A 34-year old dolphin named Fuji is a prisoner being held in the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.
This unfortunate dolphin suffered from a disease in 2002 that resulted in three-quarters of her tail being amputated. The Aquarium requested assistance from the Bridgestone Tyre Company to manufacture a prosthetic tail for Fuji at a cost of $95,000.
Fuji only wears the device for about twenty minutes a day. Not long enough to be practical, but long enough to provide a positive media image for the Aquarium. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is now boasting of how concerned it is for the dolphins and that expense is no object in providing care for unfortunate dolphins.
Of course, it is all public relations meant to present the lie that the people of Japan are sensitive to the welfare of dolphins. Yet this same nation cruelly and horrifically slaughters some 23,000 dolphins each year in Southern Japan. The killing is taking place now in Taiji and in Futo.
Dolphins are being speared, slashed, knifed, tortured, drowned, stoned and kicked by cruel and heartless Japanese fishermen. This happens with the full support of the Japanese government and the complicity of the Japanese media and people.
While this program of specicide is under way, the Japanese have the audacity to issue a media release about the expense they went to in manufacturing an artificial tail fin for a single captive dolphin. What they don't say is that these dolphins are selected and separated from the pods that are routinely rounded-up for slaughter in mass killing sprees in Japanese bays; they are pulled out of the water by their tails, put into holding cages and sold to the captivity industry. This media release is a gross and blatantly hypocritical attempt to distract attention away from the cruelty and the horror of the mass dolphin slaughters in Japan.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is urging all visitors to Japan to not visit Japanese marine aquariums.
Captain Paul Watson is in San Francisco and will be attending the demonstration at the Japanese Consulate on Friday, November 19th at noon, as part of the Sea Shepherd Worldwide Protest Against the Slaughter of Dolphins in Japan.
From San Francisco, Captain Watson commented on the Fuji story, "I would urge people who care about dolphins to not support Japanese marine aquariums. Walking into the door of such a facility and giving them admission money automatically makes a person complicit in this slaughter. The horror being perpetuated on the beaches of Japan is unacceptable under all standards of decency and humanity. These killers are cruelly insensitive, merciless bastards and a disgrace to the entire nation, culture and history of Japan."