November 4, 2010
Report from Taiji: November 4 (new video)
As expected, the dolphin slayers took to the sea this morning. They discovered a large pod of dolphins and pushed them into the Cove. We could see the water foaming from quite far away, which indicated that the pod was large. The pod split apart a couple of times, only to come back together again. The hunter boats were running to and fro, but they did so with callous efficiency. We estimate that there are currently 40-60 dolphins behind nets in the cove, but we do believe that some members of the original large pod managed to avoid capture. Tonight’s sunset could be the last sunset for many of these dolphins.
Tomorrow morning, the 5th of November (which is Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day), will come early, and we will be there. Dolphins are small whales, and there are dolphins in peril in Taiji, Japan.
This business of driving entire family groups into the Cove is a relatively new phenomenon. It began in the early 70s. When we look around the harbor in Taiji, we see that the dolphin hunting boats are some of the biggest boats there. The dolphin slayers parade around like peacocks. I can imagine that the real fishermen and townspeople see these guys as strutting bullies. This is not culture or even heritage. This is business, big business. No one needs to eat dolphins, and no one needs to be entertained by dolphins in captivity. The men and women (most of the trainers are women, and their hands are just as bloody) involved in this cruel and bloody business are greedy and pathetic.
We are learning that more and more Japanese people across this country are becoming aware of the insanity of Taiji’s barbarous dolphin hunts and slaughters. They are beginning to take notice and are beginning to say no. It is only a matter of time before enough people here will say, “This must end.” When that happens, the government of Japan will pass the necessary laws to protect dolphins and whales and allow Japan to take its place as a world leader in marine conservation.
Between now and then though, many dolphins and whales will suffer and die. Will the change come too late?
This is where we find ourselves, a small group of dedicated individuals standing vigil with the wild dolphins of the seas. Our numbers on the ground are growing, as are the number of supporters the dolphins have around the world. Not everyone has the ability to join us, but everyone has the ability to let the Japanese government know how the activities in Taiji damage Japan’s reputation.
On days like today, we feel frustrated at not being able to stop this madness or free the dolphins circling in the confined waters of the cove. All of us want to strike out and set these dolphins free, and most of us have the ability to do so. If we were to free these dolphins, that would be hugely important to these particular dolphins, but in the long run, it would allow the dolphin slayers to continue in their greedy and sinful acts without challenge. Having witnesses in Taiji every day has never happened before. It is making an impact and in time, will make a difference. In this land of conformity and of hiding problems, this is direct action.
While we had to say good-bye today to Cove Guardian Leah and filmmaker Suzanne (both from Canada), we welcomed Tarah and Ryan from Vancouver Island, Canada.
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 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.
The Blog Log:
My daughter, Elora Malama, has been with me here since day one and keeps a blog of her experiences.