No Dolphins and New Plans!

A beautiful day here in Taiji, Japan… One of the first days we’ve had here with blue skies and flat seas for almost two weeks.

Waking up in the early hours of the morning, it is a strange feeling to draw back your curtains and feel deeply disappointed and disheartened to see the sun shining…
Coming from Australia, and particularly working on Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef, I have become accustom to beautiful weather for a majority of my life- I would spend many daylight hours in the hot sun of home… But here, we desperately hope for rain, fog, snow, wind, swells… anything to keep the banger boats in port.

However, as I mentioned, today was a day where the sun was out… as were the dolphin hunting boats of Taiji. Upon discovering this at the harbour, we decided to head up to the promontory, to get a good look at the boats out on the horizon. It was within only a few hours that we spotted the fleet of hunting boats… One came into view, then another, and another. They were not in formation, they were heading straight for Taiji harbour!

Within the next half an hour, we counted all the banger boats passing by us on the headland overlooking the coast off of Taiji driving straight back into port empty-handed… In the moment that you realise ‘there will be no dolphins killed today’, you can’t help but feel elated, and actually take the opportunity to absorb the beauty of the surroundings… the coastline is phenomenal here, absolutely picturesque. There is no doubt in my mind that Taiji and its’ neighbouring villages would not have a hard time attracting tourists at all if they set out to. In fact, many claim that the inaccessibility of Taiji is why many people do not take the effort to travel here… this, in my opinion can be vastly changed. I was talking with a Japanese man in Taiji merely a week or so ago, and he was telling me of how many tourists would flock to the area- only ten years ago. To my surprise, he actually said that there used to be a large ferry for tourists- direct from Tokyo- that would come into Katsuura Harbour once every three days… Katsuura is the town in which we stay in, merely 10 minutes or so from Taiji. If something like this occurred only 10 years ago, this gives us great hope for a future prospect in ecotourism here!

With our departure from Japan looming ever closer, with only two weeks left now, I have been working on what I would like to achieve when I arrive home to Australia… My biggest passion is for the oceans- for protecting the world’s marine life, and in particular the world’s cetaceans. My other passion is to help the youth of the world realise the importance of speaking up for what they believe in- to stand up and fight for their futures… My goal is to educate young people, in order for them to make informed decisions about how they live amid their surrounding environment. The oceans are facing total destruction by human beings- many scientists predict that by the year 2050, most fisheries will be in a total state of collapse…

“The train of human destruction might be steaming along, but if there are enough of us pulling in the opposite direction we can slow it down. The time for living unconsciously is over.”
Lesley Rochat

It is today’s youth that will be dealing with this catastrophic problem in 2050… not the people who are creating and magnifying the problem right now. If the businessmen and politicians of today won’t stop the madness that is occurring worldwide- the businessmen and women, politicians, scientists and environmentalists of tomorrow’s generation must take a stand a few decades early- and let those in positions of authority know that we will not sit by and watch our future be destroyed before our very own eyes…

Youth Project submission from April Anjard: Kids in France exclaim: “Sauvez les dauphins de Taiji!” (Save Taiji dolphins…)

When I return to Australia, I will use my experience here in Japan to create awareness about marine conservation issues and concerns occurring all over the world.
I plan to do a ‘school tour’ between Brisbane and Melbourne, attending schools in between to give a presentation on marine conservation- to engage and interact with high school students to help them understand what is going on in the world’s oceans- and to highlight to them just how much power we have as the voice for the next generation in creating a change for the future… I am planning the tour over the month of March- and along the way will hopefully be involved in other events and ways in which to spread the word out there about the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, as well as the long list of other issues facing our oceans.

In early April, I am looking to host two events in Australia for National Youth Week. One in Newcastle, where I went to school myself, and the other in the Gold Coast, nearby to my university… these plans are in their early stages, and I will let you all know more as I develop my ideas! If you are in either of these areas, and would like to help out in any way, please send me an email!

Now, I mentioned in my previous blog that I will be calling upon you all to help if possible…

If you are a High School or university student along the east coast of Australia (preferably between Brisbane and Melbourne), and you think your school may be interested in having me come and give a presentation on marine conservation for an hour or so one day in March, please let me know! You can email me at pathtoprotect@hotmail.com to ask any questions you may have… I would like to reach as many people as possible during this tour, so please- if you’re interested in helping, please email me!

Please keep updated within the next few weeks with my blogs, as I will have plenty of ways in which you can all get involved! Also- for those of you in other countries other than Australia, I also have ideas for you guys to help spread the word too! Once again, please stay updated…

We’re all feeling a lot better after a few days of having the flu due to the weather here… Thank you everyone for your kind words!

If you want to stand up and 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! Or send me an email if you wish to get more involved…
To become a Cove Guardian, please email Libby at:
coveguardian@seashepherd.org

I have recently created a page on Twitter, to share my updates a little easier with you all. So please follow the page for more updates and photos during the day from here in Taiji…

Don’t forget to keep emailing your questions and comments to me at pathtoprotect@hotmail.com!

You can follow my videos here on this blogpage 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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4 comments

  1. Hi Nicole,
    Is there any risk of the fishermen continuing to hunt into April in order to hit their kill quota? And why do they not hunt between April & September? What do the fishermen do in this time?
    I have tried searching for these answers on google, but it returns with nothing. I would really appreciate you shedding some light on this. Thank you!

    Charlie.

    1. Charlie,

      The season of dolphin hunting is strictly regulated by the government just like the deer hunting season in the US. Also the hunt is conducted when the dolphins come to the coast of Japan, which is seasonal. From September/October dolphins begin to come near Taiji, and by March most of them pass Taiji and goes somewhere else. The quota is the absolute maximum, which has never been reached. Fishermen does other job out of the season, such as fish farming, small coastal fishing, disseminating millions of juvenile fish so that they could enjoy sustainable catch for years to come, as well as going to other parts of Japan for any work to supplement their low income. The income of fishermen who conduct coastal fishing is very low in any country, and Taiji is no exception. They earn 2-3 million yen, which is about 70% of the national average income.

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