Report from Taiji: January 13
A dolphin hunter holds a young striped dolphin
by the tailWhen the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians woke up this morning, we had no idea that this day would be one of the hardest any of us have lived thus far. In fact it did turn out to be one of the most difficult days, but we’ve needed to lean heavily on each other for comfort.
Time and time again, we’ve seen the striped dolphins become blinded by fear and today’s events were such that any nation, and any human involved, should be deeply shamed. Yet the dolphin killers of Taiji are not ashamed by what they have done today, for I fear that these men have lost their souls.
A pod of roughly 25 striped dolphins were being driven into the Cove today. As they were driven into the Cove, four adults and one small juvenile broke off from the group and swam directly for the rocky shoreline. These five dolphins made it into a small alcove in the cliff face and beached themselves on the razor sharp rocks. It was only a matter of minutes before the alcove was filled with the blood of these terrified sentient beings. As they thrashed about on the rocks, slashing their sensitive skin, the hunters took one look at these dolphins and decided to continue on into the killing cove to murder the rest of the pod. Five dolphins were left to die an excruciatingly slow and horrendously painful death for nearly an hour.
Blood covers the pants of a dolphin hunterI’ve grown up believing that culture is something people should be proud of, that animals should be loved, respected, and blessed, and are only to be killed without enduring pain and suffering when absolutely necessary for human survival, with no part going to waste. I didn’t realize that cold-blooded murder and heartless brutality was considered so-called culture. Another gruesome fact is that the bodies of the juvenile and four adults were not retrieved and left to rot in the alcove as wasted deaths. What happened today is something that will haunt my dreams and memories for the rest of my life.
After this hideous display of barbaric inhumanity, we were aggressively approached by a pro-hunting reporter from T.V. Asahi. This woman has been seen crossing barricades (that we cannot cross), spending time with the dolphin hunters, and laughing at the fact that dolphins are being slaughtered. Today, we tried to show her our footage of these dolphins dying a horrible death on the rocks, and she told us that she doesn’t care about the dolphins and that she only wants a story about Sea Shepherd. Hearing her say that made me lose a bit of faith in my species. This reporter holds the power at her fingertips in reaching the mass public, the power of the media, yet she has no desire to show her people and her nation the immoral truth about what is happening here in Taiji.
Spread the word. Raise awareness. Speak out.
Dolphin Base: From the United States, dial 81-0735-59-3514 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com. 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,
Dolphins stranded on rocks in the Cove on January 13th
Video credit: Nicole McLachlan (8:50)
|Fishermen pull a dolphin from the killing cove into a skiff
||A Taiji dolphin killer pushes a dolphin out of a net
Nicole, who will be assisting me during the next three months, will share her experiences while in Taiji on her blog.