Cetacean Society International
Whales Alive! - Vol. XVI No. 4 - October 2007
Boston Dolphin Day Protest
The 25th of September dawned bright and beautiful, making it the perfect day for a protest in front of the Japanese Consulate in Boston. More than two dozen activists joined in to take Japan to task for its yearly dolphin drive hunts in which fishermen brutally kill some 20,000 cetaceans, including more than 17,000 Dall's porpoise killed off northern Hokkaido. Entire pods of dolphins, porpoises, and small whales are herded into shallow bays and then slaughtered by the fishermen, who then cut and process the meat from the animals for sale in local supermarkets. Some of the dolphins are taken and sold to marine parks or aquaria, where they spend their lives in captivity. This year's hunt began on September 1st, when fishermen in Taiji, Japan rounded up ten Risso's dolphins. These hunts are poorly regulated, extremely cruel and unsustainable, and Cetacean Society International has worked in coalition with other organizations to try and bring these hunts to a halt.
In a press release issued just prior to the protest, CSI President William Rossiter talked about the annual demonstration and said that its goal was to "protest the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world...". Simultaneous events were held in front of more than 80 Japanese embasses or consulate offices worldwide, including Boston, Washington, New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Rome, Paris, Brussels, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and Hong Kong.
Treasurer Barbara Kilpatrick headed the CSI contingent, who joined more than two dozen representatives from the Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition (MARC), the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). WDCS' seven foot long inflatable dolphins, along with signs prepared by MARC calling on Japan to "Stop the Slaughter" served as eye-catching backdrops as the group handed out hundreds of information pamphlets to passers-by. Sharanya Prasad, Marine Mammal Program Officer for WSPA, was able to hand-deliver a protest letter signed by the four organizations and a package of information (including a DVD of the slaughter) to the Japanese Deputy Consul, who indicated that he would ensure that the letter was passed on to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. The event was covered by the Boston Herald and by WBZ TV/Radio news.
Photo by S. Prasad, WSPA USA
Please join us in raising your voice in protest of these cruel and unnecessary hunts by sending a polite letter to the Japanese Consulate in Boston. If you would like to see the letter from the four groups that was delivered, we have posted a copy on our web site under our Action Alerts section.
Consul General Yoichi Suzuki