Marine mammal exhibitors join protest against Japanese coastal dolphin killing

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2006:

 

More than 60 organizations demonstrated
outside Japanese embassies and consulates in 32
cities against “traditional” coastal whaling on
September 20, 2006, the second annual Japan
Dolphin Day declared and coordinated by Ric
O’Barry of One Voice. Most notoriously practiced
at Taiji, the coastal whaling method consists of
driving dolphins into shallow bays from which
they cannot escape and then hacking them to death
en massé, after some are selected for live
capture and sale to swim-with-dolphins
attractions and exhibition parks.
The so-called “drive fisheries” have been
protested for more than 30 years by marine mammal
advocates including Sakei Hemmi of the Elsa
Nature Conservancy/Japan, film maker Hardin
Jones, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder
Paul Watson, and Steve Sipman, who invented the
name “Animal Liberation Front” in connection with
releasing two dolphins from a Hawaiian laboratory
in 1976. The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks &
Aquariums and the American Zoo & Aquarium
Association finally issued statements of
objection to the “drive fisheries” in March 2004,
as did the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums
in June 2006.


“The Japanese dolphin drive hunts are an
abominable violation of any standard of animal
welfare,” said New York Aquarium marine mammal
research director Diana Reiss in a September 21,
2006 media statement, announcing “a new
campaign to end the drive hunts.” A supporting
statement came from Emory University
neuroscientist Lori Marino.
Responded O’Barry, after thanking
activist groups for their support, “I am very
happy that the captivity industry is getting
involved. If the industry started policing
itself, that would be helpful. It could change
the economics of the dolphin drive. A dead
dolphin is worth $600; a live show dolphin is
worth $ 100,000.
“These corporations make hundreds of
millions of dollars displaying wildlife,
including dolphins,” O’Barry fumed. “The
Wildlife Conservation Society,” which operates
the New York Aquarium and the four major New York
City zoos, “has enough money and clout to stop
the dolphin slaughter, and the related dolphin
captures, any time they want to,” O’Barry
contended in a series of e-mails to ANIMAL PEOPLE.

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