This morning, the banger boats left the harbour once again. When we reached the Harbour, we saw that the water was like glass… the conditions were once again perfect for a day out on the water.
Within about an hour or so, the boats were spotted out on the horizon, driving a pod toward Taiji… Once the boats rounded the corner into Taiji harbour, they were in our plain view. We immediately noticed as we saw the pod of dolphins through binoculars, that it was one of the biggest we had seen. Tim and Jim (Save Japan Dolphins) were a little further out along the headland, and told us on the radio that a number of dolphins had escaped, about a quarter of the full-sized pod!
As they got closer to the mouth of the harbour, we could see that there was still around 40 dolphins- including some quite young ones… In only ten minutes or so, they were being pushed directly toward the Cove, the fishermen’s banging poles could be heard from all over. We left our station overlooking the harbour and headed down to the Cove.
This is when we had to say goodbye to the boys, Tim and Jim… they have been absolutely fantastic to have around here, and have done some incredible things to help with this campaign! So thanks guys, you were so great to have here…
As we were saying our goodbyes, the dolphins were being netted off into the killing cove. Today they were Striped dolphins once again, and they were frantically looking for an escape route from the Cove… we could see them throwing themselves onto the jagged rocks time and time again… for the first time there were divers who had jumped in early to pull them off the rocks. It was a sour way for the boys to say goodbye to the Cove…
As soon as they left, I went straight up onto Glenda’s Hill with Nao- to film what was going on in the killing cove… This morning’s pod was the biggest one I had seen since I arrived here, and they did not push them all in at once to slaughter them. They slaughtered them in groups of around about 15 at a time… one of the hardest things I have witnessed here is the distress and anguish of these animals during a slaughter- and today some were taken under the tarps and killed while the rest of their family remained in the waters nearby… the cries and thrashing of the dying dolphins could be heard so loudly, even from all the way up on top of that hill… I can’t even imagine what their families were thinking as they waited for their exact same fate.
At one point, after two groups of dolphins had been pushed under tarps and killed, there was one small dolphin alone… left to listen to its’ family being butchered. You could see the fear, stress and trauma already in its’ actions.
After another hour or so, it had all finished. The dolphins’ bodies were taken to the butcher house, and we all sat at the Cove in silence… By those sounds that we’d heard, it is obvious that those dolphins were not killed instantly, like the Government states. I read a report, which you can read here on the TAG’s blog to see a translated version, which was written by individuals of Wakayama Prefecture. In this report, it states that by utilising the ‘new methods’ to kill a Striped Dolphin, it takes on average only 5 seconds…
Please have a look at the video below of the dolphin slaughter from today, which captures from right within the killing cove, as a tarp had fallen down to give a direct line of sight… In this video, filmed by Leah- who is here with Save Japan Dolphins, you can clearly see one particular dolphin fighting for its’ life for much more than five seconds…
Put plainly, there is no instantaneous… no humane way, to kill a dolphin.
Later this afternoon, we had a meeting with a few Japanese people at the cove, from reporters to University lecturers at nearby Wakayama University… we had a really great talk about the situation here in Taiji, and about potential positive steps which can be taken. I am in the beginnings of making plans to give a talk to Environmental Science students at the University here, which I will have to return to Japan in order to do so in a few months time- as most students are not undertaking classes at the moment… we are also working on more contacts here in Taiji and other areas.
I really need more videos for my ‘Youth Project’ guys, so if you are someone seeing these videos, reading what happens here, and you want to make a change- and want to help stop the slaughter, please become involved in this project… This is a way of getting everyone to speak up for the dolphins. So please take a look at the details of the project, and send in a video as soon as you can!!
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,