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Dolphin hunt begins

Last updated 10:54 01/09/2011
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DOLPHIN DAY: Kerry O'Brien, pictured in Japan, will be outside the Auckland Japanese consulate office today protesting the September 1 to March 31 dolphin hunt in Taiji.

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A protest against the killing of dolphins in Japan will be held outside the Japanese consulate Auckland office today from noon to 3pm.

It's led by Kerry O'Brien of Red Beach who went to Taiji in Japan earlier this year to join campaigners to try to stop the annual dolphin hunt. The hunt starts the same day as her protest.

She intends delivering a 5000 signature petition calling for a halt to the September 1 to March 31 dolphin round-up.

Mrs O'Brien will also speak about her experiences in Taiji and hand leaflets to passersby.

Mrs O'Brien is a registered nurse and single mother of three and says 37 other protests will be held the same day.

She plans to return to the small coastal town of Taiji this year or early next year to continue her protest.

The annual hunt featured in a 2010 Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove.

Cove Guardians activists from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins were in Taiji daily during the hunt, Mrs O'Brien says. She says she is appalled by what she saw.

"The cove runs red with blood when they slaughter the dolphins."

About 850 dolphins were killed at the cove and another 171 sold into captivity after pods were driven in by fishermen using high-tech gear during the 2010-2011 hunt, she says.

Had they attempted to intervene, Cove Guardians would have faced jail or deportation, neither of which would have benefited the cause, Mrs O'Brien says.

Instead, they used social media like Facebook to report the dolphin hunt to activists throughout the world, resulting in thousands of calls, emails and faxes, and organised protests at Japanese embassies across the world, she says.

Safe NZ is supporting the Auckland protest, with more than 70 people expected outside the consulate office at 135 Albert St, Mrs O'Brien says.

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- Rodney Times

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