Cove Guardians - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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

March 25, 2012

Operation Infinite Patience: March 25, 2012

Scott and Elora West Return to Taiji as Operation Infinite Patience 2011-2012 Winds Down.

Scott and EloraThis is the first year that Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has had a continued presence in Taiji after the dolphin season has ended. It seems we have really annoyed many people and will continue to do so until the slaughter ends. Last week we were visited by Japanese Nationalists. They weren’t very friendly and it ended with a police convoy to Kushimoto for our safety. As SSCS Cove Guardians, we are here because we are dedicated to being a voice for the dolphins. We volunteer at our own initiative, responsibility, and risk and we will continue to do so until Taiji stops killing dolphins. We are not easily intimidated nor are we going to back down.

Scott West and his daughter, Elora Malama West, have returned to Japan.  Scott and Elora spent three months in Taiji in late 2010, when Captain Paul Watson asked them to organize the Infinite Patience campaign.  With the second season of the Cove Guardian campaign coming to a close, Scott and Elora have returned to help.  They will be meeting with attorneys, the US consulate, and law enforcement officials to discuss the recent criminal activities conducted by a group of Japanese nationalists against Sea Shepherd supporters.

It was a long flight to Osaka from Seattle followed by almost three hours in immigration hold.  Many questions were asked and all were answered.  We have nothing to hide.  Because Sea Shepherd supporters do not break laws in Japan, Scott and Elora were eventually allowed entry.  They will be in Japan for a few days and will be reporting on their activities.  You can follow Elora’s blog at  Scott and Elora will be joining the Cove Guardians on the ground in Taiji later this week.

Recent victories in the Southern Ocean and the ban of all sales of whale, dolphin, and shark meat on, does not mean our work is finished. It is merely a step in the right direction. Our duty in Taiji continues as the 2011-2012 season winds down.We now have five Cove Guardians on the ground here in Taiji. We are continuing to monitor all killing boat activity. Each day we stand with our cameras ready and watch each boat unload at the fisherman’s union. We have confirmed on March 18, 2012 there were 2-3 dolphins loaded onto a forklift then placed onto a large truck. These dolphins were most likely harpooned out at sea. The dolphin drive season may have ended, but the killing continues.

Final days in Taiji: Elena, Ashley, Melissa, Guilherme and GeraldFinal days in Taiji: Elena, Ashley, Melissa, Guilherme and Gerald

With daily visits to Dolphin Base and Harbor Captive pens, Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians make for a great tourist attraction as we stand with our cameras and proudly display the Sea Shepherd logo. Tourist boats anticipate taking photos of dolphins performing, but I am happy to pose for any tourist photo. Yes, Sea Shepherd continues to remain a presence in Taiji. The white-sided dolphins that are captive in the harbor pens are now eating on their own. It’s unfortunate, but they are adapting to a life of imprisonment. It will be difficult to leave them as we have followed their progress daily since their capture Feb 24, 2012.

As we end our last days here, Cove Guardians want to say thank you to Wakayama City police for their presence, maintaining our safety and remaining impartial.We want to thank each and every one that has supported us throughout this campaign. We are all Cove Guardians!

If you would like to receive an information and application package about becoming a Cove Guardian for the next season of Infinite Patience, write to

For the Dolphins,

Melissa Sehgal
Cove Guardian Leader

Tourists enjoy taking photos of dolphins and Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians.Tourists enjoy taking photos of dolphins and Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians. Gerald, Elena, Melissa, Ashley and GuilhermeGerald, Elena, Melissa, Ashley and Guilherme