There were three of us this morning watching the brutality of the Taiji Dolphin Slaughter in the killing cove first hand today. We could all agree this afternoon, that today in Taiji had been one of the most brutal days we’d seen by far… I have been here almost 6 weeks now, and I don’t think I have seen inhumanity on a scale such as today…
It wasn’t a particularly large pod this morning; I counted 14 in the killing cove. From Glenda’s Hill, this gives us an aerial view of the pod. They were, once again, Striped Dolphins. As soon as we could tell their species from the Mountain Pass before heading to the Cove, I knew that I wanted to go up on Glenda’s Hill to film… As I mentioned in a previous blog, this particular species of dolphin become particularly stressed out and traumatised whilst in the killing cove… When we witness dolphins herded into the nets we see them typically trying to escape by any means- even if it is flailing onto the jagged clifface. It is horrific, brutal, sickening and words can’t describe the feeling of utter anguish that we feel as onlookers… unable due to laws enforced by human beings, to stop the slaughter of sentient creatures… Unable to help a suffering animal.
Every time I stand at the foot of the steep staircase before climbing up Glenda’s Hill, my stomach turns… it is a sense of dread that shoots through every inch of your body. Today I had that very same feeling as I walked up those stairs, only metres behind a pair of fishermen who were also heading up to watch the slaughter… though for very different reasons than me.
What we witnessed today is hard to put into words. We saw at least two dolphins drown in their desperate attempt to free themselves from the nets that the Japanese dolphin hunters drape around them… after several minutes of thrashing around in the water these dolphins become submerged, and the next thing you see is their floating bodies… being dragged under the tarpaulins.
Today, I was able to capture some of this through a small gap in the trees that cover the cove…
Youtube videos and photos you see on websites and Facebook do not come close to the real experience of seeing these animals suffer. As best as I can, I still cannot capture the sounds, cannot capture the laughter of the dolphin hunters, and the atmosphere from up on that hill… it is a feeling that words cannot relay. It is something that will plague my memory for the rest of my life- I will always remember my freezing cold mornings up on that hill, battling my emotions and confirming my worst fears. But to get that message out there, to make sure the world never forgets about the dolphins of Taiji is the reason why I do it. I don’t want this to ever be ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
All I have to say is that as long as we are here exposing the problem in Taiji- there will be people out there affected and influenced enough to help us create a change. There shall never be a time where people will look back and say “Well, why didn’t someone try and tell us? We didn’t know about it…”
The world knows about it. It is now up to everyone to stand up against it… tell every person you can- spread that awareness like wildfire. If a day comes where there are no dolphins left in our oceans, and the children of the next generation are looking to us, asking why we didn’t do anything about it… will you be able to look them in their eyes and reply, “I tried as best as I could…”
Change is being created every day here in Taiji… very small, but noticeable signs of this are everywhere. On this note, we have a new Cove Guardian who arrived with us just yesterday. She is a young Japanese girl, and over the next few weeks she desperately wants to help Sea Shepherd in any way to stop the slaughter.
I have taken this opportunity to work with her to spread the awareness and get the message out to Japanese people… Over the next few days, we will both be working on a video which I hope can play a key role in getting the message to young Japanese people, as well as Westerners… Please stay tuned for this video, and I will ask you to spread it as far and wide as you can once it is up.
Today I filmed my next video blog, covering a few topics and questions, and going over my experiences in the past few days… I was asked whether I can give viewers a ‘grand tour’ of Taiji and the local landmarks in one of my next blogs, so in the next few days I will give you all a really good insight into the Cove, Fisheries Union, Harbour and all the other locations we mention in our blogs!
If you would like to help me from wherever you are in the world, please get involved in my Youth Project (more information on my blog page ‘youth project’) which will aim to create positive media awareness worldwide.
Don’t forget to keep sending in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for me to answer in my video blogs!
You can follow my videos here on this blogpage (which I will continue to update every day) as well as my Youtube Channel…
Also, don’t forget to add me as a friend on Facebook if you haven’t yet- for regular updates, photos, information and videos from the Cove.
If you want to help: Please help us put pressure upon the Japanese government and embassys worldwide- let them know that you oppose the slaughter by calling and emailing.
Thankyou everyone for your continued support, and positive feedback! We all really appreciate it!
On the path to protect,