Cove Guardians - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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

February 22, 2011

Report from Taiji: February 22

A fisherman pulls a dolphin off the rocks of the Cove by its rostrumA fisherman pulls a dolphin off the rocks of the Cove by its rostrumI never thought that I would be spending my 30th birthday in Japan, let alone spending it watching dolphins die on a regular basis; but I suppose we never truly know what life has planned for us because here I am in Japan, on my 30th, watching dolphins die on a regular basis. But there’s no place I would rather be than here in Taiji fighting for this cause that is so close to my heart.

We’ve had two slaughters since my last update; both of them were bloody and brutal. On the 19th, a pod of about 30 striped dolphins were driven in and, as typical with this species, they proceeded to throw themselves onto the jagged rocks of the killing cove. The Taiji dolphin killers nonchalantly pushed them off the rocks with their white rubber boots or grabbed them by the rostrum and flung them back into the water. All of this happened in clear view of the beach at the Cove and I was shocked when I turned around and saw a father with his three young children standing on the street watching this happen.  When did dolphin killing become an acceptable family pastime?

A father brings his children to the Cove to watch the dolphin driveA father brings his children to the Cove to watch the dolphin driveThe next day, on the 20th, roughly 30 Pantropical Spotted Dolphins had their lives taken away from them in a very bloody massacre. This pod included numerous juveniles. It was apparent that the fishermen gave no thought to the fact that they were murdering the children of another species.

For the last two days, the seas have been rough and uninviting and the banger boats have stayed appropriately tucked into their harbor slips. The sight of huge crashing waves was such a welcome birthday present today and I can’t think of anything that would have been a better gift. However, yesterday we received a box in the mail from the crew onboard the Steve Irwin and inside was a navigational chart adorned with amazing drawings and signed by the crew with words of inspiration for all the Cove Guardians. All onshore Sea Shepherds hold the Antarctic offshore crew in very high regard, almost mythical beings, if you will, and receiving this poster signed by the crew left each of us in awe of the fact that we are a part of “the Sea Shepherd family” (as written on the poster). Personally, I am so proud to be a part of this family and there is no better organization, and no better group of people that I would rather stand next to in this battle for the conservation and protection of our oceans.

Spread the word. Raise awareness. Speak out.

Libby & Nicole hold the poster mailed to the Cove Guardians from the Steve Irwin crewLibby & Nicole hold the poster mailed to the Cove Guardians from the Steve Irwin crewHere 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

Cove Guardians Libby, Mitch, Annie, Markus, Pierre, Georgia, and Nicole stand at the CoveCove Guardians Libby, Mitch, Annie, Markus, Pierre, Georgia, and Nicole stand
at the Cove

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