photo credit Save Japan Dolphins
September 1st is the annual start of the dolphin drive in Taiji, Japan. If you've seen "The Cove" you know what this means. If not, let me (briefly) enlighten you.
Each year roughly 2,000 dolphins are frightened and chased by boats into two coves. One is the "capture" cove, the other is the "killing" cove. Of those 2,000 dolphins - which include the well-known and liked bottlenose dolphin, as well as striped dolphins, spotted dolphins, Risso's dolphins, pilot whales, false killer whales and plenty of other dolphins, small whales and porpoises - a handful of the most attractive are selected to be sold into dolphinariums and marine parks like SeaWorld and Six Flags...the rest are slaughtered for their meat, and for "pest control" under the belief that the dolphins are eating too much fish (dolphins eating too much fish...can you believe this?).
So what else happens on September 1st?
September 1st is also Japan Dolphin Day, a day of celebration of the lives and beauty of dolphins unharmed, in the wild as they should be. Japan Dolphin Day is a positive event. As Ric O'Barry himself noted on the SaveJapanDolphins website:
"It may be more effective to get people to be FOR something than AGAINST something. Some NGO's will not participate in a protest. So, our plan is to organize an international day of celebration in several cities around the world. The goal is to make this the biggest global event celebrating Japan dolphins yet."
And so we did. People around the world came together and demonstrated their concern over the annual slaughter at over 40 Japanese embassies and consulates. Participating cities included Washington D.C., Berlin, Melbourne, Rome, Auckland, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Taiji, and of course...London! See below for some of our awesome photos (taken by yours truly; clickthrough for larger):
Well I had to include one of myself...I'm the dork with the "Beep if you like Dolphins" sign
photo credit Samuele Braccini
To see some of the other awesome photos from around the world, check out the Save Japan Dolphins Facebook album here.
The primary people working on the Save Japan Dolphin cause are Ric O'Barry, the Earth Island Institute and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Check out their lovely sites for more information, and don't forget to watch "The Cove"!
More photos here:
Japan Dolphin Day; London - Demotix
Protests against Japan's Annual Dolphin Hunt - Yahoo! News
Dolphin Lovers Unite on Dolphin Day - Global Animal
Japan Dolphin Day Events Worldwide - Save Japan Dolphin Facebook album
More information here:
Save Japan Dolphins
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society