Cove Guardians - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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

January 7, 2011

Report from Taiji: January 7

The first dolphin killing drive after a 17-day breakThe first dolphin killing drive after a 17-day breakAlthough the Cove Guardians knew that another slaughter was imminent, we were not prepared to witness death today. How can you ever prepare yourself for something like that? After 17 days without hunting, the dolphin fishermen were back on their banger boats this morning and out to sea before 7 a.m. The holidays are over and the New Year is now in full swing.

Coming around through the harbour this morning and seeing the bangers out after so many days of respite was nearly disheartening. We have several new Cove Guardians with us today and they were welcomed to Japan with a slaughter of an estimated 15 Bottlenose dolphins. Another seven were taken into captivity, never to see their families again. Today was also the day that Andy Romanowski had to say goodbye; he has been here for nearly two weeks without a single hunt. A slaughter was not an ideal way to say sayonara.

Since the season began in September, a close count has been kept of all captive and slaughtered dolphins and recorded each night. Of course, it’s not possible to be one hundred percent accurate, but an eye-witness account of numbers, facts and figures will always be more reliable than any online research. People become so disillusioned by life and reality that they will believe anything they read on the internet. The Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians are the only ones who have been on the ground in Taiji for the duration of this season. That’s a fact. And our figures show that an estimated 140 dolphins have been taken into captivity from the Cove since September and an additional estimated 540 dolphins have been ruthlessly and viciously slaughtered.

No matter your opinion or view on what is happening in Taiji, the fact of the matter is that it needs to stop. Although diplomacy is an asset, you cannot influence change by being passive and pleading with your opponent to see your side of the story. As Captain Paul Watson says: “Change comes about by rattling cages and rustling the feathers” and I am proud to serve under a strong individual that stands up for his beliefs despite what others say.

A pro-slaughter reporter smiles while watching dolphins being driven into the CoveA pro-slaughter reporter smiles while watching dolphins being driven into the Cove A skiff carries bodies on the port side in full view of the Cove GuardiansA skiff carries bodies on the port side in full view of the Cove Guardians

Spread the word. Raise awareness. Speak out.

Dolphin Base: From the United States, dial 81-0735-59-3514 or send email to

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  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

The Cove Guardians: Simon, Tim, Sabra, Rhiannon, William, Libby, Andy, and NicoleThe Cove Guardians: Simon, Tim, Sabra, Rhiannon, William, Libby, Andy, and Nicole

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