On Valentine’s Day, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians will lead demonstrations against the brutal, and now infamous, slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. The demonstrations will be held at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. and Japanese consulates across the United States and overseas, bringing the world’s call for the hunt to end right “to Japan’s doorstep.”
Sea Shepherd writes in a press release, “Sea Shepherd invites anyone who cares about dolphins to join us for peaceful ‘World Love for Dolphins Day’ demonstrations on Valentine’s Day to raise our voices for the dolphins. On a day meant to celebrate love, we will show Japan the love felt by the people of the world for dolphins.”
The demos will be led by Sea Shepherd chapters, but all are invited to join. A complete list of locations can be found here. If you are not located near a planned demonstration, Sea Shepherd has provided another way to show your love for dolphins with valentines that can be downloaded and sent to Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae at the Embassy of Japan in DC. There are even kid-friendly cards to be sent by the many concerned children who don’t want dolphins to be harmed.
Sea Shepherd USA Administrative Director Susan Hartland says, “Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to stand with Sea Shepherd at the Embassy and Consulates of Japan and tell the Japanese government that the world holds dolphins very near and dear to our hearts and we will not tolerate this brutal slaughter by a small group of men who are dishonoring Japan to sell dolphins to the captive industry. We hope that thousands of people will turn out to show their love for dolphins and ask Japan to end the needless killing.”
Taiji’s annual hunt season begins on September 1st each year and typically continues until March 1st of the following year. Entire families of dolphins are driven into a cove using the sound of boat engines and banger poles, before each dolphin is either separated and sold for captivity in Taiji or other captive facilities around the world, or slaughtered amongst the rest of their pod. The Cove Guardians document the captive selection process occurring simultaneously to slaughter, a claim denied by Taiji Fishermen’s Union and Taiji’s captive facilities. Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians are on the ground each day throughout the hunt season in Taiji, where they live stream every capture and slaughter on the Sea Shepherd website.
For more ways to get involved and help the dolphins in Taiji, please visit Sea Shepherd’s What You Can Do page.
Disclaimer: Jennifer Mishler works for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA as Staff Writer/Editor & Media Assistant. She is also a volunteer for the Sea Shepherd Baltimore/DC chapter.