William’s thoughts after the interview…

14 12 2010

Last Friday I got to share about my trip to Taiji in front of my entire elementary school. There were lot of teachers and parents to. There are more than 400 kids at school so I know this was a lot of people.

As you can see in this video (click here) I don’t’ really look scared but I was so scared on the inside. In a way I wasn’t because I really want to get the word out of what happens to the dolphins in Taiji. Some people in the audience, especially those in my grade knew of the dolphins and of my trip but many others didn’t, so this was a really good chance to tell more people. I was really nervous.

When I covered the microphone during the interview I had to ask my Principal if it was okay to talk more about the dolphins. I said to her, “I would really like to keep it about the dolphins because that is what my trip was all about”. She wanted me to talk about the cool sites in Tokyo because of the “graphic nature” of the cause. I am glad she let me share the truth.

With the help of my Mom the night before we focused on the important parts and I actually still have this in my head:

• The movie The Cove inspired me.

• A town called Taiji and what happens there.

• Dolphin hunts and why they do it: Two reasons 1) dolphins are sold to aquariums and 2) those not sold to aquariums are hurt very, very badly.

• To save the dolphins.

I was asked to not say slaughtered or killed because it can hurt other people’s feelings. I am really upset about that. America today is based on sweetness and kindness and no longer about freedom of speech and truth. But look at what’s happening in the world. Look at what happens in The Cove and people don’t accept what is happening – they just want me to smile all the time. They just don’t want to know. That’s not okay. The world needs to know the truth. When someone wants me to lie and be sweet, pleasant and wonderful it’s like they are telling me to lie. It doesn’t help the world understand the badness and it will just continue and continue. No one would know what is happening. I want to change that if I can.

What was really cool was when my Principal asked everyone who likes whales and dolphins. I think everyone raised their hand. That was really neat. My Mom thinks its a mission field for future activists. I think people are kind of inspired. A few people have said they would watch The Cove and a friend says he wants to be a cove guardian. I really want people to be inspired by The Cove, Ric O’Barry, Scott West and Paul Watson. They are heroes to me.

Is it okay if you could donate to the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian fund, to Save Japan Dolphins or to our blog so my Mom and I could go back next December 17 (2011)? We can’t wait to go back to Taiji. Thank you.

Thank you for reading this.

William DeBord


Conversation with Shuya…

4 12 2010

~PANORAMA OF TAIJI HARBOR (left/right): Butcher House, Harbor, Captive Dolphin Pens, Funnel (just beyond red marker) further out – The Cove~

Once the near estimated 200 dolphins entered the funnel in Taiji today I wanted to talk to a person at the Embassy – no way would I be put into a voicemail box.

Amazingly enough the conversation was between me and Shuya Nakatsuka – the person who signed the letter to William. I did not indicate who I was, he did not ask for my name and I did not mention the letter. My purpose for this call was to seek information as to “why” they continue and urge the Japanese people to stop. Below are Shuya’s comments captured as best I could…

1) Many phone calls, letters, and faxes on the issue.

2) Understands this is an emotional issue.

3) Try to explain best I (he) can.

4) What is being done in Japan is limited, localized and there is a demand for dolphin meat in these remote areas. Shuya is from Tokyo and dolphin is not a wanted food item there. In some coastal areas dolphin is preferred.

5) Fishermen catching dolphin is their occupation. The demand and people who want dolphin for food provide the reason fishermen do that they do. The Japanese Government is “for” this activity to happen without jeopardizing the dolphin population.

6) In Japanese society this is not condemned.

7) Allow these resources to be used in a sustainable manner.

8 Minimal pain, minimal suffering in the animal’s death.

9) Shuya did not know the cost of a dead dolphin or the cost of a captive dolphin. I urged him to be educated on the matter and seek the information for himself.

10) Shuya wouldn’t touch the “captive” argument.

I posed the question to Shuya about Aquacultural fish farms as an alternative for acquiring fish vs. eating dolphin considering dolphin are mammals and not fish: Shuya believes “the opposition” would still have a problem. I told him I would seek the oppositions points of view whether that would be true. He indicates fish farming for certain species is a possibility, for others such as dolphin, no.

I posed the question if the Japanese people and government would consider a debate on the subject. Shuya was a little surprised by this question.

Don’t know if any of the above is helpful or not – just wanted to share in case it serves any purpose for the cause.

For the dolphins – may they swim forever free,
Carrie & William DeBord

Embassy of Japan Response to William…

1 12 2010

Upon coming home from Taiji we quickly noticed a letter from the Embassy of Japan responding to William’s request they cease slaughtering dolphins. Interestingly it was more than an acknowledgement form letter…

Hover/click over ( Embassy of Japan ) to see the letter William received from Mr. Nakatsuka.

Hover/click over ( Sea Shepherd’s comments ) on Mr. Nakatsuka’s rationale.

Hover/click over ( Sharra’s P’s. template ) for an excellent example of logical points/ideas if you choose to respond to the Embassy yourselves (highly recommend – tailor as you see fit :-)).

For the dolphins – may they swim forever free!
Carrie & William DeBord

Day 7 – Time for taking chances…Day 8 – It’s a Wrap…

29 11 2010

It’s 2:30am in Texas and I can’t sleep. Perhaps it has to do with re-living our experience in Taiji through nearly 2,000 pictures we downloaded and cleaned out today…perhaps it’s a combination of that and today’s awful death of estimated 50 dolphins. In both instances, I also realize I did not adequately communicate with you all our final days in Taiji…so, here we go…

Day 7 was an emotional whirlwind for both William and I. Our second slaughter would not go down without a stronger stand. Knowing in my mind that dolphins were being killed at that very moment less than a football field away from me was all that I could handle. I needed to do something and that something was to take a swim (see below clip). The swim would distract and upset the Fisherman (a.k.a. “killers”) – that was what I wanted I must confess. With William and Steven’s “go for it” support, I jumped in. And after reviewing the video footage Thomas obtained during those moments, it confirms the strong emotions which lead to such actions (Click Here: SSCS Cove Guardian Report). I have no regrets and would do it all over again if a purpose is served. Sadly, the swim didn’t save any dolphins that day but maybe, somewhere down the long and winding road it’s a seed that when ripe, will bear some fruit. We are all planting and watering seeds in this endeavor – may take time but it will end I am sure. Never give up!

Day 8, our final day as 2010 Cove Guardians was also a very emotional day. Two pods were being fervently hunted in the early morning hours. William and I were positioned at the cove where we rely on reports from whoever watches from Promontory Point. We hang on every “ping” of the walkie-talkies hoping for good news and when it’s not, we sit and wait for news of the pod’s escape or their entrance into the funnel. Time marched for nearly two-hours and all I could do was sit on that side walk and pray, pray and pray some more. I was quiet – I didn’t talk, just prayed. The Police arrived in droves and all I could think of was the pods were in the funnel and their presence was there to contain any unlawful or unwanted behavior. But behold, rays from the sun broke through the clouds and all I could do was think of God shining His light onto the water in order to blind the fisherman from being able to see the dolphins break surface. In time, we learned of two pods escaping and from Scott and Elora’s reports that oddly the fisherman just “lost” the dolphins practically right in front and behind them was wonderful news (click here). Is it odd or is it God is a phrase I like to contemplate in certain “miraculous” situations…I would like to believe this was one of them. I am ever so thankful that William and I could depart Taiji doing the “happy dance”. I will always do the happy dance when dolphins win over the hunters – but not until the very last boat reaches the entrance of the harbor (for Scott West)!

In the meantime, I will let the Japanese fisherman and government HAVE IT whenever a pod is being driven into the cove and I will LET THEM HAVE IT again when a family of dolphin are slain…I trust a few of you will too!

See you all from Taiji December 2011~

For the dolphins – may they swim forever free!
Carrie & William DeBord

Heart of gratitude…

25 11 2010

As William and me wake to our last morning serving as 2010 Cove Guardians we want to thank Scott, Elora and all the other Guardians we met while here; Libby, Tarah, Big Guns, Thomas, Steven, Yumiko, Takashi, and John. It’s been an amazing experience to serve alongside all of you. What inspiration you all are! And Scott…you are an amazing leader and I have learned so much from you…thank you!!! Our shared passion for the dolphins and speaking on their behalf runs deep and focused. Its our hope to see your faces once again – hopefully when we celebrate the end of the annual Taiji dolphin slaughter hunt.

And to anyone else considering being a Cove Guardian – do it! Raise money to get here if you need to…it is well worth the time and treasury.

I hope today is a day of freedom for the dolphins!

Swim far, swim fast, swim deep,
Carrie & William DeBord

Day 7: Cove Guardian Report by William and Carrie…

25 11 2010

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First, we want to thank so many of you, and most of whom we have never met for the AMAZING, truly AMAZING support over the last few days! It’s been a treasure to both William and me to read your emails, Facebook and blog messages. It has fueled us this past week. I promise to reply as soon as we can…it’s been a little crazy…thank you so very much!

Okay – on to our news of the day, sad news unfortunately. We weren’t at our posts very long this morning before Scott and Elora radioed to us the fishermen were in drive formation. We all sighed and knew the drill. We rallied to our positions.

William and I placed ourselves at “The Wall”. It’s in direct sight of the funnel and entrance into the cove – a wide angle view of the final drive. Very sad spot really…it’s the long good-bye watching these beautiful animals swim, arch and breath over a long stretch between Promontory Point and the killing cove. I can’t help but wonder if they, the dolphins know what is about to happen to them. Being such intelligent creatures I am most sure they do. They visibly resist and fight going into this “bloody” place. They have to sense it – I do. It wasn’t long – an estimated 5 Risso dolphins were horrifically treated before they were killed (very graphic footage will be sent under separate cover).

William wanted to take over the laptop on this next piece…

My Mom jumping into the cove while the dolphins were being slaughtered was pretty cool. My Mom took off her shoes, her Sea Shepherd shirt, jumped on rocks and then into the water. The Police didn’t notice till she was half way to the buoys. They ran over and got their megaphone asking me what her name is. I didn’t want to lie so I told them her name is Carrie. I think they didn’t know she was my Mom. And when she got to the buoys they were really mad and nervous. Towel guy was sweating. Everyone was calling more Police, more back-up Coast Guard. It was a swarm of Police. And people were still talking on the phone, maybe with the Japanese government or something. The fisherman in the skiff came over to my Mom putting up English signs but I could not tell what it said. I could hear the fisherman and my Mom talking but I didn’t know what they were saying. My Mom was always crossing her arms which means “no” in Japanese without using words. The guy in the skiff went over the buoys to talk to the Police, he was mad and so was the fisherman driving the banger. I thought the skiff guy was going to really hurt my Mom. I couldn’t understand what all these people were saying because they were talking in Japanese. I was worried if she would be okay because they might arrest my Mom. I tried to remember the Embassy phone number. When she finally swam back to shore the Police were all over her. They pressured her to obey the “rules”. Then when my Mom said she would obey the law but not necessarily the rule, they got really mad. Scott arrived and I asked if my Mom would be okay and he said yes. I was proud of my Mom and I think she did a good job.

The actions of these fishermen are pure evil and it should not be tolerated.

And oh, in case you were wondering…I had on another shirt (Save Japan Dolphins t-shirt under my Sea Shepherd t-shirt (William indicated I took my shirt off…wanted to clarify this important point without changing his words :-).

One more task I, Carrie was hoping to accomplish while here was to make a stop at the Taiji Mayor’s office. So, Thomas, William and I visited there to personally deliver a hand-written letter requesting they stop killing dolphins (written in Japanese). We were not welcomed for obvious reasons but I pursued anyway leaving my letter regardless of it being pushed back towards me (even when being kind and courteous they resist, at least those in Taiji). Mission accomplished.

We continued onwards and stopped at the Dolphin Base, a resort with dolphin shows and swim with dolphin programs. The pens are about the size of a single and two-car garage. One pen had two dolphins and the other five pens had four dolphins in each. We saw young dolphins in one pen. Very sad to live in such cramped quarters. These dolphins will probably not survive more than three or so years in such conditions – or they will be slaughtered when their performance career doesn’t pass the Directors cut.

Tomorrow is Friday in Taiji and William and I will take on our last day of this journey as Cove Guardians. We will be back next season and every season after until the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji is no more. Anyone with us??

Now, I must sleep – we will report from Tokyo tomorrow night.

Thank you all and please continue to fight from the front lines…and get to Taiji and serve as a cove guardian if you possibly can – it will change your life!

For the dolphins – may they swim forever free,
Carrie & William DeBord

Day 6

24 11 2010

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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,
Carrie DeBord