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Dolphin Killer Turned Whale Watcher!
- October 1, 2002

I'm sure you will love this story!

Robin Mankey and I have just returned from Japan, we were part of a small group of activists who went to Futo to support Ishi-san, a former dolphin hunter, in his first historic dolphin watching tour.

On Wednesday, the Japanese media turned up in their dozens to cover the event. Two fishing vessels were turned into dolphin watching boats for the day.. us activists with a few media on one with Ishi-san driving and the other vessel packed with Japanese media.

Hours went by . Lots of birds, flying fish - nice scenery. We were all getting a little nervous knowing that the chances of seeing a dolphin at this time of the year were only 50/50. Besides, how were we to know whether the dolphins recognised the sounds of the engines of killer boats.

Ten minutes before we were due to go in, the radio phone crackled. Ishi-san got very excited yelling out - Whale.. Whale .. and pointing in the direction of the media vessel which was some distance away. We could see a black blob in the water. With tears pouring down his face, and all of us standing up shrieking with excitement, we raced across the water to see a very large SPERM WHALE circling the media vessel.

It was so close we all laughed.. just out of touching distance. And for the next 20 minutes that whale just slouched around, giving the media an absolute field day. I have never seen a whale behave that way.. not even in San Ignacio Laguna.

This whale knew the boat was loaded with journalists.. he/she knew how important this historic event was to whales and dolphins.

The next night the story went right across Japan on national television - it was run in all the major papers.

We witnessed a miracle. Human and whale miracle.

Please keep those faxes going to Japan. They ARE WORKING. FAXES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN EMAILS.

  • Futo Branch of The Ito City Fishing Cooperative
    E-mail:futo@soitoshigyokyo.jf-net.ne.jp
    Fax:+81-557-51-1139

  • Ito City Fishing Cooperative
    E-mail:ito@soitoshigyokyo.jf-net.ne.jp
    Fax:+81-557-35-0756

  • Shizuoka Prefecture, Fisheries Section
    E-mail:nousei@pref.shizuoka.jp
    Fax:+81-54-221-3288

  • The Fisheries Agency
    E-mail:webmaster@jfa.go.jp
    Fax:+81-3-3502-0794

    please circulate this email. For further info contact Sue Arnold at sarnold@byronit.com