“My dream is to have a house on the beach, even just a little shack somewhere so I can wake up, have coffee, look at dolphins, be quiet and breathe the air.” 
Christina Applegate


That is my dream too. One small cottage somewhere close to the ocean, so I can watch dolphin’s lovely dance and listen the sounds of the nature, thinking about my book. Since I was a child, I have been impressed by dolphins. For me, they were and they still are the most beautiful symbols of freedom, the highly intelligent social mammals which enjoy their lives and community spirit.

The dolphins are well known as very bright and smart animals with their own logic which doesnt stop to amaze marine scientists.There were so many research  studies about dolphin’s intelligence and the way it is built. One observation is especially interesting because it makes comparison between people and dolphin mind framework:“It is probable that dolphin intelligence would have developed somewhat differently to humans. Humans tend to manipulate their environment in order to meet their needs, and based on the simple fact that they have hands, can change things and are able to create complex aids to communication, ranging from the simple written word to the sophisticated electronics. Without the ability or need to manipulate their environment, dolphins must focus their considerable intelligence on other concerns that are relevant to their lives, and may well have specific developed talents presently beyond our understanding.”  They are fast learning mammals which adopt very fast the challenges from the environment and they adjust the best way they are able to.


The dolphins have many specific attributes. For example, they use ‘echolocation’ which means that they locate objects and events around based on the sounds and that is also their modus operandi when they hunt fish. We must know that our dolphins are warm-blooded ocean animals and that they use blow holes at the top of their heads so they can breathe. Nobody would think that they actually cant live all the time   under the water although they dive to over 500 feet and stay deep in the water for more than 15 minutes, without oxygen, since they have an amazing lunge capacity for storing it. The saved air is their tool for hunting. What I also found very thrilling is that they do communicate in their own language, which consists of clicks and sound. Each member of the dolphin’s group knows what to do based on the language signs they mutually share. That is the method of successful preying too, otherwise they would be inconsistent and lost in ocean universe.  The importance of the community behavior is something which is typical for these majestic mammals. They do all things together. They hunt, they raise baby dolphins and they defend each others. This is only one of so many reasons why they have been always considered as very social animals. With their powerful tails, they can overrun sharks and even fight with them but they can also change very easy their locations and being the never ending sailors.

The strong ties between dolphins and whales were a big surprise for ocean animals experts. How is possible that dolphins are usually saving the stuck whales and bring them back to the safety? Because they are relatives and they understand each others better than we have ever thought:“Dolphins and whales are similar in many ways, they are alike in the sense that they both are marine mammals and they both belong to the order of cetacean.The order Cetacean include whales, dolphins and porpoises.While all cetaceans are mammals fully adapted to the marine life, they split in two suborders, the Mysticeti which includes the baleen whales and the Odontoceti which includes all the toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises.” The famous Killer Whales(Orcas) are actually dolphins, the largest cousins in the family of Delphinidae.


It is to be expected that they will interact somehow in nature but there were so many cases recorded that they organize social events and games together which was outrageous and the impressive show of natural adaption and friendship without human interruption:“Many species interact in the wild, most often as predator and prey. But recent encounters between humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins reveal a playful side to inter species interaction. In two different locations in Hawaii, scientists watched as dolphins ‘rode’ the heads of whales: the whales lifted the dolphins out of the water, and then the dolphins slid back in. The two species seemed to cooperate in the activity, and neither displayed signs of aggression or distress. Whales and dolphins in Hawaiian waters often interact, but playful social activity such as this is extremely rare between species. These are the first recorded examples of this type of behavior.”

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This is all just a proof that animals are very intelligent and that they adjust to each others without tectonic disturbances which are  usually happening when human beings are stepping in. Sadly, people do not only step in the beautiful nature but they are torturing the wildness and slaughtering other living creatures like the Mother Nature is their slave and not their  master.

When it comes to the slaughtering of the ocean animals, the situation is bloody all over the world. Indonesians are killing sharks for their fins to sell them to Chinese. Denmark doesnt stop Faroes Islands to make massacre of The Pilot whales just for a sake of tradition. Then, there is a bloody page of horror book which leads us to Japan and Peru, two countries which are making the worst wildlife crime against dolphins.


Whaling in Faroes

Japan is one of the most developed and high-tech countries but still has a problem with some elements of the back-warded customs what remain the part of the Taiji dolphin slaughtering. The Japanese goverment claims that this ritual is a Japanese culture but this is not true since this tragedy started in 1969 and the fact is that  many Japanese dont like eating dolphin meat.The organization SAVE JAPAN DOLPHINS started the impressive campaign to help these precious animals to survive Japanese butchery. According to them, the situation of torture is even worse than we can imagine: “Every year, in Taiji, Japan, dolphins are chased into a small cove and butchered in the most horrific and cruel way imaginable. The hunts are subsidized by the dolphin captivity industry, which pays top dollar for a few “show quality” dolphins that are ripped from their families. The rest of the pod is killed for meat laden with mercury and PCBs. Most Japanese don’t even know the hunts exist. The Japanese government supports the dolphin killers and denies any health issues.”

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Taiji Hunt


 They have made a big change in the Japanese society, in last 12 years , through the education of people and through the global pressure on the state institution to regulate the Taiji hunt through the legal ways. From the number of 1,600 killed dolphins every year, now it is about 750 which were cruelly killed. The Academy Award–winning documentary, The Cove, has helped the battle for Taiji dolphins so the world is being aware of the  Japanese massacre of these mammals for nothing. However, ordinary Japanese  people do not participate in this terrible event but only 24 hunters with their helpers. They are all supported by the Japanese goverment which issued permits without any order and conservation care but with greedy motives. The Japan Fisheries Agency has its own propaganda and vast majority of citizens live in some kind of bubble about so many important dolphin species being tortured and killed. The endangered species are the following, including the Orcas :Striped dolphins,Bottlenose dolphins,Pantropical spotted dolphins,Risso’s dolphins (also called grampus),Pilot whales,Rough-toothed dolphins,Pseudo orcas (also called false killer whales),Pacific white-sided dolphins,Baird’s beaked whales and Dall’s porpoises.The mentioned group for freedom of Japanese dolphins come out with the heart breaking story about the methods of dolphin killing:“Some claim that the meat tastes better once the dolphins are killed after having calmed down overnight.  However, the dolphins remain frantic throughout the night and into the next day.  We think there are two reasons that the fishermen don’t kill the dolphins right away.  First, it’s much more convenient for them to rest up and return to the Cove the next morning to kill and butcher the dolphins.  Another reason is that the killing Cove turns a bright red with blood during the slaughter, which takes a while to wash out to sea.  Since many Japanese tourists visit the Cove to enjoy the beautiful view in the afternoon, killing the dolphins at sunrise ensures that few people will witness it.  The fishermen depend on a high level of secrecy to continue the dolphin hunt.  In recent years, as our presence in Taiji at the Cove has become better known, and more volunteer monitors show up to protest, dolphin hunters are now killing the dolphins immediately.  We suspect they do this to avoid having protestors trying to cut the nets at night to release the dolphins.  Sometimes the dolphins are left overnight (sometimes for days at a time without food) in the Cove so that members of the captivity industry can come view and select them.” 



The wildlife activists cant do much when this hunt is guarded by the   Japanese police and the Japan Coast Guard so the slaughtering is to be continued in spite of the global anti-killing initiative and social media activism. These efforts must be doubled if we want to make deeper approach and to move the whole Japanese community to stand up against its own goverment and to say:”IT IS ENOUGH”. The people over there anyway do not like dolphin meat and think it is “trashy” but still the official structures have benefits from this parade of terror against innocent animals but there is something we all can do now:

On the another side of the world, Peru is showing his own face of shame. The organization Blue Voice funded two expeditions Mundo Azul expedition and  Ecostorm effort, which came back with the graphic images of wildlife terrorism against dolphins by Peruvian fishermen. The depth of chaos over there is measured with holocaust:“Dolphins are harpooned, clubbed to death and then butchered to be used as shark bait. Dolphins are also killed for human consumption.Based on the size of the Peruvian fleet and interviews with the fishermen Austermuhle estimates as many as fifteen thousand dolphins are killed for bait and human consumption by the Peruvian fishing fleet in this manner. An unknown additional number are killed in the driftnet fishery.Killing dolphins is illegal in Peru but the laws are difficult to enforce on the high seas. However, dolphin meat is sold in markets on shore and could be controlled at that point, if police were willing to do so.” 

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Peruvian slaughtering of dolphins

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The Peruvian slaughtering of dolphins seem to be worse than Taiji bloody  hunt. Again, this is all about the legal persecutions. Peru is trying to implement the laws but there is no strong will and since many are corrupted, the illegal hunt is still stronger than any legal ban. The massive reactions over the globe was about to push Peruvian government to discuss this issue as soon as possible and to ban harpoons because they are only used for dolphins and dolphin hunt is illegal so must be the harpoons too.  The illegal prey on beautiful dolphins will be continued in the shadow of the weak state as Peru is but the international community of wildlife supporters must prevail with the propaganda and make serious success in the administrative way. It is never late to be involved and take action for our ocean friends:


The pain of these stunning animals I feel as my own and I am sure that each  of us who loves and respects animal world is hurt by this violence and crime against nature. The trend of destruction is so rooted that I am wondering when it will go back to us, to the  greedy monsters, with karma effect. In the meantime, I want to help, I want to save. Even if we save one single dolphin, we will save the whole species.









  1. I am Japanese. When I was in Japan, I haven’t had a chance to witness dolphin meats whereas whale meats used to be served at public school occasionally when I was a student. As described here, “ordinary and majority” of Japanese are not fond of having dolphin meat regardless of the degree of mercury contamination.
    I know very little about dolphin hunting at Taiji.

    True, Japan Government and Wakayama Prefecture, where Taiji town belongs, officially approve Taiji fishermen dolphin hunting. According to Wiki, Taiji fishermen have been in whaling operations since the early 17th century. If it holds true, this tragedy, some may call it “culture”, is historical. I don’t want to call it “culture”. In reality, obtaining proteins from fishes and sea animals was one of the very few available options for Taiji people in the past, I guess.
    I am Japanese but I consider myself in a neutral position in terms of discussing this controversial issue. I wish sea animals a happy life. At the same time, I wish Taiji fishermen a happy life, too. Taiji is a small town and fishing is sadly the major industry in town. If you were born as the only offspring in a fishermen’s family slaughtering dolphins and whales over numerous generations and tons of bills to pay for REAL life, how can you deny???
    I just don’t know what to do if it happens to me…


  2. Do not kill Dolphins for unnecessary purposes ,do not kill any animal for fun
    It is prohibited to kill even ants if not cause any damage


  3. Thank you, Sarah, for your extended coverage of this extremely critical subject !

    How sad and how deplorable that both the Japanese and Peruvian governments are turning a deaf ear to this horrific hunt and allowing it to happen ! What a shame !

    There is no justification for killing Dolphins or Whales ! It is just based on extreme human greed which, very sadly, entails this utmost cruelty !

    I have posted so many petitions regarding both Dolphins and Whales and will continue to do so, as we, animal lovers and advocates, are their voice and we are their only hope !

    This rends my heart and fills me with sadness! The illustrations, herein, are so powerful that they have amplified my sorrow !

    We shall be relentless in our fight for those poor, innocent, helpless, and defenseless Dolphins!

    Thank you again, Sarah, for shedding light on this topic ! Together, the Dolphins and we shall prevail !


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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !