POINT OF VIEW:
Hardy Jones, BlueVoice.org
I’ve been going to Japan for over 25 years. They have a great cultural historical tie to hunting whales and dolphins and they make no bones about the fact that they’re doing it.
Imagine a school of dolphins frolicking off the coast. Suddenly they hear the sound of engines and then the overwhelming painful sounds of the banging of metal bars. The dolphins flee before the terrifying sounds. But their flight takes them in to a confined and unfamiliar space. They extract the young and the pretty and they put them in slings and they send them off to aquariums where they’re going to pay anywhere from $4000 to up to $50,000 a head.
Then they kill the rest for the dolphin meat. The horror of lying on your side out of the water, having trouble breathing, hearing the sounds of your pod mates as they’re slaughtered. I just said to myself, just keep filming. Just keep filming, and then get this film out of here.
They always want the video. They always want the video from you. Then I just ran away from them. I knew what those dolphins were experiencing.The only thing I can do is take pictures and show the world what they are doing.
Hardy Jones is the executive director of BlueVoice.org, an organization dedicated
to saving dolphins and whales and protecting oceans.
Clearly the power of public opinion can go a long way. But what happens when things get so far out of control that even a global protest may not be enough to stop the senseless slaughter of one of our most treasured animals?
Dolphins in the wild
Hardy's underwater photography features the grace and beauty of one of nature's most intelligent animals. His films reveal the complex inner workings of dolphin communities where mothers tend to their calves with care and devotion. By documenting the underwater lives of dolphins over the years, Hardy has deeply affected the publics interest and affection for them.
“I've devoted my adult life to penetrating their complex universe. Each encounter with these magnificent creatures has evoked awe and admiration.”
However, Hardy's interest in marine animals took a dramatic turn while on assignment in Japan. He was there to film a story about the hunting of wild dolphins. His video reports made headlines around the world.
Hardy Jones has returned to Japan many times. His mission is always the same, to tell the world about the dolphin slaughter. He's never a welcomed visitor, especially by the local fishermen.
Because of the efforts of people like Hardy Jones, media stories about the slaughter have attracted the world's attention, and the hunt has now been limited to a single village.
However this offers little consolation to the dolphins of Japan, where it's still legal to capture and slaughter these extraordinary animals.
Read more about The State of the Ocean's Animals:
Introduction | Antarctica | China | Florida
| Monterey | Pacific Northwest