Sea Shepherd v The Dolphin Killers
UPDATE 14/11/10

Report from Taiji:

The Molesters stayed in port today. I remain unable to grasp the depravity we witnessed in yesterday’s kill.

If you have not already seen the video from the November 13 Cove Guardian update, take three minutes now to view it. Be prepared for unimaginable horror.

On November 8, 2010, the Dolphin Resort Hotel received several dolphins from the Taiji slaughter. We have this video, taken by Libby Katsinis, of a dolphin being loaded into a tank. Show this to your friends who like to patronize dolphin shows. Think of this when you visit the annual IMATA conference in Boston this year. Let their members try to tell you this is an aberration. It is not. We regularly witness this type of behavior.

Frightened dolphin delivered to resort on November 8th Click here for video

Much has been said lately accusing my daughter and me of being racist. It is a coincidence that the word “Japanese” pertains to a particular ethnicity (race), but it also pertains to the citizens of the nation of Japan. When we use the word Japanese, we are referring to the citizens. I am not aware of any instance where either Elora or I have referenced the Japanese race. Those who have no other argument while they are supporting atrocities, which the government of Japan condones and encourages, are leveling the charge of racism. Because of the Japanese government’s support for the barbaric and uncivilized activities against whales and dolphins, the entire people (read citizens) of Japan must bear the shame and the world’s condemnation. When Sea Shepherd takes on the baby seal skinners in Canada, no one charges “racism.” They are Canadians, and all Canadians must bear the shame and the world’s condemnation for the government sponsored seal hunt.

This battle is not about a people or their culture. This is about sanity, our collective sanity. This is about the fact that our oceans are dying and we are allowing the destruction of wild and free creatures who have rights, at least equal to our own, to peacefully co-exist in the world.

Even those who do not subscribe to our position that dolphins and whales are non-human persons, would never support the entire annihilation of a family unit. Deer hunters in North America and kangaroo hunters in Australia know better than to slaughter the entire herd. Even without government regulations, they would have the sense not to do that.

Those who only see the dolphins and whales as a food source, no different than a chicken or a cow, would not tolerate such barbaric torture and slaughter of livestock. When video was leaked of cattle in US slaughterhouses being moved along by means of a forklift, the hue and cry was immense. Changes were made and all over the world; civilized governments enforced strict codes of conduct for abattoirs. Civilized parents do not intentionally poison their children with mercury-contaminated food.

There is no argument, none, which can support the senseless cruelty we witness here on a regular basis. Japan is an otherwise advanced and civilized nation. Why does the government support this behavior and why do the (Japanese) citizens allow it?

stone dolphinstone dolphin (click to enlarge)To borrow a line from South Park’s parody of Sea Shepherd, I have to ask why the molesters in Taiji hate dolphins so much? When David was here with his children, he used rocks on the beach to make a dolphin figure. Yesterday, the molesters were not content with shedding the blood of dolphins. They destroyed the rock dolphin as well. This act did not sit well with Glenda so she has rebuilt the stone dolphin.

In addition to Japanese companies, find out which companies support the dolphinariums. Contact those companies and let them know what they are supporting and how you feel about it. Let your conscience be your guide on whether or not you will buy from them.

If you are in Boston in early December, let these molesters know what you think about them. Get their photographs so the world can be shown the faces of those who drive the slaughter and imprisonment. The annual IMATA conference is in Boston this year.

Keep up the barrage on your own government and the embassies and consulates of Japan the world over. Every time dolphins are pushed into the Cove, let them have it. Every time there is blood in the water, let them have it. Do not grow weary for you are being heard. Together we will see an end to the slaughter of whales and dolphins in Japan and by Japanese crews the world over.

We had to say farewell today to Cove Guardians Dinielle and Rosie. They will be missed. Rosie is leaving Taiji so she can join the crew of the Steve Irwin and continue her fight against Japanese atrocities.

It is unfortunate that the reputation of an entire nation is being tarnished by the evil and shameful deeds of a handful of men and women in Taiji. To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to me at inform-us@seashepherd.org. I will get back to you, but please be patient. I cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer email at the same time. Contributions to Sea Shepherd to keep our official presence here are needed and welcome. I am the current official Sea Shepherd representative and will be replaced by Michael Dalton when I leave on December 9, 2010.

For the Oceans,

Scott West
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

UPDATE 16/10/10

Report from Taiji:


dolphins in the killing cove

After a very valiant and brave fight, 8-10 Risso dolphins were captured and slaughtered in Taiji, Japan today.

It went on for several hours, the relentless banging and boats charging back and forth. We watched this unfold from the shore of the public part of the cove. Over time, the hunter boats managed to push the small pod ever closer to the mouth of the cove. The dolphins refused to enter the cove. They must have sensed the evil there and actually from time to time dove under the hunter boats and headed back out sea. We all cheered them on, but they turned back at one point. I suspect that one of their members had not made it out and they would not abandon their mate.

The so-called fishermen wasted no time getting to their grisly task of bringing murder to these dolphins. In the past, it has been their practice to leave the dolphins in the cove overnight. Early the next morning, the trainers would come and examine them to possibly make selections for the captive trade. These, being Risso dolphins, are not in much demand at dolphanariums because they do not look like flipper. Two were selected earlier this week before most of that pod was slaughtered. This time though, the trainers were not interested.

The pressure must be getting to them now. They probably got the killing done right away to keep us from setting up cameras overnight to catch their early morning deeds. Well, we caught them anyway. At least the cameras of Save Japan Dolphins caught some of the slaughter and of the dead dolphins being dragged into the Taiji butcher house. Look for Save Japan Dolphins to post their vivid shots. No matter how much these pathetic excuses for men attempt to hide their shameful deeds, someone will film them.

I tried to get good video of the concealed and shameful slaughter by passing over the barricade to the walkway on the north side of the cove. From there, one can have a direct line of sight into the killing cove. This barricade has been in place for years and they recently upgraded it because I pointed out to the police that local people were crossing it all of the time and that if they could, I would. The police have told me from the beginning that crossing that barricade would result in my arrest. Today I put that statement to the test and discovered that it too had been a bluff.


the barricade

As a former (retired) law enforcement officer, I began my relationship with the local police here in a professional and respectful manner. I introduced myself to them the day I arrived and have been completely honest with them and the Coast Guard Officers with whom we have interacted these five weeks. Unfortunately, they did not extend the same courtesy to me and lied to me. First, I had been told that swimming in the cove when dolphins were present would result in arrest. Last week, Steven Thompson proved that was a lie and a bluff. I have made several attempts to speak with the senior police officials here since that occurrence so I could hear what they had to say. I also wanted to know what the real penalty would be for crossing the barricades. The police have refused to speak with me. Even this afternoon when there must have been 15 of them at the cove, including the head policeman who we affectionately know as “coronary waiting to happen cop” because of his cheery disposition, and “grumpy cop” because he tends to swing between almost pleasant to downright unpleasant refused to have a private conversation with me. I even had someone willing to translate for us. These two men were just impossible. They really left me no choice but to test it for myself. So when it became clear that the killing was about to take place, I hugged my daughter and proceeded to make my away around the barricade. Unfortunately, I did not have a very good movie camera with me (thought it smart not to risk our good camera) and so was not able to get very good footage of the events in the killing cove. Also, the police followed me in force and shut down my filming activities before the actual killing began. There is an interesting provision in the Japanese constitution, Article 21, that allows for the filming and publication of newsworthy events. Well, with all of the media attention we have received here, no one could claim the killing is not newsworthy.

Nevertheless, they led me away in force and deposited me into the back of a marked unit. I was surprised that I had not been handcuffed and in fact had not even been searched for weapons. Any rookie cop in most places in the world would never have made that mistake, but since I had no intention of causing them any harm, it was unnecessary. I soon found myself in the Katsuura police station. There they searched me for weapons and had me dump the contents of my pockets into a tray. I was then taken into an interrogation room and made to sit against the wall with a desk and a cop between the door and me. While I may not have been officially under arrest, I was certainly under constructive arrest.

Here is where I borrowed a page from Peter Hammarstedt’s book and just stared at my feet. I would not answer or acknowledge any question. They brought in an interpreter. I did tell him that I would not talk to him and that I would only talk to the US embassy. After that, I mostly ignored them. At one point he started telling me why I was there. It seems those barricades are up to protect passers by from falling rock. What a crock. They have those barricades up because the dolphin slayers are ashamed of what they do and have gotten the local police to support them in their schemes. I wonder if there is a branch of the Japanese government that would be interested to know that police forces are being used for such meaningless and corrupt work.

I was listening though and at one point he stated that I was not under arrest. When I heard that, I stood up and began pocketing my possessions. I was not stopped. I then headed to the door, but was stopped. So, I had to assume that I was under arrest. I returned to my head down posture and let him continue to talk to the top of my hat. A bit later, he again stated that I was not under arrest and so I again stood up and headed for the door. This time I was not stopped and they even offered to drive me. They said that my car was still at the cove. I asked about my daughter’s whereabouts. They said that she too was still at the cove, so off we went to the cove. I explained to the interpreter and to “nice” cop that we were not enemies and they both agreed.

I want to take a moment here to let everyone know that I made sure Elora would be looked after by caring and competent folks should I be arrested and that she knew exactly what to do. She executed everything brilliantly and earned a great deal of respect from the adults in our group and from the Embassy staff. I know you all know this, but she is an amazing young woman and her mother, her sister, and I are quite proud of her.

I also know that the police read or translate my posts so this is an open letter to them. Understand that I will continue to cross that barricade in order to exercise the rights under Article 21 of the Japanese constitution. I will do so of my own free will. No one is instructing me to do so. I hereby release the city of Taiji and the police from any liability should a rock happen to fall upon me. Now if that rock is thrown, that will be a different story. Also, I would welcome re-establishing a professional relationship with your department. This time though, it will have to be based on trust and honesty. You guys have already proven to me that I cannot trust what you say at face value, so you will have to work hard on this. I do appreciate the fact that part of your job is making sure that no one gets hurt, so I would like to meet you halfway. Just let me know.


the push and valiant fight

Annie, a Japanese woman who is currently living in New York City, joined the Cove Guardians today. I heard from a Japanese reporter in Tokyo who told me that our presence in Taiji is getting more and more attention throughout the nation. He added that many Japanese are becoming supporters of the efforts to end dolphin hunting and that as long as I do not break the law, this support will continue to grow. He was surprised that the Shingu police had carted me away for crossing the barricade and he acknowledged that it is not a criminal offense to cross it.

My adventure with the police today would be quite comical if were not for the fact that 8-10 dolphins, who were simply minding their own business, were harassed, held captive, and then brutally slaughtered today. This capture and slaughter is insane and has no place in modern civilized society. Yes, I am angry, and if you are not also angry, then you are not paying attention.

You can help. Spread the word, send donations to the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian campaign, join in the Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day on November 5, avoid all travel to Japan except to become a Cove Guardian with us here in Taiji, make good consumer choices regarding whether or not to purchase Japanese products, and ensure that you do everything you can to keep the pressure on the Japanese authorities. It is unfortunate that the reputation of an entire nation is being tarnished by the evil and shameful deeds of a handful of men in Taiji. To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to me at inform-us@seashepherd.org. I will get back to you, but please be patient. I cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer email at the same time.

For the Oceans,

Scott West
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Click here to learn more about the 5 November 2010 Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day.

UPDATE 15/10/10

Report from Taiji:

It seems that there are a few writers who have posted comments on one or another of my daughter’s social media sites where the writers claim to be in Japan and are quite critical of me. I say to them all that it is quite cowardly to hide behind your computer screen and make comments. Perhaps you would instead be willing to tell me yourselves. I am at the cove every day and I am not hard to find. Come on down and let me know in person how you feel.


dolphin free cove

It was another nip and tuck day at the cove. Eleven of the twelve hunter boats went out. We spied a group of them way off on the horizon and they were clearly chasing dolphins as they careened back and forth. The pod must have given them the slip and the boats disappeared again over the horizon. It was tense waiting to see what would unfold. Eventually they appeared again on the horizon, yet this time they were widely scattered and headed into port. This is another dolphin-free day in the cove, although dolphins still are being held captive in the pens in the harbor.

We met a man today who had traveled all the way from Tokyo to see the cove for himself. He noted that Taiji is a small and not widely known town in Japan. He was amazed when I told him that Taiji is very well known in the west. I listed the order of Japanese cities that most westerners would recognize. I told him the order is Tokyo, Taiji, and Osaka. He laughed. It is good to see more and more intelligent Japanese people coming here to see for themselves. The media in Japan has done such a poor job of presenting this issue. It is too bad because all of Japan and Japanese people are being viewed negatively in the west because of Taiji. You would think that the media would report on that.


Japanese supporters

Atsushi Nakahira represents a political party in Wakayama prefecture who hopes to unseat the current Wakayama governor in the November elections. It is the Wakayama Governor who issues the dolphin hunting permits. Mr. Nakahira has come out against the dolphin hunt and loudly (quite literally so via the loudspeakers on his vehicle) argues against it. I will be joining him in a press conference in Wakayama City on October 20, to discuss the issues.

Tomorrow is another day. The weather forecast is terrible. It calls for calm seas and clear skies. The weather does not turn good (for dolphins) until next week.

You can help. Spread the word, send donations to the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian campaign, join in the Worldwide Anti-Whaling Day on November 5, avoid all travel to Japan except to become a Cove Guardian with us here in Taiji, make good consumer choices regarding whether or not to purchase Japanese products, and ensure that you do everything you can to keep the pressure on the Japanese authorities. It is unfortunate that the reputation of an entire nation is being tarnished by the evil and shameful deeds of a handful of men in Taiji. To join us (voluntarily, and completely at your own cost and risk) in Taiji, write to me at inform-us@seashepherd.org. I will get back to you, but please be patient. I cannot keep an eye on the Cove and answer email at the same time.

For the Oceans,

Scott West
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

For more reports see http://www.seashepherd.org/dolphins/cove-guardian-reports/

 

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From Dusk 'til Dawn
An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement

© Keith Mann
puppypincher@yahoo.co.uk