The Colorado Animal ACTion Network will gather at the Japanese Consulate in Denver this morning at 11:30 to protest that country's ongoing slaughter of dolphins. The slaughter of these marine mammals has gone on in Japan since the late 1970s.
Japan was one of only two countries that also continued to permit whale hunting back in the late 70s; the other was Norway. Other whaling nations, including the United States, voluntarily banned whaling under a treaty drafted by the International Whaling Commission after several species of whales were brought to near extinction and global public outcry pressures governments to change their whaling policies.
The slaughter of dolphins off Japan's Taiji coast is once again in the global public eye as the blood of the animals turns the seas water from blue to red on a regular basis. Dolphins have long been considered a nuisance to Japan's tuna fishing industry. Tuna fish populations are also dwindling due to excessive fishing, many sources report.
The global group Save Japan Dolphins is backing the event, where supporters of dolphin protection are asked to wear blue. Save the Dolphins points out that many Japanese people are equally upset with the insidious practice of dolphin killing and that the nation's powerful fishing industry works to keep local people less informed about questionable industry practices.
About 23 percent of the average Japanese person's protein comes from fish, about six times that of the average American. The small island nation, which has little land for cattle grazing, relies on fish as its chief source of meat. According to the United Nations, Japan is now importing fish caught by other nations' fleets in order to satisfy its pescatarian hunger.
Dolphin killing yields peripheral profits for those who hunt them. In addition to compensation they may get from the fishing industry for killing them, aquariums and amusement parks all over Asia and Europe who profit from showing dolphins pay huge sums for live ones that are deemed "showable" quality. According to the group Advocacy for Animals, a single show dolphin can sell for $150,000. The group reports that at least 2,500 dolphins are killed annually off the coats of Taiji.