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January 5, 2011

Report from Taiji: January 4 (new video)

The CoveThe CoveDay 15: the Cove Guardians have now had over two weeks of solace without a single dolphin drive, any bloodshed, and no heartbreaking cries from dolphins being murdered. However, a few of the dolphin fishermen were back at the Fisherman’s Union (FU) today removing the ceremonial flags that graced their banger boats for the Japanese New Year, asserting that tomorrow will more than likely be the first hunting day of the New Year.

As many of you already know, last night held some activity. Misty, the dolphin that has taken the world by storm, was moved out of his filthy algae-ridden tank and placed in another tank with an estimated five other dolphins. Granted that Misty is now in a cleaner tank with other dolphins to provide him with mental and physical stimulation, his fight is far from over.

Due to my interview with the vet at Dolphin Base, we knew that Misty was scheduled to be moved within the next few days. We had a continuous watch at Dolphin Base, and were therefore able to be on location when they started moving Misty. The Dolphin Base staff waited until late in the evening to execute the move. Misty was transported from one tank to the other in the dark. Fortunately, the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians and Save Japan Dolphins were able to obtain footage of the move.

A shark lies on the floor of the Fisherman’s UnionA shark lies on the floor of the Fisherman’s UnionMisty was first introduced to the world by the Cove Guardians less than a week ago. In these short five days, the world united and proved that each and every one of us has Misty’s best interest in mind. Supporters from around the world called, e-mailed, and questioned the treatment of this dolphin, and it made a clear difference. In fact it made such a large impact, that the staff at Dolphin Base went as far as to inform me of the amount of calls and e-mails they were receiving. I find it truly incredible that people from different cultures, different generations, and different walks of life can come together for something they believe in, or fight for something they believe is wrong. My species never ceases to amaze me.

Although this is a small victory in the fight against captivity, we need to keep in mind that Misty and the other dolphins are still fighting for their lives. They are still slaves in the entertainment industry with a drastically shortened lifespan. We ask that you please continue to contact Dolphin Base with questions of why this is being allowed to happen and concerns for the wellbeing of these animals.

Spread the word. Raise awareness. Speak out. We have already proven that together, we can make a difference. Dolphin Base: from the U.S. dial: 81-0735-59-3514 or e-mail: info@dolphinbase.co.jp

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

Misty the Dolphin Moved to a Different Tank
at Dolphin Base on January 4th

Video credit: Andy Romanowski (4:48)

 

Sea Shepherd and Save Japan Dolphins hold a meeting at our hotelSea Shepherd and Save Japan Dolphins hold a meeting at our hotel

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


 
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