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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Report from Taiji: January 1

Member of SSCS and Save Japan Dolphins review footage of MistyMember of SSCS and Save Japan Dolphins
review footage of Misty
Japanese New Year is considered by a vast majority of the nation to be the most important holiday of the year. It was apparent today that Taiji is of this mindset as the Fisheries Association, the harbor, and the Cove were very much deserted. No blood was shed here today and for that we are thankful.

Although last night was New Year’s Eve here in Japan, the Cove Guardians were asleep before midnight in order to get up early to be with Misty and all the dolphins at Dolphin Base. Life in Taiji is not about a vacation, nor is it about partying late into the night on New Year’s Eve; simply put, we are here for the dolphins.

Dolphin Base was having some sort of activity happening today for the holiday and families were meandering throughout the facility and the parking lot was overflowing. We arrived about 7:30 A.M., hoping to catch the trainers feeding Misty. All of the dolphins in the facility (an estimated 40) had been fed their breakfast by 9:45 A.M. and Misty had yet to receive her small portion of dead, frozen fish by the time we left at almost 11 A.M.

We returned later in the afternoon after the trainers had returned from their lunch break and ended up having a chat over the fence with Misty’s veterinarian. He told us that Misty is a male dolphin but didn’t feel comfortable telling us the name that they have given to the dolphin. He informed us that he reads these daily updates and for that I’d like to thank him. His awareness of Misty’s growing popularity could be a huge asset to what we are trying to accomplish here.

A dolphin transportation sling hangs out to dry at Dolphin BaseA dolphin transportation sling hangs out to dry
at Dolphin Base
He mentioned the phone calls that Dolphin Base has been receiving in regards to Misty and I would like to thank each of you out there for your efforts. Keep the phone calls and the e-mails coming. In order to call Dolphin Base from the United States, dial 011-81-0735-59-3514 or send e-mail to info@dolphinbase.co.jp. Keep your comments polite, please!

Your efforts are not in vain and your support is not going unnoticed. As Albert Pine once said, “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, remains and is immortal.”

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 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

A trainer at Dolphin Base feeds two dolphinsA trainer at Dolphin Base feeds two dolphins A local walks home with his selection from the Katsuura fish marketA local walks home with his selection from the Katsuura fish market

Nicole, who will be assisting me during the next three months, will share her experiences while in Taiji on her blog.
Rupert Imhoff, who is also assisting with this campaign, has started a YouTube channel of video taken during his time in Taiji.

 

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