The Pain of Taiji

It has been over a week since I left Taiji and The Cove.

I have been wracked with mixed feelings since I was in Taiji.. I SO wanted the boats to come back empty handed. That is even better than them not going out at all, because it means that they have wasted their time, effort and fuel money.

At the same time, I felt that perhaps it was a waste if I was there and nothing happened anyway… I mean why bother going all the way down to Taiji and watching a dozen horrible little boats go out to sea and come back again??

When I left Taiji, it felt like I was deserting the rest of the guys. Since returning to Yokohama, I have watched Facebook, and now twitter, every morning to make sure that the boats either stayed in port, or came back empty, and every morning they have.

I learned in Tohoku that every little bit of help really does make a difference, that when good people work together for a common goal, the total is more than the sum of the parts, and that even when you think you are doing nothing, just by being there you can help people to achieve great things. Sometimes it is hard to remember what you have learned.

Today the Dolphin Hunters were Successful.
A pod of bottlenose dolphins were captured and slaughtered. Except for one, who after having to watch and hear her ( or his ) family murdered will be sold into a life of slavery at a marine park somewhere. Instead of swimming wild and free, this poor soul is now condemned to a life of confinement in a small pool. A life of performing tricks for food, or being constantly molested by visitors who want to get their money’s worth.

Photo from a previous dolphin killing.

My feelings of impotence have suddenly slipped into insignificance. It has not been a good week.
Somewhere, the Japanese government has found 27 million US dollars to provide security for a whaling industry which cannot support itself. Apparently it is not in Japans best interest to give in to Sea Shepherd. It has been mentioned that this is a slap in the face for those who donated money to the earthquake relief. I can understand that. My family and I donated significant money to the relief effort. My wife and I both donated a significant amount of personal time and effort to the people of Tohoku.

I feel slapped.

We will continue to help and love the people of Japan. I just wish that the Japanese government would do the same. I wish they would stop supporting unsupportable industries.

I wish they would leave the dolphins and whales alone. I wish they would stop shark finning… I didn’t think they shark finned, although I should not be surprised. I saw first hand a pile of shark fins on the wharf, and you can say what you like, the only shark carcass on the dock was still intact.

Shark fins

The third heartbreak this week was seeing the heart wrenching video of Orcas being captured at the cove in 1997. How people can drag such a majestic animal from the water and throw it on the back of a truck is beyond me. All 5 of the Orcas sold to marine parks have since died.

I will try to post a link here, but not sure if it will work. It is tough viewing, but please watch it with the sound up… The cries of these poor beautiful creatures is so haunting…
If the link doesn’t work, just search orca Taiji on YouTube….
Orca pod destroyed in Taiji

Lastly I need to thank my beautiful wife. It cannot be easy to let your husband go and sit looking at the ocean surrounded by beautiful girls. I have become far more active recently… In honesty I was actively inactive not so long ago… Thank you Mandy for understanding my need to stand up, and good luck with your animal welfare volunteering this weekend.

For the Oceans

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