No complaints about tuna cull

Stefano Virtuani, in his Jan. 26 letter, “Little respect for the oceans,” is “outraged by the annual brutal slaughter” of dolphins at Taiji. He seems to be unaware of the age-old practice at La Mattanza, off the coast of Sicily, where blue fin tuna are rounded up in a death chamber of nets and then killed by spear-like instruments: lots of blood and big dead fish. Yet, not a word of complaint from either the Italian public or from the U.S. ambassador to Italy about this “inhumane” and “brutal practice.”

If the Mattanza seems now to be coming to an end, it is not because of moral qualms but due to a lack of tuna (overfishing).

siegfried kohlhammer
stuttgart, germany

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.

  • zer0_0zor0

    Tuna are not mammals that have brains nearly as large as humans larger than other primates) and develop complex social relationships as well as communication skills.

    The fact that we have learned a lot about dolphins and whales in the last 50-100 years should have an effect on the way we perceive and interact with them.

    There may be questions of maintaining balance in the marine ecosystem, but that is separate from the “inhumaneness” being addressed with respect to this practice.

    I understand that there is a similar hunting practice employed with respect to small pilot whales in an island under the control of Denmark, however, and that doesn’t seem to have generated the same amount of outrage as Taji.

    Moreover, the meat is contaminated with DDT, PCBs, cadmium and mercury, and health officials maintain that it is not fit for human consumption.