“In my interview today with the Australia 60 Minutes crew, I told them of the importance of Broome, the town in Australia, which suspended its sister-city relationship with Taiji. Before that event, the Japanese media had ignored the story of ‘The Cove’. Now, the Japanese media is all over the story. But we hear that the Broome Shire Council may reconsider their decision, so we need to tell the people of Broome to support the original decision. " - Ric O'Barry in September 2009,
As the 2016/2017 dolphin-hunting “season” ends, we remember the 595 known dolphins who were brutally murdered in the small town of Taiji, Japan. We also remember the additional 232 dolphins who were “selected” for captivity, where they will endure a life of boredom, stress, and cacophony, which will only be liberated by their death.
In addition to these 827 dolphins, there were likely dozens of dolphins who also died from the stress or exhaustion of the hunt, or babies who died alone after being dumped at sea without their adult family members (so they wouldn’t count towards the quota); dolphins who will never be quantified.
Over the years, the total numbers of dolphins killed has trended down; but not due to ethical or moral reasons. The total numbers of dolphins found in the waters around Taiji have declined. Now, with the drive-hunting “season” over, these dolphin hunters will take to sea for several months and kill thousands MORE dolphins and small whales. Just, without the world watching them.
When will it stop?
Ending the drive hunts in Taiji requires a two-pronged approach. One approach is to end the captive industry and allow “Taiji to Rebrand Itself,” something I have previously discussed. The other approach, the upstream and more critical approach is to end the slaughters.
The Taiji-Broome Connection:
In 1981, Broome, Australia and Taiji, Japan became sister cities, sharing a cultural and financial history. This relationship is THE LINCHPIN to ending dolphin slaughters in Taiji.
How do we know?
Because, in 2009 Taiji stopped slaughtering bottlenose dolphins when Broome withdrew from its sister-city relationship. For weeks, Taiji did not kill any bottlenose dolphins and introduced a Non-Slaughter Policy, releasing dolphins which were not selected for captivity. Said slaughters ceased until Broome reconciled with and reinstated their sister-city relationship without condition.
Sadly, once this relationship was reinstated, Taiji resumed their dolphin slaughters demonstrating the power that Broome has over Taiji’s dolphin policies. When Broome spoke out against the slaughters, Taiji reciprocated in kind by stopping them.
This power also demonstrates now however, that by Broome staying silent, by saying nothing, they are effectively condoning the slaughters, and silently permitting them. Thus, as of March 1, 2017, Broome, Australia remains complicit in the murders of hundreds of dolphins every year.
We know that Broome can shut this whole operation down. It is time for Broome to end their sister-city relationship with Taiji, or else make said relationship contingent upon the permanent end of all slaughters, turning this town of 3,400 people away from being one of dolphin killers.
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