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The Cove Documentary Essay

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Updated: Apr 25th, 2019

The “Cove” is a United States documentary film that reflects events taking place along coastal routes of Japan. Taiji, a village in Japan, experiences extensive hunting of dolphins which occur throughout the year. This has been witnessed mainly in peak seasons from March to September (Masters par. 1).

This film intends to create and heighten public awareness on how hunters in Japan poison and kill dolphins only to sell them at exorbitant prices (Nichols 24). For instance, Mercury has been used to poison dolphins during hunting. As a result, its meat is made less worthy and yet sold at same price as that of whale.

Moreover, Japan has been increasingly manipulative to bankrupt nations neighboring it as part of the initiative to support it in dolphin business. In spite of awareness, there has been sufficient evidence that hunting of dolphins is increasing by the day. Nonetheless, there have been differences in social advocacy between pro-environment activists and their critics (Masters par. 2)

Certainly, Japan government has for a long period of time supported hunting of dolphins consequently making it a cultural tradition (Masters par. 3). However, this film has acted as a wakeup call to eco-activists and Japan government officials to terminate this form of brutal hunting. From the film, it is evident that a small proportion of dolphin is consumed locally while the rest is exported (Nichols 23).

This depicts an open disregard by Japanese government on exportation of meat with high toxic levels of mercury (Bowermaster 209). Undoubtedly, this can pose serious health risk to the public upon consuming such meat. In spite of this loomimg danger, the film has been opposed by some critics who act on behalf of businessmen.

They argue that screening such a film will totally jeopardize or tamper with hunting business (Masters par. 5). It is also evident that Japanese government has made some effort to silence and monitor media coverage not to expose the whaling activity.

Meanwhile, dramatic episode from the film has triggered a contemptuous debate globally. Prominent celebrities have ventured in to ‘Taiji Cove’ to protest against dolphin slaughter (Nichols 23). Moreover, the National Whaling Commission has been blamed for not pointing a finger to stop illegal hunting activity. However, it is evident that IWC had put significant ban on whaling of dolphins although there was less consideration onsmall marine creatures like dolphins (Nichols 25).

International treaties have also regulated whaling. Nonetheless, Japan has used loopholes to proceed with illegal trading (Bowermaster 209). So far, many film industries have adopted the documentary in order to draw international attention against dolphins’ massacre.

Environmentalists have equally criticized the whaling saga. Research indicates that Japanese perceive dolphins as annoying and a threat to fishing industry. Organized effort from the government has assisted in the process of thwarting and secretly slaughtering them in Taiji cove (Nichols 24).

In line with the ongoing debate on illegal hunting of dolphins, social advocates have come up with different opinions over the practice.

For instance, local fishermen and bureaucrats felt that the campaign against whaling is just foreign outrage to an activity that is legal (Masters par. 7). Local residents feel that it is a cultural practice as well as legal to hunt and consume dolphin meat. On the other hand, Japan local environmentalists argue that their hunting is humane only that majority of fishermen lack skills.

Meanwhile, officers in charge of whaling retreated over allegation of inappropriate killing of dolphins. They lamented that from cultural point of view, dolphins are resources meant to be consumed like any other animal (Bowermaster 209). However, majority are of the opinion that whaling trade should be banned totally to secure lives of the species that is almost getting extinct (Nichols 25).

Works Cited

Bowermaster, Jon. Oceans. Washington: Participant Media. 2010. Print.

Masters, Coco. Japan Gets Its First Chance to See The Cove. 16 Sept., 2009. Web.

Nichols, Bill. Introduction to Documentary. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.Print.

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