December 16, 2010
Report from Taiji: December 16
I will always remember the first time I laid eyes on the Cove. Like the majority of people serving as Cove Guardians, I had seen The Cove documentary and was horrified beyond words. What happens in this little slice out of the earth is unimaginable. When the opportunity arose for me to travel to Japan, I was terrified. Coming here involved giving up my career (a career that I actually enjoyed) during a time when jobs are few and far between and a decent paying job is out of the question. But this was my dream, my passion, my soul’s desire; so I turned in my notice and came to Japan to serve as a Cove Guardian.
My first glimpse of the Cove was awe-inspiring. It’s a very surreal feeling to see something or someone on TV and then have it before your very eyes. This area of Japan, though I’ve seen it in the documentary numerous times, is an impressive landscape that can’t be appreciated until you’re actually here. The tourism in this sleepy little town could be phenomenal and it would most definitely be just the economy boost that Taiji and its people needs. If Private Space was to start his own dolphin watching charter business and take tourists out to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat, who wouldn’t want to take that cruise? The man could be the Donald Trump of Taiji.
Yet after my time here, and seeing what happens in that finger of water along the rugged coastline, I see no more beauty in the Cove. I gaze out across the water and see suffering, pain, death and more blood than I ever thought possible. Today was no different. Eight lives were lost in the Cove today and two more were drafted for a lifetime of slavery. A family pod of Risso’s dolphins has ceased to exist forever.
Here is your opportunity to become a Cove Guardian. To join us in Taiji (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk), write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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,
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.