I arrived in Osaka yesterday after a long but safe flight. My partner Ryan is able to join us here in Taiji for the first week or so that I will be here. It was an exhausting trip into Japan from Vancouver, and after our arrival we boarded three different trains for a 4 hour trip into Kii-Katsuura. Neither of us got much sleep but knew that it would be worth it upon our arrival and meeting with other Cove Guardians. The group is a wonderfully passionate mix of individuals from all over the world.
Scott had mentioned to us that today would likely have perfect weather for the dolphin slayers. Ryan and I woke with the rest of the group this morning, knowing that we would not want to miss a chance to help at The Cove. What a day it turned out to be. I will refrain from using the word "Fishermen" to describe these brutal killers. This is in no way "fishing", so I'll be using whatever description I feel fits best.
We drove into Taiji from Kii-Katsuura this morning, with Scott pointing out key spots along the way. We ended up atop a high landmark to view the dolphin hunting boats. We knew they would be hunting today. The seas were calm and the sun shone brilliantly. It would have been a beautiful day if not for the tragedy we expected to occur.
It almost looked as if the banger boats would come to port empty handed, but at 9:30 we started to see a formation on the horizon. The boats were in the driving pattern. They drove the dolphins from far out at sea to the cove area taking around 45 minutes. Each one of us was visualizing the dolphins swimming far, fast, and deep. The number of dolphins dwindled as they swam in fear from the wall of sound, some managed to escape. We estimated 40-60 dolphins at the end of the chilling scene.
Dolphin hunting - banger boats driving dolphins in on the horizon.
The banger Boats driving dolphins into The Cove
Now sit 40-60 dolphins in the cove in Taiji, Japan. They are stressed, terrified, and continue to swim fast in a small circle. Words cannot describe the feelings that course through us while having to watch these events unfold. It is an emotional rollercoaster. We can only hope that one day this barbaric slaughter will cease to exist. Tomorrow though, we may have to bare witness to their death. Let us pray that this will not happen!
Dolphins in The Cove from a high vantage point.
Stressed and scared dolphins within the nets.
For The Oceans,