On a small island 100 miles from Tokyo islanders, mostly fishermen, have declared resident dolphins to be citizens, fully protected while in the island's waters

On Sept. 1st of this year the annual dolphin slaughter will take place in Taiji Cove, Japan. Japan is a nation where up to 20,000 dolphins are killed yearly. So a new development recently in Japan is wonderful news in stark contrast as to what usually goes on in Japan. On a small island 100 miles from Tokyo islanders, mostly fishermen, have declared resident dolphins to be citizens, fully protected while in the island's waters.

This tiny island is called Toshima Island. The fishermen there want to show the world how some Japanese revere and protect wild dolphins. A long time Japanese ally, Elsa Nature Conservancy, has pledged to help the Toshima Islanders educate Japan about the wonders of wild dolphins.

The Toshima Dolphin Project as it is known will expand knowledge of this unique island and the relationship between the people of the island and its 16 resident dolphins. The project will provide a vision that will inspire their fellow countrymen and bring to them an understanding of the importance of allowing dolphins to remain free and safe from hunters' blades.

This is a description of the Toshima Dolphin Project written by Sakae Hemmi of Elsa Nature Conservancy. "In 1995 a dolphin came to Toshima waters and remained. In 1998 the dolphin, named Koko, gave birth. The baby was called Piko. The mother and baby were so revered that they were registered as citizens of the island. Around 2010 several dolphins from Mikura island moved to Toshima and several have given birth. As of February 2012, a pod of 16 dolphins swims in the waters of Toshima."

The Dolphin Project was originally spearheaded by a Mr.Moriyama. Unfortunately the Mr. Moriyama, died in February of this year. But others have picked up the cause because they feel so strongly that this message must get out. Currently funds are urgently needed to finish the project website, send a video team to the island to film the dolphins and fishermen and to make a DVD for release in Japan. They also plan to hold a symposium in Tokyo on dolphins in Japanese waters.

But the main message that The Toshima Dolphin Project wants to portray was expressed by Sakae Hemmi as: "I think it important to have many people learn and experience that wild dolphins are animals that we can make friends with and live together. Toshima is a very important place to raise the Japanese people's consciousness to protect wild dolphins."

Hopefully with the efforts of these wonderful fishermen from Toshima Island there may soon come a day when all dolphins can live off the Japanese coast without threat of dying in such a cruel manner as currently takes place in Taiji Cove.

Responses to "Japanese Island of Toshima makes Dolphins official Citizens"

  1. So one presumes that anybody who kills a dolphin elsewhere in japan is committing the murder of a citizen of Toshima. What a super move Hope they add Whales to their citizen list

  2. Anonymous says:

    Amazing! Amazing! Amazing!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful. Restores my hope in humanity when Ireland stories like this.

  4. Unknown says:

    So so proud!! Well done! We all have faith that it can only get better from here! You have my support!

  5. This is such an encouraging story! It gives me hope that others in Japan might see that dolphins should not be slaughtered. No sea creature deserves what the people Japan do to dolphins and whales.

  6. C-Dub says:

    I completely agree with what Margaret Stutts said!

  7. Toshima is an example for the rest of the world to follow. They have acknowledged dolphin intelligence!

  8. Anonymous says:

    WOW! at last we are getting through gives hope for the Taigi dolphins from little acorns........

  9. survivor says:

    Great story, though you need some help with punctuation. "On a small island 100 miles from Tokyo islanders, ..." needs a comma after Tokyo. The same sentence in the heading also needs a full stop (US - period).

  10. Anonymous says:

    That is wonderful news! Hopefully, the rest of Japan will follow the lead of Toshima!

  11. Anonymous says:

    simply beautiful...first there is bolivia giving MOTHER EARTH human rights and now this!... and there are still people out there saying nothing happens.i am very greatful and hope-and lovefilled due to these awsome news.i hope the rest of japan will take note and act accodingly.thank you.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Grande Toshima!

  13. Anonymous says:

    How do we donate to help these people and dolphins, please? Can you provide us with a link?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Survivor: I agree 100%! Don't underestimate the importance of correct punctuation, people. ;-) I had to read that first sentence several times, just because it lacked the comma after the word "Tokyo".

    Great initiative, people of Toshima!! Kudos! I wish you and this project all the luck in the world. :-)

  15. Anonymous says:

    I am so happy- this does really give hope-
    I love GOOD NEWS

  16. Not only is this a beautiful act for the Dolphins, this sets a precedent to make All sentients citizens. Kudos to the Japanese in this town for moving us into a civilized, intelligent and compassionate future.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Wow ! That is amazing what a few people can do if they agree on saving the dolphins . Maybe that is a start that other people will come together to protect Mother Natures creations and bring awareness to all who do not know or understand. Many Blessings to these small group of fisherman !

  18. h,s says:!/Savemistythedolphin?sk=events

  19. Anonymous says:

    Yessss..!My best regards to the 'Beautiful People of TOSHIMA'. I ditto wolfiesmom2 We, allover the world need 2 learn & follow your moves.We can prove our power, only by showing respect & love to other fellow Creature. here in Bharut (India) also the 'River Dolphins' are on the verge of extinction (i think, mostly because of pollution.) But now i guess people have stopped Killing them for food.
    Stupid Taiji-people have 2 stop, if NOBODY BUY DOLPHIN MEAT.If we don't know how to preserve & cherish precious gift of life from Mother Earth, SHAME ON US & HUMAN INTELLIGENCE . Hope some day 'the world powers' understand that; at list looking at how much love & honor people world around, are having for the real great people of TOSHIMA. best wishes 2 all.

  20. Anonymous says:

    People in Toshima sounded like more Educated and intelligent civilized people than the rest of Japanese in other Islands of Japan. Bravo to Toshima Islanders.

  21. I see it,but I don't believe it..Too good to be true,because it is..I just wish that it was true..

  22. Anonymous says:

    At last some good news out of Japan, I am happy to see that there are some enlighten people that will promote the saving of these beautiful Dolphins

  23. Restores my hope in humanity.

  24. Anonymous says:

    thank you, I hope this spreads throughout Japan especially Taiji

  25. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much Toshima for providing dolphins a safe protected passage and recognizing their self awareness and intelligence. Much respect and hoping Taiji will follow your lead and Japan will stop killing whales.

  26. Unknown says:

    Thank you!

  27. Unknown says:

    Fantastic news!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful News !!!
    Hopefully this will have the Domino Affect !


    Sea World Gold Coast Australia - Keeping dolphins as prisoners since the 70s"

  30. bertusk says:

    Marvellous, Bless those people!

  31. Anonymous says:

    So HAPPY to hear some Japanese revere the lives of dolphins. It's a stark change from the mindset of the fishermen of Taiji. I hope this raises awareness of just how special these nonhuman beings are. Amazingly intelligent, social & historically kind to humans, may this be the fast-growing beginning of global respect & protection for both dolphins & whales !!! I adore them ~ They have much to teach us.

  32. Very happy to hear this news. It is very encouraging. Now how do we get these brave people to educate the Taiji fishermen and Jpn Gov/fisheries that killing dolphins is NOT acceptable?

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