Dolphin Drive Fishery in Taiji: WAZA/JAZA summit leads to incremental progress
WAZA convened a meeting today in Tokyo with representatives from the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA)...
10 August 2014, Tokyo, JAPAN - The World Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (WAZA) convened a meeting today in Tokyo with representatives from the
Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) in order to discuss concerns
regarding the Taiji dolphin drive fishery hunt. Representatives from Elsa
Nature Conservancy were also in attendance. Potential steps forward were
identified during the meeting.
complexity of the entire issue was discussed in detail and the different
purposes of catches and the multiple involved parties were identified and
discussed. It was made clear that the take of dolphins for JAZA institutions
was relatively minor compared to the large demand for export of dolphins to
many non-JAZA institutions, the majority of them in China, as well as the
continued primary demand for dolphin meat for consumption in Japan. Non-JAZA
institutions and commercial brokers who facilitate the export of live dolphins in
combination account for far more dolphin takes than do members of JAZA.
as JAZA members still play a role in the live takes, WAZA approached the
meeting by advocating for the eventual
elimination of the drive fishery hunt. At the outset of the meeting, WAZA
representatives, Lee Ehmke, President and Gerald Dick, Executive Director and
Suzanne Gendron, Aquarium Committee Vice-Chair advocated for a moratorium in
which dolphin takes would cease for two years in order to allow for the
development of alternatives. Unfortunately, JAZA indicated that this was not
realistic and therefore did not accept the concept of a moratorium.
a step towards the eventual elimination of the drive fisheries, WAZA then proposed
that the hunting and capturing activities be completely separated, JAZA
indicated that the Japanese government and other parties had in the past
rejected a similar proposal but indicated they would reconsider this approach. JAZA
then outlined a number of changes to current practices which will reduce the
scope and impact of JAZA members' involvement in the annual take of dolphins.
While WAZA acknowledges this positive gesture, WAZA indicated that this can
only be seen as a beginning and that more substantive changes must follow.
Following the initial meeting between WAZA and JAZA, all parties met with
several representatives of Japanese NGOs, organized by ELSA Conservancy to
discuss the drive fisheries operation and agreed to continue open dialogue to
seek ways of ending the dolphin kill.
developments of the highly anticipated meeting fell short of WAZAs
expectations, WAZA will continue to pursue all opportunities to end the dolphin
drive fishery hunt and will consider further steps and consequences.
Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is a global organisation that
harmonises the principles, policies, practices and strategy for Zoos and
Aquariums worldwide. Via member regional associations WAZA reaches over 1,300
leading Zoos and Aquariums. WAZA is the unifying representative of the global
Zoos and Aquarium community and works in partnership with international
conservation organisations such as IUCN and other non-government
organisations to advocate for high standards of animal welfare and to achieve
conservation in Zoos and Aquariums (ex situ) and in nature (in situ). www.waza.org
WAZA Facts and Figures
Attracting more than
700 million visitors a year, the 1,300 zoos and aquariums that are part of the
WAZA network have the unique potential to attract, inspire and mobilize public
engagement for species and habitat conservation. The Biodiversity Is Us campaign allows visitors to make a direct
connection between people and wildlife. Zoos and aquariums educate the public
on biodiversity conservation, and hence promote environmentally sustainable
development and social and political change. Some of the revenue produced by the
zoos and aquariums is dedicated to field conservation projects around the world.
Collectively, the amount contributed to these efforts by zoos and aquariums matches
or surpasses the contributions of other leading global conservation
With 70% of the
world's population living in cities by 2030, zoos and aquariums offer a vital
connection to the importance of biodiversity in our lives.
Hyatt Antognini Amin, Communications Executive for WAZA
(0041) 22 999 07 93
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