Campaigner risks capture to stop dolphin slaughter

Mark Muschamp, centre, at a recent Sea Shepherd demo outside the Japanese Embassy in London.

Mark Muschamp, centre, at a recent Sea Shepherd demo outside the Japanese Embassy in London.

First published in News
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AN animal rights activists who belongs to a group of Worcester 'vegans and veggies' evaded police capture in a demo against 'horrific' dolphin slaughter in Japan.

Mark Muschamp of Worcester Vegans & Veggies group (WVV) travelled to the Japanese fishing village of Taiji to join other members of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) in their efforts to save thousands of dolphins, porpoises and small whales from capture and slaughter.

The 42-year-old father-of-three from Upton recounted the experience, which happened in February, during a talk on Wednesday, March 26 at WVV's monthly social evening.

About 50 people attended the free-entry event at The Firefly in Worcester and £135 in donations was collected for SSCS.

Mr Muschamp, a vegan works in the automotive industry, said he risked arrest by Japanese police in order to broadcast images to the world of a captured dolphin being kept in appalling conditions.

He said: "The aim of the Sea Shepherd mission to Taiji was to film the horrific dolphin slaughter so as to raise public awareness and increase worldwide pressure on Japan to put an end to this annual atrocity.

"This year 200 dolphins were captured and 1200 killed for their meat. The dolphin killers get about 500 dollars for each dead dolphin, but are paid as much as 500,000 dollars for the 'finest specimens' which they capture and sell to marine parks and dolphinaria in various parts of the world.

"In the past, Sea Shepherd volunteers have been able to free some of the captive dolphins, but, sadly, it is impossible to do this now, because of the large presence of Japanese police.

"The police guard the fishermen as they round up the dolphins, but we were still able to get photographs and film footage to send around the world via TV news and social media.

"The most risky moment for me was when two of us climbed a rocky outcrop to dodge police so we could film the appalling conditions in which a captured dolphin was being kept, before being sent to a dolphinarium.

"We managed to get footage of the dolphin in a cramped and filthy tank, but then the police arrived on the scene and we had to hide in the undergrowth to avoid arrest.

"At the end of my talk I appealed to people not to attend marine parks and dolphinaria when they are on holiday abroad, as it is these places that are fuelling what is happening in Taiji.

"As well as being a keen supporter of Sea Shepherd in their efforts to save the lives of whales, dolphins and other marine life, I care deeply about all animals, which is why I recently became vegan and have joined Worcester Vegans & Veggies to help with their humane education work."

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