Report from Taiji: October 24
The dolphin hunters stayed in port again today. The free dolphins are safe again, but the captive dolphins continue in their new life of misery.
We went into Taiji this morning and watched the enslavers feed dead fish to the dolphins in the net pens. We also filmed one of the trainers working on the breaking of the dolphins. She lowered a platform into the pen and stepped into the water. She used a whistle to call the dolphins and handed them dead fish. It was terribly difficult to watch these majestic creatures reduced to conditional response for food. Remember, friends do not let friends patronize establishments that capitalize on captive dolphins.
It is the Japanese government who allows the dolphin hunt, capture, and slaughter to occur in Taiji and elsewhere in Japan. National law allows for hunting permits to be issued locally. Prefecture level authorities issue the permits. It is the law that needs to be changed. If dolphin molesting is outlawed in Japan, like it is in the modern and civilized world, then the so-called fishermen will have to find something else to do with their time. They should starting looking for new jobs now. There are only a couple of countries that allow wholesale harassment of marine mammals. It is a shame that Japan, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland continue to hold onto such barbaric ways.
Elora and I will be staying in Taiji until December 9. Our visas expire on December 10. A Sea Shepherd representative will replace me and so we will have a continued presence through the end of the season. Donations are still needed to fund this campaign. We already have commitments from volunteer Cove Guardians to keep coverage well into February and are counting on Cove Guardians to stand with Sea Shepherd here through the end of March 2011.
The dolphin hunting and slaughter season in Taiji runs until March 31, 2011. It picks up again on September 1, 2011. We are confident that Cove Guardians will answer the call and come join us here this year, but for those who cannot come this year; start making your plans for next year. This is working and if we continue our presence long enough, the laws will be changed. When that happens, Japan can take a respectful place among the nations of the world.
You can help. Spread the word, send donations to the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian campaign, join in the Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day on November 5, avoid all travel to Japan except to become a Cove Guardian with us here in Taiji, make good consumer choices regarding whether or not to purchase Japanese products, 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 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 Guardian Rex Ray is also keeping a blog.
Future Cove Guardians Tarah , Carolyn , Leah, Steven, and Rosie and Dinielle have started blogs about their endeavors.
The Taiji Dolphin Action Group blog.