zondag 20 januari 2013

You leave me speechless

I arrived in Japan 12 days ago and since my staying here at the shores of Taiji, there have been quitte a few moments already, that i was convinced that the cruelty i witnessed could never get any worse.
Sunrise over Japan

But here in Taiji, it can. Like we saw today....

What is for us humans maybe very nice weather, is
for the dolphins and whales passing near the costline of Taiji, an absolute nightmare. A clear sky and no wind. Airless ! The ocean looked almost like a mirror with only a small ripple in the water, making it for the killers too easy to find dolphins. So after they went out, it didn't take them very long to radio in, that a boat had spotted a pod of dolphins.
Drive hunt formation

All 12 bangerboats hurried in to take part in the chase and, at the look-out point from where we watched them come into a drive-hunt formation, suddenly it became dead quiet, where moments before, everybody was talking.

We could see the pod through our lenses, even though they were stil far away at sea. They were splashing with their tales on the water, trying to franticly outrun their chasers. Without succes.....
Dead whale drowned in fishing nets

Yesterday there was no hunting because last week had been a very bloody one. Lots of dolphins had been butchered the last couple of days, so probably all the freezers in town were full of dolphin meat. On top of that, a young humpback whale lost it's life when it became entangled in fishing nets just outside Taiji harbour and drowned. His (or her) dead body was dragged into the butcherhouse. In Taiji, they do not hesitate even to scavenge on dead meat !! So the "gentlemen" took the day off.
Boats leaving port
Run for your live !

But the day before, on friday, a very large pod of Striped dolphins, a 100+ individuals, was driven in, when more then half the pod managed to escape. Dolphins have a very close family bond and it happens often, that a pod stayes in the neighborhood of the cove to wait for their family members, who obviously never show up anymore....
Trainers brought to the cove
The killers know that and look for the runaways the 
days after.

Showing their bloody work....
So we thought this might be them. But now it was a pod of bottlenose dolphins they netted in the cove. Bottlenose dolphins (flipper) are highly wanted in dolphinaria all over the world and are sold for tons of money, often to exceed prices of $ 150.000. So it didn't take long before the skiffs filled with trainers from Dolphin Base Taiji entered the cove, to look for "the best" animals. The young and strong were transported into slings, tied on both sides of a skiff and transported back to the harbour, where they were held in one of the holding pens, waiting to be trained and sold to an owner somewhere in the world.

13 of them were doomed to live the rest of their lives in a concrete tank to do silly tricks for a human adience, never to see their family or the ocean again. I can't even put into words, how sad it is, first to see the pod wild and still free in the ocean and minutes later transported as slaves to their prison.

Transferring the live dolphins

The dolphins not good enough to "star" in a dolphin show, had to die.
Now i thought that every human being, even with the smallest bit of compassion, would wait with the slaughter, untill their family members were out of the way and gone.
But compassion is a word the butchers in Taiji never even have heard of. They couldn't care less, even when these highly intelligent animals are well aware of what is happening with their papa's, mama,s, baby's, brothers and sisters. So the captivity and the bloodshed all started at the same time. While getting a few frightened dolphins out of the nets to drive them to the killing zone of the cove, they were run over by a skiff's outboard engine. The last dolphin was a prisoner who had to stay alive, who all this time, had to swim trough the blood of the others.

On one of the photo's there's a skiff transporting the dead body's from the cove. While, as always, they tried so hard to hide their dirty little secret, something went wrong with the tarp, revealing the tailes of the dolphins killed. Four of five boats brought the body's straight to the butcherhouse.

Taiji, i have no words suitable for you. What i've seen today crosses all bounderies. You leave me speechless.
Even the frog has to help hiding their secret
Banger boat with dead body's

Dear reader, please help and do your own little thing to stop this atrocity. Share the word about what is happening in Taiji with the whole world. Too many people still have no idea !

Thank you for being there and for reading my blog xx

With love,