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Drew

Former Dolphin Hunter converts to Cetacean watching

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With the various threads condemning the Japanese for whaling, I thought it would be nice to show that passive methods of convincing the Japanese of stopping cetacean hunting do work. In the Izu peninsular , the town of Futo is traditionally known for the annual dolphin capture and slaughter. The dolphins are usually captured for dolphinariums around the world and the rest are killed and sold as meat in the market. Izumi Ishii, one of the hunters descended from a line of cetacean hunters, became the first person in Futo to change his fishing practice into a cetacean watching business.

To say that he had a conscience attack would be over dramatic. Circumstances colluded to allow him that opportunity to change his almost preordained work. He was fighting for his fishing licence in Futo after challenging the Futo Fishing Cooperative for overfishing dolphins and whales, outside the international quotas set by the IWC and local government. His family also received anonymous threats for this too. Ishii also claims he'd seen films depicting the dolphins as intelligent animals and not merely another fish. Another factor was that he felt the pain of the cries of dolphins as they were rounded up to be killed. Thus in 2002, Ishii decided to start a cetacean watching business, to show the Futo fishermen that a viable business could be done and the slaughter could stop. Foreign and dometic media has helped him tremendously and till this day, while Futo continues to round up dolphins for sale and slaughter, Izumi Ishii continues his rather successful cetacean watching business, trying to show his former colleagues that there are better ways to make a living.

Ishii Izumi's website (in Japanese) is here

Please feel free to send him an email of encouragement.

You can read more about Izumi's story here

Oh and he uses canon cameras :rolleyes:

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Lovely story Drew... And i really hope it encourages the others to think about what they do...

 

I read somewhere years ago that Dolphins were considered by some to be the ancestors of the fishermen who killed them a kind of retributional hell... So you could say, in that stories respect, they are slaughtering their own families... :rolleyes: Maybe that belief would have put them off....

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Shinto was big pre WWII and so was Buddhism. That said, Shinto was very much about kami and nature. Modern Japan's demand for cetacean meat came in the postwar 40-60s when cheap sources of protein were not easily available. The US restructuring encouraged them to use whalemeat in schools etc. I guess that habit and industry stuck. The dolphin demand is a little different, coming from various dolphinariums in and out of Japan.

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Very heartwarming! :P Hope that there will be more brave "converts" like Ishii San.

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