現在表示しているページ
ホーム > 組織から探す >資源管理課>Wakayama Prefecture's position on the WAZA’ announcement to suspend the membership of the JAZA due to the Dolphin Drive Fishing in Taiji

Wakayama Prefecture's position on the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (WAZA) announcement to suspend the membership of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) due to the Dolphin Drive Fishing in Taiji

PDF版はこちら ■ 日本語版はこちら  

JAZA has banned the acquisition of dolphins captured through the Dolphin Drive Fishing method. The following series of events brought about this conclusion.

 

In April 2015, WAZA announced the suspension of the JAZA's membership. The reason for this suspension is stated as the acquisition of dolphins captured through the Dolphin Drive Fishing method that WAZA considers as unethical. JAZA has responded to this by mentioning that the Dolphin Drive Fishing is a legal form of fishing, as it does not break any laws or regulations in place. In addition, the method to capture aquarium-purposed dolphins has been improved to reduce the stress to the dolphins as much as possible. Despite this, WAZA has not presented any specific problems with this fishing method, and simply announced one-sided decision to suspend the membership. JAZA was forced to make a choice between two alternatives: leaving WAZA or giving up the acquisition of dolphins captured through the Dolphin Drive Fishing method. If JAZA left WAZA, there would be many difficulties arranging exchanges of information and animals which would affect the management of zoos and aquariums.  Therefore, on May 2015 JAZA performed a member vote which decided that acquiring dolphins captured through the Dolphin Drive Fishing would be prohibited.

 

What is Wakayama Prefecture's position on these events ?

Wakayama Prefecture does not agree on the  decision made by WAZA. WAZA, using the preconceptions caused by practice in the past, has criticized the Dolphin Drive Fishing for being unethical. However, we believe that the modern improvements to the method should be rated positively.

 

Should we stop putting wild animals on display in zoos and aquariums?

Zoos and aquariums display the various animals of the world so that visitors may get a close-up view on their lifestyles. The number of people who learn the wonderfulness of wild animals and get interested in nature through this kind of experience is surely not small. In this way, zoos and aquariums hold a very important role in both society and education. In addition, today's zoos and aquariums have an academic mission such as protection and breeding of endangered species to ensure their survival, and researches to understand characteristics and habits of these animals. There are people who believe that displaying wild animals in zoos and aquariums is a form of disrespect to those animals, but refuting the display of animals for only this reason would remove these other important roles that zoos and aquariums hold.

 

Shouldn't we limit the dolphins we put on display to those we breed in captivity?

Capturing wild animals can have no small effect on the survival of that species. However, the current dolphin fishing at Taiji is done following resource management based on the scientific grounds, and creates no danger for the survival of the species. It is of course important to increase efforts to breed animals. However, by denying the ability to capture wild animals, we will become unable to obtain any animals to breed in the first place. If that happens, then it will become impossible to display any animals whose breeding methods aren't fully developed or understood. It is important to consider the survival of the species, but capturing animals from the wild is also necessary for fulfilling the role that zoos and aquariums play.

 

How about changing the method of capturing dolphins from the Dolphin Drive Fishing method to some other method more suitable for aquarium-purposed dolphins?

Other methods of capturing dolphins include roundhaul netting and hoop netting (a net that is woven similarly to a spoon net). Dolphin Drive Fishing involves hitting metal pipes together to herd dolphins into a cove. In regards to this, there is the opinion that the sound caused by the metal causes life-threatening stress to the dolphins. However, from the fact that dolphins will sometimes escape from the web of sound, this cannot be said for sure. After the dolphins have been driven into the cove, roundhaul nets are used to capture them. After the dolphins have been captured, so as not to bring any harm to them, stretchers with holes cut in for the pectoral fins are used to carefully carry them to the aquarium tank. Therefore, there is virtually no difference between this method and the roundhaul netting method that WAZA finds acceptable. It is hard to think that WAZA's condemnation of the Dolphin Drive Hunting method is correct, as they fail to critically analyze the whole procedure.