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

December 7, 2010

Report from Taiji: December 7

It was a good day in Taiji.

Martyn, Scott, Andy, Steven, Yoshiko, Rupert, Nicole, Elora, Lisa, Mia, Mike, Thomas, LibbyMartyn, Scott, Andy, Steven, Yoshiko, Rupert, Nicole, Elora, Lisa, Mia, Mike, Thomas, Libby (click to enlarge)Despite the near gale warnings, all twelve molester boats went out.  We could not find them for quite a while and we were beginning to get our hopes up that they would soon call it a day.  That was not to be the case though.  The molesters formed up just east of Taiji and into their “push” pattern right before our eyes.  We were up on a promontory with a commanding view of the ocean.  At first there were five and then eight.  We could see the others racing to join their comrades from the north and south.

They were moving the dolphins toward Taiji and so we began to prepare for a capture and slaughter by sending teams to take up positions.  On their way through town, Cove Guardians discovered dolphins being loaded into a truck for long distance transport.  Thomas bailed out to document the loading while the teams continued on to take their places.  Police were everywhere and Thomas is well known to them.

Meanwhile, a coastal freighter passed just in front of the pod and molester boats, disrupting the push.  The dolphins made good their getaway.  Normally the molesters would have regrouped to locate the dolphins, but I suspect word reached them over the radio that Thomas was on the scene of the dolphin transport.  The molester boats high tailed it back into port to protect their “assets.”  Way to go Thomas.  You single-handedly saved the day!

Later we regrouped at the Cove and were soon visited by the police.  I thought they might have been coming to cart Thomas away, but they came to harass Steven Thompson (Taiji Dolphin Action Group).  With a half dozen cameras rolling, they quickly backed off.

Except for the dolphins who were transported away and for those who remain in the holding pens, all is well in Taiji tonight.

My daughter, Elora, and I have been here for the past three months and it is now time for us to leave.  We have seen many horrors during this time, but have met some amazing folks along the way.  Fifty-one individuals have answered Sea Shepherd’s call to come to Taiji in the past three months to stand with the dolphins.  They have come from 14 different countries, including Japan.  Five have been children; the adults have been pretty evenly divided between men and women.

Libby Katsinis and Nicole McLachlan will be here for the next three months and future Cove Guardians have already written to let us know they too will be coming to stand with the dolphins.

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 contributions cover the costs transport, 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.

Since we have been here, there have been 18 days when dolphins were ambushed at sea and pushed into the Cove.  There was another incident in early September before we arrived.  As best we can tell from our observations, 134 dolphins have been taken and sold into slavery this season and another 423 have been slaughtered for their meat.  What will the next three months bring?

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 frontlines 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 is happening in Boston.  The captive dolphin industry is the economic engine driving the slaughter and torment in Taiji.  Remember that friends do not let friends patronize dolphin shows.

This will be my last Cove Guardian update (at least for now).  Please keep up your efforts and rest assured that the dolphins will not be alone or forgotten while Libby is on guard.  Together, we will end this insanity.

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 Martyn, Mike, Nicole, and Mia (Swedish) are also keeping blogs.
Future Cove Guardians, Carolyn, Bob, Janice, Len, Tara, Tim, and Marley, Carisa, and Mike have started blogs about their endeavors.
The Taiji Dolphin Action Group blog.
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.