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January 17, 2011

Report from Taiji: January 17

A captive tosses a small fish into the air instead of eating itA captive tosses a small fish into the air instead
of eating it
Wishing for bad weather is something that most people don’t often find themselves doing. However, during my two and a half months here in Taiji, I find myself feeling like a kid again and hoping that when I peek out my window, everything will be covered in snow. Although it did snow yesterday, no evidence of it remained today except a light dusting on the mountains in the distance. The winds granted my wish, though, and stayed with us through the night, preventing the banger boats from casting off this morning. The dolphin murderers of Taiji have now stayed in port for three glorious days. All has been quiet around the Fishermans' Union and we have not had even a glimpse of the fishermen in days.

There is one dolphin killer that appears to have a glint of remorse in his eyes when we see him. He is younger and although he is always present, he tends to fall behind and remain in the shadows. This man baffles me and I sometimes wonder what his story is. There is an old saying that, in a roundabout way, tells us that every person we encounter is fighting some type of battle. This, I’m sure, could indicate many things but every time I see this dolphin fisherman, I am reminded of this saying. I’ve no doubt that he is fighting some type of battle and I would be willing to bet that he does not actually want to be in the profession that he is. Guilt practically oozes from his pores when he is in the presence of the Cove Guardians and I wonder what it will take to make this man stand up and speak out against his superiors, his co-workers, his village, and his entire nation.

The Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians and Save Japan Dolphins gather at the Taiji harborThe Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians and Save Japan Dolphins gather at the Taiji harborA change of consciousness in the younger dolphin killers and the younger Japanese population in general are what are truly needed to bring the slaughter and the captive trade to an end once and for all. With the elderly fishermen coming to the end of their careers, it is now in the hands of the next generation and it is apparent that they hold the power to bring this to an end. However, while it may be apparent to me, an American that was raised to stand up for my beliefs, it is more than likely not apparent to these men whom were raised in a nation that is filled with oppression, strongly encourages compliance with social norms, and blanches at the thought of being different. But wouldn’t it be amazing if, somehow, we were able to encourage them to fight this battle with us and end the atrocity that is happening in Taiji, Japan?

Spread the word. Raise awareness. Speak out.

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

Two juvenile dolphins float side by side at the Whale MuseumTwo juvenile dolphins float side by side at
the Whale Museum

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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