January 22, 2011
Report from Taiji: January 22
I wish every day in Taiji, Japan could be just like today. The Cove Guardians were pleasantly surprised to see the banger boats coming back into harbor fairly early without a catch. We are so happy during these all-too-rare moments. We grin like fools at each other while counting the boats as they cross the bar into the harbor.
We stopped at the harbor after the banger boats came into harbor to watch the dolphin hunters gathered together, having a makeshift pow-wow around their pile of nets and tarps. We stepped out of the car and simply stood several yards away, watching and photographing. As soon as we were spotted the fishermen scattered like cockroaches under a bright light. Within seconds, they were in their trucks literally peeling out of the parking lot with their tires spitting gravel as they sped out of sight. Although we do not antagonize them the way we used to, our mere presence is enough to make them tremble and run. It makes me realize the very obvious difference between us. Although there are always those people critical of Sea Shepherd, I can proudly declare that I’m proud of what I do, the organization I work for, and the people that stand with me in this fight. There is no need for me to hide from the world because I’m not ashamed. Yet these men bend over backwards to hide what they do in Taiji, which tells me that they know what they’re doing is wrong. If you’re proud, you don’t hide. If you hide, you’re ashamed. We’ve shown you how the dolphin killers of Taiji hide.
Today was a beautiful day, with bright sunshine and no wind, so we headed to the Cove for some beachcombing and a group photo. Rupert is back with us once again, as joined by Sheri from Texas and Bob from Toronto as well. It’s a good group and we spent some time at Cove Beach, chatting and searching for sea glass. It’s amazing to me how quickly you get to know someone in this situation and how strongly you can bond. I cannot imagine this experience coming to an end and having to separate from the people I have come to know just as well as I know myself.
Spread the word. Raise awareness. Speak out.
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 my time in Taiji, will share her experiences on her blog.