Please Sign to Stop the Cruel Dolphin Hunting in Futo!

  • by: The Dolphin Defenders Group & Choices for Tomorrow (CFT)
  • target: Shizuoka Governor, Ito City Mayor, Chief of the Ito Fishing Cooperative, Chief of the Ito Fishing Cooperative Futo Office, Chairman of Ito City Tourist Association, Department Chief, Ito City Department of Tourism, Chairman of Association Promotion of Ito

Photo (left) Copyright Elsa Nature Conservancy

Futo is to Resume its Dolphin Hunting.  Please Spread the Words and Send Messages to Stop Killing!

It was reported in the August 27 edition of the Izu Shimbun newspaper that the town of Futo in Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture, it is to resume its dolphin hunt. The following are the major details of the story.

Futo is to resume its dolphin drive fishery, in which several fishing boats use sound devices to drive dolphins towards the shore, where they are captured.  The hunting period is from September 1 till March 31, and the government has issued a quota of 419 dolphins.

In addition to selling some of the captured animals to aquariums, some are sold as meat to consumers while others are released and used for research using attached transmitter devices.  Dolphin drive fisheries are currently carried out in two locations, Futo and Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture.

Business director of the fishing cooperative Naoto Hiyoshi said, "The last time we carried out the hunt was in 2004.  We have better reports than we had in recent years and we are optimistic. We want to carry out the hunt in order to pass our skills on to the next generation."

Futo is known as a town where there were hopes for a switch from dolphin hunting to dolphin watching.  This petition asks that the town not resume its dolphin hunt and we ask that you fax, email or post the letter below to the address given at the bottom.

Letter:  After you sign this petition, please copy and paste the letter content both in English and Japanese on this link, then e-mail to the addresses you will find at the end (please scroll down) .

                           ------------------------------

Mr. Heita Kawakatsu, Shizuoka Governor

Mr. Hiromi Tsukuda, Ito City Mayor

Chief of the Ito Fishing Cooperative

Mr. Shinji Oka, Chief of the Ito Fishing Cooperative, Futo Office

Mr. Fumiya Ishii, Chairman of Ito City Tourist Association

Department Chief, Ito City Department of Tourism

Mr. Jugoro Akao, Chairman of Association Promotion of Ito City Tourism


Dear Sir/Madam,

First of all, we would like to express our gratitude for all you do to bring more tourists and visitors to Ito City.

With regard to the resumption of the dolphin drive fisheries in Futo, we would like to respectfully extend the following request to you.  We hope you will give it your due consideration.

It was reported in the August 27 edition of the Izu Shimbun newspaper that the town of Futo in Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture, it is to resume its dolphin hunt.  The following are the major details of the story.

-- Futo is to resume its dolphin drive fishery, in which several fishing boats use sound devices to drive dolphins towards the shore, where they are captured.  The hunting period is from September 1 till March 31, and the government has issued a quota of 419 dolphins and other small cetaceans.

In addition to selling some of the captured animals to aquariums, some are sold as meat to consumers while others are released and used for research using attached transmitter devices.  Dolphin drive fisheries are currently carried out in two locations, Futo and Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture.

Business director of the fishing cooperative Hiyoshi Naoto said, "The last time we carried out the hunt was in 2004.  We have better reports than we've had in recent years and we are optimistic. We want to carry out the hunt in order to pass our skills on to the next generation." --

Dolphins are not the property of anyone but are wild mammals free to roam in the open seas.  They are not fish.  In accordance with the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), all toothed whales including bottlenose dolphins are protected from extinction due to excess exploitation or international trade.  Japan is a signatory nation to the convention.

Also, the cruel methods used in the dolphin drive fisheries are increasingly criticized within Japan and abroad.  The numbers killed in Futo have been declining year after year and none have been killed since 24 dolphins were hunted in 2004.  Among the dolphin fishermen are those who have switched to the business of dolphin watching and this has led to Futo being seen worldwide as a town that offers hope for wildlife conservation.

Families of dolphins in the open seas are herded using sound and driven to the shore, where they are killed one by one, including the young, with harpoons while selected dolphins are sold to aquariums.  Changing from a business model of cruelly slaughtering wild animals for financial gain to an educational business model of creating opportunities to observe wild animals in their natural habitat - in this way Futo would become a town that Japanese could be proud of.

After learning of the cruel slaughter methods and the terrible conditions under which dolphins are kept in aquariums, a major overseas dolphin dealer has chosen to give up his business.  And in Spain, the country's tradition of bull-fighting has been banned by law in some regions following petitions from the public.  There is all part of a growing worldwide movement to value the right to life of animals.

As you know, between October 11-29, Japan will host the Conference of the Parties (COP 10), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).  Against a background in which the ecosystem of the oceans is in danger of collapse, and animal species are speeding toward extinction, more than 7,000 people from over 190 countries will gather to discuss a solution.  Japan is also taking part in this shared global aim of preserving biological diversity and natural habitats. And these are issues that affect each and every one of us.

If putting an end to the dolphin hunts will create economic hardship for the fishermen, this needs to be solved.  From that point of view, we respectfully ask that Japanese administration endeavor to provide assistance to take part in wildlife conservation, which is a common goal for all of us.

Finally, there is a serious problem with dolphin meat. Research on brain specimens from sufferers of Minamata Disease has proven that even small traces of mercury can cause irreversible physical damage.  For articles on the mercury contamination of dolphin meat, please see: http://www.ashitaenosentaku.org/changesaroundtheworld.html#mrboyd

We would like to ask the chief of the Ito Fishing Cooperative to consider the above and ask himself once more whether he believes that it is really necessary to preserve for future generations the methods used to cruelly capture and slaughter dolphins heavily contaminated with mercury.  We ask that you leave a legacy that will enable children to watch dolphins in the wild and appreciate that the well-being of wildlife is part of their own well-being.  And we hope that we all can fulfill our responsibility to protect the Earth.

We would like to ask the tourism officials of Ito City to take part and cooperate in wildlife conservation to preserve the good image of the city in the minds of many tourists.

We respectfully ask that human wisdom be used in order that we may peacefully coexist with nature.

With this petition we hereby request that the Futo dolphin hunt not be resumed.

Yours sincerely,

(Signature)


** Please copy and paste the letter contents (both in Japanese and English) on this link, then e-mail to the following addresses. 


Please e-mail to:

Chief of the Ito Fishing Cooperative ito@soitoshigyokyo.jf-net.ne.jp

Department Chief, Ito City Department of Tourism kankou@city.ito.shizuoka.jp


Also please cc to:

Tokyo Newspaper  Outou1@Tokyo-np.co.jp

Reuters  jp.webmaster@reuters.com

Jiji Press  sales@panatokyo.com

Kyodo News  feedback@kyodonews.jp

 

If you would like to mail letters, fax or make phone calls:

Chief of the Ito Fishing Cooperative

1-1-18 Arai, Ito City, Shizuoka 414-0043

Tel: 0557-37-3181/FAX: 0557-35-0756


Mr. Heita Kawakatsu, Shizuoka Governor

9-6 Otemachi, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka 420-8601 Japan

Tel:  054-221-2455

 

Mr. Hiromi Tsukuda, Ito City Mayor

2-1-1 Ohara, Ito City Shizuoka 414-8555 Japan

Tel:  0557-36-0111

 

Mr. Shinji Oka, Chief of the Ito Fishing Cooperative, Futo Office

987 Futo Ito City Shizuoka Japan

Tel:  0557-51-1100 / Fax:  0557-51-1139

 

Mr. Fumiya Ishii, Chairman of Ito City Tourist Association

1-8-3 Yukawa Ito City Shizuoka 414-0002 Japan

Tel: 0557-37-6108%u3000Fax: 0557-37-9006

 

Department Chief, Ito City Department of Tourism

2-1-1 Ohara, Ito City Shizuoka 414-8555 Japan

Tel: 0557-32-1711

 

Mr. Jugoro Akao, Chairman of Association Promotion of Ito City Tourism

c/o Ito City Tourist Association

1-8-3 Yukawa Ito City Shizuoka 414-0002 Japan

Tel: 0557-37-6108 / 3000Fax: 0557-37-9006

 

 





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