The bloodshed continues here in Taiji, as today marked the third day out of four where the dolphin hunters located and slaughtered a pod. Two days ago, a family of 13 Risso's dolphins were sentenced to their deaths, with one being taken to a life in captivity- a death sentence in itself. The previous day, three Risso's dolphins were taken for captivity, however four transportation slings were taken into the killing cove. This could only mean that the people in charge of selecting the 'suitable' show dolphins were impressed with three on the first day. They knew there would be another chance to make their fourth selection, and were given this opportunity the following day.
Today, the dolphin killers drove and slaughtered a family of 14 Striped dolphins. This amazing species often leaves many people in awe of their beauty and grace, yet for a dolphin hunter, the ‘another day, another dollar, (another dolphin)’ mentality comes into play.
The drive was so exhausting for the pod this morning that they barely had any fight left in them once they had reached the killing cove. This was the first (of many) Striped dolphin slaughters I have witnessed where they did not frantically throw themselves onto the jagged cliff face surrounding them in a desperate bid for freedom. Once they reached the tarpaulins, which cover the killing cove beach, their high-pitched vocalizations of pain and their relentless thrashing against the slaughter, rang through the air as a horrific reminder of what these men are hiding.
To see the process whereby a family of dolphins, a tight-knit social unit of intelligent and self-aware beings, becomes nothing but packaged meat on a shelf is nothing short of hideous. The fact that the dolphin hunters, trainers, transporters, and buyers go to any length imaginable to hide what they do just affirms the notion that this is not a proud tradition. Today we saw under the tarps and behind "closed doors." During the transportation of the dead dolphin bodies from the killing cove to the butcher house, one lone dolphin rostrum (beak) was protruding from underneath the tarpaulin, its mouth ajar. We also discovered local dolphin meat buyers cutting up their share of the dolphin meat that had just been remorselessly hacked up. After noticing the eyes of the world were on them, they scurried as fast as they could to hide their actions.
The fact that the Japanese government endorses the killing of these dolphins and prevents others from protecting these animals against unimaginable pain and suffering, all with taxpayer money, is just atrocious. This ridiculous turning away from empathy and towards greed and profit is the act that will destroy any hope left for a healthy future for terrestrial and marine environments across the world. This kind of disconnect from basic conservation issues, as well as the animals themselves, just shows how removed humans have become from our animal counterparts.
For a group or individual, to oppose another individual’s right to send a compassionate message is insanity in its simplest form. This week, a video has come to light, which demonstrates not only a lack of basic understanding of conservation and the state of our oceans, but also shows the absolute animosity that mankind can possess after blindly believing the biased, one-sided information of the media. It is extremely important for anyone who learns of an issue through mainstream media to delve further into that issue through other means.
All we have to say is, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will have a presence here in Taiji every single day of the dolphin-hunting season until the killing stops. If you have an issue you would like to take up with us, well, you know where to find us...
The dolphin hunts, slaughters, and captive imprisonment are still occurring in Taiji. We have managed to significantly reduce the numbers of those killed and captured, but it is not over. We need your help. The killing season is expected to last through the end of March 2012. If you have wanted to join a Sea Shepherd crew, but have not been able to serve at sea, your chance to serve as crew awaits you in Taiji. Campaign Infinite Patience is ongoing and the Cove Guardians need you. We are able to tie the hunters and authorities into knots with just a few Cove Guardians on the ground. Imagine what we could do with 30!
We have learned from the police here that the barrage of emails, calls, and letters to the Fishermen's Union (FU), Taiji Whale Museum, Dolphin Base, the Dolphin Resort hotel, and the Japanese embassies and consulates around the world is getting to them. If you cannot join the crew on the ground you can certainly let the folks at these places have it. Do not let them get away with this. It works. Write to Scott West at cove firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about joining the Cove Guardian crew (voluntarily and completely at your own cost and risk).
December 2011 Dolphins from being captured to becoming meat at the butcher's house
Dolphins in Taiji, Japan, are shown being captured, transported by skiff to the butcher's house, then cut into pieces of meat (1:30)