Cove Guardians - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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

January 2, 2011

Report from Taiji: January 2

Banger boats perform a Japanese New Year’s ceremonyBanger boats perform a Japanese New Year’s ceremonyRumor has it that the Taiji fishermen will resume their hunting as of tomorrow, sending the 13-day slaughter-free streak to an end. I’m sure that watching dolphins get slaughtered again after all these blood-free days, will be just like experiencing it for the first time all over again. Seeing the loss of life is something that you never get used to.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins are currently the only two organizations on the ground in Taiji, and we have been working together to try to change Misty’s situation. The world is now aware of Misty due to the footage that the Cove Guardians obtained last week.

I received word from Captain Paul Watson today that I was to ask Dolphin Base if they would release Misty into the custody of the Cove Guardians if they were paid a sum of $5,000 for the dolphin. Watson offered to pay this reward for the dolphin’s release from his own pocket. I was able to obtain an interview with a Dolphin Base staff member today; we had a civil conversation about Misty and the other dolphins in captivity.

Tourists watch the performance at Dolphin Base from a boatTourists watch the performance at Dolphin Base from a boatDuring my interview, this staff member brushed off my concerns about Misty being held in a small, dirty tank, and he repeatedly told me not worry about Misty. He said that he was checking on Misty every day, which I believe to be true, but obviously our standards of humane treatment differ from theirs. He specifically mentioned that he wished the phone calls and e-mails to Dolphin Base would stop. His statement indicates that what the general public is doing by taking the time and making an effort to call and write to Dolphin Base is actually working! Not only is it working, but it’s changing things and making a difference. Each and every one of you is contributing and actively participating to change Misty’s situation. And for that, we thank you.

When asked if we could purchase Misty, this man laughed and said that we would need “many, many money.” I then asked him how much would be required for the purchase of this dolphin. When he realized that I was being serious, he informed me that Misty was not for sale and would never be for sale, no matter how much money we offered him.

There are only five of us here on the ground that are spending time with Misty every day without fail, but there is a world of people that are following Misty and this little dolphin’s story. Please continue to offer your support for Misty’s wellbeing. Continue to call and write to Dolphin Base and remember that all of the 40 estimated dolphins at Dolphin Base need our help, not just Misty.

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 coveguardian@seashepherd.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,

Libby Katsinis

A child gets a ride on a banger boatA child gets a ride on a banger boat

Nicole, who will be assisting me during the next three months, will share her experiences while in Taiji on her blog.