Ivana's Half Marathon Run 4 Dolphins
Organized by: Ric O'Barry 's Dolphin Project
EVENT DATE Jun 28, 2015
In February this year I visited Taiji - a small, fishing town on the south-east coast of Japan. I was there as a Cove Monitor for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project. My job was to monitor, document and report on the horrific dolphin drive hunt that takes place from September until March, every year. Twelve small dolphin-hunting boats depart Taiji harbour at dawn each day in search of wild dolphins. Upon locating a pod, the boats form a v-shaped formation, around the family of dolphins, initiating the drive. Each boat is equipped with a metal pole with a bell shaped bottom that is attached to the side of the boat. The hunters use a hammer to bang on the top of the pole creating a deafening ‘wall’ of sound. This banging sound completely disorients and terrifies the dolphins causing them to swim away from it, in the direction towards the Cove. This cruel and horrific chase is called the drive hunt.
Over the period of two weeks, I witnessed pods of dolphins brutally driven into the infamous cove where they were either slaughtered for meat to be sold at a local market or captured for life in captivity. I watched them fight for hours with every ounce of their strength to escape the horror of the drive hunt. I also watched them become scared, tired, and helpless, huddled together in the cove after they were netted, their fate sealed. Each time my heart bled for every single one of them. All of these unspeakable, violent and tragic moments will forever be etched in my memory, and become my nightmares. Yet, these memories and nightmares are nothing compared to the suffering these dolphins experience.
As a parent, my wish is that my daughter grows up in a world where compassion and empathy are extended to all non-human animals. We owe it to our children to make this a better world, which cannot include slaughter and exploitation of dolphins for our amusement.
On June 28th, I will run a half – marathon in Vancouver, Canada to raise funds and awareness about the dolphin slaughter and the cruelty behind the dolphin captivity.
For me the 2-hour average time that it takes to complete a half-marathon is symbolic to the dolphin drive hunt because it’s the average amount of time that these majestic animals spend fighting for their lives during the horrific drive. I will run so that the dolphins don’t have to ‘run’ for their lives when they pass through Taiji waters. And I will run for all the captive dolphins whose lives have been reduced to swimming in tiny pools devoid of everything that’s natural to them – vast ocean, family, predatory instincts, and other natural behaviors – all for human entertainment. I will run for their freedom.
I will be eternally grateful if you would consider supporting me in reaching my fundraising goal. No matter how small or big your donation is, it will help Ric O’Barry and the dolphin project team to continue their incredible work in saving dolphins and raising awareness against the dolphin captivity.
Please. Thank you.