January 29, 2011
Report from Taiji: January 29
Although the Taiji dolphin hunters returned to harbor this morning without finding a pod, it was still a very difficult day, for today we had to say goodbye to our Japanese friend Nao.
Nao joined us about three weeks ago as a Cove Guardian after hearing about the atrocities that happen in Taiji. At only 23-years-old, she is one of the bravest people I have ever met and it is an honor to call her a friend. She learned about something happening in her country that she believes is wrong and instead of bowing down to her government and to Japanese society, she decided to stand up and use her voice in a country that does not encourage such actions. Nao traveled alone from the Tokyo area to Taiji and joined a group of Westerners that are very much frowned upon in her country. She received verbal attacks from the police and Coast Guard on more than one occasion. And yet she stood strong in the face of adversity and I admire her immensely.
The support and strength of the Japanese population is what is needed to make a difference here and history has shown us that this island nation has it in them to fight for they are believe in; to unite against what they believe is wrong. Every nation, and every person, has the right to use the intelligence they posses to stand up and speak out. My hope is that a greater portion of the Japanese population will look to Nao as an inspiration, a role model, and follow the footsteps that they wish to create for themselves.
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.