On December 18th the Cove remained blue because the hunting boats stayed in port. Everyone was relieved about that. We hoped that they had had such a successful hunt and capture and made so much money during the past week that they would decide to break up for the holidays early. But our hopes were as shortlived as a packet of chocolate digestives in my cupboard.
The news that Taiji watchers dread appeared on Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian’s tweet :
Taiji: All hunting boats leaving the Harbour to start their search for more dolphins and small whales
#tweet4taiji Dec19 6:40am
The exceedingly welcome news came back later that the boats returned to port empty (apart from the hunters..hmm there’s a thought) They went out again tonight (which of course is early morning of 2oth Dec in Japan)
But what is happening to those dolphins who were taken captive?
“10 we counted yesterday, going from tiny holding pen to tiny holding pen. Divers get into the pen and chase the already terrified, confused, lonely and distressed animal into a corner where they loop slings around his body and pass lines to the people stood on the gangway. They then haul the struggling dolphin into the side of the pen so that one of the “trainers” can force feed him a dead fish. Eventually the dolphin will learn that this is where his food comes from and so they will progress to making him do tricks for his daily feed” Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians
Less We Forget (the pod that I called Centurion) and the 5 + longest days
101 – the number of dolphins taken for captivity in The Cove, December 12-17, 2012
23 – the number of dolphins slaughtered in The Cove December 12-17, 2012
2 – the number of dolphins who drowned in The Cove December 12-17, 2012
0 – the number of trainers who did anything to intervene on behalf of the dolphins in The Cove December 12-17, 2012
Here is a petition that you can sign – IMATA cannot claim to care about dolphins when they are aware of events in the Cove http://www.change.org/petitions/imata-trainers-don-t-train-taiji-dolphins (copy and paste)
Things do not look so good at the moment for the cetaceans of Taiji :
Taiji: 11 hunting boats way out on the horizon in drive formation.. Keep updated here
#tweet4taiji Dec20 9:35am
Taiji: Killers driving a pod toward Taiji right now! Still toward the horizon but getting closer!
#tweet4taiji Dec20 10:30am
Taiji: We will begin LIVESTREAMING in 5mins as a pod of dolphins are being driven toward Taiji’s cove.
#tweet4taiji Dec20 11:11am
It did not end well for the cetaceans of Taiji. Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians reported
“Today in Taiji: 25-30 Striped Dolphins were slaughtered within Taiji’s cove. As the killers drove the dolphins toward the beach, dolphin trainers from Taiji Whale Museum arrived to select dolphins for a life in captivity. After two skiffs full of dead dolphins emerged from within the cove after the slaughter, it became evident that the dolphin trainers did not deem any dolphins ‘suitable’ enough for captivity- instead, the trainers watched on as the dolphins were all killed in front of them- including several mothers and calves.
They then emerged from within the killing cove soon after, accompanied by dolphin killers.
Do not support captive dolphin facilities- educate others on the truth behind this industry.”
The dolphin trainers are from the Taiji whale museum. This is a sister facility of the Beijing Aquarium, which is an IMATA member facility. This is the International Marine Animals Trainers’ Association. In their Professional Code of Ethics we find:
“Members of this Association, specifically, must maintain the fortitude and insight necessary to demonstrate a sense of responsibility, beyond reproach, within the principles of professionalism dictated by morality, logic, and knowledge. These are the qualities to which the Association and every member of the marine animal community must aspire. As a result, the highest standards of ethical conduct are expected of the members of this Association at all times in all places….
As members of IMATA, each of us is committed to:
I. Exercising the highest levels of respect and humaneness for all animals…
Aware of the inherent need to maintain a positive image in the eye of the public-at-large…”www.imata.org
Yet IMATA state that they have no connection with the dolphin drives ? But they are linked to the Whale Museum. Surely the morality, respect and humaneness are being flouted here. They are aware of the history of the dolphins which they train.
People also insist that the Japanese people as a whole must be aware of what happens in Taiji, especially after the airing of “The Cove” (2009) but Japanese people are uninformed about various issues as TV and news is monitored by the govenment. Sea Shepherd Scotland arrived in Japan last week and they are convinced that the public are unaware which is why it is crucial to get the word out. It is not the fault of the Japanese people per se that this barbaric hunt happens on their shores.
Even Emperor Akihito’s speech was censored on TV in March 2012, when he spoke on the one year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami. He made comments about the nuclear disaster at Fukushima
“As this earthquake and tsunami caused the nuclear power plant accident, those living in areas designated as the danger zone lost their homes and livelihoods and had to leave the places they used to live. In order for them to live there again safely, we have to overcome the problem of radioactive contamination, which is a formidable task” (http://www.theatlantic.com/…/2012/03/japan-in…censorship-of…/255025/)
This contradicted the government’s assurance that it was safe for people to return to almost all areas and cruciallt neither Tokyo Electric Power Company nor the national government were obliged to offer help and support in longterm evacuations.
So if the Emperor can be consored it is not hard to imagine that the Japanese public are kept in the dark about Taiji. But it is gradually being disseminated to them. There was a public rally in Tokyo on November 24th against scientific whaling and the Taiji drive hunting. Those people were very courageous to participate in and organise that event.
The hunters should be taking a brief holiday soon but they will be back in January. The drive hunting continues until the end of March.