Cove Guardians - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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

December 8, 2010

Report from Taiji: December 8

Isana Fisheries Assosiation signIsana Fisheries Assosiation sign
(click to enlarge)
Before I jump into today’s happenings at the Cove, I want to take a moment to say a few personal words to each of you reading this. As you all are aware, I will be stepping into Scott’s shoes and part of that responsibility includes writing these daily updates. Scott has done a phenomenal job of ensuring that the world is up-to-date on the horrors unfolding here in Taiji. I feel honored to now have the opportunity to be the one keeping you informed. Thank you, all of you, for your support.

The dolphin killers headed out today with 11 boats, leaving the twelfth in the harbor. The Cove Guardians assumed their positions around Taiji Town and as we scanned the horizon for the banger boats, a skiff made its way into the killing cove. The crew of the twelfth boat was more than likely making repairs to the tarps covering the beach. Our previous footage of the dolphin spinal cords being severed, shot between a gap in the tarps, must have been a major cause of frustration for the killers. Each time we publish footage, they make changes, changes that involve wasted time, energy, money and patience. The atmosphere enveloping the Cove is one of tangible tension. Sea Shepherd is everywhere these murderers look and we are the cause of the constant change in regards to how they perform their despicable job.

When it was clear that a pod was being driven in, another skiff approached the first buoy line that separates the public swimming area from the outer cove. They replaced their ‘Keep out except person’s related’ sign with an absolutely ludicrous sign that read ‘All dolphins and whales beyond this net are property of the Isana Fisheries Association.’  I was unaware that simply placing a sign somewhere turns something wild and free into ‘property.’ In that case, I wonder if putting up a sign claiming that all oceanic life is property of Mother Nature would end this obscene act of what they falsely claim as their “culture.”

Blood and bargeBlood and bargeAs the day unfolded and the small pod of dolphins was driven directly into the inner killing cove, a skiff came out with three live dolphins thrashing about in the bottom of the boat, covered with a blue tarp. The fear these dolphins were emitting was heartbreaking. The thrashing continued as the skiff headed straight out to sea and proceeded to release the mother, baby and pregnant female that were onboard. Perhaps the presence of the film crew there to document the hunt as told by the “fishermen,” brought about this act of so-called nobility. Obviously these killers know nothing about the species they’re nearly wiping out. These three dolphins will be lucky if they survive without their family unit.  I’m sure the killers thought they were performing an admirable act of decency, when in fact they tore apart a family, brutally slaughtered 14 innocent beings, more than likely doomed a pregnant mother and her unborn child and placed another mother and her baby in grave danger by forcing them to roam the ocean alone. That’s not admirable in my book. That’s vicious brutality combined with stubborn ignorance.

The need for the Japanese public to stand up against this atrocity happening in their country is a dire one. This society is one of conformation and obedience; however, the shock when people discover what is happening in their own backyard is genuine. This is a battle, a war, and the world needs to fight for the protection of these creatures.

Here is your opportunity to become a Cove Guardian.  To join in Taiji us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk), write to us at  We will get back to you, but please be patient.  We cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer e-mails at the same time.  Contributions to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to keep our official presence here are needed and welcome.  These contributions cover the costs for 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.

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.

For the dolphins,

Libby Katsinis

Nicole, who will be assisting me during the next three months, will share her experiences while in Taiji on her blog.
Scott’s daughter, Elora Malama West, who assisted him, will continue her blog from home.
For information in regards to the IMATA conference, please see the blog of Holise Cleveland.