October 7, 2010
Report from Taiji: October 7
Again the seas were calm and the skies were clear this morning, and again the dolphin hunters were out there looking for dolphins. They returned to port by 9:30 am and the cove remains dolphin free for the 14th day in a row. The weather had some part to play in this run of good luck, but is something else happening here? Perhaps it is related to what the police said to me yesterday in that our presence here is keeping the fishermen from killing dolphins. Our presence did not stop them from slaughtering dolphins on September 21st though, but the world did see the shameful acts the fishermen committed that day. Perhaps the fishermen are finding dolphins, but they are not the “right” kind for the dolphinariums, so instead of driving them into the cove to kill them (and having us witness and report their acts) they are leaving them be to swim free in the sea. Whatever may be the reason, we are delighted that none have been captured for a full two weeks now.
The question is often raised that perhaps the fishermen are just taking them to another cove or killing them at sea away from our cameras. We do know that there have been instances in the past of dolphins being killed in the open ocean, but this is a rare event. Besides, there have been no signs of dead dolphins being brought into the Taiji butcher house. The daily activities of the dolphin hunters is consistent with their normal practices and inconsistent with the theory that they are driving dolphins elsewhere.
So it is unlikely that the Taiji dolphin hunters are capturing or killing dolphins out of our sight. The bigger question instead is where else in Japan is the wanton slaughter of dolphins occurring? According to the records, some 22,000 dolphins are killed each year in Japan. For the past few years, only about 2,000 of this number have been killed in Taiji. Where are the other 20,000 being killed? Who is doing this killing? What other towns need to have their names linked to Taiji? These are real questions, and if you have credible information to answer them, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The authorities were quite busy with us today. Suddenly there are now 7 of us here. Five Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians (Scott, Elora, John, and Jackie were joined by Patricia Pyne from San Diego, USA) and Steven Thompson and Yoshiko Wada from Osaka, Japan of the Taiji Dolphin Action Group are here as well. The police requested that we do not swim in the cove because it bothers the fishermen to see us swim, especially since the group Black Fish cut nets. The police added that there could be “trouble” from the fishermen. I explained that we follow all Japanese law and that the cove is a public beach. We swim here just like anyone else and if the fishermen cause “trouble,” then the police need to arrest them. Yesterday John, Jackie, and Elora went for a swim. Today Patricia, Steven, John, Jackie, and Elora all took to the water.
Dolphins do remain captive in the pens in Taiji Harbor. To see the video Elora made of our journey to the Suma Aqualife Park, visit her YouTube postings.
We need your help. Spread the word, send donations, join in the international day of protest, and avoid all travel to Japan except to become a Cove Guardian with us here in Taiji. To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to me at email@example.com. I will get back to you, but please be patient. I cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer email at the same time.
Click here to learn more about the international day of protest on October 14, 2010.
Follow my daughter’s blog of these events.
John and Jackie have begun a blog about their experience here. It is well worth the read.
For the Oceans,
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Tarah Millen will be joining us here in November. She has started a blog about her endeavor.