12/10/03 International Day of Protest Against the Japanese Dolphin Slaughter
Animal Friends joins Sea Shepherd Conservation Society with the request: FREE Allison Lance-Watson and Alex Cornelissen!
On December 10, 2003, Animal Friends will join an international protest and send an International message to the Japanese government to free Allison and Alex, Dolphin War prisoners, thus condemning their slaughter of the helpless and innocent.
Sea Shepherd activists Allison Lance-Watson and Alex Cornelissen were arrested on Tuesday, November 18, in Taiji for releasing dolphins captured and penned in by Japanese fishermen. Diving into frigid waters, they swam for over an hour untying sections of the net, creating escape routes for the dolphins. They were immediately arrested by Japanese authorities and taken to Shingu and Kushimoto Police stations where they are currently being held under arrest with no bail.
On October 6, crewmembers of Sea Shepherd's Taiji Dolphin Campaign filmed and photographed fishermen on a "dolphin roundup" in the village of Taiji, Japan. Sea Shepherd crew were attacked, intimidated and their lives threatened.
The world was stunned by the imagery when the story hit international front pages. And now, the truth about this event, Animal Friends wants to reveal to Croatian public by sending a message to the Japanese Government!
A letter of protest
December 10, 2003
Prime Minister of Japan
Mr. Junichiro Koizumi,
1-6-1 Nagata-cho 1 Chome
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 100-8968 JAPAN
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
People around the world are protesting today, in unutterable horror and shock, because of the recent slaughter of striped dolphins and Melon-head whales that has taken place in Taiji, Japan. These animals are among mankind's greatest friends; there are many verified stories of dolphins saving humans and of guiding ships through extremely dangerous oceanic areas. The images of the mass murder, shown worldwide, have greatly damaged Japan's reputation in relation to the world's oceans and their inhabitants.
Many scientific studies show that the world's immense oceans are in decline. Without healthy oceans, human beings can not survive. We must take whatever actions are necessary to stop over-exploitation and pollution, and to protect the creatures that live in them. Hunting dolphins is forbidden by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, of which Japan is a member. These dolphins do not belong to Japan, and it is an unthinkable tragedy that they will likely wind up as a canned meat product, or deceptively sold as whale meat.
In addition, the methods used to kill these animals are extremely cruel. Driving the dolphins into a cove, confusing them with sonar, and then spearing them, leaving them to slowly die is an inhumane method of fishing. The tremendous suffering inflicted on these splendid creatures by this disgraceful action has caused much disappointment in the international community.
We protesters call upon the Government of Japan to honor its commitment to the CITES agreement by permanently and immediately banning this hunting practice, as well as apologizing for the hostile treatment toward the photographers who documented this slaughter. This is what we would expect of an advanced country like Japan in the 21st Century.