Every day was safe for the Dolphins off the coast of Taiji, Japan except for one bad day:
Like I alluded to above here, there was one Bloody day off the coast of Taiji to report when 12 15 Risso's were slaughtered while the murderers then led the six baby dolphins back out to the vast sea to fend for themselves without its parents.
In an eerie resemblance of last year, almost to the day, the dolphins’ luck ran out when a pod of Risso’s were driven into the cove and slaughtered.
After hours of hunting, our hopes were high that it would be another ‘blue cove’ day. While there were previous drives since the 2016/17 season opened on September 1, the dolphins had managed to escape the hunters. Not so today.
Risso’s dolphins huddle together after being driven in
Credit: DolphinProject.comTwelve hunting boats left at 5:30 a.m. Three and-a-half-hours later, at 9:10 a.m., I saw nine boats in formation, facing north. It took less than 15 minutes for the boats to reach the nets of the harbor. I ran to the sea wall, where I was able to witness a beautiful pod of Risso’s dolphins being pushed into the cove.” ~ Daniela Moreno, Dolphin Project Veteran Cove Monitor
Risso’s dolphins awaiting slaughter
Credit: DolphinProject.comAs Dolphin Project live streamed from the cove, the world watched in real time as this once-robust pod of approximately 19 dolphins were, one-by-one, taken out, their lifeless bodies hidden underneath blue and gray tarps. The remaining Risso’s watched as the skiffs went by, dragging their dead pod members. A total of seven skiffs went in and out of the cove, and by 12:00 p.m., the slaughter was complete.
Dead Risso’s dolphins hidden underneath tarps
Credit: DolphinProject.com"Having witnessed the dolphin slaughter for 14 years, multiple times per year, you’d think I would be desensitized to this. And yet, I am not. Each kill feels like the first.” ~ Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project
The hunters stopped to have lunch, and for the next 60 minutes, four juvenile dolphins were observed swimming in-between the nets. No adult pod members were visible as they had likely all been slaughtered.
One hour later, the hunters returned, along with three banger boats. Suddenly the remaining nets were pulled back, and the boats proceeded to push the dolphins back out to sea.
Juvenile Risso’s being released without the rest of the pod
Dolphins under ‘ownership’ of ISANA fisherman’s association
Credit: DolphinProject.comWhile this might seem to be a compassionate act, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With their smaller bodies, hunters don’t want to “waste” their quotas killing the youngsters, thus, they are released. However, in the absence of the support, protection and guidance from their elder pod members, their chances of survival are slim at best.
In past years, carcasses of dolphins have been witnessed by Dolphin Project Cove Monitors, these untold numbers never counted against Taiji’s quotas.
In total, approximately 19 Risso’s dolphins were driven into the cove, of which 15 were slaughtered and four juveniles were released.
It was a very sad day in Taiji, with the season only getting underway.
The annual dolphin drive and slaughter in Taiji, Japan, has begun, and for the first time in 14 years, the man who made the practice infamous won’t be there to protest it.
(Photo: Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project/Facebook)For dolphins swimming off the southwest coast of Japan, the end of summer can mean the end of their lives.
That’s because the annual dolphin-hunting season at the cove in Taiji, Japan, begins Sept. 1, when fishers “drive” and corner pods of the marine mammals into the cove, where they are captured and sold to marine parks or killed for their meat.
For dolphin trainer–turned–dolphin activist Ric O’Barry, this will be the 14th year his advocacy group, the Dolphin Project, will be on the ground in Taiji monitoring the roundups, shooting video of the drives, and raising awareness of dolphin slaughter and the role the captive marine mammal industry plays in the process.
The Dolphin Project says it is typical for around 150 of the best-looking dolphins that are captured to be sold to marine parks in Japan, China, and other countries, while hundreds of others are killed and sold for their meat each season.
“Each year it gets more challenging, as they keep erecting barricades and restricting access to block our views, yet we don’t quit,” said O’Barry, the star of the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. “However, we see more and more people interested in learning about the slaughters and getting more involved to end the hunts and the captivity of dolphins for entertainment, which is a very positive development and one we hope continues to grow.”
But for the first time, O’Barry will not be joining his cohorts on the ground in Japan. In February, Japanese officials detained and deported the onetime trainer of TV’s Flipper, barring him from entry back into the country because of a supposed violation of his tourist visa.
At the time of O’Barry’s deportation, Louie Psihoyos, director of The Cove and executive director of the Ocean Preservation Society, said the arrest was an attempt by Japanese officials to silence one of the loudest critics of the dolphin hunts.
“He was deported because the Taiji dolphin slaughter is a huge international embarrassment to Japan, and Ric is the most vocal protester,” Psihoyos said. “He didn’t violate any Japanese laws, but he brings worldwide attention to one of the most brutal animal atrocities in the world.”
O’Barry is fighting the deportation decision, and his case is pending in the Japanese court system.
“We are awaiting further developments,” said Christine Gau, Dolphin Project spokeswoman. “He will not be allowed to return to Japan until there is a resolution.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Help get Vicki Kiely, a Cove Monitor back to protect. Here is her message:
As you know we need people on the ground in Taiji throughout the entire season. Seeing as my ex husband is taking my children to Ireland for Christmas this year, and I would be alone without them, I have decided instead of being here celebrating sadly without my children, I would rather be where I am needed and doing something worthwile....and that is in Japan being a Cove Monitor and a voice for the dolphins. I will do another 1.5 hour skipathon/jumpropeathon to raise funds to get there.
I can not use go fund me here, I can only use paypal, but I promise to show you my donations every week and be fully trasnparent. I am a single mom, so I am tight for funds....the only way I can be there for the holidays, as flights and everything is more expensive, is with YOUR help...consider it a small Xmas gift for the dolphins and for me to keep whom ever the team leader there is company over these holdiays as they would be very lonely otherwise.
I plan to go for just over 2 weeks.
You can donate to my paypal which is firstname.lastname@example.org
Please leave a note on the paypal donation that states
"This is for Vicki to do Charity Volunteer work to Save Dolphins as a Cove Monitor for Dolphin Project"
I will need this note for my taxes. Thank you in advance.
I am appealing early, as I know time flies and I need to start getting fit for this jumprope challenge.
I will do it at 8am on November 21st here in Phuket. Come one come all!
Every dollar counts, and please if you can donate in US Dollars.
I will need to try to make:
Flights: 1000 US Dollars for flights
Train: 130 US Dollars for Train
Accomodation: 680 US Dollars for 16-17 nights accomodation
Expenses: 340 US Dollars for food, thats 20 US Dollars per day
TOTAL: US$ 2150
That is a lot more than normal for me as flights are much more pricey at that time of year I am afraid, but I need to be there to document these atrocoties and put an end to this after all. And really any little helps. If you would like to join the skipathon with me and get doantions for me that way that would be great too! Any little helps as I said.
This is all above board and with approval from Dolphin Project, who will be there through out the entire season.
Dolphin Project will be on the ground in Taiji during the entire killing season, live streaming, blogging and disseminating information for the world to see. Your support has never been more crucial and is greatly appreciated.
WANT TO JOIN OUR TEAM AS A DOLPHIN PROJECT COVE MONITOR?
Interested in joining us in Taiji? Learn about becoming a Dolphin Project Cove Monitor and submit your application, free of charge.
TAKE THE PLEDGE TO NOT BUY A TICKET TO A DOLPHIN SHOW!
It’s fast, it’s simple and it’s effective. Take the Pledge now and share with your friends!
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to the welfare and protection of dolphins worldwide. Founded by Richard (Ric) O’Barry on Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the mission of the Dolphin Project is to end dolphin exploitation and slaughter, as dolphins are routinely captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit.
Every year from approximately September 1 to March 1, a notoriously cruel hunt of some of the most sentient and sensitive creatures on the planet takes place in Taiji, Japan, made famous by the 2009 Academy award-winning movie “The Cove.” During this period, fisherman, or more appropriately, dolphin hunters, “drive” the mammals to their capture or deaths via means of physical violence and acoustic torture.
Dolphin Project is the only organization to have been on the ground in Taiji since 2003. We have revolutionized live streaming and broadcast throughout the entire season.
Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity. This work has been chronicled in films such as, ‘A Fall From Freedom,’ the Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Cove,’ and in the Animal Planet mini-series, ‘Blood Dolphin$.’