Cove Guardians - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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March 27, 2012

Operation Infinite Patience: March 27, 2012

The Killing Continues Here in Taiji.

harpooned dolphinsEach day we anticipate the return of the killing boats to the Taiji Butcher house. We monitor how many boats have gone out each morning and document what is brought into the Fisherman’s Union that afternoon. On March 18th, we have confirmation that at least three dolphins were loaded onto a forklift into the Taiji Fisherman’s Union.

Today all twelve killing boats were out at sea. Some left as early as last night and before dawn. We arrived at the Taiji harbor around 12:30pm when we noticed a fishing boat unloading. This was not a vessel that we were familiar with during the dolphin drive season. Our cameras were rolling as two large Pantropical spotted dolphins were dragged by a rope from the deck of the fishing boat and onto the butcher house kill floor.

To our shock and horror, we filmed as another unknown fishing vessel unloaded two more Spotted Dolphins. At this time, the fishermen noticed our cameras and brought out a blue tarp to wrap and hide the dolphins that were being dragged by their tails into the harbor entrance of the butcher house. Fortunately for our cameras, the tarp could not cover the murder. Their stomachs had already been slit open and it was obvious these dolphins had been harpooned at sea.

After an hour had passed, all twelve killing boats that had been “fishing” returned to port with their banger poles attached and in place. None of the boats brought in any bonito or any catch of the day. Through our observations, we know that many boats are involved; not just “killing boats”. We also know that many of these unknown boats are not docked in Taiji harbor, but are from other ports.

Cove Guardians continue to be a voice for these defenseless victims and will continue to be a strong presence here in Taiji for the 2012-2013 dolphin-killing season.

For the Dolphins,

Melissa Sehgal
Cove Guardian Leader


Harpooned Pan Tropical Spotted dolphins are unloaded
into Taiji butcherhouse