‘End Taiji Now’ Protesters Call for Prince William to Help End the Dolphin Death Drives
Calls for Prince William to help end the dolphin ‘death drives’ at Taiji, Japan – in which hundreds of dolphins are slaughtered or captured for dolphinariums – will be made by protesters at a mass event in London on Saturday January 17th.
Over a thousand people are expected to attend the protest with a call for the Japanese government to end the practice immediately. The Taiji drives have become infamous over the last few years, with protesters attending each year to monitor and record the deaths and captures. Prince William, who has spoken out about wildlife crime, is visiting Japan in February, and speakers will be calling on him to raise the issue at the highest diplomatic level.
The protest against Taiji will focus on two key issues – the slaughter of dolphins for meat, which is carried out in an inhumane fashion using a spike in the airhole, and on the capture of live dolphins for marine life ‘attractions’ and shows. Emily Lawrence, of organisers London Against the Dolphin Massacre – Taiji, said: “We are organising this march to raise awareness of the senseless dolphin slaughter that happens daily in Taiji and to push for an end to captivity for all whales and dolphins around the world.”
Those attending the event will include Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, while speakers will include Will Travers OBE, President of the Born Free Foundation, and wildlife campaigner Dominic Dyer of Care for the Wild International.
Dominic Dyer said: “We’ll be calling on Prince William to join the millions of people around the world who are shocked at the barbarity of the Taiji killings. The atrocities committed at Taiji are not a private local matter for the Japanese fishermen, nor are they are part of Japanese culture which should be maintained and respected. Dolphin killing on this scale, both in terms of the numbers and the inhumane methods, is something the world must be concerned about, and put an end to. Care for the Wild will be joining people from around the country at this protest, people who have no grudge against Japan, but who simply understand that dolphin drives such as the one at Taiji are wrong and do not have a place in the modern world.”
Commenting on the captive dolphin industry, Will Travers said: “Twenty years ago Born Free was at the forefront of the campaign to end captive dolphin shows in the UK, when we took three of the last dolphins and returned them to the wild. We understood, even then, the deprivation and suffering imposed on these amazing animals in captivity. Today, the impact of the film Blackfish about SeaWorld is turning the tide against this form of marine mammal exploitation on a global scale.
“Just last year, Born Free commissioned an independent survey by Censuswide which revealed that more than eight out of ten UK citizens said they would not visit a dolphin or orca show as part of an overseas holiday – that’s massively important progress. But some things need action now. The Taiji dolphin slaughter not only causes unimaginable suffering but sustains the captive industry. Frankly, it’s a barbaric practice that should be rejected by all caring, compassionate people and outlawed by the authorities without delay.”
Maisie Williams said: ’I’m going to the protest because I feel I have a voice and opportunity to stand up for what I believe in, and to put a stop to the huge industry that is captivity.”
Also speaking will be poet, blogger and inspirational speaker Sharon Bull, who said: “I am tired of seeing the senseless, evil slaughter and captivity of dolphins in Taiji. I am sickened by the horrendous, barbaric cruelty to countless sentient beings across the world, killed without compassion, kindness or respect. We have to be their voice, and we have to encourage the change we wish to see.”
Protesters, many wearing fancy dress, will gather in Cavendish square from 11am. They will march from 12.30pm to Trafalgar Square through Central London. Speeches in Trafalgar Square. For more information, see the Facebook page.
A petition calling on Prince William to raise the Taiji issue with the Japanese government can be found here: Prince William – help stop the Taiji dolphin death drives petition
Read more about this issue by clicking on the dolphin or Taiji tags to the left.