Dolphins Fought Bravely for Their Lives

Rest in Peace Sweet Risso Dolphins

As anti-whaling day unfolded people around the globe stood up and spoke out about saving the whales. Today scientists have proven that cetacean brain size is equal to that of man’s, and that in some ways whales and dolphins maybe even more intelligent.“Bottlenose dolphins have convincingly demonstrated that they use a mirror to investigate their own bodies, showing that they have a sense of self (Reiss and Marino, 2001). These findings are consistent with further evidence for self-awareness and self-monitoring in dolphins and related cognitive abilities (see Marino et al, 2008, for a review). In particular, the highly elaborated cingulate and insular cortex in cetacean brains are consistent with the idea that these animals are highly sophisticated and sensitive in the emotional and social-emotional sophistication not achieved by other animals including humans.

All of the above factors provide cause for concern over the vulnerability of whales and dolphins when placed in stressful situations, including capture, drive hunts, and the disruption of social networks. Moreover, conservation measures that do not take into account the psychological complexity of these animals will do little to alleviate suffering on an individual level. Beyond our scientific understanding, our current knowledge of cetacean brains and cognitive abilities demands we develop a new ethic of respect and coexistence with them” (Phillip Brakes and Mark Peter Simmonds, Whales and Dolphins Cognition, Culture, Conservation and Human Perceptions, Washington, DC, Earthscan, 2011).

Photo Provided by Martyn Stewart

Photo Provided by Martyn Stewart

Photo provided by Martyn Stewart

Photo provided by Martyn Stewart

With all of the science supporting dolphin intelligence, and love for dolphins worldwide it makes the daily slaughter of our brothers and sisters of the sea seem so distorted and out of step with the rest of the world. Activists cannot help but wonder what drives these men on day after day as they pick up their knives, harpoons and bamboo nails only to hide behind their tarps where they dominate, and destroy our ocean friends with such cruel intent.

The dolphin hunters have gone to great lengths to hide their killing activities yet this year more footage of the killing cove itself was obtained  from a concerned citizen of Taiji undoubtedly afraid to speak out. This year the killers have built walls so the watchful eyes of the world cannot see the beloved dolphins die a slow death lasting 7 minutes or more. Thanks to activist Dieter Hagmann the world now knows how sadistic and horrific a dolphins last moments are in the killing cove.

Killing Dolphins at Taiji is Slow and Cruel from on Vimeo.

13-15 Risso Dolphins murdered on November 3rd, and now again, two days later on November 5th another Risso pod of 10 dolphins have been driven into the cove without any mercy as noted by Martyn Stewart:

“Waters run red in the cove, not sure of the numbers but up to 10 risso’s dolphins have lost their valuable lives in Taiji today. My heart flies at half mast, how much longer do we have to endure this barbaric nature. We will run out of dolphins before they will stop but we must continue this valuable fight”.

The small group of activists on the ground bravely bare witness to the pain and suffering of the dolphins. Activists are calling for more volunteers on the ground in Taiji. They need your help. Do you have what it takes to join this movement and stand up for the dolphins in Taiji? 

“You walk through the shadow of death here and you feel evil everywhere. People of Taiji and Japan knows exactly what is happening here make no bones about it. Instead of looking at what purpose we are here for I get looked at as though I’m instigating a terrorist attack. Our souls have been destroyed here today but they will replenish for the fight tomorrow. We need people on the ground here desperately or we can just say goodbye to an amazing species”.(Martyn Stewart, 11/03/11)

Photo provided by Izumi Ishii Ex-Dolphin Hunter

Since the dolphin slaughter began September 1st approximately 91 Risso Dolphins have been  slaughtered in The Cove. They are one of the dolphin species that has insufficient data about their populations. This season several mothers and babies have been brutally slaughtered. Risso female dolphins have babies less often than humans. They carry their babies for 12 months and their babies stay at their mothers side for many years to learn social, and hunting skills. The dolphin hunters have no mercy for mothers or babies. The dolphins are forced under the blue tarps of shame where even children meet a gruesome death at the end of their sharp knives. Their’s is a sadistic cruelty, a desire to dominate, and destroy that is rarely seen or understood.

Picture of Dolphin Traders Provided by Martyn Stewart

How long these killing will continue depends on several factors the most important being the captive dolphin industry. For every thousand killed 100 are sent to dolphinariums worldwide. Aquariums, swim with dolphin programs, and places like SeaWorld may seem benign but in fact they keep the vicious cycle of slaughter going as live dolphin trade continues to grow.

Take Action! Get active through social media, spreading the word, contacting embassies, and participating on Dolphin Awareness day September 1st. Tell your friends and family about the movie, “The Cove”, and “A Fall From Freedom” Also, to learn more read Hardy Jones, “The Voice of Dolphins” learn more about the dolphin drives and the Mercury and PCB’s in the dolphin meat We must convince Taiji and the world that the dolphins have a right to travel by Taiji safely without fear of being dragged to their deaths into the blood cove. Dolphins have a right to be free. Not everyone in Taiji supports the drive fisheries it is actually a small group of  26 fisherman and 13 boats. We must keep fighting to save the people of the sea before it’s too late for cetaceans, and our oceans.

Japanese Whalers Have No Compassion For The Minke Whale

By Kirsten Massebeau

The Deep and Sensitive Minke Whale

How can you not see the sensitivity and depth in the eyes of the minke whales. The minke is shy, and rather elusive weighing up to 14 tons. As the  smallest of the baleen whales, the minke is a filter feeder dining on krill, and small schooling fish like cod, and pollock. They are fast swimmers,swimming up to speeds of 24 mph. They reach maturity at 7 or 8 years of age. The females carry their babies for 10-11 months, and their babies nurse for 6 months much like humans. The females swim closer to the shore than the males. The minke’s travel in small groups or alone. They have complex family bonds, and communities. They speak a complex dialect and are famous for vocalizing the “boing”.

Unfortunately for the minke whales of 2011, they are a target of commercial whaling, “Only in recent decades have minke whales been taken by whalers to any extent; they were thought to be too small to be a worthwhile catch. But as the larger whale species became depleted, the whalers began to hunt the minke as a replacement. Since the late 1960s and 1970s, Japan, Russia (which has now ceased whaling), and (to some extent) Norway have focused their whaling efforts on minke whales”, “American Cetacean Society ” Because they had already  driven the huge whales like the sperm whale to the brink of extinction, the whalers switched their focus to the smaller minke whale where it remains today.    

North Pacific whaling in Japan -- they use smaller harpoon boats (two have their home ports in Taiji), and kill whales within 50 km of the port they're whaling out of. No "mother ship" here, they just drag the poor soul by it's tail to the port, load it onto the dock via crane and start cutting.(Brian Barnes, Save Japan, May 13,2011) 
On April 26, 2011 three so called, “research” whaling ships left the ports of Kushiro and Hokkaido. The thirty member crew had received a permit to harvest sixty minke whales for research purposes. In the name of research the Japanese will end up with approximately six hundred tons of minke whale meat.

Minke whale sashimi @ Fugu Itou - Ginza - Tokyo

This Minke Whale sashimi was slaughtered in the name of research.

The hunted whale has a violent awakening from its quiet life.”Even using ‘modern’ methods – which have changed little in 100 years – whale hunts often involve prolonged and intense suffering. The hunt often begins with a pursuit lasting hours, until the whale slows from exhaustion.Once in range, hunters fire an exploding harpoon. This is intended to pierce the whale’s body to a depth of 12 inches before detonation.Sea swells and movement of the boat and whale make a single lethal shot almost impossible.Even if on target, the harpoon rarely kills instantly. Instead it causes massive shock and injury. Inaccurate shots are followed by secondary harpoons and rifle fire.Hunters winch the injured animal onto their boat. At this point, it can be unclear whether the whale is dead – they can store vast amounts of oxygen and shut down all but their essential organs.The whalers’ criteria for judging when a whale is dead are considered inadequate by theInternational Whaling Commission. This means whales may still be in pain even when recorded as dead. Whalers frequently claim that a whale dies within two minutes. WSPA has proof that the death throes can last over an hour.”

Until Japan voluntarily ends their insatiable desire  for whale meat the minke whales future is bleak.


Contact the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC and urge them to stop killing whales and dolphins.  Be polite, and urge them to protect Japanese consumers from mercury poisoning from eating dangerous whale and dolphin meat.

Ambassador Ichiro FUJISAKI

2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20008

Phone:  202-238-6700

Fax: 202-328-2187

Japan Information and Culture Center


Email the Prime Minister of Japan Nato Kan. Let him know you will not support Japan if they won’t stop murdering cetaceans. By Law the Japanese government must respond to all emails. This is a direct link to his comment page.

Please Support the Sea Shepherds, The Cove Guardians, Save Japan Dolphins, and Wdsf/Prowal. Together we can make a difference.