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January 26, 2011

Report from Taiji: January 26

The banger boats create a wall of sound as they bang on their poles and herd the dolphins toward the netting for the off-shore captureThe banger boats create a wall of sound as they bang on their poles and herd the dolphins toward the netting for the off-shore capture
(photo: Rupert Imhoff)
Life is mind boggling as it is, but when you throw a fleet of Japanese whaling vessels into the mix and 26 humans that brutally kill dolphins for a living, things get downright confusing. Every day these men do something a little bit different in trying to throw us off their path. It’s exhausting trying to determine what their game plan is, let alone trying to figure out why they can’t see that this slaughter is hideously wrong.

The dolphin killers of Taiji attempted another off-shore capture today after they discovered a pod of approximately 35 Pacific White-Sided Dolphins. While the banger boats were performing their horribly choreographed dance of death on the ocean’s surface, they must have been paying more attention to trying not to ram each other instead of the pod because all but three dolphins escaped out the back of their formation, and booked it into the safety of the open ocean.

Although this was fantastic to watch, there were still three souls in mortal danger and unfortunately, they did not fare as well as the rest of their family. Not only were three lives changed forever by the events of today, but also the lives of each of those 32 dolphins that are now mourning the loss of their family members.

Police car #766, made famous by The Cove documentary, sits at the bottom of Mountain PassPolice car #766, made famous by The Cove documentary, sits at the bottom of Mountain PassOne of these dolphins was manhandled and abused, and ended up being literally tossed into one of the harbor pens to live out its days is depressed humiliation. The other two were either drowned or stabbed off-shore, then transported via skiff to the butcher house. It is unfathomable as to why all this effort, hours of labor and resources, was expended for only three dolphins, without any further attempt to go after the larger pod that escaped. Each day the Cove Guardians are baffled due to the actions of the dolphin killing fishermen.

On the bright side, security was heightened today due to, we’re assuming, Bob’s swim in the Cove yesterday. The fact that more resources are being used to keep an eye on us is something that will hopefully put pressure on the government, and thereby also direct pressure toward the dolphin slaughter in Taiji.

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

A Japanese media crew films the off-shore capture and slaughter (photo: Rupert Imhoff)A Japanese media crew films the off-shore capture and slaughter
(photo: Rupert Imhoff)
A banger boat brings the gutting barge back into harbor after using it to take nets out for the capture (photo: Rupert Imhoff)A banger boat brings the gutting barge back into harbor after using it to take nets out for the capture (photo: Rupert Imhoff)

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


 
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