November 23, 2010
Report from Taiji: November 23
The Taiji dolphin molesters went out today, but came back without dolphins. It was a good day in Taiji.
The molesters found a pod close to shore early in their prowl this morning and we could see the dolphins from our vantage point. It did not seem likely that this day would end well for the dolphins. Nine boats were involved in this harassment, but the dolphins eluded them. Several times the boats raced this way and that until the molesters gave up and returned to port.
We have to wonder what sort of “favor” the mayor of Taiji receives for allowing the molesters to take over a public park for their “commercial” enterprise. In the US, we would look at this arrangement and suspect public corruption. How is it legal in Japan for a commercial concern to control a public area? How is it legal that the police would protect that activity? Why do the taxpayers in Japan support the protection of this activity provided by the police and coast guard? Are there no investigative journalists who want to explore these questions?
What happens to dolphins in Taiji and in other places in Japan, would be criminal in the US and in most other advanced societies. The atrocities committed in Taiji are legal under Japanese law yet the Taiji dolphin molesters behave like criminals. They expend great effort in trying to conceal what they do. Is it that they believe what they do is criminal? Is it because they know their actions bring shame and dishonor to their nation? How could these individuals, the killers and the marine animal trainers, feel good about themselves when they have to hide their activities? How do they explain their sneaky and suspect behavior to their families? There is no honor in what they do and they know it, whether or not they want to acknowledge that fact. There is no future either and the sooner they turn to other means of making a living, the better it will be for them.
It is clear that the pressure coming to bear on the captive dolphin trade is being felt. Evidence of this is found in the fact that Sea World is offering to donate the proceeds from the sales of children’s tickets to a couple of conservation organizations. We understand that supporters of these groups are not taking too kindly to having their organizations linked to the captive trade.
The annual IMATA conference begins in Boston on December 3.
Thank you to the citizens of Japan who are weighing these issues and beginning to take a stand to solve them. Thank you to everyone who is on the front lines of this war. This is a war to save ourselves from ourselves. Without your calling and writing Japanese embassies and your own government, there will be no change. Keep it up! Every time dolphins are pushed into the Cove, let them 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 too does their government.
Steve, from Wisconsin (USA), joined us today. Welcome Steve!
We can use more Cove Guardians. To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (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. We will remain here through the end of March, and will return for the next season in September 2011.
For the Oceans,
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