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October 28, 2010

Report from Taiji: October 28 (new video)

Babies, mothers, infants…

As predicted, the wind and waves kept the dolphin hunters in port today.  This was a beautiful day in Taiji.

Because the hunters did not leave port we were able to spend some time working with the video from yesterday’s slaughter.  It turns out Cove Guardian Rex Ray had filmed something the dolphin trainers probably wish we had not seen.  The dolphin trainers entered the cove via skiff from Taiji harbor and then left again in the skiff, but traveled to the whale museum.  This seemed odd.  The video of them leaving reveals that they had 3 to 4 baby pacific spotted dolphins in the skiff with them.  These babies are probably between 6 to 12 months old and it is questionable if they are old enough to take solid food.  The Taiji whale museum is known for its “exotic” collection.  It could be that they intend to put these babies on display for as long as they manage to live.  It is common knowledge among dolphin trainers that pacific spotted dolphins generally do not do well in captivity.

Carefully watch the skiff full of trainers when it exits the killing cove.  You will see the frantic movements of the babies who have just been taken from their mothers.  The trainers are wearing black & red wetsuits.  Also, note the yellow floating oil boom in the killing cove.  They have placed that there to keep blood from flowing out of the killing cove into public view.  There must have been a lot of blood in the cove yesterday because they kept the nets up for quite some time.  video: Rex Ray

Yesterday, we saw infant dolphins being tossed about by the killers.  Those infants were even smaller and younger than the ones with the trainers.  There is no way they could survive without their mothers, and because the killers are greedy, the killers had no intention of freeing the mothers.  Therefore, the infants were slaughtered along with their mothers.  The 3-4 babies snatched by the trainers are the only dolphins to survive yesterday’s carnage, but who knows how long they will survive.  And of course, if they do survive, they will have a miserable life ahead doing tricks for food and providing entertainment for ignorant humans.

One thing that really struck me about the trainers taking these babies is that most of the trainers in yesterday’s slaughter were women.  I wonder if any of these women are mothers.  I wonder if they have ever nursed a baby or cared for a sick child.  How do these women live with themselves?  The shame they must feel.  They share the blame with the dolphin hunters and slayers of Taiji for the stain on the nation of Japan.

Pacific spotted dolphins commonly are the dolphins one sees riding the bow waves of ships at sea.  They are also the dolphins most often caught in tuna nets.  Does anyone remember the worldwide uproar a number of years ago about dolphin safe tuna?  Millions of people boycotted tuna companies until change was implemented in how tuna is caught in order to protect dolphins.  How is it these same dolphins, including nursing mothers and infants, can be “legally” slaughtered in Japan?  What am I missing here?

The Japanese government is feeling the pressure of our continual presence here and of the international public’s continued uproar.  Keep it up.  Be loud and unwavering.  They have no choice but to listen.  They want silence.  We will give them silence, once they behave like responsible adults on the international stage.

The cove on October 28
The cove on October 28

Elora and I will be staying in Taiji until December 9.  Our visas expire on December 10. 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 encourage Cove Guardians to stand with Sea Shepherd.  Being a Cove Guardian is direct action you can do, and in doing, you will make a difference and change your life.

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 and women 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 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 Guardian Rex Ray is also keeping a blog.
Future Cove Guardians Tarah , CarolynLeahSteven, and Rosie and Dinielle have started blogs about their endeavors.
The Taiji Dolphin Action Group blog.


 
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