I would just like to start this post out by expressing my respect for the 10 or so dolphins that were brutally taken from this world this morning… This time last night they were gracefully making their way down the Japanese coastline, and unfortunately passed the waters off Taiji… where there were eleven boats waiting for them…
The morning started out like any other here in Taiji, we woke to a sea breeze that we prayed would pick up and hinder the dolphin killers from finding any dolphins amongst the white caps of the choppy seas… We went straight to the Harbour- where we found that almost all of the banger boats (11) had departed, on the hunt for dolphins. We went to the cove from there, and started our long wait for any news of the boats’ return.
Once at the cove, we were soon joined by a news crew, who were filming a documentary/news report on the Taiji Dolphin Slaughter, for Japanese news program NTV. Their names were Yasuhiro and Minami. Both of these reporters were very, very nice- they interviewed us for over an hour, and emphasised that they were a neutral news crew. Normally, the reporters from Japanese media outlets around the country have a very narrow minded and one sided view of the slaughter… They are sympathetic toward the dolphin killers. The men that will repeatedly stab and hack at a dolphin calf, while it screams out for its’ mother… I am sorry, but I have no sympathy for these men- although I will work tirelessly in order to get them to understand that they can change their ways… their ‘profession’.
After talking with these reporters for a long time, we could see that they had a love for dolphins- and were obviously shaken by the sight as we spotted all the boats herding a pod toward the cove. Yasuhiro, I found out, is a keen scuba diver, and excitedly told me stories of swimming with dolphins in the Caribbean, and was very interested when I told him that I spent my last year working on The Great Barrier Reef, on Lady Elliot Island, as a wildlife tour guide… he told me he had always wanted to visit the Great Barrier Reef, to see its’ natural beauty…
Scott West said to me on my first day here in Japan, that it ‘never gets any easier’ to see a slaughter… I’m finding this to be very true. If possible, it is getting harder.
We watched, feeling absolutely helpless, as the boats drove in up to 10 Risso’s dolphins into the cove. As they did two days ago, they herded them straight into the killing cove- ready to slaughter. I quickly made my way up a hill overlooking the killing cove, to get a better view of the slaughter. Since the movie, The Cove, has been released, they have drawn tarpaulins over the beach, and shallow areas of the killing cove- so no-one can see the atrocities that go on beyond them… Also, when a dolphin killer stabs a dolphin now, they quickly shove a big ‘plug’ into the wound, so that the animal’s blood doesn’t escape its body into the water. They are quite obviously ashamed of what they do… and this year alone has seen many new attempts to hide it.
Even this morning there were new additions to their avoidance methods… We saw the skiffs take away the dead bodies after about half an hour of slaughtering, and tie them to one of the banger boats. Instead of taking them to the gutting barge, so that their entrails can be withdrawn, they decided to by-pass the barge, and head straight for the butcher house. We had never seen this done before… and wonder if this is a new way to prevent anti-slaughter activists from getting any ‘bloody’ footage of the slaughter… We were there regardless, and witnessed the transfer of the dolphin carcasses into the butcherhouse- all the while the fishermen are holding up big blue tarpaulins, and shooting looks of loathing our way…
We travelled to the other side of the butcherhouse, and got some footage of the dolphin killers after having hacked up the dolphins- ready to be packaged for consumption… The sight of a blue container, which we all knew contained 10 dolphins made me feel sick.
The thing is, we CAN stop this! If there are 100, 500, 1000 people here accompanying us 5 Cove Guardians, this would make an enormous impact! We need more people here- we need more people to help stop this atrocity… Anyone can become a Cove Guardian, just see Sea Shepherd’s website.
You can also follow my journey below on my Facebook page, which I update every morning from the cove… If you are added already, please link this page to your own Facebook sites- the spread of awareness is the key to ending the slaughter… and a great way for you to do something to help the dolphins!
Once again, we must not forget the lives that were lost today here in Japan… this time last night these beautiful dolphins were freely and happily swimming along the coastline of Japan, not knowing that they were swimming closer and closer to their untimely death…
Thankyou all for all of your support
On the path to protect,