Tag Archive: Ichiro


Dear Ichiro Fujisaki and Readers,

You have reached my tenth and final post for this blog! Congratulations on making it this far (I know some of these posts are quite lengthy) and thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on an issue that deserves your attention. You now have the intelligence to go out and make a persuasive case on the campaign against dolphin slaughter.  Let’s recap on what embodies this education. Hyperlinks direct you to the blog post that expands on the linked subject.

More than 2000 dolphins are killed each year in Japan alone. A majority of this slaughter takes place in a cove in Taiji, Japan. Research supports that dolphins have an incredible capacity for intelligence, self awareness, and memory. Therefore they may even be aware of their fate in the cove! Despite the brutal manner in which these animals are killed, which involves hours of torturing their sonar perception by banging on pipes, the meat is extremely toxic with mercury. This mercury is extremely harmful to humans, as seen in the Minamata case.

The Japanese government refuses to take action to change these policies or warn the Japanese people that their food may be poisoned. Some of the meat is even mislabeled! Promoters of the practice claim that it is a cultural tradition, but common knowledge amongst Taiji civilians about the issue is rare. The angered reaction from Japanese fisherman when the topic is exposed further adds suspicion to this cultural justification.

There are plans that can be implemented to begin the process of excluding dolphin as an edible product. They include restricting fishing policies and banning the distribution of dolphin meat according to health regulations. Even though dolphin does create a large amount of economic profit for Japan, there are more also reasonable plans that provide economic profit without murder. These include eco-friendly tourist outlets like dolphin watches or cruises. However, these plans can only get enough momentum to become a reality if YOU are there to propel it.

Along the journey to reach this final post, you have heard many stories. You have heard my story as an aspiring scuba diver looking to speak up for the ocean. You have heard the story of Frankie, who is one of thousands of people (like me) trying to convince you to stand up and serve as an influential voice on the dolphin campaign. You have even heard the stories of individuals like Hayden Patteniere, Ric O’Barry and Elora Malama, who are taking incredible measures to ensure a safe future for dolphins and the Japanese people. But at the end of the day, it is your story that really matters. I urge you to take the knowledge you have obtained in this blog and spread it for the world to hear. It is time to protect your people. It is time to take a stand. It is time to give dolphins something real to smile about!

Thanks for reading,
Kelsey Anderson

PS.   READERS: The strength behind this campaign does not solely lie in the voice of Ichiro Fujisaki. It lies in yours as well.

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In any aspect of life, it’s easy to blame and judge someone for something that you view differently. It is easy to sit on this computer and blog to Mr. Fujisaki to make a change. It is easy to show up to a protest on Oct. 14 and shake a finger at the Japanese government for encouraging such a repulsive practice. What’s not easy is to be one of the most famous dolphin trainers in entertainment, essentially promote dolphin captivity, and then flip your views into becoming the most active campaigner against dolphin mistreatment in the world.

Meet Ric O’Barry. O’Barry is best known for shocking thousands of horrified viewers and exposing dolphin slaughter to the world through the documentary, The Cove. However, 38 years ago, he was on “the other side of the dolphin street.” As the lead dolphin instructor on the TV show, Flipper, it was O’Barry’s responsibility to capture, live with, and train the five “Flipper” dolphins throughout the duration of the show. Little did he know that highlighting the personality of dolphins through TV would lead to such ghastly consequences for their species. “I feel somewhat responsible,” he says in the interview below, “because it was the Flipper series that started this multi-billion dollar industry.”

However, it wasn’t until 10 years of dolphin training that this guilt set in. The catalyst was the death of the Flipper dolphin, Cathy, in 1970. According to O’Barry, Cathy’s death was not an accident. “You have to understand,” he says, “dolphins are not automatic air breathers like we are. Every breath for them is a conscious effort. She looked me right in the eye, took a breath, held it — and she didn’t take another one. She just sank to the bottom of the water.”

This event was a wake-up call for O’Barry, who realized that tanks and cages are not an appropriate environment for dolphins. “The next day,” he recalls, “I found myself in a Bimini jail, trying to free a dolphin for the first time.” Since then he has devoted himself to the campaign against dolphin mistreatment, regardless of the dangers he faces in Japan after the release of the Cove. He is involved in many corporations such as the Oceanic Preservation Society and has his own organization you can check out at savejapandolphins.org.

Ric O’Barry is an admirable man, to be sure. But the reason why I devote a blog to him is not necessarily to point out the influence he has on this issue (which is quite a ton, by the way).  The most fascinated thing about O’Barry to me is that he changed. He had one passionate view on the subject and those thoughts shifted dramatically as he learned more about the situation. This gives me hope that people will change in a similar manner. These actions will be stopped.

The question is, how many more dolphins need to lose their lives before it does?

Happy International Save Japan Dolphins Day!
Okay… maybe happy is not the way I would describe it.

Today, October 14,  is the sixth annual Japan dolphin day. In order to honor this, marine activist demonstrations are taking place around the world in front of Japanese embassies and consulates. Hey Ichiro Fujisaki, are you listening? Today is your day to show us that you are open to negotiate a more humane method of economic income. Hey reader, are you listening? Here is your chance to stop reading my blog and start making a difference! The more people who participate in this protest, the more attention we can attract to this issue. The more attention is behind this movement, the more weight it will carry in the political world. The more political pressure, the sooner regulations can be changed to cut off the distribution of dolphin meat and promote eco-friendly tourism like dolphin-watching cruises. Savvy?

Here is a list of cities and locations that are participating in the event. They range from Syndey, Australia to Los Angeles, California. Please join in the campaign for Japan to switch to an appropriate method of profit that does not  involve dolphin slaughter. If you cannot attend, you can take a stand over the phone as well (and I know your phone is near by)! Here is a list of all Embassies and Consulates with phone numbers.

Remember Elora? She and her father have taken this day as an opportunity to try and speak to the Taiji mayor once again. Here is a video of their attempt:

It is amazing to me, even from a public relations standpoint, that the Taiji major does not view this worldwide protest as a large enough issue to address personally. I guess an even more influential voice needs to emerge in order for dolphin treatment to rise on the political priority list **cough cough ICHRIO FUJISAKI cough cough**

However, it is nothing short of incredble that this issue has reached a global stand to begin with. Therefore I would like to take this moment to thank anyone that has stumbled across or made it to reading this post. The fact that you are even educating yourselves about this issue is the first step in putting an end to this disgusting practice. It is important to be aware of the many aspects and influential figures surrounding the dolphin huntng controversy; only then do we have a proper and persusive viewpoint on the issue. Now that you have a basic knowledge of the situation, I encourage you to share this awareness with those around you. You never know what a simple conversation may spark for the future! Good luck, future marine activists! I believe in you! 🙂