The news that Fuji the dolphin has received an artificial fin, to replace her own amputated tail, has been welcomed by the Japanese whaling association.
“This is great news, “ commented Kadoma Takase of the Japan Whaling Association. “The news that Fuji is swimming happily and back to her old self thanks to modern technology is a real encouragement to all of us. It proves what we have been saying for years, that we can slice off bits of dolphins and whales as much as we like. Now we can even replace the severed bits and they will be as happy as ever.”
The Japanese fishing and whaling industries have come under increased pressure to end practices such as the annual slaughter at Taiji in southern Japan, where conservationists estimate over 2000 dolphins are killed each year.
“We have proud traditions, such as those in Taiji, but we are a modern organisation and are constantly lobbying for greater scientific study of marine mammals,” said Mr Takase. “This innovation means that we might also be able to save costs. Traditionally our proud history of marine mammal research has involved the use of numerous large ships and expensive harpoons. Now we only need a few smaller nets and a really sharp knife.”
The JWA hopes that they will be able to extend the techniques to not just other parts of dolphins, but also to other animals. “Shark’s fin soup is a prized delicacy and we hope to be able to bring it to more restaurant goers.” said Takasesan.
Japanese consumers were unconvinced that mutilation rather than killing would be a compromise suitable for both the international community and Japan’s proud history of marine study.
“Artificial fins?” queried a patron at a Tokyo restaurant sarcastically. “I am sure they will taste rubbery.”
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