Friday, February 27, 2004
February 27th is the last day of the horrific dolphin drive in Taiji, Japan.
This slaughter of thousands of defenseless dolphins received the strongest opposition ever in 2003 and 2004.
When the slaughter officially started at the beginning of October 2003, a Sea Shepherd crew was in Taiji. Our crew remained in Taiji until December 10th before they were forced by police to depart from the Japanese town of shame and cruelty.
Sea Shepherd documentation of the dolphin drive reached media worldwide and was a source of embarrassment for the Japanese government.
In November, Sea Shepherd crewmembers freed 15 dolphins from nets. Although they courageously saved the lives of the defenseless dolphins, they were arrested and held for three weeks before being released. Sea Shepherd had to pay an $8,300 fine to secure their release but it was a small price to pay in exchange for the lives of the dolphins.
In January Ric O'Barry returned to Taiji with his wife Helene, thanks to the sponsorship of One Voice of France.
One Voice and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society are allies in this fight to bring an end to the murderous killing of dolphins in Japanese waters.
Ric has called for a day of action against the Taiji, Japan slaughter for Friday, February 27, 2004.
Message from Ric O'Barry
What you can do:
On February 27 (Friday) please fax a letter to the Japanese officials listed below. Urge them to permanently stop the Drive Fisheries.
February 27 is the last day for the dolphin drive in Taiji. We are using this date as an opportunity to let Japanese officials know that the international pressure against Drive Fisheries will not stop - until the Drives end.
If appropriate, include your organization's membership information (number of members, number of countries represented, etc) and your personal expertise or interest in this issue.
Please fax our letter to the following Japanese officials:
1) Please fax a copy of the letter to Elsa Nature Conservancy
2) GOVERNMENT, TOKYO, Japan Fisheries Agency
3) Mr. Yoshiyuki Kamei, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of
4) Mr. Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan
5) LOCAL GOVERNMENT, WAKAYAMA/TAIJI
Fisheries Section of Wakayama prefecture
6) Mr. Yoshiki Kimura, Governor of Wakayama
7) Taiji Fishery Cooperative
8) LOCAL GOVERNMENT, SHIZUOKA/FUTO
Fisheries Section of Shizuoka prefecture
9) Mr. Yoshinobu Ishikawa, Governor of Shizuoke prefecture
10) Ito Fishing Cooperative
Sample Letter from Captain Paul Watson
To: Mr. Junichiro Koizumi,
Prime Minister of Japan
Dear Mr. Koizumi,
On behalf of the 35,000 members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, I am writing you to request that you take immediate action to permanently stop the horrific slaughter of dolphins and small whales in Taiji, Futo and all coastal villages in Japan.
This drive hunt has no place in the 21st Century and the continued slaughter presents Japan to the international public as a backward and primitive place.
These drive hunts are environmentally destructive and cruel. The slaughter of entire families and communities of whales and dolphins has a devastating impact on conservation of the oceans.
Recent studies have demonstrated that dolphin meat is heavily contaminated with PCBs, heavy metals and other toxins. Dolphin meat exceeds contaminant levels of many toxins established for human consumption.
It is in Japan's economic and international interests to put an immediate end to these cruel, unscientific and unsustainable mass kills.
We call on you also to abolish laws that prevent the documentation of the slaughter. It is beneath the dignity of Japan to attempt to censor the truth.
No public relations campaign can hide what is occurring along the beautiful coastlines of Japan. As the Japanese and international public learn more about this killing, the outrage will grow. The public outrage concerning the drives will not go away.
Please investigate this bloody and obscene annual slaughter of defenseless dolphins and help the communities involved to encourage dolphin watching as an alternative industry.
Japan is a beautiful country but the beauty is tarnished by the blood of the dolphins.
Captain Paul Watson
Background Information / Resources