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|Feature: Japan folds to int'l pressure over bloody Taiji drive hunt of dolphins
by Jon Day
TOKYO Adidas Originals NMD City Sock 2 PK Grå Sølv Herre Løbesko , May 20 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) said on Wednesday that members obtaining their dolphins from the bloody drive hunts held near the town of Taiji in the western Wakayama Prefecture will be prohibited from achieving JAZA status.
The move follows a decision made by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in late April to suspend JAZA from the body after a unanimous vote by its council, based on the cruel way in which hundreds of dolphins are brutally massacred in Taiji's biannual drive hunts.
Losing membership from WAZA would mean that Japan in theory would have no access to zoo animals like giraffes, big cats, elephants, primates, and other aquatic life from overseas Dame Adidas Originals NMD City Sock 2 PK Hvid Løbesko , with officials stating that felt "bullied" by the decision from overseas.
But such is the feeling of abhorrence toward the Taiji hunt that observers have said the pressure from WAZA and now JAZA may lead to the biannual hunt to be outlawed as activists become ever more vociferous about the event, which first reached the international community by way of "The Cove" documentary film which captured the hunt and the slaughters to Academy Award winning acclaim in 2009.
Members of the JAZA, including its head, Kazutoshi Arai, said it would stop buying dolphins from Taiji deemed attractive enough to sell on for hefty profits to aquariums, although indicated that this decision had been "made under considerable duress."
"I'm not sure if the words 'foreign bullying' fit Dame Adidas Originals NMD City Sock 2 PK Løbesko Sort , but without question, there was a lot of campaigning by foreign anti-whaling groups behind the scenes," Arai said, adding that Japan had been unsuccessful of late in breeding dolphins kept in captivity in comparison to other countries, owing to limitations on space.
Arai maintained, as has been Japan's stance Herre Adidas NMD XR4 Suede Sko Rød Sort , that access to wild dolphins is important to maintain genetic diversity.
But far from maintaining genetic diversity, those who have petitioned for the cull to be halted for its cruelty and lack of scientific relevance, tell a wholly different story.
"The annual cull involves more than 200 migrating Bottlenose dolphins being corralled into the cove in Taiji, where the helpless mammals are surrounded by local fishermen in boats banging polls in the sea to scare and confuse the animals by throwing off their echo location abilities," Rae Hillman-Noda, an activist associated with the Sea Shepherd Herre Adidas NMD XR1 Primeknit Triple Black Løbesko Sort , told Xinhua.
She added that the fisherman in the shallow waters of the cove then set about feverishly attacking the dolphins with knives and spears, as the water in the cove turns from pure crystal blue to a deep, thick blood red.
"It's a horrific scene to view in person and doesn't get easier with each year, and despite the efforts of the animal rights groups I'm associated with, the fisherman have carte blanche to continue their barbaric ways, claiming the cull as part of their traditional culture."
To this end the governor of Wakayama Prefecture Herre Adidas NMD XR1 W Utility Ivy Løbesko Rød , Yoshinobu Nisaka, has said the hunting of dolphins in Taiji is part of the village's traditional culture and only the minimum number of whales and dolphins are hunted, in accordance with global regulations on the species involved.
JAZA's suspension from WAZA was initial triggered by a court action following evidence presented by animal rights activists groups, conservationists and other concerned parties of JAZA tacitly approving the biannual slaughter of the dolphins in Taiji and the displaying of those mammals deemed good looking enough to live out their lives behind glass in Japan's aquariums.
"The court finally heard the truth about the barbaric drive hunts that happen each fall and winter at the notorious Cove in Taiji, that has shocked and enraged the international community," Rae said.
The latest decision by JAZA also follows increasing U.S. pressure through Ambassador Caroline Kennedy Adidas Originals NMD XR1 Sko Herre Sort Grå , who commented on Twitter with reference to the mass culling that she was "deeply concerned" by the "inhumane" practice.
WAZA is a highly-influential body in the world of zoos and aquariums, with more than 20 associate members, including JAZA and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, as well as 300 individual zoo members, including London Zoo, the Zoological Society of San Diego Dame Adidas NMD XR1 Løbesko Lyserød , Toronto Zoo, Bronx Zoo and Melbourne Zoo.
It would seem that JAZA has finally succumb to the mounting pressure from overseas.
"This is now a huge embarrassment for Japan and it has lost face in the eyes of the international community for condoning what is globally regarded as a savage practice on intelligent, harmless mammals," Rae highlighted.
Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen, however, slammed WAZA's labeling of the drive hunt as "contravening ethics Herre Adidas NMD R2 Løbesko Blå Hvid ," saying it has "no clear scientific grounds."
"It is extremely deplorable that the international organization notified the Japanese association about the expulsion. We will continue to preserve our traditional fishery activities by cooperating with related organizations," Sangen said on Wednesday.
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- A team of civilian researchers has found wreckage from the USS Indianapolis, the naval flagship of the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet lost in the final days of the World War II, or WWII, 5 Herre Adidas NMD R2 Løbesko Sort Rød ,500 meters below the surface on the floor of Philippine Sea in the North Pacific Ocean.
The finding was posted by Microsoft Corporation co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen on Saturday and confirmed by the U.S. Navy.
"We've located wreckage of USS Indianapolis in Philippine Sea at 5500m below the sea," Allen declared in a posting on his website, www.paulallen.
The discovery was made Friday by the 16-person expedition team of Allen's Research Vessel (RV) Petrel.
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