October 17, 2010
Report from Taiji: October 17
The dolphin hunter boats left port this morning, thirsty for more blood. The seas did not cooperate though and so they returned around 8:00 am without dolphins. Today was a good day. I did see two uniformed policemen in a patrol car. I also noticed a couple of surprised fishermen at the cove. I guess they had not heard that I am free.
It is the Japanese government who allows the dolphin hunt, capture, and slaughter to occur in Taiji and elsewhere in Japan. National law allows for hunting permits to be issued locally. Prefecture level authorities issue the permits. It is the law that needs to be changed. If dolphin molesting is outlawed, then the so-called fishermen will find something else to do with their time.
International (and to some extent) internal pressure is increasing on the government to outlaw dolphin hunting. We need to keep this pressure in place and are doing so by our physical presence in Taiji and by the support we are receiving from all over the world. Shame and money are powerful forces. The more the government feels shame about the hunt and the more it costs through lost business, the more likely it will be for them to see their way clear and make better choices. The government of Japan is responsible for the hunting, enslavement, and killing of dolphins and whales.
While I do encourage supporters to withhold spending their tourist and business dollars here and to make conscientious purchase decisions, I do not condone racial slurs and generalized attacks against the Japanese people. Yes, the dolphin hunters, traders, and slayers are a despicable lot, but would be so no matter their race or nationality. Feel free to express to them how you view their shameful conduct, but keep racial attacks out of the conversation. Japan itself and its citizens are being shamed internationally because of the actions of a small group of men in a tiny town. More importantly, the people of Japan are becoming more aware of the issue and are beginning to think about it and how it makes them feel. The pressure is working.
Patricia had to leave us today to return home to her husband and two children. Victor and Nancy from Hong Kong joined us as Cove Guardians this evening. It is now official. Elora and I will be staying in Taiji until our visas expire on December 10. If we are able to raise the funds, Sea Shepherd will be in a position to keep a representative here until the season ends on March 31. We already have commitments from volunteer Cove Guardians to keep coverage well into February. We will be back on post in the morning to see what the day brings.
You can help. Spread the word, send donations to the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian campaign, join in the Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day on November 5, avoid all travel to Japan except to become a Cove Guardian with us here in Taiji, make good consumer choices regarding whether or not to purchase Japanese products, and ensure that you do everything you can to keep the pressure on the Japanese authorities. It is unfortunate that the reputation of an entire nation is being tarnished by the evil and shameful deeds of a handful of men in Taiji. To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.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,
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
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.Future Cove Guardians Tarah , Carolyn , Leah, and Steven have started blogs about their endeavors.
The Taiji Dolphin Action Group blog.