By Kirsten Massebeau
In 2009 Ric O’Barry‘s academy award winning documentary, “The Cove” was released and it shocked the world http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/cove/. The documentary exposed Taiji, Japan a place where every year 2000 dolphins are hunted using a technique called, Oikomi, or drive fishery. Hunters go out in metal boats with fluted poles attached to the sides that reach into the water. Once the small fleet of hunters locate dolphins they quickly create a half circle and then beat on the metal poles creating a sound that is extremely painful to the dolphins.The dolphins, with their acute hearing attempt to flee from the pounding that is amplified underwater. As they attempt to move away from the sound they are driven into the deadly bay where captures and slaughter are performed. Once netted off trainers arrive to select the young and most attractive dolphins. The rest of the pod is then slowly slaughtered as seen in Dieter Hagmann’s graphic video footage secretly obtained in 2010-11 season. A striped dolphin can be seen suffering for over seven minutes as a hunter stabs, and slices while filling the wounds with bamboo nails to impede the blood flow thus hiding the horrendous nature of the slaughter. Throughout the video the dolphin remains conscious suffering an inhumane death beyond imagination.
The dolphin hunters of Taiji, are a small group of men, who have used every possible means to hide their cruel, and sadistic treatment of dolphins but watchful continue to capture video and now live footage. Since release of the Cove the number of more dolphin conservationists arrive in Taiji every winter ready to bear witness for the dolphins.
Social media has become key in these efforts. Volunteers on the ground in Taiji relay messages via Twitter and Facebook to groups like Taiji Dolphin Action Group who then post drive updates to members who then push the information along, ultimately trying to reach people outside of their circle who have no idea this sad practice takes place each year from September to March of every year in Taiji, Japan. The group boasting over 5000 members has a clear mission statement: “Our primary goal is to end the hunt in Taiji. We will accomplish this encouraging and supporting Japanese people to get actively involved. Change ultimately will come from the inside the hearts of Japanese people. However, we also see great value in “Gaiatsu” outside pressure by individuals and groups around the world.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/taijiactiongroup/
Ric O’Barry has again found a way to reach the world. Live Stream or Ustream allows real-time coverage. Using an iPad and wireless connection Save Japan Dolphins has been able to report live from the cove as the boats go out, and as the dolphins are driven in.
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/savejapandolphins. Between January 5th and 10th the Save Japan Dolphins team broadcasted live 25 times from Taiji.
Unfortunately, this new technology and the constant media coverage has not impeded the hunters. Each day pod after pod of dolphins has been driven into, “The Cove”. Most of these innocent souls brutally murdered. Within a three day period approximately 105 striped dolphins have died in the Cove, nine Risso’s Dolphins were captured, two of which were captured two selected for captivity http://www.ceta-base.com/drivefisheries.html.
Video Provided by Save Japan Dolphins
When will the inhumane slaughter and capture of these gentle beings end. The dolphin meat is laced with Mercury and PCB‘s http://bluevoice.org/news_dolphinmeat.php yet the killing continues. What will make the hunters turn away from this unsustainable practice. And when will the world open their eyes and hearts to our ocean friends who deserve so much more from mankind. How long the drive continues is unknown at this point but one thing is for certain. Dolphin conservationists will not give up. They will use media of all kinds to reach the world and people of Japan until the inhumane dolphin drives have ended.
What can you do? Follow any of these links to become an advocate for the monarchs of the sea that need our help so desperately.
Kirsten,Liz Batt, Sea Shepherd,Cove Guardians: Thank you so much in your efforts to help protect the dolphins/whales.I understand the hunt is over for now and i know there still a ways to go,but at least there’s a little peace of mind those KILLER BOATS will not be doing drive hunts for a while.You all did a fabalous job in keeping the world posted of the events in Taiji.I don’t know how you guys/gals did it.I couldn’t watch the slaughter on video let alone in person and filming it.I’m not strong enough for that kind of stuff.As a matter of fact every time i watched The Cove i always skipped the slaughter scene.I’m just curious about one thing.If the dolphin meat did not have mercury would the dolphins still have been saved? Thank you again activists for your hard work.TOGETHER WE CAN ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!! RIP
Kirsten: I just sent another donation. I try to do it on a monthly basis.There’s something else i need to know. Is it true the people of Taiji are afraid to step up to the plate to stop this? They are afraid to go againist thier government. That’s scary to me if this is true. Ric Obarry always said it’s up to the japanese people to stop this.They won’t listen to westerners but they may listen to the japanese people.Please reply back.
You are right Diane it is up to the people of Japan to speak out and I think there is more awareness there everyday. As for the town of Taiji I think they have always supported whaling and the dolphin hunt. They see dolphins as fish but science today tells us just the opposite. In fact, science today tells us dolphins and whales deserve non-human person status. The whaling coastline of Japan needs to open their eyes to the truth. The drive hunt was officially over today but we must remember that they harpoon dolphins at sea all year long. They land the meat in other coastal towns. We are hoping that some of this can be tracked and reported on this year. Thank-you for your comments Diane. They are always thought provoking.
Kirsten Massebeau: just today 2/27/2012 there’s a video of 98 Pantropical spotted dolphins being slaughtered. Watch the video one dolphin took 10 min. to die. I’m not able to watch things like that, it’s to disturbing.I don’t get it the dolphin meat is down. Why are dolphins still being slaughtered?? I thought the hunt is supposed to end early.When is it going to end?? These heartless dolphin killers know thier being watched and photographed and still continue. Why is that?? Please reply back.
Sadly this slaughter is paid for by captivity so they will probably fight to keep the drives going. Dolphins line the Taiji dolphin hunters pockets with gold. The hunters try to hide the cruel and horrific things they do to dolphins. The activists on the ground do their best to catch as much footage as possible. I too heard the hunt was to end early but possibly since they have not met their quota could be why they are continuing until the last minute. Although the drive will end the hunters will continue to harpoon dolphins at sea. They do this year round and land the meat down the coast. The meat is toxic, only the older generation still eat it. As heartbreaking as it is we must spread the word that dolphins must be free!
Kirsten Ma ssebeau: Please let Mr. Ishii know how thankful i am from the bottom of my heart for giving up dolphin hunt. He is my heroe, he’s few and far between. It’s ashame Taiji does not follow his foot steps. If there’s any way i could help him please let me know i will do it. It took alot of courage to do what he did, and for that he has my utmost respect. I have absoutely no respect for the TRAINERS, DOLPHINS KILLERS OR GOVERNMEN. And yes i do agree together we can all make a difference. Ric Obarry said in the cove movie WE WILL STOP THIS!! When you have a passion that strong you have to believe it will end. Thank you Kirsten for your hard work and keeping me posted on Taiji. WE THE PEOPLE WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON THESE MAGNIFICENT CREATURES OF THE SEA!!!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL
I just watched the movie The Cove for the 5th time. It’s always a tear jerker that film. I skip the slaughter scene. The scene i like the most is Ric Obarry storming in the IWC meeting with a lap top strapped around him of the actual slaughter for everyone to see.I was never a dolphin lover, as a matter of fact i don’t remember watchin Flipper as a kid i’m now 58 yrs. old. This is how powerful this movie is and how it rubbed off. I start getting involved by sending donations on a monthly basis, signing petitions, sending dozens of comments on the web site calling the japanese embassy and so on.I just ordered When Dolphins Cry by Hardey Jones.I am so glad Taiji’s dirty secret is out. I’m a firm beliver God wanted this exposed, He too is tired of man destroying the ocean and watchin these defendless creatures suffer.I have a strong feeling this slaughter will end it’s just a matter of when, unfortunanely dolphins will continue to die until then.Thank you Ric, Sea Shepherd, Cove GUARDIANS and all other activists for not giving up on these intelligent beings of the sea.Your efforts will pay off. GOD BLESS THE ACTIVISTS THE DOLPHINS THAT WILL CONTINUE TO DIE INTO THE EVIL HANDS OF TAIJI!!! RIP
Diane I love that scene too where Ric O’Barry storms through the IWC. I cry tears of hope every time!! Together we can make a difference.
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The dolphin trainers are worse then the dolphin killers. How could you train dolphins knowinly thier self aware and intelligent like a human, and turn a blind eye to the slaughter??? It baffles me to no end. Don’t you trainers have enough balls to stand up to these cowards? Or maybe it’s strictly for the money and your just blinded by everything around you,you just don’t care. COWARDS, INGORANT, UNEDUCATED SELFISH GREEDY!!!! TRAINERS, DOLPHIN KILLERS GOVERMENT YOU ARE ALL PATETHIC!!! HOW DARE YOU TAKE THE LIVES OF INNOCENT CREATURES AND GIVE YOUR COUNTRY A BAD NAME!!! SHAME ON YOU!!!
The trainers are IMATA Members. The trainers in Taiji decide whether dolphins live or die. How does this fit in with the IMATA ethics of ‘humane care”? It doesn’t. IMATA out of Taiji!!
I just hope Taiji does not become another Iki, Japan. When the hunt was finally shut down it was to late, there were no dolphins left. For the dolphins sake let’s come to a conclusion and end this once and for all. Hatred and name calling is not going to do it. Pressure, awareness and education is the key, and most of all never giving up. Let’s all pray by the time 9/01/2012 comes around this will end.
It seems to me these fishermen are getting worse. What’s going on? Every time i turn my computer on 30 to 50 dolphins have been slaughtered on a daily basis. I don’t get it they know thier being watched and photograph and they still continue to do thier evil acts. Ric O’barry said the slaughter lessen down, i feel like it got worse. I can’t watch the videos of the slaughter i’m not strong enough for that. Just reading about it upsets me. God bless u activists i don’t know how you guys/gals do it. These poor creatures suffered to long in Taiji, we can’t give up on them. I feel this evil cove was exposed for a reason. God is also getting tired watchin these poor souls suffer. I don’t think these men are going to change thier ways.They justified thier actions. Thier ignorance is to deep to the core. I don’t think any of them will be a Mr. Ishii. But i have faith one day this insanity will end as long as we don’t give up. Good luck to you all. GOD BLESS THE DOLPHINS WHO WILL CONTINUE TO DIE INTO THE EVIL HANDS OF TAIJI.RIP
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