Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
Who and what is blackfish?
We do not know. In fact, until the report that dolphin holding pen nets had been cut in Taiji harbour and a release to that effect was posted, we had never heard of this group.
Our team on the ground at Taiji were caught by surprise when angry Japanese fishermen confronted them and they were questioned extensively by police.
What we have found out is that Blackfish is a European group and that they indeed did send a team of divers to Taiji, and that nets on the dolphin holding pens were in fact cut.
Scott West, our director of investigations is a trained law enforcement officer. He carefully analyzed the situation and the evidence, and he has confirmed that the nets were cut. He also confirmed that no dolphins were freed unfortunately.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society believes that opposition to the slaughter of the dolphins in Taiji must include a diversity of approaches. We support all groups opposed to this slaughter and it is not up to us to judge, to condone nor condemn the methods of other groups and individuals.
The mission of Scott and Elora West in Taiji is to observe, document and report. Sea Shepherd has no intention of committing any illegal actions at Taiji.
Blackfish has reported that they cut the nets. They never claimed to have freed any dolphins and they do not have any documentation of their actions. The evidence demonstrates that their claim to have damaged the nets is accurate. There is no evidence of any escapes. The fishermen, the Japanese media and the Japanese police claim that no dolphins have escaped.
Dolphins could have escaped and the fishermen, police, and media could simply be denying it, but the reaction towards our Sea Shepherd crew indicates that no dolphins escaped. If they had, the fishermen would be angrier and the police would most certainly have taken Scott West into custody for questioning. Secondly, the history demonstrates that they would be making a very big deal about any losses because in their minds they are the victims and the people defending the dolphins are the criminals.
Sea Shepherd’s position is to observe and report events as truthfully as possible. This is what Scott West has done and will continue to do.
The only eyes and ears that have been at Taiji since September 1st, the day the dolphin drive officially began has been the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society first with Michael Dalton and his team from Brisbane, Australia, and now Scott and Elora West. We think this is a valuable mission to monitor the activities at Taiji on a daily basis. It has not been done before.