The Dolphin Death Dance Continues in Taiji
The London Times Observes the Slaughter
|When Mr. O'Barry of One Voice France and members of the environmental group Sea Shepherd filmed the slaughter last October, the images of churning, bloody seas were published around the world. Since then the fishermen and environmentalists have been at war.|
- The London Times February 5, 2004
When the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society launched its campaign against the horrific slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan in September 2003, we knew that we were beginning a long protracted battle to bring this bloody obscenity to an end.
We knew that the killers of Taiji would not meekly submit to protests. We also knew that winning the hearts and minds of the Japanese people would not be an easy option. This is a nation that leads the world in wildlife exploitation and has been historically ruthless and cruel to whales, dolphins, and sea turtles.
It will be a long hard and bitter fight to eradicate the wholesale slaughter of dolphins and whales by those who inflict pain for profit.
But the story is being kept alive.
In October, a Sea Shepherd crew documented the dolphins being slaughtered in the blood red bays near Taiji, Japan and the video and pictures were aired on the media worldwide.
In November, Sea Shepherd documentation continued and two Sea Shepherd crew were arrested and detained for cutting the nets to free fifteen dolphins that were about to be slaughtered.
In December, the arrested crew was released after paying a large fine and the remaining Sea Shepherd crew were banned from Taiji.
In January and February, the exposure of the slaughter continued with the return of Ric and Helene O'Barry representing the French organization One Voice. Although roughed up and threatened, Ric and Helene managed to keep the eyes of the world on the dirty little massacre at Taiji.
On February 5, the prestigious London Times sent a crew to Taiji to observe and report back on the dolphin slaughter.
|The dolphins thrash in pain as they bleed to death, emitting whistles and cries. The shallow waters of the lagoon in which they are trapped turn red with blood.|
- Lloyd Parry - the London Times
Ric's and Helene's efforts to invite the London Times had the added benefit of saving the lives of some of the dolphins.
|When The Times appeared at the lagoon, the sight of cameras and foreigners asking questions caused frenzy. Young men blocked our lenses, waving placards banning photographs. Other bellowing fishermen blocked our path. After ten dolphins had been selected for aquariums, the fishermen released the rest rather than provide more images of killing.|
- Lloyd Parry - the London Times
Because the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is now banned from sending crew back to Taiji, we are encouraging other groups and individuals to go to this Japanese fishing community.
"We must keep this slaughter in the public eye." Said Captain Paul Watson. "We must never allow the Japanese government to think we have backed off this issue. Therefore I am calling on people from all walks of life to participate in a new form of eco-tourism. Instead of being spectators of nature, people can be defenders of nature. Armed with a camera, an individual can be on the front lines in the battle to save the dolphins. There is no need to break a law. All that is required is for people to volunteer as the eyes and ears for the world to continue to witness the atrocities against Dolphins at Taiji."
Another approach is for concerned people to sponsor individual activists to go to Taiji to bear witness for the world. People wishing to donate to this effort can send donation to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society earmarked for the Taiji dolphin campaign.
See a Dolphin. Kill a Dolphin - It's a Partnership of Evil
And finally Ric and Helene observed something very disturbing. Westerners were in Taiji purchasing dolphins from the fishermen for display in aquariums worldwide. The participation of dolphinariums and marine aquariums in this bloody affair is unacceptable and demonstrates that those who keep dolphins in captivity care little for the animals that they display and profit from. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is urging all supporters to boycott marine aquariums and dolphinariums and to write to local facilities to protest the involvement of the marine aquarium industry with the Taiji dolphin slaughter.