Life as a small whale or dolphin can be precarious at the best of times, but off the coast of Japan they face a sinister threat – the fishermen of Taiji. If they’re caught up in the maelstrom of one of the infamous ‘drive hunts’ the outcome is unlikely to be a good one.
WDC's ongoing campaign to persuade airlines who are members of the Star Alliance group not to transport dolphins around the world has seen more success with the confirmation from Swiss International Air Lines that their freight subsiduary, Swiss WorldCargo, is not involved in the practice. In a message confirming its position to WDC, the airline stated that it "...condemns the unethical treatment of any animals, including dolphins."
Taiji, the Japanese coastal town where the notorious dolphin drive hunts take place, announced on Wednesday that it has established cultural links with Klaksvik, the second largest town in the Faroe Islands. Those cultural links include the fact that Klaksvik is also a location where drive hunts take place, primarily targeting pilot whales.
In a news conference the Taiji mayor announced he had visited the Faroes and his counterpart in Klaksvik would likely make a recipricol visit later this year.
According to reports from Japan, two new species have been added to the list of those already allowed to be killed, and captured by fishermen in Taiji for use in captivity shows.
A 'superpod' of around 300 dolphins has been captured by hunters in the cove near the infamous town of Taiji, Japan. Since their capture, the dolphins are being subject to a selection process by divers who will decide which dolphins should be sold to marine parks and those that will be slaughtered. The dolphins can fetch over £20,000 when sold to the captivity industry.
Footage of the capture, and subsequent abuse, has been live streamed by welfare groups working in Taiji in the hope that something might be done to prevent this annual slaughter.
In August we reported that the yearly atrocities occurring in Taiji, Japan known as the dolphin drive hunts were about to begin, just before this season’s six months of cruelty and death.
In the UK slow but steady progress on advice to smokers has led to one of the greatest reductions in smoking of any industrialised nation.
Chief Physician at the Department of Occupational Medicine and Public Health in the Faroes, Dr. Pal Weihe has contradicted government advice and reiterated a warning to the country’s population not to eat whale meat.
High levels of pollutants like mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and PFCs (perfluorinated compounds) from the world’s oceans end up in sea mammals like whales and dolphins and are eaten in the Faroe Islands, Greenland, parts of Canada and Siberia.