October 25, 2010
Report from Taiji: October 25
For the first time in several days, the twelve dolphin hunter boats left port. They apparently found a pod of dolphins and managed to “push” them all the way to the headland just outside the town of Taiji and the infamous cove. There the dolphins surprised the hunters and took off for the open sea. The hunter boats followed in hot pursuit, but the dolphins eluded them. Finally, the hunter boats returned to port much later than usual and with their proverbial tails between their legs.
It turned out to be a good day in Taiji.
I wonder how much money the dolphin slayers lost in their futile efforts today. It seems that these men could be doing something more constructive and productive with their time than molesting marine mammals. I am constantly hearing the argument that they must continue in this practice in order to make a living. This argument just does not hold water. There are approximately 30 men involved in this despicable trade. Many are older and near if not past retirement age. Yes, it might be difficult to re-tool and find new livelihoods, but it is not impossible and certainly is not a legitimate reason for continuing their activity. What they are now doing, while legal in Japan, is known the world over to be unacceptable. Saying they need to keep doing this in order to make a living is not unlike saying that bank robbers need to keep robbing banks because that is their livelihood.
Besides, what these men do brings shame to the entire nation of Japan. How can a country countenance such a stain on its reputation for the sake of a few jobs? Just think how the entire economy of Japan would benefit if the government were to outlaw the molestation of marine mammals (all of them to include whales and dolphins) and us tax money to re-train those involved in the killing of whales and dolphins. The Japanese government already heavily subsidizes the Antarctic whaling fleet. If Japan were to join the civilized world and protect these creatures and start taking active steps to protect the oceans, the world would respond positively. Ultimately, Japan would see far greater benefit in protection than in the slaughter and capture of cetaceans.
The details of our meeting with the Mayor of Taiji have been finalized and released. It will occur on November 2, 2010, (Japan time) at 10:00 am in Taiji. We are told that media will be present to include CNN and AP. My daughter, Elora, and I will represent Sea Shepherd. Ric O’Barry and Jeff Pantukhoff have also been invited and are expected to attend.
Elora and I will be staying in Taiji until December 9. Our visas expire on December 10. Today marked the halfway point in our vigil here. A Sea Shepherd representative will replace me and so we will have a continued presence through the end of the season. Donations are still needed to fund this campaign. We already have commitments from volunteer Cove Guardians to keep coverage well into February and are counting on Cove Guardians to stand with Sea Shepherd here through the end of March 2011.
The dolphin hunting and slaughter season in Taiji runs until March 31, 2011. It picks up again on September 1, 2011. We are confident that Cove Guardians will answer the call and come join us here this year, but for those who cannot come this year; start making your plans for next year. This is working and if we continue our presence long enough, the laws will be changed. When that happens, Japan can take a respectful place among the nations of the world.
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,
Click here to learn more about the 5 November 2010 Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day.
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