Report from Taiji: December 31
Misty's stagnant pool
2010 has been ushered out of Taiji, Japan with yet another slaughter-free day. What a beautiful way to end a year that has been filled with blood and horror for the past four months. The Cove Guardians are constantly aware, however, that this respite will soon come to an end, and in a few days, the hunters will be back aboard their banger boats. Time is so precious, and each year seems to sweep by faster than the last.
Time is something that is more than likely running out for the dolphin being held in inhumane conditions at Dolphin Base. When the Cove Guardians took the footage of this dolphin, we had no idea that it would spread around the world like wildfire. This depressed little dolphin, with the ever-present buoy in its mouth, has now been named Misty (we do not know if this dolphin already has a name, or if it is male or female, but supporters around the world have started calling it Misty) and a Facebook page has been created by supporters called “Save Misty the Dolphin.”
We visited Misty again today and found this poor creature to be floating in the same spot as yesterday, clutching its yellow buoy. I am shocked that a living being would be held in conditions such as this. The tank is estimated to be around eight feet deep, which is about the length of the dolphin, and green algae is rapidly overtaking the water.
A banger boat is decorated with flags for New Year's Day
Supporters have been calling and e-mailing Dolphin Base, which is the first step toward saving Misty’s life and raising awareness about the treatment of captive dolphins. The public needs to be aware that contact from the people is making a difference. If the Cove Guardians had the power to set Misty free, we would have done it by now. However, this dolphin is being kept in a facility that is not lacking in security, and moving a dolphin is a feat of great proportion. Being arrested and deported will only leave Misty and the rest of the dolphins alone at a time when they need our help.
Misty has become a worldwide phenomenon and perhaps this is the attention that is needed to finally shut down the captive trade, and therefore the slaughter, permanently. Spread the word. Raise awareness. Speak out.
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 truck at Dolphin Base
Nicole, who will be assisting me during the next three months, will share her experiences while in Taiji on her blog.
Rupert Imhoff, who is also assisting with this campaign, has started a YouTube channel of video taken during his time in Taiji.