With the start of the dolphin-hunt season in the town of Taiji in Japan, a lot of conservationists have expressed concern over the activity, calling it a “brutal practice”. US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy has taken to micro-blogging site Twitter to express her opposition and deep concern over the Japanese tradition.
In a tweet dated on January 17, the US Ambassador said that she is “deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG (US Government) opposes drive hunt fisheries.” The tweet pertained to Japanese town, Taiji’s tradition of corralling hundred of dolphins for selling and slaughter for meat. Last Sunday, around 250 dolphins were caught for the “cultural” tradition. The dolphins will be culled for selling to marine parks and aquatic establishments, while the remaining ones will be killed for its meat. An official from the fishing industry in Taiji already confirmed the slaughter of some of the caught dolphins but the number of those killed was not revealed.
Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG opposes drive hunt fisheries.
— キャロライン・ケネディ駐日米国大使 (@CarolineKennedy) January 18, 2014
The dolphin-cull tradition was featured in the Academy Award winning documentary “The Cove.” It drew worldwide attention with its in-depth coverage of the town’s tradition and process of selecting and slaughtering the dolphins. Right-wing protesters opposed the documentary when it was shown in Japan in 2010 and defended the tradition as part of their cultural heritage. However, conservationist group Sea Shepherd condemned the practice. “Those taken captive are forced to watch as the remaining members of their family are brutally killed for human consumption,” it said in a statement. Sea Shepherd once streamed live footage of a dolphin capture in Taiji in 2010 as a protest. The industry official, which refused to be identified, said that while the dolphins die immediately after the spinal cords were cut, it was not as bloody as depicted in “The Cove.” Defending their practice, he said that they “can’t simply nod (to protests) and end centuries of our tradition.” Further adding that to talk about cruelty, means abstaining from eating “cows, pigs or any other living creatures.”
[via Japan Probe]