Pod of captive dolphins killed one-by-one in Japanese bloodbath festival as Yoko Ono pleads with cruel hunters to stop

January 24, 2014 3:40 pm Comments Off on Pod of captive dolphins killed one-by-one in Japanese bloodbath festival as Yoko Ono pleads with cruel hunters to stop Views: 634
  • Japanese widow of John Lennon added her voice to pleas
  • At least 250 dolphins have been corralled into a cove
  • Prettiest are selected for sale to aquariums and the rest are killed for meat

A pod of captive dolphins are to be killed one-by-one in a traditional dolphin hunt in western Japan, where local fisherman corral the mammals into a secluded bay before killing many for meat.

At least 250 dolphins have been trapped in a  cove, with the prettiest selected for sale to aquariums and the rest  butchered for meat, was damaging the reputation of Japan.

Today the Japanese widow of John Lennon added her voice to pleas to dolphin fishermen that they stop their hunt, days after the US ambassador to Tokyo waded into the row.

A pod of captive dolphins are to be killed one-by-one in a traditional dolphin hunt in western Japan, where local fisherman corral the mammals into a secluded bay before killing many for meat

A pod of captive dolphins are to be killed one-by-one in a traditional dolphin hunt in western Japan, where local fisherman corral the mammals into a secluded bay before killing many for meat

At least 250 dolphins have been trapped in a cove, with the prettiest selected for sale to aquariums and the rest butchered for meat, was damaging the reputation of Japan

At least 250 dolphins have been trapped in a cove, with the prettiest selected for sale to aquariums and the rest butchered for meat, was damaging the reputation of Japan

Today the Japanese widow of John Lennon added her voice to pleas to dolphin fishermen that they stop their hunt, days after the US ambassador to Tokyo waded into the row

Today the Japanese widow of John Lennon added her voice to pleas to dolphin fishermen that they stop their hunt, days after the US ambassador to Tokyo waded into the row

Yoko Ono published an open letter to  the men of Taiji, the small town made famous by the Oscar-winning film  ‘The Cove’ which depicts the annual bloodbath, in which she urged them  to halt the cull for the ‘future of Japan’.

‘I am sure that it is not easy, but please consider the safety of the  future of Japan, surrounded by many powerful countries which are always  looking for the chance to weaken the power of our country.’

Aarare albino calf swims close to his/her mother as the pod was herded into the cove

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Aarare albino calf swims close to his/her mother as the pod was herded into the cove

 

Sea Shepherd, one of the animal protection groups that monitor fishermen in Taiji, said more than 200 dolphins had been rounded up into the secluded bay

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Sea Shepherd, one of the animal protection groups that monitor fishermen in Taiji, said more than 200 dolphins had been rounded up into the secluded bay

 

Yoko Ono's comments were welcomed on Monday by fugitive eco-activist Paul Watson, who said he hoped it would help convince Tokyo to put a halt to the practice

Yoko Ono’s comments were welcomed on Monday by fugitive eco-activist Paul Watson, who said he hoped it would help convince Tokyo to put a halt to the practice

‘At this very politically sensitive time, (the hunt) will make the children of the world hate the Japanese.

‘For many, many years and decades we have worked hard to receive true understanding of the Japanese from the world,’ she said.

‘But what we enjoy now, can be destroyed literally in one day. I beg of you  to consider our precarious situation after the nuclear disaster (which  could very well affect the rest of the world, as well).’

Harsh conditions: These poles are deployed above the water, and then the fishermen hit a flange on the top of the poles with a hammer, creating a cacophony that drives the dolphins back out to sea

Harsh conditions: These poles are deployed above the water, and then the fishermen hit a flange on the top of the poles with a hammer, creating a cacophony that drives the dolphins back out to sea

Annual process: The fishing crew are pictured transferring several dolphins into the 250-strong pod

Annual process: The fishing crew are pictured transferring several dolphins into the 250-strong pod

Rounded up: The dolphins were forced to wait in the pen for 19 hours until the holding reached critical mass

Rounded up: The dolphins were forced to wait in the pen for 19 hours until the holding reached critical mass

This file photo taken on December 5, 2013 shows Yoko Ono, the widow of late British singer John Lennon,

Caroline Kennedy

Today the Japanese widow of John Lennon added her voice to pleas to dolphin fishermen that they stop their hunt, days after the US ambassador to Tokyo Caroline Kennedy waded into the row

The reference was to the 2011 triple meltdowns at Fukushima after their reactors were swamped by a huge tsunami.

The letter, which was posted on her ‘Imagine Peace’ website and addressed  to ‘Japanese fishermen of Taiji’, bore her signature and was dated 20  January, 2014. At the foot, it said: ‘cc Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe’.

Ono’s intervention came just days after US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy tweeted her disapproval.

Shocking footage of dolphin slaughter in Taiji Cove

      
Tradition: Each year the fishermen capture and kill a huge amount of dolphins, putting the population at risk

Tradition: Each year the fishermen capture and kill a huge amount of dolphins, putting the population at risk

Did she kill herself? There is speculation that the mother of this albino dolphin trapped by Japanese fishermen in a cove has committed suicide after being torn apart from her baby

Did she kill herself? There is speculation that the mother of this albino dolphin trapped by Japanese fishermen in a cove has committed suicide after being torn apart from her baby

One of the crusaders from Sea Sheperd, who hope to bring the dolphin's plight to light

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The fishermen preparing their nets to capture the next pod of dolphins

One of the crusaders from Sea Sheperd, who hope to bring the dolphin’s plight to light (left). The fishermen preparing their nets to capture the next pod of dolphins (right)

The albino dolphin is one of the rarest from this current batch of captured bottlenoses

The albino dolphin is one of the rarest from this current batch of captured bottlenoses

‘Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG (US  Government) opposes drive hunt fisheries,’ wrote Kennedy, the only  surviving child of assassinated US President John F Kennedy, on January  17.

Sea Shepherd, one of the animal protection groups that monitor fishermen in Taiji, said more than 200 dolphins had been rounded up into the  secluded bay.

‘It takes up to 20 to 30 minutes for these dolphins to die, where they  bleed out, suffocate or drown in the process of being dragged to the  butcher house,’ Sea Shepherd activist Melissa Sehgal told Reuters.

The dolphins will be uncomfortably oblivious of the impending doom some of them will suffer at the hands of the fishermen. They are captured around four to five at a time until enough of them are collected for ‘selection’

Treatment: The fishermen brutally kill the dolphins they do not set free or capture using a sharp spike or spear

Treatment: The fishermen brutally kill the dolphins they do not set free or capture using a sharp spike or spear

Cramped: The cove does not provide much space for the dolphins to swim, forcing them to huddle up in groups

Cramped: The cove does not provide much space for the dolphins to swim, forcing them to huddle up in groups

Yoko Ono’s comments were  welcomed on Monday by fugitive eco-activist Paul Watson, who said he  hoped it would help convince Tokyo to put a halt to the practice.

‘Hopefully this would put additional pressure to convince the Japanese government  that this really has no place in the 21st century,’ he said.

Watson, who is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is now in  the United States where he arrived last year saying he wanted to  challenge a court injunction.

Japanese authorities are seeking his extradition and describe methods used by  Watson’s Sea Shepherd group against whaling ships – for example blocking the boats’ propellers – as ‘terrorist’ acts.

Watson was arrested in May last year in Frankfurt on a warrant from Costa  Rica, where he is wanted on charges stemming from a high-seas  confrontation over shark finning in 2002.

The Canadian-born activist fled from Germany but arrived in California on October 28, more than a year later.

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