Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Broome: Shire council sends message to dolphin killing sister city

by Geoff Vivian

Dolphins killed in Taiji Cove

Dolphins killed in Taiji Cove

Broome shire is sending a strong message to its Japanese sister city Taiji, which kills dolphins.

The shire council held a special meeting today, so as to be able to send a clear message to Taiji before the dolphin killing seasons starts on 1 September.

“Something along the lines of us not being able to fulfil our sister-city relationship while the dolphin cull continues,” said Councillor Chris Maher, who attended with five other councillors.

He said the shire also voted to offer support to help the community look at the issue of dolphin resources and making money out of the dolphins by keeping them alive rather than culling them.

He said the message is being relayed to Taiji town council via the Japanese consul general.

Councillor Chris Maher

Councillor Chris Maher

Mr Maher said the council decided not to formally “suspend” the relationship.

“Apparently the word ‘suspend’ has an interpretation in Japanese and it’s different to ours,” he said.

“The translation is something we would never recover from.”

He said the people of Broome do not want to sever ties with Taiji.

“They want us to be able to recommence at some future time, so we avoided using that word ‘suspend’ because it may have a different connotation once it’s translated.”

Mr Maher said six councillors and more than 50 members of the public attended the meeting.

“The public gallery was full, all the chairs were full and there were people standing,” he said.

He said the vote was unanimous.

Mr Maher said the meeting followed a public rally on Thursday, where he read a message from a Broome resident who had strong ties with Taiji.

Many Broome residents, including one shire councillor, have living relatives in the Japanese former whaling town.

You may view the council meeting minutes by clicking here.

Photos courtesy Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Cr Chris Maher

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