Monday, January 20, 2014
Excerpts (from here):
"Every year the fishermen of Taiji, in Wakayama prefecture, drive hundreds of dolphins into a cove, select some for sale to marine parks, release some back into the sea and kill the rest for meat."
"In an unusual move, U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy has expressed deep concern over the traditional dolphin hunt in western Japan, where local fisherman corral the mammals into a secluded bay before killing many for meat. '(I am) deeply concerned by inhumanness of drive hunt dolphin killing,' Kennedy tweeted at the weekend, adding that the U.S. government opposes drive hunt fishing."
"'Dolphin fishing is one of Japan's traditional fishing techniques and is carried out appropriately in accordance with the law,' Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters at a regular news conference in Tokyo on Monday."
"Sea Shepherd, one of the animal protection groups that monitor fishermen in Taiji, said more than 200 dolphins had been rounded up into the secluded bay. 'It takes up to 20 to 30 minutes for these dolphins to die, where they bleed out, suffocate or drown in the process of being dragged to the butcher house,' Sea Shepherd activist Melissa Sehgal told Reuters."
"Taiji came into the spotlight after the 2009 release of 'The Cove,' directed by former National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos. It shows the hunt in grisly detail and calls for an end to commercial fishing of marine mammals."
FYI: The phone number for the Japanese Embassy is 202-238-6700; Fax: 202-328-2187.