The world has been left sickened by this year’s annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, which has captured close to three hundred dolphins and resulted in “Angel,” a rare albino calf, being torn away from her mother and sentenced to a life in captivity.

Many of us have been left wondering: what next? How can we work to ensure that this gruesome spectacle never takes place again? Here are four suggestions:

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1. Voice Your Concerns to Relevant Authorities

You can contact Hon. Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan, via this link. Other useful addresses, phone numbers, and links are listed below:

Websites of Japanese Embassies, Consulates and Permanent Missions Worldwide

List of Embassies and Consulates-General in Japan

Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae

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Embassy of Japan in the United Sates

2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W

Washington D.C. 20008

Tel: 202-238-6700, Fax: 202-328-2187

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Japanese Representatives of the United Nations

H.E. Mr. Kazuyosji Umemoto – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

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H.E. Mr Jun Yamazaki – Duty Representative of Japan to the UN

Email: [email protected]

International Whaling Commission (IWC)

The Red House,

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135 Station Road,

Impington,

Cambridge,

Cambridgeshire CB24 9 NP,

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 1223-233-971, Fax: +44 (0) 1223-232-87

Dr. Gerald Dick, Executive Director, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums

WAZA Executive Office,

IUCN Conservation Centre,

Rue Mauverney 28, CH-1196

Gland, Switzerland

Email: [email protected] Can also be contacted via this link.

2. Become a Cove Guardian with Sea Shepherd

Joining the Sea Shepherd team in Taiji is a BIG commitment. Sea Shepherd says: “This position requires dedication, time and resources. You must pay for your travel, lodging, food, and all other personal expenses.” However, if you are truly committed to filling this role, you can apply by emailing [email protected] You will then be sent an information packet and questionnaires that must be completed, and if chosen, will be given more detailed information on planning your journey to Japan. Good luck!

If becoming a Cove Guardian isn’t the right fit for you, you can also show your support by following “Operation Infinite Patience” on social media, and urging your friends and family to do so as well. Here are some handy links that will enable you to do just that:

3. Raise Awareness about the Connection between the Taiji Dolphin Hunt and the Demand for Marine “Entertainment”

Capt. Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd said on CBS News that the annual dolphin slaughter is driven solely by “demand from marine aquariums around the world.” It is well-known that many marine amusement parks procure their cetaceans from the ranks of Taiji’s survivors. Ric O’Barry of the Earth Institute has hit out at SeaWorld, in particular, for their hypocrisy in pretending to be true animal advocates on the one hand, and tacitly supporting the dolphin trafficking trade on the other. In 2011, he said:

[T]hey choose to pretend the abuse and suffering are not associated with their industry. They refuse to police their industry and help abolish the dolphin trafficking conducted by “Ocean Embassy” (former SeaWorld trainers Ted Turner, Robin Friday et al).

They refuse to help crack down on fellow member aquariums in the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) which, as we speak, are getting dolphins from the inhumane and bloody dolphin drive hunts in Taiji, Japan. Indeed, the Taiji Whale Museum, which supervises the hunts and trains wild dolphins for captivity is a member of JAZA, the WAZA affiliate in Japan!

Theirs is an industry of hypocrites.

Well said, Ric!

4. Petitions, Petitions, Petitions!

There are many online petitions out there aimed at stopping the Taiji dolphin hunt. Here are just a few of them:

  • Here is a large anti-dolphin-hunt petition on Takepart.com, which has garnered over 650,000 supporters to date!
  • This one from the Petition Site is aimed at the World Association for Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), urging them to expel the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) over their support for the Taiji slaughter.
  • Causes.com is running a petition aimed at the Mayor of Taiji, the Prime Minister of Japan, the Japanese Minster of Fisheries, and the Emperor of Japan.
  • Check out this one on Change.org, calling for an end to exhale and dolphin shows – the cruel engine that fuels so much of the horror we have witnessed in Taiji over the past few days.

Image Source: Rega Photography/Flickr