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October 10, 2010

Report from Taiji: October 10

The new fence at the Cove
The new fence at the Cove
We have been in Taiji for a month now.  I cannot tell you how many times well intentioned people have said to us that we do not understand the Japanese culture or their way of thinking.  Perhaps I do not understand these things, but I do understand right from wrong.  I do understand that change does not happen unless people force the change.  I do understand that cowardice and nonchalance allow bullies to victimize others.

We have been told that the Japanese shy away from and avoid confrontation at all cost.  I am not so sure I buy that.  What about the invasion of China; atrocities in Korea; and the bombing of Pearl Harbor?  Are these not confrontational acts? The hypothesis may have some merit, especially in a post war Japan, but it could also just be an excuse for inaction.  It is so much easier to turn away. It is the coward’s way.  Shooting an exploding harpoon into a whale and thus killing it in the most violent way imaginable is confrontational.  Attacking Sea Shepherd ships with sonic weapons is confrontational.  Destroying a ship at sea is confrontational.  Threatening my daughter and me is confrontational.  Driving dolphins in from the sea to separate family groups and sending some to life long torment in captivity or to brutally slaughter them is confrontational.  These things happen in “modern” post war Japan.   So perhaps nothing has really changed.

We have been told that our way is rude and offensive.  Yes I am rude and yes I offend.  When the best defense is offense, I intend to be offensive.  These so called fishermen offend me by the atrocities they commit.  The dolphin shows and ‘swim with dolphins’ programs offend me with their abuse.  I have no respect for these dolphin hunters, trainers, and slayers.  None!  Respect is earned and these men and women have earned my contempt instead. Work hard and feed your families, just do not do it at the expense of these magnificent creatures or by destroying the oceans.  The hunters, slayers, and trainers know what they do is shameful.  Otherwise they would not be so concerned with hiding what they do.

I have no interest in destroying Japanese culture.  My battle is not with the Japanese people.  I do encourage Japanese citizens to speak up and be heard.  Tell your elected officials that you care about what is happening to the oceans and to your national reputation.  Let your politicians know that it is unacceptable for them to ignore the fact that whale, dolphin, and tuna are loaded with toxic chemicals.  Do not let them bully and victimize you.  Do not let them poison your children.

Cove Guardian Junior Montgomery
Cove Guardian Junior Montgomery
My battle is with people (be they Japanese or Western) who put profit ahead of conservation.  My battle is with people who are willing to slaughter the innocents in the name of a job.  My battle is with the stubborn and ignorant group in Taiji who hunt, select, train, and/or kill dolphins and whales.

No dolphins were captured today.  The boats did not leave the harbor.  There were gale warnings and the hunters and slayers continued with their “cultural” party today.  We have it confirmed from a very knowledgeable local source that the capture and killing of dolphins in Taiji is only about 40 years old.  Calling this abhorrent behavior culturally significant is ridiculous.

We welcome Junior Montgomery, a semi-pro footballer (soccer player) from London as an official Cove Guardian.

We need your help.  Spread the word, send donations, join in the international day of protest and in the Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day, 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 inform-us@seashepherd.org.  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.

For the Oceans,

Scott West
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Click here to learn more about the international day of protest on October 14, 2010.

Click here to learn more about the 5 November 2010 Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day.

The Blog Log:
- My daughter, Elora Malama, has been with me here since day one and keeps a blog of her experiences.
- Current Cove Guardians John and Jackie Legg have a blog about their experience here.
- Future Cove Guardians Tarah and Carolyn have started blogs about their endeavors.
- The Taiji Dolphin Action Group blog.


 
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