Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

Sea Shepherd documents albino calf Shoujo and other captive dolphins inside Taiji Whale MuseumSea Shepherd documents albino calf Shoujo and other captive dolphins inside Taiji Whale Museum
Photo: Sea Shepherd
Finally the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) has done the right thing and has suspended the membership of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA).

This move is a recognition by WAZA that the dolphin drive in Taiji is cruel and unacceptable.

The Sea Shepherd Conservations Society applauds this move by WAZA and encourages WAZA to continue to pressure JAZA to comply with the ethical standards that WAZA has demanded of their Japanese counterparts.

What happens in Taiji and other places in Japan is a disgrace to the nation of Japan. Japan has allowed a small group of fishermen to bring shame upon the entire country.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society first exposed the atrocities in Taiji in 2003, and every year since 2010 Sea Shepherd has deployed Cove Guardians on the ground each and every day between September 1st and March 1st to document the capture and slaughter of dolphins.

This horrific slaughter has been condemned by Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan and by millions of people around the world.

Sea Shepherd has been pressuring WAZA to condemn the slaughter and to demand compliance by JAZA. WAZA has condemned the killing and with the refusal by JAZA to comply to WAZA’s ethical standards, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums has now officially suspended the membership of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Japan has become increasingly isolated from international ethical standards and increasingly condemned for their illegal slaughter of whales and their exceptionally cruel slaughter of dolphins.

This nation that intends to host the 2020 Olympics wishes to stand apart from the rest of the world in regard to their destruction of diversity in the ocean. The Japanese government’s attitude is that they can do what they want, when they want, where they want and how they want, to any living thing and eco-system and justify it all in the name of some public relations mumbo jumbo they invented and called their “food culture,” which gives them the right in their mind to dismiss all criticisms of cruelty and destruction as racism.

Read more: WAZA Council votes to suspend Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA)

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