Once the near estimated 200 dolphins entered the funnel in Taiji today I wanted to talk to a person at the Embassy – no way would I be put into a voicemail box.
Amazingly enough the conversation was between me and Shuya Nakatsuka – the person who signed the letter to William. I did not indicate who I was, he did not ask for my name and I did not mention the letter. My purpose for this call was to seek information as to “why” they continue and urge the Japanese people to stop. Below are Shuya’s comments captured as best I could…
1) Many phone calls, letters, and faxes on the issue.
2) Understands this is an emotional issue.
3) Try to explain best I (he) can.
4) What is being done in Japan is limited, localized and there is a demand for dolphin meat in these remote areas. Shuya is from Tokyo and dolphin is not a wanted food item there. In some coastal areas dolphin is preferred.
5) Fishermen catching dolphin is their occupation. The demand and people who want dolphin for food provide the reason fishermen do that they do. The Japanese Government is “for” this activity to happen without jeopardizing the dolphin population.
6) In Japanese society this is not condemned.
7) Allow these resources to be used in a sustainable manner.
8 Minimal pain, minimal suffering in the animal’s death.
9) Shuya did not know the cost of a dead dolphin or the cost of a captive dolphin. I urged him to be educated on the matter and seek the information for himself.
10) Shuya wouldn’t touch the “captive” argument.
I posed the question to Shuya about Aquacultural fish farms as an alternative for acquiring fish vs. eating dolphin considering dolphin are mammals and not fish: Shuya believes “the opposition” would still have a problem. I told him I would seek the oppositions points of view whether that would be true. He indicates fish farming for certain species is a possibility, for others such as dolphin, no.
I posed the question if the Japanese people and government would consider a debate on the subject. Shuya was a little surprised by this question.
Don’t know if any of the above is helpful or not – just wanted to share in case it serves any purpose for the cause.
For the dolphins – may they swim forever free,
Carrie & William DeBord