Dolphin Slaughter

Here's an excerpt from an article on artificial intelligence, and includes dolphin intelligence in comparison with human.

Is Artificial Intelligence Possible?
By Tommy Connolly
By many of the physical methods of comparing intelligence, such as measuring the brain size to body size ratio, cetacean surpass non-human primates and even rival human beings. For example “dolphins have a cerebral cortex which is about 40% larger a human being. Their cortex is also stratified in much the same way as humans. The frontal lobe of dolphins is also developed to a level comparable to humans. In addition the parietal lobe of dolphins which "makes sense of the senses" is larger than the human parietal and frontal lobes combined. The similarities do not end there; most cetaceans have large and well-developed temporal lobes which contain sections equivalent to Broca's and Wernicke's areas in humans.”
Dolphins exhibit complex behaviours; they have a social hierarchy, they demonstrate the ability to learn complex tricks, when scavenging for food on the sea floor, some dolphins have been seen tearing off pieces of sponge and wrapping them around their "bottle nose" to prevent abrasions; illustrating yet another complex cognitive process thought to be limited to the great apes, they apparently communicate by emitting two very distinct kinds of acoustic signals, which we call whistles and clicks.
One example of their dissimilar brain structure and intelligence is their sleep technique. While most mammals and birds show signs of rapid REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, reptiles and cold-blooded animals do not. REM sleep stimulates the brain regions used in learning and is often associated with dreaming. The fact that cold-blooded animals do not have REM sleep could be enough evidence to suggest that they are not conscious and therefore their brains can definitely be emulated. Furthermore, warm-blood creatures display signs of REM sleep, and thus dream and therefore must have some environmental awareness. However, dolphins sleep unihemispherically, they are “conscious” breathers, and if fall asleep they could drown. Evolution has solved this problem by letting one half of its brain sleep at a time. As dolphins utilise this technique, they lack REM sleep and therefore a high intelligence, perhaps consciousness, is possible that does not incorporate the transitional states mentioned earlier.
The evidence for animal consciousness is indirect. Intriguing, but more proof is required. However merely because we do not understand something does not mean that it is false - or not. Studying other animal minds is a useful comparative method and could even lead to the creation of artificial intelligence (that does not include irrelevant transitional states for an artificial entity), based on a model not as complex as our own. Still the central point being illustrated is how ignorant our understanding of the human brain, or any other brain is and how one day a concrete theory can change thanks to enlightening findings.

The Inhumanity of Japan's Dolphin Slaughter
This is a very graphic video I stumbled upon, on youtube.com, and disturbing as the footage was, I feel people need to know what's going on. Japan's food industry should be held in account for this barbaric practice. Dolphins have complex neural networks not too very different from humans and should not be treated in this inhumane way. Dolphin Slaughter, on youtube.com
Herding Dolphins into Bay

Dolphins are herded into a small bay by banging on pipes which interfere with the dolphin's sonar (echolocation, hearing), confusing and frightening them.
Dolphin Slaughter in Japan
Some dolphins are sorted and sold to aquariums while others are brutally stabbed and rounded up and dragged off to the slaughter house.
Dolphin Slaughter in Japan
Dolphin Slaughter in Japan
Machettis are used to cut open throats of conscious dolphins as they lay helpless on the pavement...
Dolphin Slaughter in Japan
Blood pouring from this dolphin's throat...
Dolphin Slaughter in Japan
Dolphin going in shock and writhing in agony...
Dolphin Slaughter in Japan
Dolphin Slaughter in Japan
School children who walk by in this video can see the dolphins agonizing in painful convulsions and slowly dying.
Dolphin Slaughter in Japan
Japan's indifference to the dolphin slaughter shows it has no respect for regulations regarding international waters, which harm both the ocean and creatures that live within them.
Dolphin Slaughter in Japan
Last year, I transferred an article to the web which was printed in the May 1911 issue of National Geographic, on the "Shore Whaling Industry by Roy Chapman Andrews, Assistant Curator of Mammals, American Museum of Natural History. A guide through the grisly slaughter of whales, an industry that flourished between the nineteenth and twentieth century.
Roy C. Andrews writes in 1911: "And what is to be the result of this wholesale slaughter? Inevitably the commercial extinction of the large whales, and that within a very few decades. In some localities this has already taken place and all the whales have been killed or driven from their feeding grounds."
Dolphins are Endangered
"Other dolphin species in different regions also need protection. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) works with governments around the world to identify biodiversity-rich areas and designate specially protected areas for wildlife. For example, in the Caribbean and other regions, UNEP is supporting projects to protect the marine environment, making it safer for dolphins and whales.
As part of the global effort to protect the planet√Ęs biodiversity, UNEP administers one of the world's largest conservation agreements-the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known as CITES. Adopted in 1973, it became international law two years later.
More than 150 governments have ratified the treaty, which offers varying protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants, depending on their condition in the wild and the effect that international trade may have on them. CITES bans international commercial trade in species threatened with extinction, such as cheetahs, tigers, the great apes, many tortoises and birds of prey. It also protects other species, which are not threatened, but may be at serious risk unless international trade is strictly regulated."
- Dolphins as Endangered Species, United Nations Website

WHALES ARE DEVOTED TO THEIR CALVES
"All the large whales show great affection for their young, and the cows and calves will seldom leave each other when pursued by a ship. I remember at one time in Alaska, on board the steamship Tyce, Jr., we had sighted a female finback with a young one about 30 feet long beside her. They were not difficult to approach, and as the old whale rose to spout not five fathoms from the vessel's nose, the gunner fired, killing her almost instantly. The calf, although badly frightened, continued to swim in a circle about the ship, and finally, when its dead mother had been hoisted to the surface, the little fellow came alongside so close that I could have struck him with a stone. During the time that the carcass was being inflated and the gun reloaded, the calf was constantly within a few fathoms of the ship, swimming around and around, sometimes rubbing itself against the body of its dead mother. Finally a harpoon was sent crashing into its side, and it sank without a struggle."
- Roy Chapman Andrews, 1911

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Sample Letter to Japanese Officials, (seashepherd.org)
I am outraged by the annual brutal slaughter of dolphins and whales that takes place in Japan. The images of bloody red water clearly show the world that Japan has little respect for the state of the world’s oceans and for the conservation of the marine resources it claims to support.
Many scientific studies show that the oceans are in decline. We must take whatever actions are necessary to stop their over-exploitation and to protect the creatures that live in them. These dolphins do not belong to Japan. The status of the species of dolphins and whales that you kill are either endangered, threatened, or unknown. It is an unthinkable waste that they will likely end up as a meat product or deceptively sold as whale meat, polluted with toxic levels of mercury and cadmium, killing people that eat it. It is tragic and unacceptable that the remaining dolphins that are not killed will end up destined for death in an aquarium, water park, or "swim with dolphins" program.
In addition, the methods used to kill these animals are cruel. Corralling the dolphins into bays, then making them suffer a long and painful death by spears, hooks, and drowning is an inhumane way of fishing. This action is disgraceful and has caused much disappointment in the international community.
We demand that Japan permanently and immediately renounce and stop this slaughter. We will work diligently to bring this issue to international light until you have ceased your reprehensible violence.

Sincerely,

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