Alongside the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian’s presence in Taiji, there is a debate going on as to whether their presence there is effective in the longterm goal of bringing an end to the brutal drive hunt. I personally feel that they have created a lot of awareness and educated us about the link between dolphins/whales in dolphinariums and shows and the hunting. They are there to give the information to us and it is up to us to educate those around us about how the dolphin captive marine animal trade works.
The animal welfare movement in Japan is mobilising, as we know from the protest in Tokyo on November 24th 2012. One of the organizers, Toshiaki Moriaka explains something very significant in a statement which he does not object to people publicising as he is part of the movement looking for a solution to the problem :
Why I declined to go to Taiji.
By Toshiaki Morioka
“Would you come to Taiji to monitor the dolphin hunt? We will pay your travelling and accommodation expenses. Wouldn’t you like to meet Ric O’Barry?” This was the unexpected invitation I received from a German activist after November’s demo in Tokyo against the dolphin hunt. For a moment I was
tempted, but after some thought decided it was something I shouldn’t accept.There are three reasons. The first is that I couldn’t understand how my going to Taiji to monitor the
hunt would contribute to saving any dolphins. Of course, I would like to visit Taiji sometime, but I cannot perceive any useful purpose in monitoring the hunt with binoculars every morning. Second, receiving funds from an overseas organisation to visit Taiji is not appropriate behaviour for a Japanese activist. Regardless of the fact that the demo got off the ground through the efforts of the Japanese dolphin liberation movement (Action for Marine Mammals (AMM)), allowing an overseas group (Save Japan Dolphins) to meet my expenses would make it impossible to tell on behalf of which country or organisation I was acting. It would have looked as if
I were going to Taiji in support of SJD rather than as an independent Japanese activist. The third reason is more personal: I am no longer so attracted to Ric O’Barry. I greatly admire his work for the dolphin liberation movement, but I
don’t want to become part of the adoring masses who are drawn to him merely to bask in his fame and glory. Ric is a guest in Japan, while in Japan we Japanese are the “body” of the movement. It doesn’t matter how famous he is (which is a separate matter entirely, in my view): If we are to meet, isn’t it more appropriate that he should come to us? These are reasons why I have declined the German activist’s offer. If we
accepted their funds and went to Taiji, it would create a huge source of future trouble for the movement. More than anything, we have a responsibility as leaders of the Japanese dolphin liberation movement. We started this movement in order to free the marine mammals of Japan, not for the fame of
any individual, or on behalf of any overseas organisation. We must not forget this, our original intent. (This document reflects the personal opinion of the author and does not represent the official position of Action for Marine Mammals or the site where you may have found it.)
A few people are looking at alternative ways of approaching the problem in Taiji and some are feeling that the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians should actually withdraw and that it would not serve any purpose to encourage Japanese activists to go to Taiji as that is not proving to be effective. They would rather find a way of opening a dialogue with the Japanese Government as they feel that a monitoring presence in Taiji will always be confrontational. I can see the sense in that approach as this is a multifacteted issue. It is very complex and needs to be explored from various angles.
Here is an interesting piece to read about Taiji https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=21&cad=rja&ved=0CC8QFjAAOBQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgriffithreview.com%2Fedition-27-food-chain%2Ftrouble-at-dolphin-cove&ei=oCYAUbS4Ec7J0AW72YHYDA&usg=AFQjCNE-XttVDpCO8QBfKLul4yUyb6KuZw
Some information came to light on how much money is involved in the live capture aspect of the drives. The price of a dolphin sold by the Fishery Union is 800,000 yen ($9,000). This is the price for an untrained bottlenose dolphin. Trained dolphins fetch a higher price, for example the Taiji Whale Museum sells dolphins around 3 million yen ($33,000) in Japan and $30-50,000 to foreign aquariums.
So money talks louder than the protesters. Some countries, including the UK and Swizterland have banned dolphinariums. Apart from the unnatural training and having to go through the stress of performing for human entertainment, marine animals get sick and die from the unsuitable conditions :