Animal rights activists call for the liberation of the animal, but locals say that its size and strong currents make it hard to free it.
Animal rights activists in Taiji, a city on Japan’s Pacific coast notorious for its annulled dolphin killing, have called for the immediate release of a minke whale that has been stuck in nets for more than two weeks. Japanese media have recorded attempts to free the four-meter or five-meter-long whale, but fishermen have argued that its size and strong tidal currents make it impossible to carry it into open water. Ren Yabuki, an animal rights activist who has been filming the whale with a drone every day since it was captured on Christmas Eve, said that the fishermen had made only a brief attempt to free the animal, adding that it seemed to have determined its fate. It is difficult to extract the whales from the nets, and they do not want to remove the nets because they will interfere with fishing and encourage a large number of fish to escape. Therefore, I have a feeling that they will kill it,” said Yabuki, campaign director of the Life Investigation Agency. “The worst possible ending would be to let the whale starve to death, so the only other choice will be to bring in the net and send divers to the sea to kill it with spears. The whale has become increasingly desperate and distressed, ramming the nets and diving deep to escape, said Georgie Dolphin, animal welfare program manager for Humane Society International [HSI] in Australia. “Georgie Dolphin, animal welfare program manager for Humane Society International [HSI] in Australia, said the whale has become increasingly desperate and agitated, ramming the nets and diving deep to escape. ”
Intentionally subjecting these beings to prolonged pain is inhumane and unjustified. The Japanese Fisheries Agency told HSI, which asked the prefectural government to release the whale if it is feasible and safe to do so, HSI hopes that the Japanese authorities will insist on the immediate release of the whale. We understand that fishermen are citing safety issues and tidal problems, but we are worried that the delays could cost the whale its life, HSI said. Since the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Cove,’ which showed hunters rounding up dolphins in the open sea and dragging them to shore in so-called drive hunts, Taiji has struggled to regain its international reputation. Fishermen told the Guardian in a rare interview that hunting is legal under Japanese law and is a significant source of revenue for the city located on a remote part of the Pacific coast. “The whole world knows what is happening here,” he said. ‘It would destroy the reputation of the city to let it die or kill it.
But if they make a real effort to liberate it, they will convince the world that they have done the right thing.