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Drive Hunting


Natalie Taylor

on 26 April 2010

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Transcript of Drive Hunting

Drive Hunting Taiji, Japan.
Drive Hunting: Fishermen use boats to collect dolphins. They then lower metal poles into the water and bang on them with hammers, creating a disturbance between the dolphins' communication (echo location). The fishermen then drive the pod into shallower waters. They then use ropes, knives, hooks, spears, and any other objects to hoist the porpoises into the boats. A tradition for over 400 years?
Is taking away a town's culture worth saving the lives of millions of porpoises? Dolphins that survive are either sold into aquariums or other exhibits for the public. However, most die after a few months in captivity. "You'd think nothing of slicing off a tuna's head while it was alive, so why the outcry over dolphins?" "They're just like dogs. You could teach dogs the same tricks; it doesn't mean they're clever." Each year, the Japanese government sets a quota for how many porpoises one town can catch in that year. In Japan alone, each year approximately 22,000 dolphins and porpoises are slaughtered. However, many towns exceed the quota given to them. Rules are broken with absolutly no consequenses. Over fishing can cause serious problems. Many fishermen today could possibly be put out of work and many species of dolphins and whales could become endangered or extinct.
Many fisherman have lived this way of life since birth. Because it's all they know, they are not willing to change their lifestyle. This creates many issues that may lead up to the porpoise polulation to rapidly decline. According to scientists, Dolphins and some other species of porpoise may in fact have the ability to regognize themselves (self recognition), such as Apes and Elephants do. The fisherman could care less about the quality of life this beautiful mammal has. It's all about who brings back the most money at the end of the day and how tradition is more important than the life of the animals. Who are the targets? Bottlenose Dolphins
Spotted Dolphins
False Killer Whales
Striped Dolphins
Most Japanese do not eat porpoise meat because of the high mercury levels. Only the villages that hunt for them eat them. Not many other villages know about their neighbors harvesting dolphins. However, they do believe that it is unethical how they treat them. I believe the issue is that most people are just unaware of what is going on in these villages, and it isn't just Japan that is hunting porpoises. Parts of Europe are also hunting the magnificent creatures. Documentaties, such as "The Cove", are good ways of informing the public of this horrible act. The main problem is not that the towns fish for porpoises, it's the process and how many they fish. If the quota rules and if more humane ways of fishing were enforced, I think that humans would be less of a threat to dolphins and whales.
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