November 24 marks our first Taiji dolphin slaughter. Four Risso dolphins lost their life after nearly a 4 hour battle against the fisherman. These courageous dolphins battled 12 high powered fishing boats navigated by 28 men. When the dolphins and the boats appeared to be entering the killing cove, the dolphins tried to escape. The dolphins did not go down easy but sadly, they lost the battle.
Seeing this event unfold was like witnessing a well organized battle brigade. It was obvious these fishermen and the city are prepared, organized and ready for those of us who don’t take lightly their actions. By the time it was clear the dolphins would not get away the city went into gear – the coast guard and police arrived at the cove and were in place before any of the other strategically placed guardians moved into cove guardian positions. Upon arrival, our pictures were taken, our Passports were copied and warnings delivered – we were not to interfere or cause any trouble in “business activities”. William was hounded by a Fisherman who pushed this Mama Bear into protect mode by getting inches from William’s face…ticked me off…but William did great and just took many pictures of this… person. Scott West was confronted when placing a sound device in the water to record the dolphins during the execution. The Police were ensuring the device was not intended to drive the dolphin the opposite direction. Sad isn’t it when the coast guard and police are more concerned for killing life rather than protecting life. Each 20-25 feet the dolphins swam closer to the killing cove, pushed by banger boats and skiffs a net closed in behind them. It was painful to watch them breach, breath knowing they were about to expire at the hand of man. Once beyond the final piece rock it was clear they would be beached then murdered. The last image I saw of them was being dragged by their tails alongside a banger boat. These precious creatures are no more.
The banger boat moved the dolphins into the butcher house, closed the doors and then the fisherman and gutters ate lunch, smoked cigarettes and appeared to enjoy themselves. I couldn’t let them enjoy themselves too much…I had to go visit the butcher house and “FU” building (Fisherman’s Union). They were not happy to see us but I really didn’t care. William stayed with Scott and Steven for safety sake. Elora, Thomas and I took lots of pictures and I got to see Private Space for the first time face to face. He is much calmer these days than during his cameo in the movie The Cove. They put up a yellow rope urging us to go away and after a while they just got in their little white pick-up’s and drive off. I guess they really don’t like our presence – oh well. Sin is sin, evil is evil and my faith prompts me to be a light in the darkness. This place is full of darkness.
To close our first slaughter day; William, Thomas and Steven swam in the cove. Odd to watch knowing what happens there (I had to film and ensure no one came to harass or cart them off to the Police station). So many thousands of dolphins killed here. We hope that soon this terrible slaughter will end. The pressure is clearly on these people – it’s all over their faces. It will end. I am confident of that. May take time, but this will be history.
For the dolphins – may they swim forever free,