Cove Guardians - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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

January 24, 2011

Report from Taiji: January 24

The banger boats file back into harbor after a day of chasing whitecapsThe banger boats file back into harbor after a day
of chasing whitecaps
A light wind in Taiji this morning brought pleasantly welcomed whitecaps that graced the ocean’s surface.  These little white dolphin-looking waves are always appreciated by the Cove Guardians as they frustrate and deceive the fisherman and more often than not force them to return to harbor, which is exactly what happened today.

Again much like every day, we sat crammed into the cold car for hours on end. We talk about everything under the sun during these stakeouts and I don’t think there is anything that we don’t yet know about each other. We play road-trip games, we share old stories about our lives, we gossip like teenage girls, and we sit in silence as we ponder life. What else is there to do in packed, a tiny car for hours and hours each day?

The loud exclamation of excitement when one of us spots the boats filing around Point Rocks toward the harbor with no catch is always shockingly embraced. Usually, when the dolphin killers can’t find a pod by about 9:30 or 10:00 a.m., they start heading back in for the day. Today we were deep in one of our silent ponders when one of us shouted out that the banger boats were returning. We all jumped up in our seats, grabbed our binoculars, and started thanking anyone and anything that would listen to us. I love days like this and there truly is no sight in the world more wonderful than banger boats as they perform the empty-handed ‘walk of shame’ past the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians and back into the harbor, defeated for the day.

Nicole photographs the captive pens from the harbor. Credit: Nao IidaNicole photographs the captive pens from
the harbor. Photo: Nao Iida
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 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

Dolphin fishermen work on skiffs at the Fisherman’s UnionDolphin fishermen work on skiffs at the
Fisherman’s Union
A dolphin killer captains a banger boatA dolphin killer captains a banger boat

Nicole, who will be assisting me during my time in Taiji, will share her experiences on her blog.