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Friday, November 05, 2010

Report from Taiji: November 5 (new video)

 videovideo

end of the dayend of the day (click to view)Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day in Taiji was tragic. As the day unfolded, we discovered that we had significantly underestimated the number of dolphins being held in the Cove. We knew it was a large pod when we saw them being pushed across the sea by the dolphin molesters, but we had no idea it was this big. The molesters removed thirty-six adults and one juvenile today and there are still approximately 100 dolphins in the Cove. They are segregated into three different groups.

The day started early. Because there are a number us here now, the Cove Guardians took up positions in several locations in and around the Cove and the town of Taiji. Just before dawn, four skiffs left the Fishermen’s Union (FU) wharf and headed out of the harbor towards the Cove. The lead skiff traveled in the darkness with just a small light. The three trailing boats had no lights at all. These skiffs were loaded with trainers, other dolphin molesters, and slings. Try as they might, the molesters are not able to avoid the scrutiny. They must feel such shame for all the effort they take to avoid our cameras.

I made a report to the Japanese Coast Guard regarding the lack of running lights. I learned that while it is illegal in Japan to operate a vessel in the dark without lights, there is no penalty for doing so.

dolphins delivered to the pensdolphins delivered to the pens
(click to view)
The skiffs began to make return trips to the harbor, delivering two dolphins each to the pens and to a shortened life of misery in captivity. After eighteen trips, thirty-six dolphins had been removed from the pod at the Cove. Another trip delivered a juvenile to the Taiji Whale Museum.

From one of our vantage points, we recorded video of the molesters in the water with dolphins. We saw one “trainer” give a hard elbow thrust to a dolphin. Also in the film, you can see that several of the dolphins are injured. There is a bloody dorsal fin and bloody noses.

I watched this video and marveled at the fact that even in their angry, scared, and frustrated state, the dolphins do not attack humans. These dolphins could easily cause serious injury to the molesters, and yet they do not. All through history, there are accounts of dolphins rescuing and protecting humans in the seas. I am not aware of any account of a dolphin injuring a human, and yet look at all the injury and horror humans routinely inflict upon dolphins. What is wrong with us? Are we, as a species, insane?

Dolphins are drawn to humans. Humans are drawn to dolphins, too. Otherwise, we would not be spending a lot of money going to dolphinariums and patronizing swim-with-captive-dolphins programs. The next time you patronize any facility that profits from captive dolphins, take a good look at your hands. They are just as bloody as the hands of the dolphin slayers here in Taiji.

adding up the profitsadding up the profitsI have a message for the dolphin molesters in Taiji. While you may continue to do these evil deeds, know that you can no longer do them in secret. We will record your every move and show them to the world. If you do not like all of this attention, find another job. I understand that the citizens of Taiji would like to have their quiet lives back and be free of all of this attention. That is possible, but not until there is an end to this insanity. Wisdom and compassion must outweigh the greed of the molesters (trainers and slayers alike) before there will be quiet again. The molesters are no different from drug dealers. They make huge profits off of misery. There is no honor in the way in which they provide for their families. There is no more validity to the argument that they must continue to molest dolphins in order to make a living than there is for the drug dealer making the same claim about his profession.

Concerned humans all over the world are speaking out today about the injustice humans cause to whales and dolphins. All of us have been speaking loudly to the government of Japan. We must continue to do so, but we must also speak loudly to our own governments to take action. Do not hesitate to make this an election issue. Do not be afraid of Japan’s economic might. We need to tell our governments that the dolphins and whales in the oceans do not belong to the nation of Japan. They belong to the world, a world that needs them to survive to maintain stability in the ecosystem. They are not expendable, nor pests, nor are they fish. We need to push our governments to encourage Japan to become a leader in the protection of the marine environment, for when the oceans die, we all die.

The sun set this day and we still do not know the fate of the 100 dolphins remaining in the cove. What will tomorrow’s sunrise bring? Will it be the enslavement of even more dolphins? Will it be freedom for those not selected? Will it be blood and death? Whatever the dawn brings, the Cove Guardians will be there to record it and broadcast it around the world.

You can help. Spread the word, send donations to the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian campaign, 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 and women in Taiji. To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to me at inform-us@seashepherd.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,

Scott West
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Click here to learn more about the 5 November 2010 Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day.

Captured dolphins on November 5th

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Dolphin molesters in Taiji

 

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The Blog Log:
My daughter, Elora Malama, has been with me here since day one and keeps a blog of her experiences.
Current Cove Guardians Rex Ray, Tarah, and Rosie and Dinielle are also keeping blogs.
Future Cove Guardians CarolynSteven, and Carrie and William have started blogs about their endeavors.
The Taiji Dolphin Action Group blog.

 

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