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Russell Simmons asks Obama to end dolphin hunts

NEED TO KNOW
  • Dolphin hunts happening in Taiji, Japan
  • They were the subject of documentary 'the Cove'

Russell Simmons spoke to Jane about the dolphin hunts in Taiji, Japan saying, “This kind of suffering should not be tolerated.” Sea Shepherd says more than 1,200 dolphins have been herded into ‘the cove’ and about 600 have been killed. Many dolphins have been pulled from the cove and taken into captivity. Simmons tells Jane, “These abusement parks should be stopped.”

Simmons and Simone Reyes penned a letter to Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan (click here to download the pdf). It has also been signed by a bunch of celebrities. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is mentioned in the letter, is a huge free trade agreement between the United States, Canada and several countries in the Asia-Pacific region such as Australia, Chile, Mexico and Japan. It isn't expected to just deal with how goods are imported and exported but also with other factors like labor and environmental standards. The letter also makes mention of the film, "Blackfish." The controversial 2013 documentary, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, focuses on the consequences of keeping killer whales in captivity. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and was aired later on CNN, which is HLN's sister network.

For more information on the dolphin hunts and the organizations that are speaking out against them go to SeaShepherd.org thedodo.com, or dolphinproject.org

For more on this story, watch Jane Velez-Mitchell weeknights at 7 p.m. ET on HLN. Follow the show on Facebook, and follow Jane on Twitter.

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