Report from Taiji: December 11
The new curtain over the butcher house stepsI feel like I’ve lived this day before. The same scenario played out today as it did yesterday: the hunters went out in search of their innocent victims and snatched ten Risso’s dolphins from the sea. Again, we watched helplessly as lives were shattered and families were torn apart. The murderers of Taiji had struck again before the clock chimed the noon hour.
As we watched the banger boats perform their sickening display of agility on the horizon, a promising looking storm rolled over the mountains from the east. The clouds turned an ominous grey, the rain came, and the air felt charged. Unfortunately, the sun was still shining on the water and the hunters were able to escape the bad weather. For the dolphins, there was no escape.
For the past two days, the gutting barge has not been moved out of the harbor. Instead, a banger boat was brought to the mouth of the Cove to accept the transfer of bodies from the skiffs that drag them out of the killing cove. Gutting the bodies in the butcherhouse is something that I have never seen done before and it leads me to believe that the gutting barge is out of commission for some reason.
Yesterday, the dolphin killers were hard at work at the Fishermen’s Union and today a rigged drop cloth took its place among the many contraptions used to conceal their shame. A tunnel-like concoction of tarps and sheets now cover the stairs leading from the water to the butcherhouse. The boat is able to pull right up to those stairs, a dropcloth is lowered over the bow of the boat, and the bodies begin to be dragged up the stairs to inside remain out of public view. A final curtain is pulled on the life of a dolphin.
Here is your opportunity to become a Cove Guardian. To join us in Taiji (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk), write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you, but please be patient. We cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer e-mails at the same time. Contributions to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to keep our official presence here are needed and welcome. These contributions cover the costs for transport, telephone, equipment, supplies, food, and lodging for the official Sea Shepherd representative. We will remain here through the end of March and will return for the next season in September 2011.
Thank you to the citizens of Japan who are weighing these issues and beginning to take a stand to solve them. Thank you to everyone who is on the frontlines of this war. This is a war to save ourselves from ourselves. Without your calling and writing Japanese embassies and your own governments, there will be no change. Keep it up! Every time dolphins are pushed into the Cove, let them have it. Every time there is blood in the water, let them have it. Make good consumer choices. Inform everyone you know about the tragedy here and how it is linked to the captive dolphin trade. All who patronize a dolphin show have blood on their hands.
For the dolphins,
|A skiff takes bodies out of the Cove
||A banger boat transfers bodies to the butcher house
Nicole, who will be assisting me during the next three months, will share her experiences while in Taiji on her blog.
Scott’s daughter, Elora Malama West, who assisted him, will continue her blog from home.