The Hawaiian word for dolphin is naia; in Japanese, it’s iruka. They roam the oceans of the world, dancing in the waves and sharing their lovable spirit with all who cross their path. They’re not only given different names, but they’re given myths, legends and folklore, showing how important dolphins have become to certain cultures and religions.
Tomorrow (Sept. 1) is when a group of Japanese fishermen sets out to kill thousands of dolphins.
So why would Japanese fishermen of Wakayan set out to hunt them every year? We’re talking a ruthless, bloody slaughtering of more than 2,000 dolphins that are either sold to supermarkets for their meat or to marine parks and aquariums worldwide for a life in captivity. And there’s no stopping them. Dolphin drive hunting happens in Peru, the Solomon Islands and the Faroe Islands near Denmark. It’s called a “drive” because of the method used to capture them. Fishermen drive them together with their boats toward a bay or onto a beach.
The U.S., on the other hand, protects dolphins by federal law. It’s illegal to touch or to harass wild dolphins in any way. In fact, you must remain at least 50 yards (half a football field) away from them and limit your observing time to just a half hour. Dolphin watching tour companies that get a lot of business from folks on Hawaii Vacations know to put their engines in neutral when approached by a wild dolphin and to avoid encircling them with their boats.
What can you do to help put an end to dolphin drive hunting? Hawaii will be holding a peaceful protest near the Honolulu Consulate General of Japan today. We’re one of 90 cities worldwide taking part in the Japan’s Dolphin Day 2012.
JAPAN’S DOLPHIN DAY 2012 • Rally to stop dolphin hunting in Japan • Today, 1-3pm • Consulate General of Japan, 1742 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu, HI 96817