Saturday, November 12, 2011


It always sneaks up on me when I leave Taiji. It always happens like this. Alone with my own thoughts. I let my guard down for a split second and the emotions rush in. I've often wondered if there is something wrong with me, some defect in my emotions. I go through the motions in taiji always thinking, never feeling. I become numb. A slaughter, a dolphin free day, captivity. Taking photos, video, surrounded by passionate activists comforting one another and trying to find some comic relief in it all.

I've let my wall slip a few times. Telling the molesters and dolphin trainers exactly what I think of their
heartless actions. In these moments I sometimes feel as if I will explode with anger. Writing it all down helps.

It's not until i'm safely away from that hell hole that I start to remember. Beautiful creatures murdered for greed. Lives taken away in an instant by soulless killers. Lives taken away in a different manner by misguided trainers who think they love dolphins. Make no mistake, they now know that the blood is equally on their hands. There's no hiding from the truth. I start to imaghine what happens under those tarps. The fear, the pain, felt by families that are ripped apart. The blood. Their lives are no less important than our own. 20-25 intelligent and caring creatures were murdered in Taiji during my stay, an exact number we'll never know because it happens so quickly.

It's all I can to do hold myself together as I sit in the airport consumed with sadness and needing a release.

When will this all end?

For the Oceans,

Monday, November 7, 2011

Assault by Dolphin Molesters

On November 6th we witnessed another slaughter. Although there were marine warnings for fog and gale force winds the molesters disregarded them and set out to sea. It did not take long for the killers to spot dolphins and start driving. The dolphins fought for an hour or more, almost escaping more than once. We documented as they drove at least 8 Risso dolphins into the cove and slaughtered them. We watched as two dolphins were caught in the nets and were dragged by their tails towards their dying family members under the tarps.

We then headed to the butcher house where the molesters have covered every spare inch with tarps and screens, shamefully covering what they like to refer to as their proud culture. They severed the dolphin's heads, sliced up their bodies and transferred their remains to buyers who keep their faces hidden. Some culture.

As Rosie and I were on the pier taking photographs of the butcher house a banger boat came towards us. The fisherman, affectionately known as "Turtle Man" due to an incident last year where he shoved a Cove Guardian but fell over himself, laying on the ground flailing his limbs; started screaming at us in Japanese. After tying his boat he immediately came our way, still screaming and shoved us. He hit us each a number of times and used his body to attempt to remove us from their pier. He also broke my camera in the process. 11 police officers including safety police, Wakayama Prefecture police, and riot police joined in the fray. It was interesting to note that Rosie and I were taken away by the police, but Masayuki (the fisherman) received no attention. We spent the next 6 hours in the police station giving our testimonies, while Masayuki provided his in a contained room. The incident was caught on film.

                                         After shoving us - Masayuki attempts to intimidate Rosie

Rosie and I have spent much time at the police station in the past two days. We have had to provide testimonies, an incident report, and interestingly enough had to reenact the entire event. It was rather humorous to realize that they had literally set out the entire scene. All that was missing was the banger boat. A blue tarp marked "Sea" cleared up any doubts we may have had about the location of the ocean.

Since November 6th the dolphin molesters have gone out to sea twice to hunt for dolphins. Each day they returned empty handed as the will of nature intervened. They spent hours chasing white caps, wasting their time, energy and money.

For the Oceans,

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Where are you?

Thankfully the past two days have been free of the slaughter of dolphins. Both this morning and yesterday the weather was in favour of dolphin hunting. Clear skies and very little wind. Both days the dolphin molesters left the harbour in search of dolphins and after a few hours returned empty handed. It is a joyous experience to watch these murderers waste their money while the dolphins swim free.

The main difference that I have noticed between last year`s Cove Guardian campaign and our current year is the number of activists. It`s disheartening to see so few activists here in Taiji when the dolphins need our help now more than ever. We started the campaign in 2010 strong and consistently had a decent number of activists who had traveled from around the world to document the dolphin slaughter.

Thousands of individuals from around the globe apply to become part of Sea Shepherd's annual anti-whaling campaign in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary. They're willing to spend their money and risk their lives for the whales. I can't help but wonder where you all are. Oh yes. There is no glory in Taiji. You won't find your 5 minutes of fame on Whale Wars here. It is indeed a tough campaign here in Taiji aptly named "Infinite Patience". The mornings are early, the days are long, and the results are not immediate. We have witnessed, though, the impact that a few activists have had on this small town. An enormous amount of money has been allocated for security, police, and intricate barricades to block our cameras. Simply by being here we are costing their murderous industry over 30million yen, a number that will not be justifiable in the long term. I can only imagine the profound impact 50 activists, or even 100 would have here. There is power in numbers and we need your help!

So where are you? I've heard many excuses to stay home, safely disconnected when the computer is shut down. Finances. Family. Fear. Any of these can be overcome. I can't claim that this work is easy but it is immensely rewarding. It is enough to know that we are doing the best we can.

For the Oceans,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Greetings from Taiji,

It`s so easy to remain disconnected from the dolphin slaughter while at home, safe from confrontation, able to choose whether or not to view animal suffering. It`s not so easy here in Taiji, Japan.

It all came rushing back this morning. The pain, the horror, the sadness, the feeling of helplessness that comes with knowing that these dolphins will take their last breath while fighting for their lives, an unfair fight doomed from the very beginning. They die for culture and pride, barbarity and sick pleasure. It is justified by culture. A culture shamefully draped in tarps to hide the disgusting deeds beneath.

This morning was no exception. Another day. Another dollar. Another pod of slaughtered dolphins. The molesters set out early and did not take long to locate two pods of Risso dolphins numbering 13-15 in total. The banger boats drove in formation forcing the dolphins towards the cove. What came next was the fastest slaughter that I`ve witnessed to date. The dolphin molesters work with the speed and efficiency of trained killers. They`ve configured entirely new tarp contraptions so that no footage can be taken of the dolphin struggle while being stabbed.  They go to great efforts in an attempt to block our cameras. It`s no matter. One minute the dolphins are alive swimming freely in the ocean, the next minute they`re hacked to pieces, their heads thrown together in a metal bin, guts spilled on the butcher house floor. Feel free to fill in the blanks.

I`ll share with you some photos from today. Don`t expect to see any blood or gore. Our opportunities for gruesome footage have come and gone. They expect that everyone will forget the cruelty involved without the powerful bloody images. We ask that you never forget the dolphins. We are their only hope.

Procession of Banger Boats

13-15 Risso Dolphins Captured in the Cove

Transporting dead dolphins- standing on their backs to prevent their dead bodies from floating

Ridiculous new tarp set-up at butcher house

For The Oceans,


Hey Everyone,

After spending the last couple of days traveling, I have finally arrived in Kii-Katsuura. After the long flight I stayed the night in Wakayama City and took the train to Kii- Katsuura this morning, arriving to find that it is a dolphin free day! Although the day was beautiful with the sun shining, the wind proved too strong for dolphin molesting.

Contemplating on the train through the rolling hillside dotted with mandarins, it almost feels as if I've come home. In all honesty Japan is starting to grow on me. As the third time in the country I can't help but notice the beautiful landscape, the very generous and helpful people, and their unique culture. It's for this very culture though, that cetaceans are captured for a lifetime of slavery or brutally slaughtered. Japan is a land of stark contrast riddled with contradiction.

I met up with Rosie and other volunteers from various organizations here to document or protest the dolphin slaughter. We took a drive into Taiji so that I could view the changes that have taken place since my last visit. The dolphin killers have gone to even greater lengths to hide their dirty deeds.

Today was a day free of slaughter but tomorrow morning the agonizing wait begins again if the dolphin molesters head out to sea in search of dolphins. We can only hope that mother nature intervenes.

For The Ocean,