Over the past few days here in Taiji, we’ve been keeping a close watch on the captive areas around the town…
On Thursday, we saw a transfer of two Risso’s Dolphins from the Taiji Harbour pens into the Taiji Dolphin Resort Hotel. In order to transfer these beautiful animals, they were tied to either side of a skiff (small powered boat), then hoisted up by the use of a crane over the walls of the Hotel… The sounds were deafening and the Risso’s Dolphins seemed terrified… These dolphins were taken out of the killing cove by dolphin trainers on December 4th. On the day, 6 of their family members were slaughtered before the eyes of the dolphin trainers and the dolphins themselves… there was one other Risso’s dolphin that was taken from the pod that day, and it now resides in a small sea pen alongside a Pilot Whale and two Bottlenose Dolphins at Dolphin Base, which is located less than fifty metres from the Dolphin Resort Hotel. It is heart-wrenching to see the two dolphins being taken over the Hotel wall, when swimming extremely close by is a member of their family… a brother, sister, mother, aunt, uncle… who will never see its’ family again.
To see how ‘disposable’ the trainers and dolphin hunters view these animals is quite sickening. We’ve seen examples of this, the most disturbing being when both trainers and dolphin fishermen left captive dolphins trapped in their sea pens during a typhoon in early September, predictably due to their neglect to care for or release these dolphins, some seem to have been killed as the typhoon knocked the trapped animals around within the pens. But of course, those who work within the industry know that they can just ‘replace’ the dolphins with more from the wild… they are nothing more than a commodity.
We are constantly convinced of this when we witness the trainers entering the killing cove during a slaughter, to pick our their ‘favourites’ or the most ‘attractive’ looking dolphins for a life in captivity.
Yesterday and the day previous, we saw just that, as the dolphin hunters drove in yet more pods of Risso Dolphins into the killing cove quite early in the morning. There were 16 in total in the first, and 13 in the second, and as the dolphins were reluctantly forced within the doomed cove, trainers prepared slings in skiffs to select four dolphins of their choice. By the time the dolphins were driven up onto the beach, the trainers arrived and disappeared underneath the tarpaulins that display the shame that these people have for what they do. Minutes later, a skiff with dolphins emerged- three on Saturday, one yesterday, (at least one small juvenile) tied to the boat. Some headed toward Taiji Harbour to keep the dolphins there- replacing the two Risso’s that were taken to the Hotel a few days previous.
It is time to stop regarding dolphins and all other animals on this Earth as commodities; something that humans can benefit from somehow. There is enough knowledge and education means out there to make well-informed decisions about how we use the natural resources on Earth. Taking intelligent and ecologically important animals from the wild for human entertainment or consumption is foolish considering the fact that we know what kind of effects this has on our ocean ecosystems.
Something drastic needs to be done about the over-exploitation of wildlife worldwide.
For those of you who want to help us make a difference and have a hand at stopping the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, click here! Also- to help me in my mission to give a voice to the youth of the world, read all about my ‘In Our Hands’ project and PLEASE get involved!
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Thanks again for all the support guys!
On the path to protect,