donderdag 17 januari 2013

Red again

After the killing of the pod of Risso's, 2 days ago, we enjoyed a day off yesterday. The cove stayed blue !

Taking off

This morning a little past 6, we started our day in Taiji at the harbour, were we watched all killing boats leave. From there i went with a few others to the lookout point. It took the boats more then a few hours, but surely enough, 7 of them came together into a driving formation on the horizon, just south of where we were standing. They had found dolphins...! We learned later that it was a pod of 14 to 16 Striped dolphins.

As the formation came closer, we quickly moved to another position near the lighthouse, from where we could overlook the incoming banger boats, as well as the harbour, were "fishermen" already were prepping skiffs with nets, to take off for the cove.

In the meantime the formation was very near to where we were standing. When they come from the ocean, they always drive the dolphins close to the harbour entrance, then make a sharp turn to the right and sail the final half a mile to the cove. The costline off Taiji is very rocky, forming kind of a natural waterway and for the boats this is the only way to approach the cove.

Boats in formation
It has been a few times now, that i've seen the banger boats driving a pod of dolphins to the cove and everytime the same thought popped into my mind: It looks like a véry sad funeral procession. The animals first, slowly swimming, exhausted from often many miles of fleeing from their attackers, followed by the bangers, with the constant sound of the hammers hitting the steel poles sticking into the water. Still alive, but condemned to death.
Turning into the alley of death
Because in this stage of the drive, so near to the cove, the dolphins are so tired that they have to surface every 2 seconds or so to breathe, making it for the hunters ever so easy to keep control over them.

Just when this pod was driven into the cove, we spotted a second formation on the ocean, not to far away from the cove. It were about 6 Risso's dolphins. As if one pod wasn't enough....! After the first got into the cove and was netted off, the skiffs with the killers took off from the harbour and passed us, to start their "work".
Later on i heard from someone that they couldn't even wait for the next pod to arrive. They started murdering the first pod, let their body's lay in that shallow of the cove, so when the second pod was netted off, they swam through the blood of those killed before them....
The cove was red again.

Tansporting dead body's...

Sitting on dead dolphins
Not long after that, we could see the skiffs loaded with dead body's pass right in front of us, into the harbour and straight to the butcherhouse, all hidden under tarps. Of course... And of course, not much later these beautiful creatures left the parking lot in big plastic bins in the back of a pickup truck.

...straight to the butcherhouse

Few days ago someone asked me, when we were taking pictures of the killers getting into their boats, do you think they really care ? I don't know. I don't think so. Fact is that these men totally ignore us, they don't even look at us and if they do, look away as if we are not even there. It wouldn't supprise me if they were instructed to do so. And another fact is that these men make a ton of money on this bloody business, considdering that they can easily make 150.000 USD or more, on a good show dolphin. So i don't suppose they want to stop with what they do. Their greed has no limits. But our presence here has much more effect on a higher level. We are constantly followed by lots of police men, costing the city loads of money. And the shamefull business here in Taiji, brings disgrace to the country of Japan.

Butcher with his tools...
Taiji butcherhouse

I believe we can end this by making the world aware of what's going on. But we can not do this alone. So please, share the word as much as you can or join the Cove Guardians here in Taiji if you have the possibility.
And don't ever buy a ticket to a dolphin show or a swim with dolphins program. We are strong in numbers. Together we can make that change !

Thanks for reading my blog.

Sunrise over Taiji

Love, Willem

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Thank you covegardian Willem, I will spread the word! This must stop!

  2. zo verschrikkelijk treurig, ik heb groot respect voor jou en je medestrijders ...