Issue # 2 9/27/2013
Introduction Dolphin Times is a weekly article dedicated solely to dolphinrelated issues. This issue will cover how the Japanese drive hunt is justified by culture, how environmental threats have affected dolphins and people, and the weekly run-down in Taiji since the last issue. Also featured is a video regarding the slaughter in the Solomon Islands. The goal of this magazine is to spread awareness and unite together upon global issues. Please join us in the fight...we need your voice!!! United we stand, divided we fall.
Featured Media: Blood in the Water
WATCH THE VIDEO NOW!!!
Go to https://vimeo.com/63491279
About Blood in the Water The largest dolphin slaughter in the world occurs not in Japanese Taiji, nor the Danish Faroes, but in the Solomon Islands. Dolphins numbering in the "tens of thousands" have been hunted and killed every year for hundreds of years according to those in the know. The carnage and suffering is exacerbated by those who promote and profit from the live capture and trade industry which was introduced in 2003 by the outside world.
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Japanese Dolphin Killing: Tradition or Cultural Fallacy? Japan kills thousands of dolphins every year for profit and so called â€œsustenance.â€? Many people in the world now know this, whether they care or not. But how is it justified, despite it being frowned on in the world? In this section we will explore the common pro-slaughter argument that it is part of Japanese culture.
The drive hunt in Taiji, Japan (drive hunts occurred in many more cities but we will focus on just this one) began in the 1970s. Many sources, including the fishermen and ever-so-unreliable Wikipedia, claim that it has been a cultural tradition for hundreds of years. Given, whale and dolphin hunting has existed that long, but the drive hunt has only lasted a few decades. Japan, being a nation founded in cultural pride, has a clear but understandable bias towards this issue.
BUT... Dolphin drive hunting (paying attention to wording is keyâ€Śdo not be fooled!) is not cultural because it has no sense of antiquity or national unity. Only a small percent of Japan participates in and supports the drive slaughter of dolphins, whereas nearly all of them uphold the importance of family, a tradition Japan has endeared throughout its history unlike the drive hunt.
Furthermore, even if the drive hunt was cultural that still doesnâ€™t make it acceptable. I mean slavery was part of American history for a long time and many thought it was okay. But we all in America regard that as immoral now.
It is important for cultures as diverse and wonderful as Japanâ€™s to evolutionize and keep the things that make the nation so amazing while changing those that will in the end do the nation harm.
It is understandable that pride has been the reason for Japanâ€™s reluctance to end whaling and the drive hunt. They are afraid the rest of the world will dominate them. That has been their fear throughout history. And that fear and pride clouds their minds. In order for a culture to stay alive, it must uphold traditional values while collaborating and taking a spin on influencing cultures.
Take the Philippines for example. They have upheld their culture in working together while adapting things such as importance of family and food from Asia, technology and government structure from America, and vocabulary from China and Japan, not to mention the US. Their culture is now extremely unique and powerful.
In order for Japan to overcome its nuclear disasters, dying seas, and world problems, they must let go of their pride and broaden their minds. I would hate to lose such a unique nation filled with cultural beauty because they were too proud to let go of wrongs justified by tradition.
We, in a critical state of our environment, must see things as they are. The oceans are dying. Nuclear waste is seeping into the now radioactive ocean. If Japan wants their nation and the world to survive, they must set themselves free from the chain of pride and let their culture follow the course of evolution.
A Radioactive Ocean: Mercury Poisoning? Oh My! As many are aware, our oceans are unhealthy and dying. Not only do they face an over-exploitation of resources, but severe pollution from factories and power plants. In the past two years after they were hit by a tsunami, Japanâ€™s nuclear power plants have malfunctioned. Tons of nuclear waste has leaked into the oceans. Russian scientists tried to extend a hand of help to Japan, but they refused saying this was their problem.
What effect does this have on the oceans? 300 tons of toxic water has leaked (accurate as of September 4th, 2013) from the reactors so far.
Poisonous Fish? Though scientists claim that because the radiation is diluted from the currents surrounding Japan it doesnâ€™t pose a health problem to humans, this radiation can increase from plankton to fish to large predators (such as dolphins), and then to humans in a process called biomagnification.
Considering how unsafe the food supply already is from pollution of the ocean, the radiation leak only amplifies the worry, especially since Japanâ€™s diet consists highly of ocean life AND 80% of the U.S. seafood supply comes from the nation.
Scienceâ€™s Sad Tale â€“ A Growing Problem Since biomagnification was discussed earlier, we will start from the beginning of the pollution cycle. Mercury is put into the ocean in various ways. The most common is from waste emanating from industrial plants that either enters the ocean as runoff or from being dumped into the water. It may not enter as a large amount as it is consumed by small organisms such as plankton. But as it goes up the food chain, from one trophic level to the next, the number greatly increases.
Mercury Poisoning for Sale!!! When the mercury enters dolphins through the fish they consume, it is found at 2,000ppm. And that is consumed by people who eat dolphin meat (which is often mislabeled as whale meat coming from Antarctica), causing a serious health problem in mercury poisoning, a problem Japan knows all too well from the Hiroshima Bomb and Minamata.
The Minamata Disease The Minamata catastrophe is a perfect example of biomagnification and mercury poisoning. An industrial factory in the western town Japan known as the Chisso Corporation produced a chemical called acetaldehyde, which is used to produce plastic. Mercury entered as waste into the Minamata Bay as a chemical that can enter the food chain: methyl mercury chloride.
And the biomagnification process began. Mercury entered the humans in the city through the mass consumption of fish and shellfish, causing untimely death and despair. Symptoms of mercury poisoning are not pleasant and essentially kill the brain, causing partial paralysis and muscle weakness. Civilians didnâ€™t know what hit them.
Conclusion Sadly these same problems are occurring again as the ocean grows more and more polluted. Killing and eating dolphins not only is a cruel process but kills those who eat it too. It was appalling to hear that it was almost made a permanent part of the school lunch in Taiji. The pollution of our oceans has hurt both ends of the spectrum. So please, stop the slaughter and let both human and dolphin children live.
Weekly Taiji Update Since the slaughter of Pilot Whales on the 17th, no dolphins of any kind have been killed on the 8 hunting days that have passed. Whether it be from strong weather conditions or no dolphins to be found, the cove has remained blue for over a week. But could this mean the dolphin population passing Taiji is running low? Or have the dolphins found a new migration route bypassing the slaughter?
Whatever the reason, the good news is that no innocent blood has been spilled, no families torn apart for a week. Let us hope and pray this continues and the slaughter ends, leaving the sea in blue forevermore. But we cannot just wait for this to happen. We must take the initiative, get out in the field, and make some noise!!! Until the cove is forever blue, let the world hear all our voices together pleading for this to end! United we stand. Divided we fall.
Thank You!!! Many thanks for reading and I hope you found it a good read. For suggestions regarding the next article or questions regarding what you read here please email email@example.com and expect a response within 48 hours. Zach Affolter Global Wildlife Warriors â€œthe dolphin manâ€?
Sources/Disclaimer Sources: http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/cetacean-kill.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin_drive_hunting#Japan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiji_dolphin_drive_hunt#History http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/04/world/asia/japan-fukushima-nuclear-crisisexplainer/index.html http://www.nbcnews.com/science/fukushimas-radioactive-ocean-plume-due-reach-uswaters-2014-8C11050755 http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mmckinzie/fukushima_radiation_risks_from.html http://toxics.usgs.gov/definitions/biomagnification.html http://www1.umn.edu/ships/ethics/minamata.htm http://www.medicinenet.com/mercury_poisoning/article.htm Graphics: Mystic Rebel, chamberswild.com, wikipedia, japanphilly.org, twicsy.com
All text has been originally written by Global Wildlife Warriors and may only be reproduced if appropriate credit is given. Links to facts are provided that were used to write this article.