Before and After Taiji

By Kirsten Massebeau

Photo Created by Michelle Jean of Striped Dolphin and packaged Striped Dolphin

“Sexual maturity is reached at 12-15 years. Longevity is about 55–60 years. Gestation lasts approximately 12 months and there is a three or four year gap between having babies”. At first one might think the above description is referring to the life time, and reproductive process of a human. Interestingly, this is not the life span of a human but a striped dolphin. Their brains are large as mans, and they live in a uniquely complex social world where family is everything. These deep water pelagic beings do not often venture close to shorelines but prefer the open sea. Being elusive their actual numbers are considered data deficient. They have been found to be most resistant to imprisonment (captivity), and have proven to be untrainable. These noble beings cannot be broken.

Video Provided by Save Japan Dolphin

Sadly no mercy or respect is shown to the monarchs of the sea in Taiji Japan.  The small town coastal town stubbornly continues to hunt dolphins rejecting all modern scientific discoveries revealing advanced intelligence and sensitivity in cetaceans. A senseless slaughter supported by the captive dolphin industry gives this small group of men the incentive to continue the hunt. February 12th, 2012 will be yet another day of memory for another pod lost. Approximately 33 striped dolphins were driven into the cove after a chase lasting several hours. Once the dolphins were exhausted, and panicked the hunters pushed them into the cove, netted them off and then one by one dragged them into the shallows slowly slaughtering the fighting dolphin family. Striped dolphins are known to panic in the cove often launching onto the rocky cliffs. Activists on the ground in Taiji report of the suffering SeaShepherd, “Taiji: Dolphins thrashing and Killers yelling as pod is murdered one by one under the tarps. 11:37am #tweet4taiji”. The Japanese Government has tried to claim that they are slaughtering these highly sensitive beings humanely. Last year’s undercover filming under the blue tarp by Dieter Hagmann demonstrated suffering beyond imagination that continued for 7 minutes.

Tim Burns (SJD), “Approx 30 striped dolphins killed today in the cove. We will upload the footage of dolphins still alive in the boat tonight onto savejapandolphins .org”
Sea Shepherds, “Taiji: 31 striped dolphins were murdered today. 2 babies w/ mother released at sea. Questionable if mother was still alive”.

A family, a community of parents with children murdered and three possible survivors dumped at sea. The senselessness destruction of this pod of striped dolphins for meat that is tainted with mercury, PCB’s and other pollutants makes no sense. Not only are these 30 dolphin hunters causing dolphins to senselessly suffer while they destroy dolphin lives and families,  they are also causing direct harm to the community in which they live by selling the dolphin meat, “Mercury levels in dolphin meat sold in Japan are far higher than would occur in nature and certainly higher than is allowed under the health standards of any developed nation. There are also high levels of cadmium and PCBs as well as chemicals of the dioxin group”

So why does the killing and capturing continue? The meat is still sold in the grocery stores although it’s demand is dying quickly as the people of Japan attempt to get foods free of toxins and the popularity of dolphin meat has declined radically. The captive industry continues to subsidize the slaughter but why does the slaughter continue?

Compiled from "Living With Whales" by Michelle Jean

It seems the dolphin hunters of Taiji know the days of the hunt are over. For the last 40 years 1000’s upon 1000’s of dolphins have been murdered in The Cove. Now it’s time to end it. Let’s start talking and working on a solution.
Join the fight today!

12 thoughts on “Before and After Taiji

  1. This makes me so angry, and sick. I can not believe that people would actually do this to these beautiful animals. After reading this all i want to do is help!

  2. Kirsten i have tears of joy right now. The dolphin killers are ended the hunt early until the end of February instead of March. The dolphin meat market is declining rapadily. The mayor told a japanese reporter since the japanese people found out about the mercury it’s no longer selling. This is music to my ears. Our prayers are being answered. This is also to all the hard work you and all the activists have done. Thank you, thank you thankyou from the bottom of my heart for risking your lives to save these intelligent beings of the sea.I’m just curious: If the dolphin meat had no mercury would the dolphins still have been saved?? Please reply back.

    • We both know now the hunt did not end early. At a time when scientists are claiming dolphins should be given non-human person status they are butchered in the bloody cove. Mothers, babies, whole families swim to their death much like the Jews walked to the ovens in Auschwitz. We must never stop fighting for the people of the sea!! Together we can end it!

  3. hi Kirsten.. thanks for your blog.. interesting pictures from michelle jean, i never see any videos from the taiji town on what they want to work on together to stop and make changes

  4. What angers me the most of these DOLPHINS KILLERS is: WHEN THE DOLPHINS ARE being slaughtered tears are running down thier faces and then they start screaming. How heartless you so call men are not humans in my eyes. Mr. Ishii a former dolphin hunter and Hardy Jones of has witness this with thier own eyes. Mr. Ishii couldn’t take seeing the tears any more and that’s when he turn his life around. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart Mr. Ishii for giving up dolphin hunt. You have my utmost respect. It’s just ashame these Taiji fishermen don’t follow your example. IGNORANT,UNEDUCATED,SELFISH GREEDY ANIMALS!!!! Mr. Ishii once said these fishermen when they die will come back as a dolphin.Thank’s to all activists for not giving up on these intelligent beings of the sea.I will continue to send donations and help in other ways.These poor defensedless creatures suffered to long in Taiji it’s time we repay them back.I’m also glad the activists are making life uncomfortable for the DOLPHIN KILLERS!!!! You guys/gals are doing a great job it will pay off one day, hopefully soon. I have a good feeling this will end once and for all.

  5. Kirsten you are doing a wonderful job in keeping all of us posted of the events in Taiji. Thank you so much for that. I want to ask another question. Do you honestly believe Taiji community never knew of this dolphin hunt thats be gone on for decades?? It’s just hard to believe nobody in Taiji knows about it. Please reply back.

    • Diane the people of Taiji are well aware of the slaughter. They have been driving dolphins into that bloody cove for forty years. The problem is today we have science proving cetacean intelligence. Dolphins have brains as large as mans, with social skills far beyond mans. I believe it is time for the 30 Fisherman to open their eyes to the truth and to science. They are killing the people of the sea. It is time to end it! Thank-you for your thoughtful comment Diane.

  6. That’s what i keep asking myself. Why is this slaughter still happening if the market is low?? These dolphins killers know thier being watched and filmed and still continues It’s incomprehensible to me. What’s the solution? Ric Obarry always said it’s up to the japanese people to stop it. Obvisiously thier not doing anything, even when thier children are upset over it. If we never give up it will end eventually. Until thier’s a solution dolphins will continue to die.What do you think the solution is in saving the dolphins? Please reply back.

  7. Pingback: Before and After Taiji « Kirsten Writes

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