Thursday, October 06, 2005

October 8 - The Dolphins Need Our HELP

Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan Earth Island Institute One Voice - FranceFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 5, 2005Contacts: David Phillips, Earth Island(415) 788-3666 x145Richard O'Barry, One Voice(305)-668 4834(33) 6 79 83 1661 (France)Sakae Hemmi, Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan (81)-298511637 (Japan)Memo Reveals Japan Aquarium Industry's Secret Sponsorship of Dolphin SlaughterAn international consortium of environmental organizations*, fighting to end the world's largest dolphin slaughter in Japan, today released an internal memo prepared by the Japan Cetacean Conference on Zoological Gardens and Aquariums to its member aquariums encouraging the buying of more dolphins from the Taiji drive fishery."The aquarium industry is secretly subsidizing the violent slaughter of thousands of dolphins in Taiji and other fishing villages in Japan," stated David Phillips, Director of the International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute. "This memo is the first direct proof from the Conference to its member aquariums soliciting buyers for dolphins.""In a key part of the memo," adds activist Richard O'Barry, former trainer of TV star Flipper and marine mammal specialist for One Voice, a leading French animal welfare organization, "the Conference encourages its member aquariums to request even more dolphins that are currently not available due to permit restrictions.""Fishermen herd dolphin schools into shallow waters, where around two thousand are annually slaughtered for meat," adds Sakae Hemmi, spokesperson for Elsa Nature Conservancy. "The aquarium industry subsidizes the slaughter by offering thousands of dollars to buy a few prime specimens of dolphins from the shallow waters of the blood-filled slaughter pools. Without these enormous prices for prime specimens, it will be quite difficult for the drive fishery to survive, for dolphin meat is much contaminated with mercury."The memo was prepared by Senzo Uchida, Executive Secretary of the Japan Cetacean Conference on Zoological Gardens and Aquariums and sent to the directors of aquariums that are members of the Conference. The memo outlines a meeting held by representatives of the Conference, the Taiji Fishing Cooperative, Taiji town councillors, and the Isana Union, representing the drive fishermen at Taiji. Even the Japanese government was involved, as Mr. Hidehiro Kato of the Japan National Research Institute, a government agency, originally recommended this meeting be held. The memo states in part (English translation):"...for the purposes of continued cetacean capture and stable supply, it is necessary to have frank expressions of opinion from fishers involved in dolphin drive fisheries and from aquariums needing cetaceans.""Currently when dolphins are captured in drive fisheries, they are sorted live to select individuals for captivity, after which the rest are all used for meat.""Pacific striped dolphins cannot be taken in drive fisheries at Taiji because no permits have been granted. However, if the capture of this species at Taiji were to become possible, this would benefit fishers and the aquariums which keep cetaceans...Applying for a permit to capture a new cetacean species at Taiji would require that there is a need. Accordingly, from the perspective of exhibiting cetaceans for educational purposes, we would like to perform a questionnaire survey to determine the extent to which aquariums participating in the Cetacean Conference want Pacific striped dolphins, and then use the results to justify applying for a permit to capture them at Taiji."A copy of the original memo in Japanese and an English translation are attached to this press release.David Phillips concluded: "The public, including the people of Japan, would be outraged if they knew the truth -- that thousands of innocent dolphins die a horrible death so that a few can be shown doing tricks in aquariums. The drive fishery and the slaughter must be stopped, and the aquarium industry should be ashamed of sponsoring the killing of thousands of dolphins annually."* The campaign to stop the dolphin slaughter is a joint project of the Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan, the International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute, and One Voice, a leading French animal protection organization- 30 -MEDIA ALERT: VIDEO FOOTAGE and PHOTOS of the dolphin drive fisheries of Japan is available from Earth Island Institute by calling (415) 788-3666 or faxing (415) 788-7324. For further information, visit FRANCISCO PROTEST OF JAPAN DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER:Members of In Defense of Animals (IDA), the International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute and One Voice - France will hold a protest as part of a day of international protest against Japan's slaughter of over 23,000 dolphins and small whales each year. Activists will demand a permanent end to the drive fisheries and the preservation of dolphins and whales as natural treasures:When: Saturday, October 8, 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m.Where: Japanese Consulate, 50 Fremont St., San Francisco
Those who cannot be at the Japanese embassy demonstration in-person are asked to hold vigil with prayer and meditation on October 8 at Noon your local time for the enlightenment of all connected to the dolphin slaughter. The waves of positive energy from this united intention hour after hour may have unpredicted benefits for many beings.

Here is a suggested prayer, chant, song for you and friends to unite with. It came to me from uniting with the dolphins near Japan and all over the world:

From the heart of the Dolphin Mind, may we be united and in peace.
From the heart of the Dolphin Mind, may we all be enlightened and live in harmony together.
From the heart of the Oceanic Mother, may all beings, all species, all life honor and support each other in peace.
From the heart of Mother Earth, may we awaken to our highest fulfillment in love with all beings.
From the heart of Dolphin, Whale, Ocean, Earth and the deepest heart of our own life, may we live as One.

Japan Dolphin Day, October 8th, 2005: Protest the SlaughterWHAT: An international day of protest has been organized to urge the Japanese authorities to ban the slaughter of dolphins.WHEN: October 8th, 2005 Noon local time (wherever you are)WHERE: WorldwideWHY: Every year, fishermen in Japan hunt and kill about 20,000 dolphins and other whales in the most brutal way imaginable. This is the largest massacre of dolphins anywhere in the world. The fishermen say they kill the dolphins primarily as a form of "pest control." They say the dolphins eat too many fish, and that they are simply eradicating the competition. We need to let them know that these crimes against nature are unacceptable to the rest of the world. Help us send a powerful message to the Japanese dolphin hunters and their government: STOP THE DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER.OUR GOAL: Our goal is to make this the biggest global protest against the dolphin slaughter in history. WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: Everyone! This event is not limited to animal protection organizations. NGOs, schools, music bands, various clubs, businesses and concerned citizens are encouraged to show up. Please contact your friends and neighbors, local schools, civic clubs and anyone else you can think of. Ask people to join us at noon on October 8th at a Japanese embassy or consulate office near you.


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