thing”. People are speaking but, we can’t make you listen. The poisoning and pollution of the world and the worlds oceans has been a topic for decades. But you expect every single point of it to be mentioned in every single post. This is unrealistic and it is disingenuous. It’s just Mick and his buddies trying to steer an unjustified position in their own direction. And you know it.

      • Mick

        @Michael Raymer

        Thank you for your post. It was very nice. Of course, the personal attacks, insults, responses to statements and/or arguments that I did not make and the Wikipedia link do not in any way, shape or form pertain to my comment about the fact I have NEVER heard anyone voice their concerns for the mercury contaminated dolphins on this or other sites.
        By the way. I am in favor of “Green technologies that lower emissions”, too. According to you, that would mean I care about the dolphins as well.

      • Mick

        @Kevin

        “Mick, just note that I’ve been down this path with MR in other cases. Don’t bother. I don’t think he is intentionally messing with you here, he just gets exasperated too easily and can’t read well.”

        Thank you. I don’t think he’s intentionally messing with me, either. From what I’ve seen, he pretty much attacks everybody who doesn’t agree with him. No big deal.

      • Michael Raymer

        So, you not only disagree with what we stand for, but you disagree with the way we stand for it. And you seem to think that we should care. And you seem to be glossing over the fact that the issue has been covered. You choose not to see it, you choose not to acknowledge it, but it’s been covered. This is the point I keep making and the point you keep ignoring. When the nail won’t go in, use a bigger hammer.

  • Jane Kerrigan

    The results it appears of the ‘reasonable approach’ to change Japan’s way of thinking regarding the mass slaughters of Dolphins, has resulted in the intimidation and potential ruin for both individuals and local businesses who have dared to try to support the cause. Sometimes direct action is the only way, it is the last resort when all else has failed and time is running out and when Japan blatantly ignores international law anyway.

    • Mick

      @Jane Kerrigan

      “..Japan blatantly ignores international law anyway.”

      There is no international law prohibiting the hunting of small cetaceans.

      • imforthewhales

        There are plenty of rules , laws, regulations and guidelines that Japan routinely breaks…if they don’t like something then they pretend it doesn’t exist.

      • AnimuX

        Seriously, when it comes to whaling, Japan has an 80 year history of ignoring, violating and subverting internationally established regulations.

        At one point (70s and 80s) it was so bad, Japanese fisheries LITERALLY setup and funded secret pirate whaling operations all over the world with foreign labor to “traditionally” smuggle the unreported meat (ie: unknown to the IWC and therefore not recorded against any legitimate quota) back to Japan.

        The whalers are liars. The representatives of Japan over many years of attendance at the IWC are liars. As far as I’m concerned, because they both represent corrupt government complicity in violating international agreements, this makes a liar out of Emperor Akihito and the entire Imperial family as well.

      • Boo radley

        The whole lot of the Japanese whalers and their connections…government, Emperors, Yakuza… are proven liars. Anyone connected with whaling that tries to pass off commercial whaling as ” research” goes straight into that boat.

      • Kevin

        Now if one of you could tie the argument about international whaling regulations (which I agree Japan should follow) into the actions of individual fisherman hunting dolphin in Japanese terrirorial waters, maybe someone would have answered Mick’s original point.

      • Mick

        imforthewhales, AnimuX and Boo radley.

        That’s all very nice. However, none of your “posts” address the fact that there is no international law prohibiting the hunting of small cetaceans.

      • Michael Raymer

        You’re right. There isn’t. That’s where protest comes in.

        Hell, South Africa had a cozy little thing going with apartheid. Nothing happening within S.A. was going to change that. It took the international community to step in and make the change to a barbaric practice. Same thing here.

      • Boo radley

        Exactly. Slavery used to be legal too.

      • Kevin

        Are you saying that the hunting of dolphins is equivalent to enslaving human beings? Wow. Way to lose the moral high ground.

      • Michael Raymer

        You asked for an answer to Micks original point and one was provided. There are no laws preventing Japan from slaughtering whales on their own coast. And one of the ways for people to get laws to change is by active engagement and protest. Answer given. Whether you want to consider South Africa a valid example is meaningless to me. As an American, I’ve seen hundreds of examples of people from other countries protest the actions and policies of my government. It happens with us, it happens with others.

      • Mick

        @Michael Raymer

        “You’re right. There isn’t. That’s where protest comes in.”

        I have no problem with protesting. More power to you. However, I do have a problem with criminal behavior such as vandalism, among others.

        As for Michael’s and Boo’s references to apartheid and slavery. Both of those issues involved humans, not animals.

      • Boo radley

        The point is not slavery or apartheid.

        This should be obvious point, but let me point out to you that the reason these examples were given were to highlight the fact that any things we now find reprehensible were once considered A*O*K and were
        actively encouraged by governments and business.

        So apartheid was actively promoted by a government who saw benefit in it.

        Slavery was actively promoted by both US interests and also African interests. At the time the governments saw nothing wrong with this trade..they championed it in fact and America was built on the backs of slaves. The trade was legal, and brought economic benefits to the US and to whoever was providing the slaves to the slave traders who bought and sold humans.

        There are lots of other examples of reprehensible activities that have been championed by the governments of the day. I am sure you can think of some yourself.

        These days , people see things differently to how people saw things back then.

        This is the same issue we have with whaling. people who have progressed, dealing with people who have not and seem intent on living in a time warp.

        What we are saying to japanese whaling interests is this…wake up and smell the roses, get with the times, the world has moved on from 1856, people do not accept what you do, people see it for what it is, a charade, and one day, if you don’t stop now, then you will be forced to stop, one way or another.

      • Kevin

        @Michael Raymer: I think you and I could respectfully disagree, but when you say things like “You asked for an answer to Mick’s original point, and it was given – there are no laws regulating hunting WHALES in Japan’s waters” and he was talking about DOLPHINS, I have no idea how to argue with you. I respectfully submit that you are not following the basic thread of argument.

      • Michael Raymer

        Whales, dolphins, cetaceans. Sorry for the mis-wording. I do have other things going on in my life besides this board. And the answer to Micks question was given in a seaparate and earlier post.

      • Kevin

        Yes, in an earlier post featuring another “basic thread of argument” violation.

        Thread: others arguing that Japan’s violation of international rules was relevant to the dolphin issue
        Mick: There are no laws preventing dolphin hunting
        MR: Yes, that’s where protest comes in.

        A complete left turn in the discussion does not equal addressing Mick’s point.

      • Michael Raymer

        I have stated many times my genuinely held beliefs that cetaceans are animals of a higher order. They have greater intelligence, communication, sentience and, most of all, capacity for suffering, both in physical pain and emotional/psychological pain. They are different from the vast majority (but not all) of the animal kingdom in having ALL these traits. As such, they should be afforded special protection. Between this and the fact that absolutely no one will go hungry, that isn’t already hungry, if not one more dolphin or whale is hunted, they should not be. I believe that there are natural laws which transcend treaties, man made laws and commissions. Talk about this treaty or that boundary, which country recognizes what, who agrees with who is meaningless to me. You don’t kill animals who possess as great if not greater intelligence than we do. And just because we don’t, as yet, understand the parameters of that intelligence and capacity, does not give us the right to hunt these animals. You draw the line.

        Every time my side makes a parallel between dolphin capturing or whale killing and slavery or apartheid, etc., your side cries foul. I understand. But I don’t accept that. There was a time when slavery was accepted. We evolved. There was a time when military conquest was followed by rape, pillage and brutality (which was accepted); some of us have evolved. Evolution does not stop with how we treat or regard our fellow humans. It continues infinitly and involves how we perceive our entire world. And just like every other form of previous evolution, it’s not clean, there are contradictions, and there is conflict. So be it.

        If any of you think that evolution can be stopped by the cheesy use of semantics, pointing fingers at people you don’t particularly like, or simply arguing for the sake of causing trouble, keep trying. Sometimes I have to go out of town for my work. I’ve seen some others disappear then reappear, possibly for the same reasons. But we can keep this up for as long as you like. If you look into your heart and genuinely foresee whaling and dolphin killing continuing on into the distant future, rather that being put into the garbage bin of the regrettable past, you are seeing a much different world than I am.

      • Kevin

        You think dolphins are animals of a higher order; I find it offensive that you think the issue of hunting of dolphins is on the same moral ground as slavery, and I think that any public figure would be excoriated for such words.

        If by evolution you mean social evolution, I agree that over time attitudes change. You named some issues where they have changed in favor of the morally outraged. Here are some where they have changed to the disfavor of those who were morally outraged: prohibition. gambling. abortion. pre-marital sex. You can add to that pretty much every Christian hangup in now-secular former Christian nations.

        Dogfighting is illegal in the US, but dogs are eaten in Korea. I see no mechanism for that to change in the near future. I see no mechanism for US outrage to impact Japan either.

        The common thread in the issues that changed in favor of moral outrage was that there were subjects of victimization who were humans with the power to fight back. That is clearly not the case here.

      • crumpets are yummy

        Killing of dolphins and shooting harpoons into the backs of whales is far worse than slavery. Slaves, as a rule, get to keep their life, a roof over their head and meals. They experience pain due to lack of freedom (psychological) but freedom can always come to them through circumstance just as it did the slaves of the South.

        If you disagree with my statement then ask yourself, would you rather be shot with a harpoon and end up as someones meal, or would you prefer to have your life as a slave?

  • Cho cho ma

    The organization was co-founded by Wietse van der Werf, a current member of Sea Shepherd.

  • Mick

    According to news reports in Japan. There were 11 pens and the nets on 7 were cut. Fortunately, all of the dolphins were still in their pens when the vandalism was discovered. The police are investigating the incident.

    • Michael Raymer

      Source?

      • Mick
      • Michael Raymer

        *sigh* I’m sorry I asked.

      • Mick

        @Michael Raymer

        “*sigh* I’m sorry I asked.”

        Why? Was there a problem with the link?

      • Michael Raymer

        No problem but I don’t read Japanese. As soon as I read the link I figured that’s what it would be. I mean, I asked for your source and you posted it, and I have no doubts that it says what you reported. I just can’t read it.

  • imforthewhales

    Somehow I doubt that Mick…unless you think the Japanese authorities are suddenly to be trusted…lol

  • kristine

    Good for them! I hope enough dolphins did swim out to make the effort worthwhile; and I hope that doplphins that were to be slaughtered escaped as well. Next time, they should DO SOME SERIOUS DAMAGE TO THE FISHERMEN’S BOATS! As divers, they could easily cut through the gas tanks, or damage the boats enough that it would even take the Japanese a really long time to fix up and remediate before heading back out for a hunt. Since dolphin catching season is only Sept to Feb, divers would only need to do this approx 5 times throughout the season to completely stall their attempts out to sea. With that said, I hope a huge tsunami hits Taiji and destroys the cove. I highly doubt a new dolphin killing cove would be constructed with all the intl attention and pressure. And lastly, I do agree with the comments about getting to the actual Japanese people, because they are the ones that would be able to have the most impact on this inhumane brutal savagry. The Japanese need to be informed and shown graphic images of what goes down in the cove. Make a copy of these graphic youtube videos and pass them to every Japanese person you know..

    • David

      Reports are that not a single dolphin escaped.

      As for your suggestion of criminal destruction of property, it might work once. It also would probably lead to long jail sentences and maybe worse it would make the Japanese less likely to listen to rational discussions about eliminating the hunt. So it would probably lead to more rather than less dolphins being killed.

      • http://www.ecorazzi.com Michael d'Estries

        I’ve updated the post to reflect this new information.

  • don miguelo

    We should all make the leap to STOP THE DEMAND. Highlight the aquariums’ role in all this. If no one pays them for dolphins, they won’t bother catching them.

    There must be a list of places that buy dolphins like this.
    Tell the kids how these wild dolphins were ripped away from their own families to jump thru hoops in a pool.

    See how much their “net” profits get slashed then.

    • David

      Almost any place that has dolphins got them in this way. Maybe not from Taiji or from Japan but at some point someone had to capture the dolphin.

      There are some captive bred dolphins, but I doubt that the protesters think that is any better.

    • Kevin

      May I add to David’s point that this is also why Americans revere dolphins – the dolphins caught during this process were made into show animals like the show Flipper. That’s the dramatic irony of the Cove – it makes the point that the interest of those who would protect derives entirely from exploitation.

  • kristine

    Well, of course japanese reports are going to say that not one single dolphin escaped to discourage similar efforts from happening. They just want to make it seem that what the Black Fish did was a worthless effort. I don’t buy any of it. And also if there was no confrontation and the Black Fish went unnoticed then they would’ve probably spend a little extra time there to make sure some dolphins escaped. As for my suggestion to take out the fishermens’ boats may not be the most rational one in a cultural and moral battle with the japanese, it should be considered by the activists out there who will and want to do more than participate in a peaceful protest. It is very efficient and consequential especially given the dolphin hunting season going on right now. Experienced divers who go unnoticed planting those underground cameras could try and make a detour to the fishing boats. They would only need to do enough damage to stall the boats from heading out. To me, its a better plan than freeing dolphins out in the open or cutting nets that apparently was a failed effort- which I still don’t buy.

    • Mick

      @kristine

      “They just want to make it seem that what the Black Fish did was a worthless effort. I don’t buy any of it.”

      watson and the exec. director of BlueVoice disagrees with you.

      “Captain Paul Watson, head of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, reported to me that he has two people on the ground in Taiji, and they report that none of the dolphins left the sea pens because the cuts were too small and too high.”

      “..the action of the Black Fish led to no dolphins freed..”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hardy-jones/does-cutting-nets-free-ca_b_745072.html

  • Whoever…

    It’s always the same crap…!

    Large corporations and certain groups can do whatever they wish and everything is just fine!!

    But when environmentalists and animal rights activists use more aggressive methods, then they are instantly labelled terrorists or something like that… WTF!?

    Why can’t we ‘play their game’?

    What gives them the right to rape our planet, destroy our ecosystems and slaughter millions of animals each year while we (the real activists, not the ‘hippie peace-and-love’ pseudo-activists) are not even allowed to fight back?

    Take a good look at Greenpeace (green burocrats) versus Sea Shepherd…

    Hell yes, we must take more aggressive measures in order to fight back and give them some of their own medicine!

    • imforthewhales

      The environmental rapists of the world, those such as Kimitake and his little band of trolls, forget that when they destroy our wildlife they are destroying our home. They forget that the environment is our home.

  • don miguelo

    DOLPHINS RULE! What is your major malfunction?!!
    (So, just to clarify my reaction to Kimi’s way up there response, I am in parenthesis after KIMI-DAWG in “quotes”):

    “I will not take it upon myself to arrest Watson for his great many crimes.” (Right, right, figured that one already. Standard self-preservation).

    “Not because he doesn’t deserve to be arrested, but because I will not take the law into my own hands.” (Forest thru the Trees, man! You can’t take any kind of stand against him besides online peskiness? LAME! Do it your legal way, whatever you need to do. Oh right that’s all you’re able to do because in your mind you set it up that way. How SAFE for you.)

    “Why? Because I have no authority to enforce the law, just like the thugs from the Sea Shepherd. No authority whatsoever.” (Word, Thugs-4-Lyfe, dog!)

    “Sure, I disagree with what those thugs do. But that does not give me the right to throw acid at them or shine weapons-graade lasers into their eyes. Nothing does. Don’t you see?” (OK I enjoyed the pun about not being able to see and lasers in eyes, but c’mon. Totally not what I was asking. Fine don’t arrest him, just do something legal that would matter. Start a bake sale and fundraise against him. It would really help you not have to channel all your frustration about him into a billion gotta get the last word posts on this site. I have to say it really seems like you have a crush on him that you don’t want anyone to know about, IMHO. Dear god, what does that say about me!!!)

    (Anyways, my idea is to train the Whales, Dolphins, Seals and Tuna to shoot harpoons at whalers, totally bypassing all the person on person strife. I’m certain you will tell me just what you think of that. I’m joking here, lighten up!)

  • AnimuX

    I find it interesting that anyone would fail to PRAISE the Black Fish for cutting those nets. The same people who capture those dolphins for enslavement in marine parks slaughter and sell mercury contaminated toxic dolphin meat for people to eat (including children in Japanese schools). They are actually poisoning their own people. Everyone should want to stop them!

    • Boo radley

      Mick seems to think that it was a good thing that no dolphins escaped the nets. he seems to think its OK to send an animal to a life in prison or see it stabbed to death in a most violent, inhumane manner. Very strange!

      • Mick

        @Boo radley

        In fact, I do believe it was a good thing that no dolphins escaped. I have never heard of any animals being sent to “prison”. As for seeing animals “stabbed to death in a MOST violent, inhumane manner”. I am very interested to hear about the LESS violent and inhumane methods of stabbing an animal to death.

      • Boo radley

        Can someone with Aspergers understand the difference?

      • Boo radley

        ***. I have never heard of any animals being sent to “prison”. As for seeing animals “stabbed to death in a MOST violent, inhumane manner”. I am very interested to hear about the LESS violent and inhumane methods of stabbing an animal to death.***

        You will be waiting a long time then. MOST violent is simply a confirmation that stabbing an animal to death is horrific, violent and inhumane…the only step down is to plain old violent and inhumane, which is not much of a step down now is it?

      • David

        “Can someone with Aspergers understand the difference?”

        Some can, some can’t. Asperger’s isn’t a yes or no issue, it is a spectrum one end fades into Autism the other end fades into ‘normal’.

      • Mick

        @Boo radley

        “Can someone with Aspergers understand the difference?”

        I was unaware that you had Aspergers.

      • Mick

        @Boo radley

        “..that stabbing an animal to death is horrific, violent and inhumane”

        I agree that stabbing an animal to death can be horrific and violent. However, I do not agree that it is inherently inhumane.

      • crumpets are yummy

        Interesting thought process. I would have thought that anything that causes unnecessary suffering to an animal that is subject to our mercy is inhumane myself. Unless you are saying that humans are by nature inhumane and that nothing, no matter how terrible, can be considered inhumane.

        is this what you a re saying? That to be human is to be inhumane?

      • Mick

        @crumpets are yummy

        “I would have thought that anything that causes unnecessary suffering to an animal that is subject to our mercy is inhumane myself.”

        Who said anything about “unnecessary suffering”???

        While stabbing an animal to death can be “horrific” and “violent”, that doesn’t necessarily make it “inhumane”. Most, if not all, methods of slaughtering animals for food could be considered “horrific” and “violent”.

        “is this what you a re saying? That to be human is to be inhumane?”

        Not at all.

    • Kevin

      That’s like saying that someone who sells alcohol is poisoning you when you have the right to control and limit your intake. Lots of people aren’t in agreement with you, so don’t act so surprised just because you bought the Cove hook line and sinker.

      • AnimuX

        @Kevin – Wrong. The dolphin meat does not come with warning labels indicating the high level of mercury content. People purchasing the meat will not know if they have just bought a sample with 10 times more mercury or 250 times more mercury than what’s recommended as safe for human consumption.

        It’s also been documented that in many cases the meat sold in supermarkets is mislabeled. Therefore consumers could think they’re purchasing prime whale meat from Antarctic supposedly with less contaminants but end up with heavily contaminated dolphin meat instead.

        At least alcohol (in the USA anyway) comes with information about the percentage of alcohol in the product and warnings.

        Also, children who are forced to eat the stuff in compulsory school lunch programs are not given a choice or warning about mercury and other pollutants.

      • Kevin

        You have a fair point that labeling would be appropriate, but your original statement that someone who follows all labeling laws should be considered a poisoner is way over the top. People have gotten severely ill in the US from eating seabass and tuna with mercury in it – by your logic every sushi restaurant is run by poisoners.

  • Kevin

    I think many people on this site sound like overdramatic cultural imperialists. For about a ten centuries of the past twelve, Japanese people would have rabidly objected to our slaughter of four legged animals as obscene. Hundreds of millions of Indians object to that very firmly today. We hardly would stand for them coming here telling us to stop, and I’m not sure why we think we have any greater moral weight in their internal affairs. It’s all perspective and there are specific historical and geographic reasons for Japan’s hunting of marine mammals.

    We kill hundreds of millions of animals every year in this country, and while many are bred to become food, millions are hunted. If you argue that those animals aren’t cute or intelligent enough to protect, I invite you to meet some of the pigs I’ve known. One hundred million per year killed in US, versus 23,000 dolphins. Let’s get some perspective and not be so easily swayed by a rather poorly argued documentary film.

    If on the other hand, you are simply against all killing of mammals for food, I respect your position and encourage you to consider the significantly greater impact you can have in the US arguing against abbatoirs here.

    • Kevin

      Oops abattoir

    • Michael Raymer

      ” It’s all perspective and there are specific historical and geographic reasons for Japan’s hunting of marine mammals.”
      Name them please.

      “If you argue that those animals aren’t cute or intelligent enough to protect, I invite you to meet some of the pigs I’ve known.” Again, the pig argument. Pigs are susceptible to training as are many species (including kangaroos and elephants). Dolphins and whales have their own sentience which we don’t even understand. They are possessed with emotions, intelligence and a capacity to suffer from psychological and emotional abuse, such as the killing of a mate or child. Pigs do not. Dolphins and whales have their own communication which we intelligent humans cannot comprehent (even though we continually try). Pigs do not.

      “Let’s get some perspective and not be so easily swayed by a rather poorly argued documentary film.” Considering how many awards and nominations the “The Cove” has received, your point is dubious at best.

      “I respect your position and encourage you to consider the significantly greater impact you can have in the US arguing against abattoirs(spelling corrected) here.” May do and will continue to do so. This is the most tiring protestation of all. “Why protest this when you can protest that?” Because this is something that people feel strongly about. And it’s not a clean process. The are people here who would like to see the world go vegan and live off of fruits and vegatables provided by farms. I could contend that these farms wipe out the habitats of wild animals, which they do. The American Bison, Pronghorn, Elk, etc all have lost prime habitat, much of which is taken up by farms and the communities that support them. It’s not a perfect world, there are no perfect solutions, but we do our best. But critisizing those who get involved because they didn’t get involved in something else is a ridiculous argument.

      • Kevin

        I’ll leave it at this: you have as much evidence for your elevation of dolphins above other creatures as people who oppose stem cell research have for calling an embryo a person with full human rights.

        If the best you can do is saving 23,000 dolphins per year, you’re welcome to keep trying. Perhaps I’m talking to the people who aspire to do a bit more, including saving millions of dolphins from mercury poisoning.

      • Michael Raymer

        Who says that I or we are elevating dolphins above other creatures? It’s the current topic, but who knows what or how many issues a person is involved with. This is a judgemental assertion that you have no evidence for. However, I will not hide the fact that I, personally, do elevate some creatures above others. Cetaceans, gorillas and other endangered primates, elephants and rhinos (for those who assert that “cuteness” is a factor), and others.

        As far as saving aquatic marine life from mercury poisoning, I’m all for it. Tell me what I can do to help and I’ll be there with you.

      • AnimuX

        One straw man argument after another.. this is not about embryo-rights or cattle.

        Reducing the pollution causing the mercury contamination is a much bigger and more difficult problem to solve. However, that has nothing to do with the dolphin slaughter in Japan other than we know the animals are contaminated at levels that make them unsafe for human consumption.

      • Michael Raymer

        ‘” It’s all perspective and there are specific historical and geographic reasons for Japan’s hunting of marine mammals.”
        Name them please.’

        I asked for a response above, and you still have not given one. What are the “specific historical and geographic reasons for Japan’s hunting of marine mammals”? So no, we will not “leave it at that.”

        You guys really are one-trick ponies, aren’t you. Obfuscation, distortion and accusation. Can’t answer a valid question (which you yourself brought about), try to change the subject. Point a finger at someone else. Do whatever you can to get your own inadequate positions out of the spotlight.

        Answer the question please.

      • AnimuX

        (Answering in for Kevin)

        The historical reason is Norway.

        In 1889, Juro Oka brought Norwegian whaling techniques, technology and ACTUAL NORWEGIANS to Japan to build up his whale meat business. With modern equipment like harpoon cannons and powered ships, Oka put the traditional “whalers” in Japan out of business. His success created more economic competition for control of the whale meat and oil market in Japan.

        Which brings us to the geographic reasons.

        Japan geographically depleted its shoreline populations until the competing companies, using Norwegian methods, had to branch out to areas outside of Japan’s traditional whaling grounds to find more whales and make a profit.

        This also conveniently corresponded with Japan’s desire to expand its empire by military conquest. As Japan expanded as a military naval power so too did Japan’s whaling industry grow.

        Then, with the invention of refrigerated ships (to keep the meat from spoiling), Japan geographically expanded the hunt to include whale-rich Antarctic waters in the 1930s.

      • Kevin

        Know the history… Japan didn’t even allow the consumption of four legged animals until after Commodore Perry arrived. They had religious prohobitions against it, like Hindus with beef, and they also live in a country with terrain that doesn’t have a high percentage of arable land, making land-bred livestock impractical. So, they hunted their red meat from the sea. In fact, cities like Taiji that had little contact (being cut off by the same mountains) with others except by sea got all protein from the sea.

        This has all been discussed previously, and Michael you previously said on this very site that you elevated dolphins – so please hold back on calling me *judgmental when your own words led me to my statement. Here’s the previous discussion, under my post of Sept 1 4:38p: http://www.ecorazzi.com/2010/09/01/dolphin-hunt-kicks-off-in-japan/comment-page-1/#comment-659782?ewrd=1

      • Michael Raymer

        Your knowlegde of history is a farce. There was no nationwide prohibition to the consumption of “four legged animals.” It was a religious mandate that was followed voluntarily. To claim that Japan did not allow such consumption is to imply that there was a penalty or punishment if you did consume red meat. There was not.

        All you are talking about is fishing, anyway. We are not talking about getting their livelihood from the sea. We are talking about the hunting of whales and dolphins, specifically. So, enough with Commodore Perry. You still haven’t answered the question.

      • Kevin

        You seem very confident. Please provide your sources that clearly state that the Edo government did not have a mandate against meat from land animals. In history, government mandate often follows religious guidance, as in this case during Edo period Japan. While I’m confident that you won’t be providing a source, this is really irrelevant. Which leadership group created the taboo was irrelevant. Their main source of red meat became the ocean.

        I’m sure you missed my point about Perry as well, which was that the Japanese have faced a history of cultural imperialism directly imported from the US, which is the only reason they eat any land animal meat today – right up until the US forced their doors open they had a prohibition.

        So you are in a long proud vein of the US telling others how to live.

      • Michael Raymer

        Again, your historical knowledge is a farce. It was Jesuit missionaries and traders from Portugal who were the first westerners to bring cultural influence to Japan, in the 16th century. They were around for approx. 300 years before Perry showed up. There’s more to history than what you dimly remember from 6th grade. So take your snippy little remarks about US imperialism and stick it. And don’t try to take me on in the subject of history. In the last couple of hours, both you and Mick have tried and I’ve sent you both packing. Stick to crying in your milk about what a big meany Watson is. I’ll kick your ass in that dept. as well, but your stupidity won’t be quite as evident.

      • Kevin

        I asked for a source. You proved that you had no standing in the argument by sidestepping that request. Attacking my knowledge of history is not an answer to that challenge.

        On the topic of “evident stupidity”, here are relevant sources that demonstrate that you are completely wrong about the ban and the strong influence of the events following the 1850s. So much for your knowledge of history. Thank you for so casually impugning mine when you were blatantly in the wrong. I humbly submit that you consider being less offensive and accept that others might actually know something even when they don’t agree with you, or at least show the common sense not to so forcefully put yourself out on a limb about facts you haven’t checked.

        http://tinyurl.com/33o77od
        http://www.scribd.com/doc/38265986/Modern-Japanese-Culture
        pp.303-305 are the most relevant here
        http://eview.anu.edu.au/cross-sections/vol5/pdf/04.pdf
        http://www.luciesfarm.com/artman/publish/article_37.php

      • Michael Raymer

        How mant times to I have to type the words distortion and obfuscation?? Commodore Perry and four legged animals? What does this have to do with killing whales and dolphins? What does this have to do with some bogus claim to cultural heritage?

        You want an answer Kevin? Here it is. We are both right. Buddhism and Shinto-ism forbids the killing of land based, “4 legged” animals. This led to an Imperial madate confirming it. This does not mean that it was universally followed. It should be mentioned that the Emperor of Japan had very little to do with day to day life. In inland areas, professional hunters made use of deer and wild boar, as well as various bird species. And no one cared enough to stop them. The lack of red meat in the diet can be more traced to scarcity and the fact that cattle were used for drawing carts and plowing fields rather than as a food source. As soon as outside influences made other sources of food available, they were utilized. This is not limited to meat products as corn, sugar and tempura style cooking was also brought to Japan by others.

        It is ridiculous that I let you lead the conversation in this meaningless direction. This has nothing to do with the modern day slaughter of cetaceans. Absolutely nothing. In medieval times the Japanese fishing “fleet” was comprised of small craft that stayed close to shore. There was no concerted effort at hunting whales and I have not seen one source to suggest that dolphins were specifically targeted.

        There, I have wasted time and space addressing this atrociously meaningless direction of thought. Maybe you should make note of where it is because I’m not doing this again. This has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but if you’re going to claim history as your ally, make sure you learn all of it, not just the parts you like.

      • Kevin

        Sorry, it seems like you lost the basic thread of argument again.

        I said that there were specific historical reasons that Japan hunts marine mammals. Of course I said this in the context of the larger discussion, as a way for people to understand Japan’s traditions rather than dismiss them as morally wrong with zero understanding of how the Japanese got to their different viewpoint.

        You said “Name them [the historical reasons] please”.

        I named them.

        You argued with those points, calling them inaccurate.

        I showed they were accurate and that you were wrong.

        You then called the entire discussion meaningless. That’s one way to save face.

        The fact that you would close by accusing me of not knowing all the history one post after I schooled you and provided every detail you used in your discussion (two posts after you wrote more wrong things while saying you “sent me packing”) is simply classic. I’d put this on failblog if it were at all concise enough to play there.

    • AnimuX

      The claim of cultural imperialism is nothing more than a straw man argument. It deflects from the actual subject of this discussion in order to establish a weaker argument that is easier to attack which misrepresents anti-whaling statements regarding the dolphin slaughter in Japan.

      It’s basically an attempt to silence debate of the issue at hand which is the ongoing destruction of small cetaceans on an industrial scale in Japan, not cattle or other livestock elsewhere in the world.

      1) A growing body of research indicates dolphins are second in intelligence only to human beings. Some scientists have argued that dolphins and whales should be given special status as non-human persons.

      2) Dolphins are not raised on farms for human consumption. Populations of dolphins are not guaranteed to survive from one year to the next.

      3) Dolphins are contaminated with high levels of mercury and other pollutants making them unsafe for human consumption.

      • Kevin

        Straw man? I’m not claiming that your actual argument is that Japanese are culturally inferior, which would be a good straw man since it is clearly so wrong. Let’s agree that your argument is “dolphins are inherently deserving of rights and the hunting of them is wrong”.

        I am making instead an claim that you have no moral standing to make that argument for activity in Japan. Since you’re not from within the culture, your argument is exactly as wrong as a Hindu telling me that I can’t eat beef. Your position implies that the you have perfect moral knowledge and doesn’t respect that another culture may simply have a different set of cultural expectations. If you believe that a person from India who believes that eating beef is wrong has the right to shut down cattle husbandry in the US, then you and I simply disagree. But if you don’t believe they have that right, think hard about what ground you stand on.

        You and I actually would agree that the dolphin hunting is done in a very inhumane way – if it was happening in here I would push for change. However, as a Westerner I am as reluctant to tell the Japanese that they should change their ways.

      • crumpets are yummy

        The is called empathy…something people like you simply do not understand.

        The Japanese have no legs to stand on when it comes to claims of cultural imperialism. Until recent times they thought that their emperor was an immortal and had a divine right to rule the whole of Asia, as head of a superior race. do your history first before posting ignorant comments.

      • Kevin

        I have expressed empathy for humans, yes I have less for animals. I even have empathy for you – anyone who believes that an entire people can be made victim of a practice that their historical leaders (not current generations) practiced needs it. By your logic Germans couldn’t complain if they were being forced into camps and slaughtered. Nice history lesson, thanks.

  • Boo radley
  • crumpets are yummy

    Same old same old from the pro whalers on here, showing their typical lack of compassion or respect for life.

    I do hope that everyone on here reading this is planning a trip to Taji next year.

  • Jesse

    I know this is going to be taken the wrong way by someone, but I just watched the COVE, and yes emotionaly it get’s to me. I love the ocean and dolphins are amazing creatures but the ocean is filled with wonders. The claim in the doc is that they are so intelligent and therefore should get special treatment, not like cows who are stupid and all other animals we eat. My issue is with how intelligent they are. All I want to know is why they do not jump over the nets?? If they have this great intelligence these people claim then as a group with a highly complex language and social skills does one not jump over and tell the others what to do. They spend the whole night behind the nets in the cove. That whole night spent there is surely enough time for them to work out how to get the whole pod out without leaving anyone behind. Or atleast some of them must want to save themselves. This shows a definite lack of problem solving skills and therefor I can not see how they are that different to any other herding animal. If there is a good reason for why they cannot escape given the time they have I would really like to hear about it so I can change my opinion.