Taiji Terror…

Three days ago, I sat along a breakwall just down the road from my house in Australia- I watched alongside a dozen or so locals as a small pod of bottlenose dolphins happily played in the waves in front of us, two small calves amongst them… I watched in awe and sadness, as I thought of what I would be witnessing only a few days later.

Today- my first ‘slaughter day’ since my return to Taiji- I lived out the horrible memories from last year once again, the troublesome dreams that haunted me for months after my return from Taiji in March this year… I heard the sounds of the banger boats… a sound that will always stay with me. A sound of death, greed and human indifference to other sentient beings.

This morning, we awoke and headed straight for Taiji Harbour, only to find all twelve banger boats promptly leaving for their hunt as we slowly drove by.

The hunt was long this morning. As we reached the Promontory (a headland near Taiji which gives a good view of the coastline and hunting area for the dolphin killers), it wasn’t long until we noticed that the banger boats had begun forming a line- a dreaded formation that can only mean one thing- they had found a pod of dolphins…

It was a long and tiresome fight for the pod of Striped dolphins in Taiji today… It was literally hours before the banger boats managed to force them into the harbour of Taiji. There were a few hopeful moments where it had looked as though the dolphins had out-swum the boats, but being in Taiji long enough will teach you not to raise your hopes too high- as you won’t just be disappointed if you’re wrong- you’re heartbroken… the emotional rollercoaster that we endure here is something I have never (and probably will never) experience anywhere else.

After a long fight- the striped dolphins grew weary and were forced closer to the mouth of the cove. This is when something happened very quickly- it seemed that a few of the pod had broken free from the rest… There looked to be up to 15 or so dolphins as they were driving into the harbour, but we could only count 8 or 9 by the time the nets were being draped across the cove. It seemed that at least a few dolphins narrowly escaped the brutal clutches of mankind’s terror this morning… The next hour or so was filled with the deafening yells from the men within the killing cove- struggling to keep the small pod of frantic and terrified dolphins from throwing themselves out of the water onto rocks, cutting themselves up so badly that blood would stain the water around them as they swum away… The yells of the men and the thrashing and ‘screams’ from the dolphins within the cove filled the air- it seems torturous that all we can do is document what happens from a nearby cliffside and spread it as far and wide across the world as possible… This is madness, I thought as I looked on in agony.

After another twenty or so minutes, the cove becomes suddenly quiet… after a short time, the skiffs emerge from underneath the plethora of tarpaulins that cover the beach of the cove from sight. The bodies of the dolphins are thrown into a small boat, covered by a green tarp and are then driven to the Fisheries Union (butcherhouse), with some of the dolphin fishermen sitting casually on top of the bodies underneath…

 

Then, it’s all over… for the dolphin fishermen’s working day, and for the lives of creatures that would once have been travelling great distances each day, playing and socialising along the coastlines of the world- mothers, sisters and brothers amongst them- their own social network and family… gone from the oceans.

 

The potential for this town to grow and thrive into an amazing eco-tourism sanctuary is astonishing… whale watching nations and towns could only ever dream of having such a vast array of species and diversity of cetaceans gracing their shores. This is a topic I will delve deeper into in the coming weeks…

Please keep updated on what is happening here in Taiji every day… keep the pressure upon the Japanese Embassys across the world- let them know that the world is watching, and will always be watching, the cove and the dolphins of Japan. Head to this site to find out how you can help.
Watch my video below that I filmed today here in Taiji- spread it as far and wide as you can, and keep telling everyone you know about what happens not only in Taiji, but worldwide. Spread the word about conserving our marine life… before it’s too late.

 

You can follow my Facebook for more updates from Taiji and my journey… Also email me at pathtoprotect@hotmail.com with any comments or questions!
Thanks again for all the support guys,

On the path to protect,
Nicole.

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11 comments

  1. Dear Nicole,
    Thank you so much for your courage and dedication to this cause. Your presence there, and your ability to reach the far corners of the world through your blog and videos is and will continue to make a difference. Thanks for your tireless efforts in conservation, and I wish you a safe stay in Taiji. Thanks for never giving up hope for change. All the best, Scott.

  2. Good Nicole from Long Beach CA…….I hope you are alright…..excellent vid and thank you so much for it!!!! I have a question.and I cannot believe I have not thought about it before……how many marine parks, dolphinariums, etc around the world are asking for dolphins?????? Day in and day out for months and months, our beauties are driven, captured, culled and slaughtered…….Now, how many do they …hate the following word..NEED?????????? Surely there must be too many captured..Where would they be “housed”…….is my question making sense????? It seem the “inventory” would far exceed the demand…..for give me for making it sound like cans of soup on a shelf or cars in a showroom.I do not mean it that way…..They do not need the meat………….If the demand it being met without excess, then we are in serious serious trouble and so are our orcas and dolphins………Thank You Nicole for everything you and everyone there are doing…….Take good care and be safe!!!!!
    Betty

  3. Thank you, Nicole. And thank you for (this may seem trivial) for putting the date in your video title. I think it will make it much easier in the future to track all the hard work that you and others are doing.

  4. Dear Nicole,
    Thank you for your kindness and Couragesness to these angelic sentinent creatures,
    thanks to you the world can no longer adheare to the monkey spirit! (hear no evil see no evil speak no evil) You and all the cove Guardians or working along side Ric’o’barry are making the world more aware of the attrocities that are being comitted out in the starange and eerie world of Taiji, When I first saw the Cove it was wholey surreal that they were living in a town that you think would be obssesed with the wellbeing of these sentinent creatures but scratch just below the surface and the horrors of the cove rear there cruel and barbaric heads.
    Can you solve a ponderous question for me…. the way they hide up the killings is it also to hide it from any onlooking locals as well as All documenting these crimes. Either way they cant hide as more and more become aware and watch the Cove which I have to say although I had a fair understanding before I watched it my knowlage increassed ten-fold. after it. Thank you as a lady has said a little while ago for placing the date at the start of the video sharing this on my facebook page will make friends understand this is happening right here right now. (nov 22nd 2011)
    Thankyou once again to you and all the Cove Guardians you are all real heros.
    The Song that you should have in your kind brave hearts is that of David Bowie Heros you make people aware and as more and more become aware and voices far away hear your crys they will come and they will fight thankyou!
    Becca.

  5. Such a brave young woman you are. I am so sorry that you and the others se this horror….it’s heartbreaking.
    hugs to you,

  6. thank you Nicole to show us the way how can we help.this should be shared in any possible way that the people would know what to do..thank you very much.my heart is broken in to peaces of this situation,and I will do everything what I can.

  7. how hard would it be to track the meat to the buyers or which company,put them under direct pressure……………expose these poeple,then maybe you might have a break through

  8. Dear Nicole
    My heart is heavy tonight after reading your page…have written to Japan and said my bit..will do anything I can so please leave instructions if there is more I/we can do from Australia. Will check out Facebook. Well done Nicole..excellent reporting back however sad it is we need to know.

  9. Dear Nicole,

    Thank you for what you do for the Dolphins, I would like to help as you do, be with you and help as you do … I wish I could fight the people who make them so hard .. . Good luck to you and all those who will fight for these magnificent animals.

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