The 2011 Taiji Ten

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Today was an incredibly inconceivable display of human greed… there are absolutely no other words to describe the events in Taiji this morning. Not even the word ‘culture’ could be used as a way to try and justify the cruel treatment of these sentient beings…

Early this morning, the Taiji dolphin hunters began herding a huge pod of Pacific White Sided dolphins… Typically within a pod of dolphins, if there is a separation at some point, especially involving dolphins with a key role within the family, the remaining dolphins may stay in that same area without moving on… calling for their lost family members. This has been witnessed numerous times here in Taiji alone- with one particular example being of a pod of Risso’s dolphins that were herded repeatedly into the Cove- a smaller amount being released each time after handfuls were slaughtered. A large and distinguishable notch was missing out of one of the dorsal fins of a dolphin in the pod- and the same dolphin was herded with its’ dwindling family members three times before the whole family were eventually exterminated by the Japanese fishermen. Due to the early nature of the drive hunt this morning… and the very similar number of dolphins in the pod to yesterday’s, there is a very high chance that today’s pod is the same as yesterday’s hunt.

By the end of the hunt, many managed to escape the fate that the hunters had in store for them, and ten dolphins were netted offshore and captured…

We have seen this practice five times here in Taiji… every single time has involved Pacific White Sided dolphins. A majority of the time, the fishermen are only looking to capture this particular species of dolphin- after the Bottlenose; this seems to be the second most sought after species for dolphinariums from Taiji… We have seen two of this species of dolphin taken to the slaughterhouse last month; after it had appeared that they had drowned or become badly injured during the struggle out at sea. During the capture process, these dolphins can be seen violently thrashing about in the skiffs used to transport them, many becoming quite cut up in the process… today we clearly saw one of the foam mats on which they load the dolphins, covered in blood. Yesterday, one of the captured dolphins had its’ dorsal fin badly cut…

There were a few juveniles amongst the ten captures today… two very young dolphins were tossed into the ocean pens from the skiffs- one seemed to be no older than a year, as it still seemed very dependent upon its’ mother- who was also captured… Typically, Pacific White Sided dolphin calves will be nursed and dependent upon their mothers for up to 10-12 months. Now, these calves will never be able to explore the ocean on their own, will never be able to learn and perfect their natural behaviours and characteristics… as of approximately 9am this morning, they have started an artificial and constrained life, just so humans can make a quick dollar…

These dolphins can be sold for anywhere up to $100,000-$150,000 each… If all of these dolphins fetch a price in that value range… an operation like today will pull in over one million dollars. This is the industry supporting these slaughters, this is where they make their ‘real’ money.

The continuation of the Taiji Dolphin Slaughter in the 21st century is said to be completely about retaining a proud and long running culture of Japan- the killing of dolphins for their meat. Taiji has been involved in the slaughter of dolphins for a few centuries… however- the dolphin capture and trade industry has only been in existence since the 1960’s.

There is nothing cultural about capturing wild dolphins.

There was nothing remotely cultural about the capture of ten dolphins, including calves, this morning. There is absolutely no excuse that these Japanese fishermen can come up with for this kind of cruelty. Let days like today and yesterday stand to show the world that the Taiji Dolphin Slaughter is in existence only to make money…

The greed of man should not continue to destroy our oceans… it is time that people take a stand.

I am determined to motivate young people to raise their voice about protecting our oceans’ wildlife, and letting them know that they can make a difference… with their future at risk. I am hoping to attend this year’s International Whaling Commission meeting in the U.K in July in order to give a voice to the millions of young people who are against the slaughter of cetaceans worldwide. In order to accomplish this, however, I am in need of assistance in order to travel and stay there. Recently I became aware of a competition of sorts that a Queensland-based company is holding; with a prize of $5,000 to the winner… the competition is open to those who are seeking to make a difference- so I submitted my story of aiming to attend the IWC in 2011. My entry was accepted by the company, and now I need your help! Please, have a look at my profile by clicking HERE, and click on ‘Like’ to vote for me… Thank you to everyone who has supported me in this so far, it really does mean a lot!

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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3 comments

  1. Nicole,
    I do not why, but I love the Pacific White sided dolphins. (I love them all, it’s just something about them) Your pictures again remind me of just how loveless the fisherman and trainers are. They toss them like trash into their holding pens, they just show very little concern for them!! It outrages me to see those pictures of true greed! Just moments before they were free, not having any clue about what was to come. Now they will never swim free again!! I can not hold back the tears today, I am sickened once again by how humans can think they own these beautiful creatures! To dispose of them how they wish! Stay strong, and I voted for you!!!

  2. Excellent post Nicole. Disgusting this continues to be allowed to happen. The growing “rumors” (and so far am not aware of any confirmation, so want to again stress “rumors”) that a dolphinarium in Korea is either going to begin dolphin captures in their own waters, or have placed an order from Taiji (I have seen both statements), is alarming. One does wonder the speed in which current captivity is increasing.

    I read an article yesterday that Standards & Poors downgraded SeaWorld to a BB- company. That is positive news. With the continued awareness of captivity getting out to people who were buffaloed into believing it is for education, there’s hope all of this is to soon be a piece of the world’s history.

    A world free of dolphin slaughter and whaling. A world free of abusement parks.

    One day… ONE day.. this will end. All of us just hope and pray it is before there are no more dolphins left in the oceans.

    Thank you and all of the CGs and NGOs who are working towards the ending of not just the slaughters, but the captivity trade as well.

    Cali

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