Body on line for dolphin cull protest
Jade Alexander is baring all in an effort to rally support for her march against dolphin hunting in Japan.
The 20-year-old Browns Bay resident will strip off and spend up to eight hours tomorrow morning being body painted at Body FX Studio in Kingsland.
At 1pm she will be heading to Britomart to spread information about ancient dolphin hunting practices still occurring in Taiji, off the coast of Japan.
"I wanted to make a statement, capture people's attention and spread awareness by doing something different", says Ms Alexander.
National co-ordinator of marine conservation organisation Sea Shepherd, Michael Lawry, supports Ms Alexander's initiative.
He says between September and March each year more than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises are lured into a cove in Taiji.
They are killed with poles and sticks and have "cruel, slow deaths" of up to half an hour, he says.
Some are sold as meat to locals, often labelled as whale to fetch a higher price, while the ones that look most like ‘Flipper' are sold to theme parks worldwide, says Mr Lawry.
"Most of the money is now coming from the captive industry. The Japanese get paid around $50,000 for untrained dolphins, while trained ones can get up to $200,000.
"It's great having people like Jade organising protests and we're happy to support her," he says.
Ms Alexander, an animal welfare and science student at UNITEC, is an enthusiastic participant in protests. After watching the documentary The Cove, she decided it was time to lead her own.
"I watched it and I just cried and cried. It's not just a couple of weeks a year where they go out and humanely kill a couple of dolphins.
"It's literally every day for seven months that they're just brutally slaughtering these animals," says the former Long Bay College student.
The rally will be held on Wednesday, March 28, at noon, where Ms Alexander hopes people will turn up with signs in hand.
The group will walk from Queen Elizabeth Square in downtown Auckland, to the Japanese Consulate-General's office on Shortland St. A Facebook page called ‘Rally against Japan's dolphin hunting' has been set up, with more information about the march and the petition Ms Alexander will be presenting to the Consulate-General.
- Chelsea Armitage is an AUT journalism student.
North Shore Times