A Silent Death…

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Once again, this morning, our ocean’s lost yet another entire family of Risso’s dolphins…

In the past two days, the dolphin fishermen have spotted and begun to drive dolphins quite early… having secured a pod before 8am on both occasions. This morning, as we drove past the Cove, we saw the banger boats already in formation out on the horizon… normally we wait hours on end to spot the banger boats- but even then it seems that no news is good news. We then drove straight past the harbour, and counted one banger boat still tied up in port… there were eleven dolphin hunting boats in the waters of Japan today.

We drove up to the Mountain Pass, to get a good look at the boats as they pass by the harbour, toward the Cove… in no time at all, the dolphins were being pushed directly toward the killing Cove- we made our way directly there.

On the way, Libby dropped Nao and me off at the foot of Glenda’s Hill stairway. We quickly dashed up the steep staircase to the point overlooking the stretch of coast surrounding the Cove… we saw immediately that the fishermen were having trouble herding this particular pod of approximately 12 dolphins into the Cove… The dolphins would dart this way and that, causing all sorts of problems for the skiffs and banger boats attempting to pursue them.

Nao and I were immersed in the usual silence which encases us Cove Guardians during a slaughter… the shouts and obnoxious yells coming from the men in the banger boats was becoming increasingly louder, and the fishermen’s frustration was almost tangible. I gave a small jump of surprise as Nao said in an audible whisper to me; “They’re saying: ‘Make sure you don’t miss any dolphins! Get every one of them!’”…
My stomach turned… I often convey in my blogs that it seems as if the dolphin fishermen take no consideration when it comes to age or sustaining genetic diversity of dolphin population- but hearing Nao say this to me, confirmed it. There were young dolphins amongst the pod, as well as dolphins that have seen many, many years on this earth… all were slaughtered today- with no consideration for the huge environmental catastrophe this annual slaughter bears for Japan’s ocean ecosystem…

As I saw these dolphins in their final hour, I watched as their grace and beauty was on display as they swam through the water… with the Risso’s dolphins especially, you can really see their distinguished white outline as they cruise just below the water’s surface…

There is something so beautiful about seeing these dolphins underwater, in their own environment… It is sometimes difficult to capture the dolphins’ true beauty from land… it is hard to capture their grace, power and wonder from our world- you must delve into theirs.

I have long wanted to show the world the full beauty of the dolphins of Taiji from their eyes, in their world. Hopefully I can do this- as these beautiful creatures must be given a voice and must be seen from their world…

During the slaughter, once again we could hear the painful sounds of the thrashing dolphins in their final minutes of life- their final moments of suffering… Once again, the silence was broken between Nao and myself as she said, “You know, if dolphins had voices… like dogs or cats even… this would not continue.”

That sentence hit me pretty hard as we stood there, with an onslaught of noise surrounding us… as we could hear the violent thrashing of the dolphins in merely a foot of water tainted with their own blood… there was something missing. For an animal to be in such horrific pain, and suffering so immensely, however not making any sound is horribly eerie… some dolphins, such as the striped dolphins, may emit high-pitched cries of pain… however the Risso’s dolphins are left to die a silent death.

Nao was right, I thought as I stood there listening to the sounds of the dolphins’ last moments… if these animals could cry out loudly in pain- if they could give their suffering a voice, this may have ended long ago. For these dolphins take many minutes to die- sometimes up to twenty- but it is because they are so painfully quiet that the fishermen’s cruel methods of slaughter are passed off as humane and ‘efficient’… I’m sure the dolphins beg to differ.

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 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,



  1. Nicole,
    I think you are right. If people could hear them, would it in fact be harder to hide. Would people then listen. Just because they do not cry out, does not mean that they do feel pain, that they do not suffer. I guess that is why you are there, why so many of us do what we do, sending emails, letters, calling. You guys are their voices, and we are their voices. Just because there are no words, it doesn’t mean that nothing is being said! Sometimes you have to see to hear.

  2. I wish they could scream so loud the whole world could hear them. These people only get away with this because the dolphins’ death are silent. I wish ill will on all who kill and capture dolphins.

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