Risso’s Dolphin Suffering Continues in The Cove

By Kirsten Massebeau

Risso’s dolphins netted off in The Cove, by SSCS Cove Guardians November 13, 2012

On November 13th the dolphin hunters of Taiji, Japan drove yet another pod of Risso’s dolphins into The Cove . This was the third small pod of Risso’s dolphins killed during the 2012-2013 season. A total of 38 Risso’s dolphins have been captured, with only seven being taken captive, four babies and juveniles cast out to sea, and the rest slaughtered.(source)

It is common knowledge that dolphins die slowly in Taiji. In an attempt to hide their dirty deeds the hunters drive a bamboo stake into the wounds to lessen the spill of dolphin blood into the cove extending the dolphin suffering upwards of 10 minutes.

Undercover footage taken by Dieter Hagmann of Atlantic Blue

Hunters and dolphin trainers from Dolphin Resort working side by side November 13, 2012

On November 13th the trainers arrived via skiff to carefully select two Risso’s dolphins for captivity. As the slaughter ensued the Dolphin Resort trainers took the traumatized dolphins away in slings to awaiting sea pens. Once trained the two dolphins can bring in upwards of $150,000.00 dollars each from aquariums, and marine parks worldwide. The meat is worth far less.

Risso’s Dolphins in Slings with Dolphin Hunters and Dolphin Base Trainers by SSCS Cove Guardians November 13, 2012

Only minutes after the skiff with the two captive dolphins left the cove the bodies of slaughtered pod were transferred between boat and skiff. The hunters failed to cover their handy work under yet another tarp of shame.

A dead Risso’s dolphin between boats for trip to butcher house by SSCS Cove Guardians November 13, 2012

Once at the butcher house these poor souls are carved up for local buyers who sell the toxic Mercury laced meat to buyers locally and online. You can see whale bacon for sale on Yahoo.jp.

Taiji, March 10, 2010 Photos by Vantive Foundation

The cruel drive hunt as we know it today began in 1969 and is a combination of a whaling history, pest control, and the hungry captive industry that pays well for their dolphin performers.

One particularly controversial form of these hunts, and the focus of this report, is the “drive
hunt” (sometimes called the “drive fishery” or “oikomiryou” in Japanese), in which dolphins and small whales are corralled by boats and driven, sometimes by their hundreds, into shallow water where they are killed for their meat and blubber. Not all the dolphins are killed, however. A growing and disturbing trend has surfaced that links the thriving aquarium (‘captivity’) industry to this archaic practice. Instead of driving dolphins to their death for human consumption and fertilizer, or as a means of what might be described as “pest control”, resulting from claims that dolphins significantly compete for fish with fisherman, fishing cooperatives are collaborating with national and international aquaria and marine amusement parks to select dolphins from these hunts for public display and human-dolphin interaction programmes. (Source)

What can you do? Our Save Japan Dolphin Cove Monitors and Sea Shepherds Conservation Societies Cove Guardians say don’t buy a ticket! Each and every time someone goes to a marine park, swim with dolphins, or attends dolphin assisted therapy they are supporting the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji. Be a voice for the dolphins! You can learn more at Save Japan Dolphins and The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project. Follow the Cove Guardians live stream direct from the cove during the dolphin drives.

Join us everyday at Champions for Cetaceans on Facebook and on our Sister page Save the Blood Dolphins everyday for drive updates and current dolphins issues.

Academy Awards Simultaneous With Dolphin Slaughter in The Cove

By Kirsten Massebeau
Pantropical dolphins, Ogasawara Islands, Japan
Pantropical Dolphins

As always the 2012 Academy Awards began with a bang. Stars walked the red carpet with the glitz and glamour the world has come to know. As the stars stepped one by one before the snapping cameras describing their outfits another procession, a single file procession was happening on the other side of the world. A pod of 98 beautiful pantropical spotted dolphins was driven into the cove in Taiji, Japan, made famous by winning an academy award only a few years prior in 2009. Horrified volunteers watched as families, mothers, babies, children were driven under the blue tarps by the brutal hunters where they were slowly slaughtered. One dolphin caught on video was partially paralyzed spinning out of control, suffering a slow death last 10 minutes.

The killers of Taiji show no mercy to these dolphins families all in the wake of scientists calling for cetaceans to be given status and non-human persons http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16174092. Although the 2009 documentary has brought great attention to the dolphin hunts off the coast of Taiji, Japan it has not convinced the hunters to stop. Tim Burns of Save Japan Dolphins recounts local reaction to what was a particularly bloody day of suffering for dolphins at the cove:

“Normally, the “Town of Taiji representatives” stare into the Cove as it is happening, but today, once the blood began to flow, they all backed away from the cliff and just looked at us.  Normally they smile and joke back and forth with each other, but not today.  Today they witnessed as we did the brutal disregard for life that these 26 hunters have.  Today they all witnessed how no care is taken for a “humane” end to these dolphins’ lives, but rather an intentional barbaric slaughter.   I suspect tonight at the diner table there will not be any talk of a great, rewarding day at work”. http://savejapandolphins.org/blog/post/today-was-awful#.T0vCd8S9-b9.facebook

Money talks in Taiji and there seems to be no lack of orders for captive dolphins. A dead dolphin is hardly worth a 1000 dollars for their meat today. Many of these beautiful sentient beings end up packaged on the sale shelf or in dog food. The meat is known to be toxic with Mercury, PCB’s and other toxins http://bluevoice.org/news_dolphinmeat.php So what drives the hunt? A captive dolphin can be worth as much as 200,000 dollars trained. These dolphins are then shipped around the world by companies like Hong Kong Airlines that use dolphin coffins http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-27/airline-moving-dolphins-in-flying-coffins/3853928/?site=newcastle to carry these traumatized victims to their ultimate destinations, SeaWorlds, Swim with dolphins, marine parks, and dolphin assisted therapy. All for the sake of human entertainment and pleasure.

Many stars, some on stage last night, like Ben Stiller have stood up for the dolphins in Taiji. Public Service Announcements featuring some of our most famous hero’s of the film industry have spoken out against this cruel hunt. Ultimately the message is the same. Please don’t buy a ticket to see or interact with dolphins in captivity. The captive dolphin industry supports the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji. A handful of greedy men are making the money  of so much dolphin misery. Isn’t it time we stopped it.

Let us fight for our ocean counterparts that they may too someday swim down the red carpet of the ocean loved by humans, treated as the amazing and beautiful stars they really are in their own world the oceans. Our voices together can end this. Alone we are but one drop of water, together our voices become an ocean that demand change for the monarchs of the sea.

Join us as we fight to save the monarchs of the sea each and everyday!