In 2008, Taiji in Japan slaughtered 1,700 dolphins. The international community swarmed to action after one of the most powerful works of journalism, “The Cove,” depicted the bloodletting in a documentary that won an academy award in 2009. This year, while 57 bottlenose dolphins have escaped Taiji’s slaughter, they have been doomed to yet another cruel and unnatural fate.
We recently showed footage of four bottlenose dolphins trapped in an Egyptian swimming pool 1/10th the recommended size, where they were serving quarantine time before being transferred to a new dolphinarium in Hurghada. It has since emerged that not only were these dolphins imported from the scene of “The Cove,” but Saudi Arabia received four as well.Since the onset of 2010, 57 dolphins have been captured in Taiji and then exported to various countries around the world, including China, Ukraine, Thailand, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. As exposed in the documentary, such a transfer causes great distress to the animals who are then fed medicine to quell stomach ulcers.
The man who is responsible for exporting Taiji’s live dolphins, Mr. Hiromitsu Nambu, told The Japan Times:
“Dolphins in Taiji are popular around the world because they are smart and I personally think they have cute faces.”
He added that while Indonesia and the Solomon Islands were good sights for capturing dolphins, “probably none of those places secure as stable a supply of live dolphins as Taiji.”
The Japanese received $300,000 for each of the four dolphins held in a private pool, owned by Wagby Saad, where they were filmed swimming through concentrations of their own fecal matter. HEPCA, the Egyptian environmental agency monitoring the dolphins suggested that the pool lacked the filtration system necessary to properly dispose of the dolphins’ combined waste.
In order to discourage dolphinariums, HEPCA staged a screening of “The Cove” in Egypt on October 3rd, 2010. In response, The Red Sea Governorate has banned any further marine mammal imports, even though Nambu insists that no CITES rules were broken.
image via LaPrimaDonna