Saturday, 18 January 2014

Angel, the albino dolphin calf captured in the Cove

In the past 24 hours two hundred and fifty dolphins have been witnessed to have been driven into the killing Cove at Taiji in Japan. The dolphin slaughter at Taiji has been the subject of the powerful documentary, The Cove. Dolphins herded into the Cove are either slaughtered for their meat or captured for the dolphinaria trade. In this recent dolphin drive, a rare albino calf  has become one of its victims. Cove monitors have named the calf, Angel. Angel has already been separated from its mother and is being held by the Taiji Whale Museum. If the calf survives the separation stress from its mother then it faces a lifetime of incarceration in a small pool.

The dolphin hunting drives at Taiji have both environmental and ethical implications.

The high numbers of dolphins caught per year are simply unsustainable.
Dolphins live in highly advanced social groups. They display levels of intelligence and communication rarely seen in other species. They are sentient beings and form deep emotional bonds with family members. It cannot be assumed that the emotional trauma caused to the dolphins during mass slaughter would be any less than we as humans would feel if we were to experience the same slaughter of our family members. There is no place in this age for dolphins to be kept in captivity for our ‘entertainment’. Captive dolphins suffer severe mental and physical disease through their inability to express natural behaviour in a captive environment. 

This recent capture at Taiji has been even more poignant for me as the albino dolphin calf in my novel, White Dolphin, is also named Angel. In my story, it is the children who bring about change and make adults realise that their actions have detrimental effects upon the environment.

White Dolphin has been translated into many languages, including Japanese. I hope the young readers of White Dolphin will write to or email the leaders of their countries to protest against the cruel practice of dolphin slaughter and capture for the entertainment trade. Many voices can and do make a difference.  By helping Angel, maybe we can all put a stop to the hunting of wild dolphins.


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