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Japan News

200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove 628

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-we've-always-stabbed-them dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "CNN reports that more than 200 bottlenose dolphins remain penned in a cove by Japanese fishermen, many of them stressed and bloodied from their attempts to escape before fishermen start to slaughter them for meat. Until now, the fishermen have focused on selecting dolphins to be sold into captivity at marine parks and aquariums in Japan and overseas as twenty-five dolphins, including a rare albino calf, were taken on Saturday 'to a lifetime of imprisonment,' and another 12 on Sunday. 'Many of the 200+ Bottlenose dolphins who are in still the cove are visibly bloody & injured from their attempts to escape the killers,' one update says. Although the hunting of dolphins is widely condemned in the west, Japanese defend the practice as a local custom — and say it is no different to the slaughter of other animals for meat. The Wakayama Prefecture, where Taiji is located condemns the criticism as biased and unfair to the fishermen. 'Taiji dolphin fishermen are just conducting a legal fishing activity in their traditional way in full accordance with regulations and rules under the supervision of both the national and the prefectural governments. Therefore, we believe there are no reasons to criticize the Taiji dolphin fishery.' Meanwhile the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society describes how about 40 to 60 local fishermen work with nets to divide up the pod, whose initial numbers were estimated by the group at more than 250. 'They tighten up the nets to bring each sub-group together then the skiffs push them toward the tarps. Under the tarps in the shallows is where the trainers work with the killers to select the "prettiest" dolphins which will sell and make the best pay day for the hunters,' the group says. The fishermen will 'kill the "undesirable" dolphins (those with nicks and scars) under the tarps to hide from our cameras when that time comes.'"
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200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:08PM (#46016293)

    Really, this isn't the news I would expect for this site.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:22PM (#46016491)

    As a species the bottlenose dolphin is not endangered. There are well over half a million bottlenose dolphins swimming all over the world, and their population numbers ARE stable.

  • Please REPEAT (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jack9 (11421) on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:35PM (#46016675)

    This is NOT tech news.

  • by meerling (1487879) on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:35PM (#46016691)
    There is a distinct possibility that dolphins are not just smart animals, but actually sentient beings.
    Why can't we communicate with them? We can, just not very effectively. That's understandable, they are more alien to us than the average hollywood extraterrestrial. Just look at the environment they are evolved for, living in water their entire life, relying on sonar, having to return to the air layer on a regular basis. Decidedly not the same as a terrestrial life.

    And here's a biggie for you. They've been trying to decipher the dolphin language for a long time. They don't know much about it, but they have found out some very interesting things. Dolphins share knowledge and instructions. They also gossip. Of course, to gossip you need individual names to reference the individual you are talking about. They do. They've clearly tracked unique sound identifiers that are apparently being used with regards to specific individuals, in other words, personal names.
    When was the last time you heard about pigs sharing instructions verbally or using personal names?

    Is it right to eat another sentient being? Most people would say no.
    It's part of the reason why they wanted to study E.T. and not BBQ him.
  • by Parafilmus (107866) on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:54PM (#46016935) Homepage

    Slaughter implies butchering and the headline makes it sound as if the animals were to be butchered in the cove.... Slaughtering in the cove sounds unsanitary.

    I suppose I don't know how sanitary it is, but they really do perform the slaughter right there in the cove.

    eg:
              http://digitaljournal.com/image/102641 [digitaljournal.com]

              http://unleashed.org.au/images/blogs/The-cove.jpg [unleashed.org.au]

  • by BStroms (1875462) on Monday January 20, 2014 @03:55PM (#46016945)

    Actually, I've seen research that indicates the extreme intelligence attributed to dolphins is largely myth based on brain size. And most of the larger dolphin brain is simply focuses on their echolocation. The speed of sound is much greater underwater, and processing all that information requires much more brain devoted to it than our own sense of hearing.

    In most intelligence tests dealing with items such as problem solving and the like, dolphins are not only far below humans, but below many animals people wouldn't think of, such as several species of birds, and I believe ferrets. But my memory as to the exact rankings is a little fuzzy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 20, 2014 @04:00PM (#46017001)
    Exactly where do you get your information? All the sources I can google expressly state they are "Not Endangered"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bottlenose_dolphin#Conservation [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.marybio.org/en/MM-Bott_Dolp-conservation.html [marybio.org]
  • by dmbasso (1052166) on Monday January 20, 2014 @04:08PM (#46017111)

    While I mostly agree with you, please consider being more open about some concepts, like consciousness. You simply assume that plants are unconscious, because "they have no nervous system". Actually they have, although one very dissimilar to our own [1]. How can you affirm that their subjective interpretation of bodily damage is not similar to e.g. a fish's one?

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_perception_(physiology) [wikipedia.org]

  • by jafac (1449) on Monday January 20, 2014 @04:10PM (#46017121) Homepage

    Plant life does not factor into it because they can not suffer.

    according to your definition of "suffer".

    They can’t suffer because they have no nervous system with which to think.

    Why is thinking a necessary criterion for suffering?

    They also have no physical mechanisms with which to feel pain.

    Their mechanisms are different from those of animals, to be sure. No nerves, etc. But plants DO have mechanisms for registering and even communicating physical damage and distress.
    http://www.reeis.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/0187702-mechanism-for-biosynthesis-release-and-detection-of-volatile-chemical-in-plant-insect-interactions.html [usda.gov]

    And even if they did, they have no thoughts, so the pain would mean nothing.

    Yes. Thoughts have "meaning" to us human beings. We have no idea what meaning (if any) thoughts have for animals. And we have no idea of a plant's experience, and whether there is anything which has any "meaning". In this completely anthrocentric view - why is "meaning" of thought, more important than "meaninglessness" of plants? In fact, human suffering and thought, and meaning, when viewed in certain contexts, can shrink to almost nothing. Imagine stubbing your toe. Now imagine the meaning of that thought, 1,000,000 years from now. Not so much meaning to that, is there?

    They have no fear, panic, or sadness. They live, but they live without consciousness.

    Why is a plant's existence any less meaningful than an animals? Why does consciousness preclude suffering?

    There is an argument about meat-eaters, that since they eat cows and pigs, but not dogs or cats, that this is really an argument of "survival of the cutest". Dogs and cats are the most human-like, and they are cute, so we don't eat them. But they are not human, so it's really no different if we ate dogs or cats. (some cultures eat dogs, of course). But if we can extend our humanity to dogs and cats because they "feel pain" or "have conscious thought" - then we can really extend that to most of the mammals, and many higher animals. And if dogs and cats have thoughts and feelings (though, clearly they're different from human thoughts and feelings) - why would we place value on those, and not the thoughts and feelings of cows and pigs - which are clearly even more different. And if we can conceive of an existence of cows and pigs being sacred - then why is not all life (even plant life) sacred? Where do you draw the line, and why do you draw one? What is "complex" enough to merit not being eaten? It's either a biological argument, or it's an argument of empathy. And even the biological argument is empathic. We draw our lines of distinction at the classification boundary between the plant and animal kingdom?

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday January 20, 2014 @10:21PM (#46020569) Journal

    The ability to do so was also limited - not every Jew is an Einstein, and many countries had restrictive immigration policies in that time period (e.g. US had a quota system under the "National Origins Formula" in that time period, and Australia restricted immigration to whites).

    It should also be noted that the restriction on Jewish rights under the Nazis was also gradual. Early on, many people felt, not unreasonably so, that the risk and expenses inherent in a move (especially overseas) far outweigh the inconveniences. By the time the full extent of the danger was realized, they were already significantly curtailed in their ability to move. Even so, in 1938, there was an international conference [wikipedia.org] devoted to the question of Jewish immigration from Nazi Germany, and Hitler himself said that he'd be happy to get rid of any Jews willing to leave so long as some other country is willing to take them. All other Western countries have declined, some in quite racist terms - e.g. Australian representative saying that "as we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one". The only country that extended an invitation to a considerable number of refugees was Dominican Republic, and that, ironically, was because Trujillo was trying to "whiten" the population of the country, and considered Jews as white for that purpose.

    Then, of course, only some places proved to be safe to flee to, like US or UK. But who in 1938, much less 1933, would expect that France - the same France that was part of the winning coalition of WW1, and contributed significantly to German defeat - could not hold its own? At the same time it was a more attractive destination for German Jews, seeing how it is an adjacent country, making the move logistics easier.

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