Save Dolphins, Save Taiji’s Future

The documentary, The Cove, was directed by Louie Psihoyos in 2009 received the best documentary award of the 82th Oskar Filmfest incontrovertibly because of the true story and gripping plot. The Cove, which technically, is not a documentary, but more looks like an advertising movie, because there are too many director’s personal emotions in this film, presents the slaughter of dolphins in a small town named Taiji in Japan. The film, while the saving actions of Rick O’Barry as the main point throughout the whole movie, uncovers dirty deals about dolphins in the cove step by step. Every September, the fishermen living in Taiji kill a mass of dolphins. Based on what the fishermen said in the film, the killing is not for money. “It’s about the pest control.” Thanks to the fishing effort has been decreasing own to the dolphins are eating too much fish, the government told the fishermen to kill the dolphins and protect the fishing for human beings.

People love the dolphin’s smile

People love the dolphin’s smile

In this scene, the dolphins are watching the children around and smiling, while the children are touching the dolphins and taking photos with them. In the aquarium, when the dolphins jump out of water, the audiences cheer and scream for the performers. When the audiences enjoy themselves in the dolphins’ show, ironically the applause is the dolphins’ tragedy. To be honest, this scene is familiar to me, because I used to be one of the audiences, sitting in the crowd, feeling the smile of the dolphins and enjoying the show. However, when the dolphins complete the prescriptive movements and get food as reward, do they really feel happy as we think? The documentary gives us the answer, is “NO”. Like what Rick says, “A dolphin’s smile is nature’s greatest deception.” If audiences see on dolphin acting, it means that thousands of them have been killed. Only the limited numbers of dolphins can survive while most of them get killed for not being chosen for performance in the aquarium by the trainers. The survival ones will be sent to the aquarium and get trained. The left majority will be killed in the beautiful cove by fishermen. The meat of dolphins will be sent to the markets.

Fisherman dives into the bloodstained water.

Fisherman dives into the bloodstained water.

The cove is beautiful and peaceful, but for the dolphins, it is the worst nightmare. The sea water that should be clean blue, suddenly becomes the bloody red. If the film was not made by a true story and frames, I could even believe what I was watching. How much blood could dye the clean blue into this grisly red?  When the fishermen dive into the bloodstained water, how does that feel? The principal reason that the fishermen killing the dolphins is not for making money, but, based on what they said, due to the pest control. They were told by the government that the fishing effort has been decreasing own to the dolphins are eating too much fish. Therefore dolphins are considered as pest.  Everyone knows the decreasing of fishing effort owing to the overfishing of human beings, which caused the chain reaction of ocean resource. It is not that the dolphins grab human being’s food, but the greed of human being affects the subsistence of other ocean creatures.

No matter how, the excuse that the fishermen in Taiji use to massacre the dolphins is unacceptable. The slaughter destroyed the balance of the marine ecological environment. Even worse, because dolphins are living in the polluted ocean, there are many kinds of heavy metal chemical elements stored in dolphin’s body, especially mercury. However, the government of Taiji provides the local schools with the luncheon meat made from the polluted dolphins, which means the government are poisoning the town.

Rick shows the dolphin’s tragedy to the pedestrians.

Rick shows the dolphin’s tragedy to the pedestrians.

In the final scene of the film, Rick is standing on the street of Japan and showing the dolphin’s tragedy to the pedestrians. Eventually, more and more people gather around him, and more and more people care about the dolphin’s fate. After all, the future of dolphins depends on the attitude of the youth generation. Meanwhile, the future of Taiji depends on the attitude how the government and fishermen want to deal with dolphins. Now, the slaughter of dolphins keeps going every year in September. When people decide to save the dolphins lives, actually they are saving the people who eat polluted dolphin’s meat. If the slaughter could not be controlled, the Minamata disaster might appear again.


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