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Oftentimes, unexpected things happen when you volunteer as Cove Monitor for OceanCare or in similar ways. And oftentimes the surprises are not pleasant. In this case however, it seemed as all of a sudden something happened that friends of dolphins and whales had tried for years without success: To have a piece in the news of the national television in one of the “target countries”, be it Japan or for instance the European archipelago of the Faroe Islands, where locals still hunt large numbers of pilot whales and other dolphins.

The call came last week to Marna, my Co-Cove Monitor from the Faroe Islands, who is spending three weeks together with me here in Taiji. A journalist from Kringvarp Føroya, the national Faroese TV channel, asked her, if he could do a broadcast with her. It seemed that for Faroese TV it was interesting to do a piece on the first Faroese dolphin lover to ever be on the ground Taiji.

So over the past weekend we filmed as much footage as possible, so we could then upload a good amount of pertinent brief video sequences for the Faroese evening news. Yesterday, the piece that the Faroese TV editor had put together with our footage and some sequences from the documentary The Cove was aired on Faroese TV. We watched in excitement…

And we were quite happy with the outcome, both Marna and I. The news piece was fair. And Marna had the right platform to convey some important messages to her fellow country people. The people of the Faroe Islands have just heard for the first time that there is a Faroese woman on the ground in Taiji who loves dolphins and pilot whales.

Thank you for making a difference, being here, Marna Frida Olsen. Because you are you – and also because you are Faroese! This has been a good day for us and for the dolphins and whales.

Watch the broadcast here: http://kvf.fo/netvarp/sv/2015/10/20/dagur-vika#.VihyMxArLam (from 15:14) or read the summary:

Intro by news host: “Whales and dolphins should be protected, not killed, eaten or used for industrial purposes.” That is the message from several environmental protection organizations that try to stop the grindadráp on the Faroe Islands. These organizations are also present in Japan where they attempt to stop the dolphinarium industry. Amongst them is the Faroese Marna Olsen.

Pilot whale hunts (grindadráp) are not unusual on the Faroe Islands, but they are unpopular amongst environmental organizations. To kill dolphins is not unusual in Japan either, but these are also unpopular with the environmental organizations.

Marna explains that she is in Japan to volunteer for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project and how the primary motivation behind the dolphin drive hunts in Taiji is the sale of dolphins to the dolphinarium industry.

The reason why the dolphin hunt is so profitable is not the food industry, but the dolphinarium industry.

Ric has feared for his life several times while defending dolphins. Marna was asked if she was afraid and replied, “No, as long as you follow the law there is nothing to be afraid of. It is very clear what you may and may not do. You are for instance not allowed near the killing cove itself.”

Why does Marna go all the way to Japan to save dolphins when she could be on the Faroes to fight against the grindadráp?

“Dolphins don’t belong to any country. The ocean is one ocean,” Marna says. And she is on the Faroe Islands once in a while as well and shares her opinions. “I’m not the type of activist who will get between the hunters and the dolphins. My approach is more to educate people and to show people how important it is to protect animals and the environment and how wonderful creatures dolphins really are.”


 

By supporting OceanCare you are supporting dolphins around the world. By not buying a ticket to a dolphin show and by informing the uninformed you are making a difference. Thank you for what you do for dolphins.

Hans Peter Roth is witnessing the dolphin hunt in Taiji and regularly shares his impressions with OceanCare.