Before it’s too late…

The Cove Guardians taking a stand in Taiji…

Another morning of relief overcame us Cove Guardians today… relief that the dolphins migrating off the coast of Taiji were safe for another day.

The sense of relief however, is tainted with another emotion- that of concern… concern about the idea that no-catch days such as these may be directly linked to the decline in population size of the dolphins undertaking this migration. If you think about it- the banger boats go out off the horizon to intercept these dolphins along these migratory paths… they spend approximately 4-5 hours out there on the water each day. This is up to a fifth of the day they have spent searching for dolphins… In this time any pod that just so happens to pass by the area will be herded and slaughtered. It is extremely rare that they will intentionally spare any.

So, if you consider that these boats head out for about 1/5 of the day, almost every day of the migration season for these animals (approximately half the year), they are potentially wiping out one fifth of the population year after year…

The fact that the fishermen do not spare any dolphins, especially juveniles and pregnant females, suggests the unsustainability of their actions… If you ask most fishermen about the idea of sustainable fishing, they will concur that fish of a smaller size should be returned to the wild- to replenish the numbers of their future catch, as well as maintaining the genetic diversity of the area. It does not take an expert to grasp this idea of a sustainable industry… however it is something that the dolphin fishermen of Taiji desperately lack.

If they continue at the rate they are going, there will be no dolphins left along this migration path… not only families will be wiped out- but populations… the genetic diversity of an area is a key element to sustaining its’ ecology, removing it will be affecting the entire ecosystem of Japan’s oceans. Dolphins in different locations develop different characteristics, behavioural patterns and social interaction methods. There is so much to learn from every different population of these creatures. Some people say that ‘there are hundreds of thousands of dolphins worldwide, and some of these species aren’t even endangered… why do you care so much when there are other problems in the oceans?’

The fact is, wiping out any species of animal on a scale such as this, let alone apex predators such as dolphins, is a dire issue for the entire ecosystem in these waters. To lose a whole population of these creatures will be a devastating blow for the marine environment here- but also to humans’ understanding of these creatures… As I mentioned earlier- dolphins behave differently according to their surroundings, and there is an unbelievably large amount we can learn from these individual populations.

Please watch this four part documentary about a particular family of dolphins off the Western coast of Australia. This documentary highlights the social intricacies of a family of dolphins, and also emphasises the unique nature of different dolphin populations across the world.

We are not just losing dolphins… we are losing the oceans.

**** PLEASE watch this short video on the state of our oceans… some of the statistics may shock you. The threat of extiction of many species of animals in our oceans is becoming more real every day… It is time to stand up against what mankind is doing to the world’s marine environment… Before it’s too late.

Overfishing from greenforum on Vimeo.

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!!

If you want to help in another way: Please help us put pressure upon the Japanese government and embassys worldwide- let them know that you oppose the slaughter by calling and emailing.

Don’t forget to keep sending in your questions to pathtoprotect@hotmail.com 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.

Thankyou everyone for your continued support, and positive feedback! We all really appreciate it!
On the path to protect,
Nicole.

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