- Title: Slash urges Japan to stop hunting dolphins
- Date: 27th January 2017
- Summary: TAIJI, WAKAYAMA PREFECTURE, JAPAN (FILE - 2014) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DOLPHINS SWIMMING IN PEN ERECTED BY FISHERMEN FISHERMEN SELECTING DOLPHINS TO BE SOLD ALIVE DOLPHIN SWIMMING WITH BLOOD POURING FROM ITS NOSE VARIOUS OF FISHERMEN USING BOATS TO HERD DOLPHINS TOWARDS SHORE FISHERMEN USING NET VARIOUS OF FISHERMEN PULLING TARPAULIN IN FRONT OF SHORE TO HIDE KILLING
- Embargoed: 10th February 2017 12:31
- Keywords: dolphin slash guns roses fisherman media killing
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA00260UWRBB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash has called for an end to what he calls a "deplorable" situation in regards to the annual dolphin hunting and slaughter in a western Japanese fishing town.
UK marine welfare charity Sea Shepherd said last week that over 200 bottlenose dolphins were captured and held in a pod in Taiji, a port town in western Japan infamous with its annual cull of the mammal.
Sea Shepherd said dolphins were kept in a cove while divers were selecting which dolphins to sell to marine parks and dolphinariums, while the rest will be slaughtered, it said.
"The situation is deplorable. I'm really happy that it's becoming more and more aware to a broader audience that, what's going on here. The situation at the cove and like the one that I just found out about recently, it's the kind of thing that just has to stop, and I think that it's possible to put an end to it. It's just going to take more and more people speaking out,'' Slash told Reuters in Tokyo on Friday (January 27) where his group are performing over the weekend.
"We can put a stop to it whatever that takes - if it means for the aquariums to stop having the shows, or make it illegal to trap the dolphins, whatever it takes to be able to put an end to it," said Slash, whose real name is Saul Hudson.
The dolphin hunt in Taiji, featured in the 2009 film 'The Cove', involves driving hundreds of dolphins into a cove in the port town in Wakayama Prefecture. Some are taken alive for sale to marine parks, some are released and the others are killed for meat, turning the water red with blood.
Since the film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010, the Taiji hunt has become an international cause celebre. U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy was among those to express concern.
Taiji locals, especially some of the dozens of fishermen, say is a tradition in an area where whales and dolphins have been hunted for years.
"There are some things that happen as ages old traditions and cultures that they've been doing certain thing for so long that it's really hard to 'un-train them.' But, this isn't one of those situations," Slash said.
Japan faced the possibility of losing its' membership of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums unless it stopped buying dolphins from Taiji.
In 2015, Japan's association of zoos and aquariums said it would stop buying dolphins taken in Taiji raising pressure to halt the annual event.
Slash urged the people outside Japan to make more of such pressure.
"I think that we, on our end, need to stop the market - in other word, the necessity - having them to go out and catch that many dolphins for programs in the States and other places around the world that actually have dolphin shows," Slash said.
In 2013, 1,239 dolphins were caught in the Taiji drive hunt, according to the Fisheries Agency. Of these, 172 were sold alive, mainly overseas. Japanese media said many customers were from places such as China and the Middle East.
Some 20 to 30 are bought for use in Japanese aquariums each year at a cost of about 1 million yen ($8,300) each, prompting accusations from environmentalists that the practice of selling dolphins for captivity keeps Taiji's hunt going.
Japan has long maintained that killing dolphins is not banned under any international treaty and that the animals are not endangered, adding that dolphins need to be culled to protect fishing grounds.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None