Posted by: learnaboutdolphins | November 18, 2011

There are Two Sides to Every Story

Although this topic seems like there is really only one side, there are in fact two. It is hard to imagine a good reason as to why anyone would want to capture and slaughter innocent dolphins, but the fisherman have come out and said why it is that they do the terrible things that they do.

In the film, The Cove, the film makers and the crew from OPS, Oceanic Preservation Society, actually talked to the fishermen to ask them why they are doing this and they came up with a bunch of excuses reasons.

According to www.savejapandolphins.org these are the reasons as to why the Japanese are killing the dolphins.

Officially, the main purpose of the dolphin hunt is to provide dolphin meat to the Japanese people. But only a small minority of people in Japan actually eats the meat. During our [Earth Island Institute] many campaigns in Japan, we got the impression that dolphin meat is considered ‘trashy,’ unlike the much more expensive whale meat. DNA tests on meat labeled ‘whale meat’ in Japanese markets have revealed the meat is in fact falsely labeled dolphin meat.

This was one of the main reasons that the fishermen have been stating to back of there reasons behind killing dolphins. I do not think the fishermen have a personal vendetta against dolphins, but instead they are like most humans out there on this planet; they are greedy and want to get rich the quick and easy way. This is nothing personal against the fishermen, but most people, especially in America, they want to get rich quick and for the fishermen in Japan that means killing innocent dolphins, for their meat and then mislabeling it a whale meat. By labeling the meat as whale meat, the fishermen are getting more money for a smaller commodity, that most people would not really buy anyhow.

I am not stating this as a fact, but just as a theory that I posses. However, to me this seems like the most logical explanation as to why they would go through all of the trouble. I am not an expert, I am just someone who loves the ocean and dolphins and I want this unnecessary violence to stop.

Dolphins Who Have Been Slaughtered

Killing dolphins for their meat is not the only reason these fishermen give for endlessly slaughtering dolphins. Another reason that was listed on www.savejapandolphins.org is that they do this as a form of ‘pest control.’

During a meeting with the Taiji fishermen in January 2004, the fishermen told us [Earth Island Institute] that they do not only hunt dolphins for their meat or for sale to the dolphinarium industry. In their own words, they kill the dolphins “as a form of pest control.”

The dolphins, from the fishermen’s perspective, eat too much fish, and the fishermen are simply killing the competition. This is the first time ever that Japanese dolphin hunters have openly admitted to executing pest control on dolphins.

Over-fishing of the oceans is a tremendous problem on a global level, and the Japanese fishermen, supported by their government, are wrongly pointing at the dolphins as the reason for this depletion. The Japanese government is making the same false argument in front of the International Whaling Commission that whales eat fish and therefore need to be controlled by killing. The desire to keep the dolphin population down is a major reason why the Japanese government is so keen on issuing permits for the hunts.

It is not really about maintaining what the fishermen repeatedly refer to as their ‘tradition’ or ‘culture.’ It is about eradicating as many dolphins as possible in order to make the oceans’ fish available to themselves.

This is a ridiculous accusation! We as humans are the reason that their are not as many fish in the sea. Dolphins and whales are not the reason the ocean is overfished, it is in fact the way humans have made the fishing industry today. They wipeout an entire school of fish in one scoop. Fish are in the oceans as a source of food for the whales and dolphins and they have more or a right to it than we, as humans do.

Dolphin Slaughter in the 'Cove'

 

However, in response to the gruesomeness  of the slaughters one fishermen who identified himself only as Kawasaki stated,

If you walk into an American slaughterhouse for cows it wouldn’t look very pretty either. The killing is done in the open here so it looks worse than it is. They’re food, like dogs for the Chinese and Koreans.

Although I do not agree with Kawasaki’s statement that it is not a bad as it looks, however he has a point that American slaughter houses are also very gruesome. If any of you have seen the documentary Food Inc. you know how terrible and horrifying the American slaughter houses can be.

We may not know the true reason why the Japanese are killing the dolphins, but we do have a list of reasons. Here is a recap of the reasons as to why the Japanese fishermen and government are killing these dolphins:

  • ‘traditional’ or ‘cultural’ food
  • to provide meat to the Japanese people
  • ‘pest control’

We may not accept the reasons as to why the Japanese are so keen on killing dolphins, but it is not our place to judge there reasons. All we need to do is spread the word and stop these slaughters from going on each each.

 

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Responses

  1. I definitely see two sides to this issue. However, I chose to side with Mckenna Clifford because I felt the reasoning behind killing the dolphins was not sufficient enough. According to the quote provided:

    “Officially, the main purpose of the dolphin hunt is to provide dolphin meat to the Japanese people. But only a small minority of people in Japan actually eats the meat. During our [Earth Island Institute] many campaigns in Japan, we got the impression that dolphin meat is considered ‘trashy,’ unlike the much more expensive whale meat. DNA tests on meat labeled ‘whale meat’ in Japanese markets have revealed the meat is in fact falsely labeled dolphin meat.”

    After reading this quote, I felt that the main reason behind killing the dolphin was not other than money (Similar to McKenna’s opinion).

    I feel like there should be more organizations helping out dolphins, because they are a precious life form that deserves to be preserved

  2. Dolphins have always been one of my favorite animals and seeing those pictures makes me sick. I had no idea that things like that happened to them. I agree with the fisherman that American slaughterhouses aren’t very pretty, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should do the same thing.

  3. The pictures use in this blog definitely helps the reader see your point of view and how it is important to keep these animals safe from harm. It is true that we need every living species to stay alive in order to keep the balance in life. I completely agree with you when you say that we need to do our part in helping these wonderful creatures.


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