A Blood-Stained Sea…

Up until today, the whole month of February this year has seen just one slaughter in Taiji, and two offshore captures… Over the last few weeks, we have become accustom to the bad weather, and the harbour full of boats. This was not the case today, however.

We woke to a warm sun in a clear sky which glistened off of the flat water of the seas… this type of weather would normally be a delight to most- however I don’t think I have ever felt such a sense of dread as I do when I open my curtains here and see a sunny day outside.

We then had our suspicions confirmed, as we saw that the dolphin hunting boats were out at sea- scanning along the coast for a sign of dolphins…

Today’s was a long wait up on Mountain Pass… We sat in anticipation for hours, and it wasn’t until about 11:30am that we spotted the banger boats come into view in drive formation. Soon afterwards- we noticed that they had secured a large pod of 30 Striped dolphins. Within minutes, the pod was being forcefully driven straight into the Cove. On the way to the Cove, Libby dropped Georgia and I off at the foot of the steps of Glenda’s Hill… The one place above all others in the world that I would be extremely glad never to visit again- the images I cannot erase or forget from up on that hill constantly enter my mind here, and today was no different to any other day I have seen the slaughter from up there… Yet again, I will remember the sights and sounds from today for a long time to come. They serve to me as a reminder of human greed and the complete disregard for other living beings when it comes to making a profit… Today was heartbreaking to witness, as are all slaughter days.

As we often see when Striped dolphins are herded into the cove, their frantic and stressful behaviour constantly results in them throwing their bodies at the rocks and thrashing as they cut their sensitive skin to shreds. These dolphins live their whole lives far out to sea… some may spend their entire life without ever having seen the bottom of the ocean floor. When you subject a freedom-loving animal such as these to nets, boats and the shore- there is no doubt that their reaction will be one of absolute terror… This lasted for at least an hour in the killing cove today, as the dolphin hunters tried without much effort to keep the dolphins away from the rocks. In the past few months- the horrific footage that has been captured of this cruel and confronting scene has reached media all over the world… the dolphin hunters know this- and are now trying to prevent us from gaining this footage. There is absolutely no concern for these animals’ extent of suffering- the dolphin hunters have been executing these slaughters for years without having to think twice about the welfare of the dolphins during the drive… because there never used to be anyone watching.

Below is footage captured this morning of the dolphin hunt-

The brutality of man when it comes to animals occurs all over the world… Dolphin slaughters such as Taiji occur nation-wide here in Japan, and also in other areas such as the Faroe Islands. Human actions are having an almost irreversibly destructive impact on the world’s oceans, and at the same time- we are the only species on earth that have the power to stop it. Pollution, overfishing, poaching and habitat destruction are inevitably contributing to one of the largest catastrophes this planet has seen- the devastation of all life in our oceans. These problems are worldwide and affect every living being on this planet…

There are countless issues surrounding the conservation of our oceans- far more than just a small amount of people can tackle in a lifetime. The key is to have a passion for the issue you are facing, and enough determination to see your actions through. However, as we have global issues facing our oceans, there are also issues that impact our seas on a more local scale… this could even be a pollution problem at your local beach! Everyone can make a difference- and if you are passionate about ocean conservation, and want to get involved- why not start in your local area! Get others in your community interested in the state of the ocean, because if every community worldwide were aware of the problems that they are causing to their surrounding seas, rivers, lakes and waterways- the global problem would be heavily decreased…

When I return to Australia, I will be working to further my involvement in issues that affect our marine environment back home… On top of creating awareness about what occurs here in Taiji by giving talks for students, I aim to raise awareness about other issues currently impacting marine life in Australia. Having spent over a year working closely with different species of sea turtles on Lady Elliot Island and educating many on their biology and conservation, I have developed a strong passion and knowledge of these animals- as well as the threats they face. I hope to attend a meeting with experts on the conservation of these creatures in early March to try and create a better future for them in Australia. Also, in my local area, shark nets are a huge cause for concern when it comes to the entanglement of thousands of sea creatures, including some whales and dolphins… I hope to approach people and council members in my local area to become more involved in the movement to ban shark nets in the Gold Coast, Australia.

I am determined to motivate the youth 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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4 comments

  1. Dear Nicole
    I believe you are already following your dream by simply following your heart and passion for the life in the oceans and the dolphins in particular. Your passion is rubbing off to others. And you are the (next) generation to protect life in the oceans and live in harmony with it.
    You archieved so much already Nicole, a person the world can be proud of.

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