Cove Guardians - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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

November 27, 2010

Report from Taiji: November 27

Death and enslavement today in Taiji, but some got away.

eyeeyeThe morning started out with hope, but in time all the molester boats sped to the south and out of sight.  Five of the boats appeared pushing a pod of dolphins and then a few kilometers behind them, seven more boats appeared pushing another pod.  The wind was blowing and white caps filled the seas, but still the molesters managed to find and harass two traveling families.

The first pod was quite clever and elusive.  The second group of boats appeared at the mouth of the cove while the first was still maneuvering the pod.  Suddenly, the boats went racing back towards the harbor entrance in a futile attempt to recapture the pod.  It was gone and that family lives another day.  The second group of boats managed to push that pod into the cove and sealed the dolphins’ fate when they spread the nets across the entrance.

drowningdrowningThe molesters pushed them into the killing cove and then left to have their lunch.  They returned to pick five adults for the captive trade.  The remaining 23, including two babies, were dragged by their tails up onto the rocks and paralyzed.  The babies were thrown onto a skiff and covered with tarps for their trip to the butcher house.  Their deaths came when their entrails were removed from their bodies.  The adults were dragged by their tails out to the gutting barge.  Most of them likely perished by drowning.  Their lifeless carcasses were then dragged to the butcher house.

It was another typical day in Taiji where so called men hide their trade behind plastic tarps and slither through tight spaces in order to hinder our cameras from capturing their evil and shameful deeds.  I wonder how they explain their work to their families.  I have never had to hide my work and could proudly show my children how I made a living.  Not these men.  They must hide and slink about.  They shame themselves, their families, their village, and their nation.

bloody tailsbloody tailsThank 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 governments, 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.  Inform everyone you know about the tragedy here and how it is linked to the captive dolphin trade.  All who patronize a dolphin show have blood on their hands.

The annual IMATA conference begins in Boston on December 3.   The captive dolphin industry is the economic engine driving the slaughter and torment in Taiji.  Five more slaves were sold to the industry today.  Remember that friends do not let friends patronize dolphin shows.

baby by the tailbaby by the tailSteve had to depart this morning.  We look forward to his returning for next year’s campaign unless of course Japan comes to its senses this year.

Here is your opportunity to become a Cove Guardian.  To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to us at  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. These donations cover costs for transportation, telephone, equipment, supplies, food, and lodging for the official Sea Shepherd representative.  We will remain here through the end of March and will return for the next season in September 2011.

For the oceans,

Scott West
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Sounds from the hydrophone


Dolphins at the butcher house on November 27th

This sequence of still photographs taken by cove guardian Thomas Gainard
shows dead dolphins being dragged into the butcher house
click on video to pause (:29)

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 Guardian Steven is also keeping a blog.
Future Cove Guardians Martyn, Carolyn, Bob, Mike, Janice, Marley, Tara, Carissa, Karl, and Tim have started blogs about their endeavors.
The Taiji Dolphin Action Group blog.
Here is a video about the killings made by a Japanese couple.  There is a Japanese version and one with English sub-titles.

Legal Dictionary
Main Entry: mo·lest
Pronunciation: m&-'lest
Function: transitive verb
1 : to annoy, disturb, or persecute esp. with hostile intent or injurious effect
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.