Surfers and Sea Shepherd Take Action for Dolphins

Each year from October through March, in small towns across Japan, thousands of dolphins and small whales are confined and brutally killed. These slaughters take place in fishing towns including Taiji, Iki, Ito, Futo and Izu. During those months, Japanese fishermen herd whole families and pods of dolphins, porpoises and small whales into shallow bays and mercilessly hack them to death. Most of these small cetaceans are sold as meat in restaurants and stores, while some are destined for a life in captivity.

In addition to the small cetaceans being massacred on the beaches, Japan kills approximately 100,000 more marine mammals (primarily Dall’s porpoises and also dolphins) in its fishing industry. This killing must stop!

Sea Shepherd has been in the forefront of fighting against the slaughter of dolphins, whales and all marine wildlife for over 25 years, and we are committed to ending the barbaric and senseless slaughters in Taiji and other villages in Japan.

Sea Shepherd is currently in Osaka, Japan working with the international surfing community's efforts to stop the annual dolphin slaughter that claims more than 25,000 intelligent and innocent lives every year in Taiji and adjacent seaside towns and villages. Pro Surfer Dave Rastovich is a leading advocate for the plight of these animals and refers to as dolphins as "the original surfers." He has called on the surfing community to take a look at what's going on. Rasta's group, Surfers for Cetaceans, along with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Save the Waves, Minds in the Water, and The Whaleman Foundation joined in an action in Taiji, Japan on October 27. In one of the bays where thousands of dolphins are killed, 22 people with surfboards and wet suits paddled into the water and formed a prayer circle to honor their memory. After the surfers returned to shore the police asked for passports and took photos of everybody that was there.

The police had known for weeks that a plan was in the works to oppose the killing of the Taiji dolphins. It so happens that no dolphins were being killed during this time because the Japanese were afraid of being exposed. Rastovich was able to meet with some local community members and discuss the high mercury level in the dolphin meat. The action raised the noise level and opened people's minds. Sea Shepherd's presence puts the dolphin killers on notice that we will not rest until the slaughter stops. This is another episode in a battle to save the world's cetaceans.

For more information on Sea Shepherd's campaign to oppose the dolphin slaughter visit their Taiji Campaign homepage.

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