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I am outraged by the annual brutal slaughter of dolphins and whales that takes place in Japan. The images of bloody red water clearly show the world that Japan has little respect for the world’s oceans and for the conservation of the marine resources it claims to support.

Many scientific studies show that the oceans are in decline. We must take whatever actions are necessary to stop their over-exploitation and to protect the creatures that live in them.

Dolphins do not belong to Japan. The status of the species of dolphins and whales that are being killed are either endangered, threatened or unknown. It is an unthinkable waste that they will likely end up as a meat product or deceptively sold as whale meat, polluted with toxic levels of mercury and cadmium, killing people that eat it. It is tragic and unacceptable that the remaining dolphins that are not killed will end up destined for death in an aquarium, a water park or a “swim with dolphins” program.

In addition, the methods used to kill these animals are cruel. Corralling the dolphins into bays, then making them suffer a long and painful death by spears, hooks and drowning is an inhumane way of fishing.

We will work diligently to bring this issue to international light until Japan ceases this reprehensible violence.

stefano virtuani
rovigo, italy

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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