Those involved in the dolphin hunt in Taiji have conveyed numerous times in recent past that they no longer slaughter bottlenose dolphins… They basically do so, so the world is under the impression that they do not kill ‘Flipper’ dolphins, they know that to kill hundreds of the species of dolphins which the world have come to know and love deeply- would mean more of a public outcry for them. I have heard claims that they have been ‘refraining’ from killing bottlenose dolphins for numerous years now.
Today is one of several days I have seen the dolphin hunters drive and butcher bottlenose dolphins during my time here in Taiji… Approximately ten dolphins were caught and slaughtered this morning.
Today was also a day where the topic of culture played a role in one of the most emotional mornings we’ve had here…
After Cove Guardian, Bob entered the water of the Cove, those around us- locals and members of the Fisheries Union became interested. Bob stayed in the water for the entire time the dolphins were being driven into the killing cove- he stood waist deep, and was in deep meditation.
Soon after, the Coast Guard showed up to the cove, as well as members of the Police just as they would on any other slaughter day… they stood and watched, however did not tell Bob to exit the water. After a short while, he returned to the rocky seawall- where there were Coast Guards there to meet him… It is not illegal in any way to swim in the cove, unless you cross the nets- where you will be charged for ‘Interfering with Commerce’. The Coast Guards told Bob that he should be careful not to disrupt the fishermen- but due to Bob not breaking any laws, the Coast Guards merely had a quick glance at his passport and that was it. The cove is a National Park, free for any member of the public to be in.
The police said similar things as the Coast Guards when they came down to talk to Bob… mentioning that it is not illegal to swim in the cove, but the fishermen are not to be disrupted.
One of our Cove Guardians, and now one of my good friends, Nao, is a young Japanese girl- who has worked closely with wild dolphins in the past, and is strongly determined to seeing the end of the dolphin slaughter in Taiji… today was an emotional day for her- as we all struggled seeing the slaughter, but in particular seeing the bottlenose dolphins in the killing cove- the species that she would frequently interact with in the wild. She said to me as we both sat on the seawall overlooking the Japanese fishermen in the cove, and hearing the struggling dolphins, that she considers dolphins as her friends, as we both choked back tears. To be confronted in such a blatant way by this aspect of Japanese ‘culture’ has been hard for all of us- however I cannot even fathom how she must be feeling… She holds a strong love and passion for dolphins just as I do myself, and to hear these fishermen referring to these animals as ‘fish’ as they were being slaughtered was overwhelming today. Every day I am in awe of her courage and determination to stand up to people of her own country and culture, to let them know that the killing of dolphins must be stopped… She has deeply inspired all of us Cove Guardians.
If Nao is willing to stand up and fight for dolphin conservation, there must surely be a number of other individuals here in Japan who are also wanting to help… The people of Taiji can certainly claim that dolphin hunting is a local ‘tradition’, as they have been doing so for many years, however traditions and cultures alter all the time, for the greater good of the people in the town, area and country… there is very little for this town, and for Japan as a whole, to gain from these hunts- just as there is very little to gain from unsustainable and inhumane slaughters all over the world. There are however, huge amounts of potential gain for these areas if they were to cease the slaughter, and turn their attention to more sustainable industries.
There are many people, foreign and local, that are willing to help… It all starts with awareness, exposure and education.
I am currently working on returning to Japan a few months after getting home to Australia in March, in order to present talks and educational presentations at a few universities spread throughout southern Japan, including Wakayama Prefecture. I am aiming to convey the environmental aspects of what is happening here in Taiji- and to present the talk in a way in which the students can gain a better understanding of the problem at hand, but also to present the solutions which will see a better future for these areas. I will update you on my progress on getting these talks organised.
Please read this article and listen to an interview I did recently with an Australian radio station, ABC here.
If you want to help us end the slaughter: Please help us put pressure upon the Japanese government and embassys worldwide- let them know that you oppose the slaughter by calling and emailing. Also, please become involved in my ‘Youth Project’ and tell your friends!
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.
Thankyou everyone for your continued support, and positive feedback! We all really appreciate it!
On the path to protect,