Friday, October 22, 2010

Sadness in The Solomon Islands and Peru

     In the Solomon Islands dolphins are legally hunted from January to March.  The fisherman capture the dolphins by forming a U-shape around a school of freely swimming dolphins and then push them towards the mangrove swamps.  Dolphins are highly sensitive to loud noises, and just like the Japanese in Taiji they create a loud noise under the water.  Because the dolphins are closed in on one side by the men in canoes, the dolphins have no other place to flee the noise except that shore.  The dolphins are so frightened by the noise so they won't even go through widely spread apart canoes because the noise is too loud and scary.  These hunts are much more unsuccessful than the hunts in Taiji, Japan, and the fishermen usually leave the water with nothing.  However, when the fishermen to catch dolphins, it is typically around one hundred.
     After the kill, most of the meat is shared between the villagers and the remainder of the meat is bartered and sold.  Dolphins teeth are very important in the Solomon culture and are used as a type of currency.  It is common to see a native wearing  dolphin teeth as jewelry, normally necklaces.  In 2003 and 2007 the fishermen exported live dolphins to large corporations such as Sea World after the ban on live exports was overturned.
     In Peru, one thousand dolphins are slaughtered annually, even though this practice was banned in 1995 due to a large increase in dolphin slaughter in the eighties and nineties. Despite the new law, the Peruvians continue to hunt and sell the meat through the black market.  Much of the dolphin meat is also sold to restaurants in Lima, Peru.  When catching the dolphins, in contrast with Taiji, Japan and the Solomon Islands, the Peruvians encircle them in the waters with nets, harpoon them, drag them on board, and then club them to death.  It can take up to five minutes for the innocent animals to die and suffer every minute of it.
    Taiji, Japan, the Solomon Islands, and Peru kill and sell dolphins and their meat without a care.  They are very influenced by the fact that big corporations, such as Sea World, are interested in buying dolphins for large amounts of money.  If "dolphin shows" were banned there would be a much smaller death rate for the dolphins and could be more easily stopped because there would be less of an incentive to kill the animals.