Cove Guardians - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Sea Shepherd's Dolphin Defense Campaign in Taiji, Japan Donate Now

November 20, 2010

Report from Taiji: November 20

November 20, 2010November 20, 2010The molesters went out today, but came back without dolphins.  It was a good day in Taiji.

The longer I remain here, the more obvious it has become that holding dolphins in captivity anywhere is just plain wrong.  As bad as it is to witness the slaughter, the constant reminder of the dolphins being held in the pens inside Taiji harbor is worse.

Marine animal trainers from Dolphin Base, Dolphin Resort Hotel, and the Taiji Whale Museum come out to the pens to “work” with the captives because the dolphins must be taught to do tricks for food.

The IMATA has an interesting statement on their website:

The International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA) takes a strong position on the Japanese drive fisheries, which are debated frequently internationally. IMATA condemns the inhumane killing of dolphins and other cetaceans in the Japanese drive fisheries. IMATA members care deeply about dolphins and whales. Our mission and our work every day is to connect people and whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals to foster understanding, caring and respect, and to help preserve and protect their ocean environments.

It is good that IMATA “takes a strong position on the Japanese drive fisheries” and “condemns the inhumane killing of dolphins,” but how does one reconcile the notion that these people “care deeply about dolphins and whales” when there is no acceptable basis for keeping dolphins and whales in captivity?  It may be true that some “marine animal trainers” actually believe that they care about dolphins, but it is an obscene love.  If they truly cared, they would be working to free every captive dolphin and to end the practice all together.  There is too much money to be made though, so the effort to end captivity has to be led from outside the industry.

It is noble to want to connect humans with “whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals to foster understanding…,” but understanding is impossible while the dolphins are being held captive.  People can visit them in the wild and work to understand their language if you want to truly understand, care for, and respect them.  The industry exploits marine mammals for profit and those who patronize their establishments are guilty, too.

The money drives the Taiji captures and slaughters.  They are intrinsically linked, and like it or not, every marine animal trainer and every person who spends money to visit a captive program is linked to the harassment, capture, wholesale family unit destruction, and slaughter (read molestation) of dolphins.

End the captive dolphin industry and the Taiji slaughter will end.

The annual IMATA conference in Boston is in just a couple of weeks.  I am sure they will be glad to see you and it will be a great opportunity to meet dolphin molesters in person.

Thank you to everyone who is on the front lines of this war.  Without your calling and writing Japanese embassies and your own governments, there will be no change.  Keep it up! Every time dolphins are pushed into the cove, let the governments have it.  Every time there is blood in the water, let them have it.  Make good consumer choices.  Not only do the molesters want to hide from us, but so to does their government.

To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to us at  (Please note that this is a new address.) We will get back to you, but please be patient.  We cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer email at the same time.  Contributions to Sea Shepherd to keep our official presence here are needed and welcome.  I am the current official Sea Shepherd representative and will be replaced when I leave on December 9, 2010.

For the Oceans,

Scott West
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

The Blog Log:
My daughter, Elora Malama West, has been with me here since day one and keeps a blog of her experiences.
Current Cove Guardians Carrie and William are also keeping a blog.
Future Cove Guardians Carolyn, Steven, Bob, Mike, Janice, and Marley, have started blogs about their endeavors.
The Taiji Dolphin Action Group blog.