Report from Taiji: September 28 (new video)
There was a thunderstorm in the wee hours of this morning, which kept the dolphin hunters in harbor today. The day unfolded to be sunny and clear.
We thought the day was going to be calm, but late in the afternoon we took a drive through the town of Taiji and found the fishermen and trainers loading dolphins from the captive pens into crates/tanks and then onto a truck. We suspect they will be taken for export from Japan. watch video
The police were immediately upon us, but did not interfere with our photography. We then drove down to view the truck more closely and followed it when it left the inner harbor area. It stopped next to the fishermen’s union building where we found another truck with dolphins aboard. In all, we suspect there were 6-8 dolphins on the trucks.
We parked in the lot next to this activity and began filming them adding water and spraying some kind of chemical into the tanks from a pressure bottle. Up went a hue and a cry when the fishermen spotted us. The open sides of the trucks were quickly closed. One has to wonder why they felt the need to hide their actions. Are they ashamed of what they do? Do they know many in the world care about what happens here and are feeling the pressure? If it is legitimate business they conduct, then why hide it? I must say that their secretive behavior is identical to that of criminals I have investigated.
Our car became the center of attention. There was much yelling and waving of hands. The two plain-clothes policemen who had been following us jumped from their car and took control of the situation. They then told us that we were parked in a private lot and had to move. Later, the policemen explained that they were there to protect us. We do appreciate their presence. watch video
In our car were Sonja and her two sons, Matthew -15 and Robin -13, Elora -16, and I. I was impressed with how calm everyone remained throughout the whole incident. Sonja, Matthew, and Robin left tonight as planned.
Christy Morgan, who left us this morning, has a blog, and she has posted videos of our work in Taiji on Youtube.
We need your help now more than ever. Spread the word, send donations, join in the protest, and if at all possible, come join us here 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.
There is an international day of protest on October 14, 2010, where you will have an opportunity to let the Japanese government know how you feel.
Sea Shepherd organized the first couple of these protests.
For the Oceans,
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Follow my daughter’s blog of these events.
Tarah Millen will be joining us here in November. She has started a blog about her endeavor.
Dolphin sling at Dolphin House
September 28 at the Cove
Video of Taiji on September 28th
Live dolphins are transfered from the cove to trucks
Scott West encounters fishermen in their union parking lot