Today saw the second slaughter for 2011…
This morning, we heard it straight from the fishermen with us up on Glenda’s Hill that the dolphin hunters had slaughtered 18 Striped dolphins… another dark day here in Taiji.
Today, there was two distinct images that I will never let escape my mind… They have been playing over and over again all day.
And that’s a strange thing about being here, that even when I’m not at the Cove, all day every day there are a few images, sounds and scenes that constantly repeat themselves like a slideshow in my mind… It’s enough to break you down sometimes, but so many other times it gives me the determination to keep going until the end comes. Some of those images include the bodies of the dolphins during my very first slaughter, that little baby dolphin caught in the net, tied up and dragged away while it was still alive, the tiny newborn calf only a day afterward, and the image of dolphins fighting to get out of the nets, but end up cutting themselves on rocks and the jagged cliffside…
Today, there are two images which will undoubtedly be etched into my memory forever… the first, of one of the most determined dolphins I have ever witnessed… This dolphin tried, and tried to free itself from these nets, it could somehow see beyond and into freedom- it could see the other side. The dolphin learnt, within seconds, how to overcome this device it had never encountered before… Dolphins are beings who inhabit the open ocean, most have never encountered a net in its’ life- I can only imagine how terrifyingly confusing it would be to be suddenly trapped, when all they have ever known is the vast expanse of the open ocean… the place they called home.
The dolphin actually was able to free itself… freedom was just within its’ sights, but its’ tail fluke must have gotten caught up in the net it had just cleared- and a nearby snorkeller quickly saw to it that the dolphin was returned with the rest of its’ family, to join the line before being brutally slaughtered. The man held this thrashing dolphin by the fluke and pulled it back, shoved it back toward the beach of the killing cove, and held it while it thrashed for a few seconds longer.
This very brief, unexpected dash to freedom gave a fleeting change of hope… which was taken away almost instantly by the likes of humankind. This particular dolphin is now nothing more than a number… a statistic which now goes toward making up a kill quota set by man.
The other scene which will never leave my memory is the long, horrific trail of blood seeping out the back of the gutting barge as it drove by in the distance. A long line of blood red, and I’m talking about a very bright red, tainted the ocean as you looked out to the horizon… such a sickening sight.
Below is the video footage of both of these events that occurred this morning…
Yesterday I mentioned that today I would start something I have been planning for a little while now. Today I started a petition- intended for the people of Wakayama Prefecture predominately (the government of Wakayama supports the drive hunt) , and if I can, for the local villages surrounding Taiji, as well as Taiji itself. It took a little while getting an accurate translation of my intended message for the locals but William, a Cove Guardian who left Taiji just this afternoon, was able to quickly respond with a translation from a Japanese friend. This afternoon I printed the petition out, and wanted to test the translation out on some locals- just to see if they understood it!
So I walked for just a few minutes down the road, and stopped every now and then to talk to passing locals, or those in nearby shops. I must have approached no more than 10 people in the few minutes I was walking, and managed to gain 4 signatures in that time! I was very pleasantly surprised at the immediate positive response… I thought it may take talking to at least 20 or so people before getting someone to sign the petition… But it seems I underestimated just how many people around here do not condone what is happening just around the corner from them.
With this hugely positive outlook and a huge encouragement, I will spend all afternoon tomorrow walking these streets approaching any local who comes my way, to ask the all-important question; “Can you help us save the dolphins of Taiji?”… Every spare moment I have over the next two months, I will be out there getting the attention of locals- even if it takes entering every shop, knocking on every door… I plan on leaving ‘no stone unturned’ here in the local areas surrounding Taiji. Hopefully I can take my petition to schools and universities in the Wakayama area and show the Japanese Government that maybe they overestimated just how many people are still proud of this aspect of their ‘culture’… We will see, I will keep everyone updated.
Don’t forget to keep sending in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for me to answer in my video blogs! Please also send your videos to get involved with my new Youth Project- you can find out more in my previous blog, or on my Facebook Page…
You can follow my videos here on this blogpage (which I will continue to update every day) as well as my Youtube Channel…
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Thankyou everyone for your continued support, and positive feedback! We all really appreciate it!
On the path to protect,