|Wednesday, October 27, 2010|
Report from Taiji: October 27 (new video)
The dolphin slayers of Taiji try and try to hide their shameful acts.
They have co-opted the mayor and pull his puppet strings, which allows them to restrict access to public places under the mayor’s name. The police enforce the mayor’s ordinance with threats of arrest. The dolphin molesters have constructed elaborate tarp systems to hide their deeds in the killing cove. They place the gutting barge in areas where photography is difficult. They move the dolphin bodies to the gutting barge under tarps and likewise try to move the gutted bodies to the butcher house in secrecy. They have constructed a tarp framework and set up visual barricades to prevent photography of their victims. They hide their butchering behind orange tarps and closed doors. But today one of the victims spoke from the grave and exposed them. As this one dead dolphin was being dragged up the cement steps under the tarp, its fin caught the edge of the tarp. The more the slayers pulled on his carcass, the more his carcass was displayed to our waiting cameras.
The dolphin molesters and slayers of Taiji have blood on their hands and we caught it on film for the world to see.
But the dolphin molesters and slayers are not the only ones with bloody hands. The trainers, who during the day make happy smiles in front of children at their "swim with dolphins" program, are also dripping in blood. They came out and reviewed the dolphins before the slaughter began. In the past, they would come to the public cove to be transported around the corner to the killing cove in order to conduct their review. This morning, we caught them sneaking into the cove by skiff. They had traveled a fair distance in small boats through rough water in a futile attempt to hide their participation in the atrocities. Make no mistake about it. These trainers are just as guilty of these vile crimes as are the men who slash and tear. So too are the businesses who provide dolphin based entertainment. Perhaps those with the bloodiest hands are the people who pay money to clap and cheer at the dolphin shows. Without their coin, this "business" would not happen.
What happens to dolphins in Taiji is a shameful stain on the reputation of Japan. These men and woman know that to be true, for why else would they go to such effort to hide their acts?
We cannot be absolutely sure of the numbers of dolphins killed today because the dolphin slayers have managed to keep us some distance away, but we were able to verify through our photography that at least 59 dolphins were butchered in Taiji today. There was a small group (at least 7 individuals) of Risso's dolphins. The larger group of at least 52 individuals was made up primarily of Pacific spotted dolphins. We know of at least one striped dolphin among them, but there were likely more. It is also probable that there were a couple of bottlenose too. It is not uncommon for Pacific spotted, striped, and bottlenose dolphins to feed and travel together. The trainers were not interested in the Pacific spotted dolphins because they do not do well in captivity.
It all starts over early tomorrow morning when the dolphin hunters decide whether or not to go out looking for dolphins. With typhoon Chaba bearing down on Taiji, we hope for several dolphin free days ahead, but we will not break our vigilance. We will go see for ourselves what the shameful men are doing early in the morning.
Elora and I will be staying in Taiji until December 9. Our visas expire on December 10. A Sea Shepherd representative will replace me and so we will have a continued presence through the end of the season. Donations are still needed to fund this campaign. We already have commitments from volunteer Cove Guardians to keep coverage well into February and are counting on Cove Guardians to stand with Sea Shepherd here through the end of March 2011.
The dolphin hunting and slaughter season in Taiji runs until March 31, 2011. It picks up again on September 1, 2011. We are confident that Cove Guardians will answer the call and come join us here this year, but for those who cannot come this year; start making your plans for next year. This is working and if we continue our presence long enough, the laws will be changed. When that happens, Japan can take a respectful place among the nations of the world.
You can help. Spread the word, send donations to the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian campaign, join in the Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day on November 5, avoid all travel to Japan except to become a Cove Guardian with us here in Taiji, make good consumer choices regarding whether or not to purchase Japanese products, and ensure that you do everything you can to keep the pressure on the Japanese authorities. It is unfortunate that the reputation of an entire nation is being tarnished by the evil and shameful deeds of a handful of men in Taiji. To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will get back to you, but please be patient. I cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer email at the same time.
For the Oceans,
Click here to learn more about the 5 November 2010 Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day.
video: Elora West
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