Taiji – Cove Guardians

Click here to see all my blog postings while in Taiji.

It is a bloodbath, cruel and barbaric. Each year, the idyllic and peaceful setting
of the village of Taiji in southern Japan is shattered by almost unspeakable
cruelty as incredible pain and ultimate death is inflicted on defenseless dolphins.
- Paul Watson

My dad is Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Criminal Investigator. He was sent on campaign to Taiji Japan (September of 2010), where the movie the Cove was filmed. Every year in Japan 23,000 dolphins were killed, until populations could no longer sustain those numbers. Now they kill in the hundreds. My dad asked if I wanted to come along on this campaign and document the slaughter with him. I created my High School senior project based on my experiences there. This was back when I was sixteen (2010).

If you don’t know about the slaughter of dolphins in Japan, I encourage you to watch the movie The Cove, read the Cove Guardian updates on the SSCS website, read my posts from Taiji, and visit the many websites and blogs dedicated to raising awareness about this issue. We need to end this. 

The dolphin slaughter in Taiji is the most horrific sight I have ever seen. Thousands upon thousands of dolphins have lost their lives in Taiji, Japan. Every day from September to March the hunting boats go out in search of dolphins on the ancient migratory routes. Using metal poles they create an underwater wall of sound that drives the dolphin and small whale pods closer to shore. From there, they are chased into a small killing cove, hidden from the public eye, and chosen for captivity (see captivity page) or for slaughter.

Dolphins and Whales are some of the most intelligent species on this planet. They are self aware, they have families that they travel with life long, they nurse their young,  and they have learned to understand us… but we cannot understand them.

 The slaughter of dolphins happens all over Japan, not only Taiji. Taiji is famous because of the 2009 movie, The Cove. We feel, if we can stop the slaughter in Taiji that the laws will change all over Japan. Then we can move on to help dolphins being slaughtered elsewhere in the world. You have to start somewhere… and like Ric O’Barry said, “If we can’t end it here, in this one little Cove, there is no hope for anything”.

 The 2010-2011 Cove Guardian campaign was a huge success. Never before has there been a constant surveillance at the Cove, in Taiji. Our instant updates and constant blogging made it difficult for people to forget what goes on there. Because of Sea Shepherd the atrocities at the Cove were constantly in the media, and fairly early in the campaign our instant updates drove a large group of activists from all over the world to call, write, and fax their Japanese embassies to voice their concerns, feelings, or to just update them on what was happening.

41 Cove guardians from 13 different countries came and stood with us. The friendships that were made I know I will have forever, and I know that many more Cove Guardians will come and stand with us. It’s been almost 5 seasons and hundreds of people have come to document and protest the slaughter.
I returned for one week March of 2012 to assist in wrapping up the second CG campaign and getting questions answered for next year.
97 days in Taiji has taught me a lot… and I know now that I am willing to do whatever it takes to see the slaughter of Dolphins end, not only in Taiji, but all over the world.

Please see the video below high-lighting some of our many global Cove Guardians.

You're never too young to make your voice heard!

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