Passion and Pressure…

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The morning started out on the lookout overlooking the Taiji coastline… As we monitored the banger boats, we noticed that there was approximately 8 of the boats that had congregated after over an hour of searching the coast. It was collectively thought by all of us onlookers that they had indeed located a pod of dolphins; and they started their typical ‘drive’ formation…

At this, Scott West decided that a few of us should head down to the Cove, and be waiting for the ‘fishermen’ when they arrive with the dolphins… we promptly jumped in the car, radios in hand, and made our way down to the cove. On our way however, whilst passing the Harbour of Taiji, we saw that there was a truck in the Harbour, with what looked like fishermen and trainers in the back, with a reported four dolphins loaded in the large containers. We dropped off Cove Guardian, Thomas, who stayed nearby the truck, recording his observations and collecting photos. These dolphins were taken from the ‘holding pens’ in the Harbour… they are dolphins that have recently been stolen away from the freedom of the open ocean, and face a lifetime in captivity. The truck was sighted leaving the harbour, and on it’s way to transfer the dolphins to another location…

At this time, we had travelled a little further onward to the cove, to await the information that the fishermen were indeed driving a pod into the harbour and ultimately, into the cove of Taiji… This call never came. Instead, we received a call from Scott- still stationed up on the lookout- that the fishermen had abandoned their formation (so possibly a pod they may have been following!) and were headed straight back into the harbour… We waited until the final confirmation that the whole dozen ‘Banger Boats’ were well into the harbour, until we could be 100% sure of the dolphins’ safety… The coincidental timing of Thomas’ presence in the Harbour (where police had been called in to monitor the proceedings with the dolphin transportation) and the fishermen out off the coast calling off their hunt struck us as being linked. If this is so, it is truly an example of how the presence of one individual (just standing by and taking photos- and letting them know he was there, monitoring and watching) saved the lives of dolphins… This highlights the importance of the continued presence and pressure in Taiji.

After leaving the cove, we went back to the Harbour to join Thomas in the area full of police, and many individuals scattered around the area, filming everyone from Sea Shepherd… Soon after- some of those who were stationed at the lookout came and met us. As we were immersed in an intense stand-off, we witnessed the ‘Banger Boats’ drive right by us… finished for the day… returning unsuccessfully.

Afterward, we all wanted to dissipate the intensity from the situation, and decided to head back down to the cove, right on the beach, to take some photos of the big group of Cove Guardians… It was a good release, and took some tension from people’s minds, whilst increasing the feeling of unity within the group… everyone that comes to Taiji becomes very close, very quickly. The bonds formed within the group are evident that everyone shares the same passion for the animals…

A passion that I know is shared by many, many people out there… and the support that you all give to us really helps and encourages change. The hope for the future of these beautiful animals is shining bright in every single person that learns about the cause, that teaches family and friends and that ultimately does something about it!
So thankyou… once again, for everyone’s passion, determination, kindness and bravery in trying to fight the barbaric acts going on in Taiji. You all give a shining light of hope on an otherwise dark future for the dolphins.
And thankyou, in particular, for supporting me and my journey! I am busy editing footage of what I have seen here so far, and aim to get it on my Facebook by tomorrow…
On the path to protect,
Nic.

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