Report from Taiji: October 12
to the butcher shop
Here is what happened in Taiji and the Cove today.
Early this morning, the dolphin trainers came to the cove just as they always do when the hunters have brought dolphin here. They must have been surprised to see the crowd that was waiting for them. Not only were the Cove Guardians here, but also so were film crews and reporters. For the first time the trainers were unable to hide in the shadows and they had to face the cameras. I wonder if they lie to themselves about how they are intricately linked with the slaughter. We see these same trainers as they go about their day at the nearby dolphin parks. The public sees them as dolphin caretakers and I am certain they must tell the visitors how much they love these creatures. It is such a lie. These men and women are despicable excuses for human beings and this morning their faces were recorded by a dozen or more cameras.
But they would not be doing what they do if ignorant fellow human beings did not pay to attend dolphin shows or to have their kiddies photographed while swimming with captive dolphins. The trainers and dolphin parks are the pushers, and those who frequent such places are the users. The horror we had to witness this day comes down to money. Lots of money is involved in the dolphin industry. We are working here to end the hunt, but all of us also need to be working on destroying the demand for dolphin-based entertainment. Friends do not let friends patronize these places. Educate your neighbors. Together we can end this insanity.
After the cowardly trainers had picked two of the dolphins for a life of misery and quite literally dumped them in the back of a pick-up truck for local delivery, they slithered back out of the cove and away from the grim reality of their business. The dolphin slayers moved in next. By this time though, outraged people all over the planet had heard about the plight of this family of dolphins and increased the pressure on Japanese embassies and consulates. Japanese government officials are feeling this pressure and so are the “fishermen” in Taiji. There are even challenges to the Mayor of Taiji coming from within the City Council because of the pressure. The result is that the dolphin slayers are panicking. They have no idea how to deal with the onslaught. Scrambling for a solution, they decided to appease the world by sparing six juveniles. These six children are all that remain of a complex family unit. These six, while large enough to not have to depend upon their mother’s milk for sustenance, nonetheless depended upon the experienced adults in their community to lead the way and to teach them what they need to know. These six did not know what to do when the slayers released them. They did not move quickly out to sea for they had no one to lead them. How could they run away when the rest of their family had be brutally slaughtered within their sight and hearing? Where are they to go?
While these six are likely to be just as doomed as their relatives, there is cause for optimism here. We are making a difference. The past several years of spotlight on Taiji is taking its toll on the stubborn resolve of these so-called men. The intense pressure of the past month resulting from our day after day steadfast reporting is driving them to extreme measures. We cannot stop now. We must increase the pressure even more. Together we can stop this insanity in Taiji, and when we stop it here we will turn our attention to the next target and take it out too. On and on we will move until the dolphins and whales of planet earth are free to roam this one place that we all call home.
The killing was done in secret. Great efforts had been taken to shield their deeds from the cameras. But we saw enough. Despite their obvious shame at what they do, we still exposed the dolphin slayers. They cannot hide. We see them and know what they do in the dark. They left evidence of the grisly morning upon the rocks in the killing cove. My daughter swam into that evil place this afternoon and brushed her hand across a rock. The rock was still covered in dolphin blood. She swam back across the cove and came to me. How is a father to make it right? Her innocence is shattered and she will never be the same. I guess she is an adult now.
The greed of the slayers seems to be insatiable. Even while some of their number were involved in the grim work, six of the twelve hunter boats took to the sea this morning. Fortunately they came back empty handed. We expect that they will set out again in the early morning. We too will set out early and be waiting for them. They cannot hide.
We need your help. Spread the word, send donations, join in the international day of protest and in the Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day, avoid all travel to Japan except to become a Cove Guardian with us here in Taiji, and ensure that you do everything you can to keep the pressure on the Japanese authorities. It is unfortunate that the reputation of an entire nation is being tarnished by the evil and shameful deeds of a handful of men in Taiji. To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will get back to you, but please be patient. I cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer email at the same time
For the Oceans,
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Click here to learn more about the international day of protest on October 14, 2010.
Click here to learn more about the 5 November 2010 Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day.
The Blog Log:
My daughter, Elora Malama, has been with me here since day one and keeps a blog of her experiences.
Current Cove Guardians John and Jackie Legg have a blog about their experience here.
Future Cove Guardians Tarah and Carolyn have started blogs about their endeavors.
The Taiji Dolphin Action Group blog.
Blood runs over – the gutting barge
Blood trail in the water - the "gutting" barge