The fight to end the controversial dolphin hunt in the remote fishing village of Taiji just got a bit of star power as former Guns N’Roses drummer Matt Sorum joined the Japanese and Western conservationists to protest the annual hunt. This is the same village that became infamous because of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove.
Sorum, who now plays with his new band Kings of Chaos, arrived at Taiji on September 1, the day the hunt begins. He joined Ric O’Barry, the man featured in the documentary and who used to train dolphins for the Flipper TV series. Sorum said that seeing the hunt is like a “bad nightmare” and he can’t believe that it is happening before his very eyes. O’Barry said that he and the other Westerners are just there to support the Japanese activists and to show that the dolphin hunt is just something perpetuated by “less than 50 men” and not the whole town of Taiji and not the whole country of Japan. The rocker shared he’s planning to organize a rock concert in Tokyo soon with the theme of “celebrating the dolphin” and will bring together Japanese and Western musicians. He wants to bring it rock heavyweights, but stressed the important thing is for the message to reach the kids.
While international organizations and countries have long condemned the dolphin hunt as well as the annual whale hunt conducted by the Institute of Cetacean Research, some nationalist groups claim that the hunts are part of Japanese culture and tradition. They call the Westerners hypocrites since they eat other kinds of meat and accuse them of interfering with the Japanese way of living. Over the weekend, nationalists in Taiji publicly broadcasted their right to kill dolphins and had a barbecue at the cove, while the conservationists watched. Meanwhile in Tokyo, the According to Action for Marine Mammals organization held a protest action with around 50 people saying, “Stop the Slaughter”, referring to Taiji’s dolphin hunt.
[ via The Republic ]