Will one white dolphin become the 'white whale' of the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games?
There's already a butt-load of controversy at the upcoming Sochi, Russia 2014 Olympics - the whole homosexuality is evil and must be eradicated bull sh!t, will there be any snow in an area best described as the Riviera of Russia, and now... dolphins.
While not confirmed, marine scientists suspect that dolphins - specifically dolphins from Taiji, Japan will be on display at the Olympic Games.
What's the big deal, right? Well... several things.
First... the Olympic torch relay.
Three days before the Olympics begin, it has been announced that a dolphin will take part in the torch relay. While I have visions of the torch being stuck in its blowhole while it flops on a roadway, the dolphin will, in fact, actually pull a trainer... who will ride the dolphin with one hand on its dorsal fin (the one on the back), and the other holding the torch - across a pool.
Here's the first part of the controversy, which will lead to another:
"They say the performing dolphin is from the Black Sea, which may or may not be true and is inappropriate at best," says Erich Hoyt, research fellow with the group Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
Hoyt points out that Black Sea dolphins are threatened and considered an endangered species... and to use one... even a trained one... isn't exactly kosher... it could make Russia look bad.
So... Hoyt says that if the dolphin is NOT a Black Sea dolphin, then it must be a Taiji dolphin.
That's a pretty big leap out of the pool, but Hoyt says that the Sochi Olympics, which open next week, have already been a financial boon to the captive whale and dolphin trade, including facilities in and around Sochi... and that this is one way the Russian government can earn some money after the games.
But the Russian whale and dolphin industry says that by purchasing the creatures from Taiji, they are actually saving them.
Perhaps... but Hoyt and others claim that they are helping to perpetuate the Taiji whale and dolphin slaughter.
What's with the Taiji slaughter, you ask? Well... on December 10, 2013, I wrote a blog about it HERE.
Since then - but not because of my article - esteemed folk such as US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and wife of ex-Beatle John Lennon - Ms. Yoko Ono, have gone on record speaking out against the mayhem of Taiji's annual slaughter of dolphins and whales and pretty much whatever else gets in their way.
But, what is really making a case against the Taiji slaughter, is the plight of one baby albino dolphin... that was still nursing, but was literally ripped from her mother in the red-stained cove waters of Taiji.
That dolphin has been dubbed "Angel"... because if you are going to try and sway people to your side, you better have a mascot or martyr with a memorable name. Angel was named by animal activists.
The Taiji slaughter kills some 20,000 sea creatures ever year... and... spares a few to be sold into captivity at various aquariums and amusement parks in Japan, Russia and all around the world. Angel, is one of them.
Watched by the activists, at one of the Taiji killing coves, Angel swam beside her mother... struggling to swim beside her as Taiji fishermen grasped the albino dolphin, separating them.
The photo above... that's Angel... apparently swimming beside her mother.
Now... dolphins are supposed to be one of the smarter creatures on this planet... so for a mother dolphin to lose her young, it is supposed she would find it devastating.
And why was the baby dolphin taken from her mother?
In this case one would assume it was so the fishermen could slaughter the mother... and were merely protecting the calf... but no... getting your hands on a baby albino dolphin could mean big bucks for the fishermen. They let the mother go...
I'm surprised they didn't kill the mother, too... but some have theorized they let her go in the hopes she might birth another albino sometime.
I'm figuring these fishermen aren't that hip on genetics... so I'll get that theory a pass. Perhaps they figured that the albino was a treasure and if the mother got away so what... they can always kill it later.
Angel (she prefers Angela) is not being held all alone in a Taiji whale museum... so, maybe you could go and see her... but don't worry... you can purchase dolphin and whale meat there at the gift shop.
|The red water gets its hue from dolphin blood.|
Now... I understand that the dolphins are actually out a bit further in the waters, but the Taiji fishermen use noise to confuse the creatures... which essentially screws up their sonar navigation system... and are then driven to the shores of the coves of Taiji by the fishermen in boats.
After dolphins (and whales) are driven into the coves, fishermen move nets across the entranceway trapping the dolphins...
But... for those lucky dolphins that are out of the killing cove... they try and try again to breach the nets to go in and help their trapped brethren who are being slaughtered.
So... do you want to know how the Taiji kill their prey... you know, in case you want to be a fisherman when you grow up?
Well... the fisherman paralyze the dolphins by jamming metal rods in and along the spinal column. That causes heavy blood flow... which is why the waters are so red... but these dolphins are not killed... at least not yet.
They wait a few days before doing that.
Because it is not cost-effective to do this every time you get a paralyzed dolphin, the fishermen instead suited up in wetsuits... swim beside the dolphins with metal tubes still stuck in their spines... remove the rods... stick in a plug... and then gut them by stabbing them until dead.
But that's only the ugly ones... the dolphins who are not deemed smart enough to become show biz dolphins.
Not every dolphin is stabbed with a metal pipe in its back... because, like Angel, the dolphins that are special or have no scars are left alone to watch the slaughter before finally being transferred to facilities to be sold.
I really like Japan... but this dolphin slaughter is too much. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, that I understand that Japan - a long time ago - used to fish and eat dolphin because it was a great source of protein,but nowadays, Japan has alternative sources of protein... there is no real need to pretend, Japan, that eating dolphin is your god-given right thanks to history.
I've eaten dolphin... and whale... and whatever... it was okay... but no need to write home about.
Times change. And, so should people and countries.
Nearly 70 years ago two cities in Japan were a radioactive mess... now it's only Fukushima. See... progress. Japan became an economic powerhouse in the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s... it was no longer the enemy, but an ally.
Russia... the same thing... except that it is documented that many small villages in the former USSR would often disappear from maps in the 1950s thanks to atomic mishaps involving either weapons testing or growing pains with atomic/nuclear reactors. Twenty years ago, the Russian bear was a great super power and enemy to most of the world... now the former communist state is a capitalist country hoping to make money... from dolphins... hmmm... I'm not making my point very well...
Whatever... you have the story... you decide on how it makes you feel.