Taiji, Japan Blogs


I have no idea where to start. But I think that the best thing to open with is the good news. The dolphins not chosen for show were released today. However, a family that used to be twenty is now an estimated twelve. Eight were taken for the Aquariums. Two calfs are now possibly without mothers. I think that is worse than the slaughter. I am not a supporter of either obviously… but to break a family apart, and send them out to sea while the rest will be forced to perform for food is undoubtably dishonorable! Especially since they do not understand our language. But they understand theirs! I don’t even want to go into all the amazing things dolphins can do, are aware of, and how they communicate with each other. I’ll just get to upset if I do. Just because they do not look like a humans, does not mean that they do not love, think, see, feel, and understand like us… in fact they are smarter. We are really the less intelligent species. We are killing ourselves and everything around us. And we know this. But most chose to ignore it and act like it isn’t happening. But they know it! That’s the worst part! The worst part.

But to the trainers, fishermen, and the people who agree with all of this; sending half a family of dolphins out to sea isn’t bad. They all seem to think every female will produce milk, they still have some to keep each other company… etc. Do they not realize? They really don’t get it. I saw all the trainers lined up waiting to be driven around to the Cove to pick out their dolphins. And I just wanted to throw up. You all disgust me so much. You have no idea. It’s your ignorance… I don’t understand how someone could work with these creatures like that for a long period of time, and not have a Richard O’Barry moment, and say “they don’t belong in captivity”. It’s greed. Those dolphins just look like giant money signs to them.

After the first Dolphin was chosen today, my dad and I ran to the car and drove over to the pens. I filmed them putting the Dolphin in. The poor thing was splashing and throwing itself around. I have it all on film. It will be on my youtube: KahakaiGirl soon. But as I was filming them, this fishermen boat with three fishermen pulled up. I ignored them, like I usually do. But the one guy started yelling at me to move, I was in the way of where the rope needed to go, so they could pick up more nets. All of those pictures are on my public facebook page. He was so nasty! It was not a “move”.. it sounded like a “f-ing move girl” in Japanese. These guys do NOT like us. It doesn’t bother me in the least, why would I want them to like me when I completely despise them.

We were walking back to the car, when my dad pointed out the new public bathroom that they just built at the dock. The building has a Whale and Dolphin on the side, and a picture of Dolphin fins on the front. I couldn’t even believe my eyes. They all wear such a thick facade.

About half way into the process, the lightening and rain came in. We had seen the clouds all morning, but were waiting for them to hit. It was wonderful when they did! These lightning bolts were so bright, and would shoot down three at a time over the horizon. It was beautiful. And it only made problems for the fishermen and trainers, the rain was so hard! I was trying to catch a picture of the lightning, but it was just too fast! Sometimes it’s better to live with your eyes away form the camera screen.

The remaining dolphins were released. And as the fishermen were leaving they waved to us while flipping off my dad. We really piss them off.

Okay. Here is my question of the day. Where is everyone? And I’m not talking about the people who actually want to be here, but can’t because of work and economy. I know you guys would be here if you could. I am talking about other organizations. Like PETA, Greenpeace.. etc. They have millions of dollars but they don’t seem to do anything with it. And I’m sorry, but this is right down Greenpeace’s ally. Protesting and documenting. Sea Shepherd is here, I guess that these other groups must be too scared to come here. Okay, just let SSCS, the 16 year old girl and the 13 and  15 year old boys show you up.

It starts here people. If the oceans die, we all will die. This is first priority. “If we can’t change this one thing… there is no hope for any of us!” -Ric O’barry

For the Animals,

Elora Malama

72 thoughts on “Lightning…”

  1. Thank you for the update. I have been anxiously awaiting the news since I found out this morning that dolphins were captured. You are so right about their intellligence. They have the ability to learn our language, but we can’t learn theirs!

  2. well at least they didn’t kill any of them this time. Hopefully the pressure is starting to get through =/ Thanks for letting us know

  3. my daughter made me cry again… you are wise beyond your years!
    I love you!! Take care of Daddy and keep up the amazing work telling the world the truth.

  4. Elora, Thank you for the update ! I too have been checking your blog all day worried sick over what the dolphins fate was going to be.. I’m glad there was no Killing but am very upset over the ones stolen from the ocean… I am with you I cant help but HATE those.. and I say this lightly ” People” who have harmed the Whales and Dolphins at the “Cove” all we can hope for is that “Karma” will get them! and as for PETA and Greenpeace I cant understand why they aren’t there either? I have been on all their web sites and there is no way to contact them directly…. so much Red tape to contact them.. but I will try in the morning its 10:15 pm here now… Good luck and keep up the good work.. my prayers are with you and SSCS and especially with the Dolphins and Whales.

    1. I am so happy there was no killing either! But watching that family get torn apart so greatly, was actually harder than seeing the bloody hands. Both are equally as awful in my opinion, but It was those calfs that really got to me.

      Yes! They are not. And I do not understand why, they have enough money to send a hundred people here by tomorrow and not see a dent in their bank account, I’m sure. Thank you! Yes, contact them and ask them.
      Thank you so much!

  5. How agonizing! My day today was spent thinking of those Dolphins….I can only imagine what both sides of the family are feeling. Imagine walking in a park one day with your whole family happy excited about the day and all of sudden a group of crazy scary guys corner you into a room keep you there for days and then takes your brother, mother, uncle, cousin, grandma and the rest of you are driven out aggressively and that’s the last you will ever see of your family. Absolutely too much to think of. Poor poor little creatures.

    I’m so happy that I found your blog! I turned four people on to it today…I feel like I’m right there with you, I don’t ever want you guys to leave, Help needs to get there and FAST!! How come Rick hasn’t shown up yet? I know they are in Tokyo dealing with the politics side of the issue. Girl

    1. I know. I get sick every time I think about it.
      That is exactly what I want to happen to those fishermen. They just see dolphin as a big fish. They don’t realize how amazing they are, in communication and language, hunting, etc. it’s remarkable! It’s the ignorance that really bothers me the most.

      Thank you so much! I am happy so many wonderful people found it too!

  6. Thank you for the update … and thank you for what you are doing. Just by being there, bearing witness, documenting this, and sharing this with the world is more than most people do in a lifetime. If I had the money, I’d be there in the wink of an eye … but I am definitely there in spirit and constantly checking throughout the day and helping to spread the word on what is going on.

    You have many fans Elora, me included 🙂


    1. Wow! Thank you. I know, I understand why lots of people can not come here because of money. I had a dear family friend of ours actually funded my trip here, so I owe them more thank yous than I think I could say in a lifetime! Your support makes my blog what it is. If I didn’t have so many people following who are just as passionate about this issue, the word about what is going on here, would not be spreading.

      🙂 Elora

  7. Looks like they’ve found a moral “loophole.” They know the mainstream public will generally be fine with dolphin captivity, but they won’t be fine with dolphin slaughter. So…..they might stop dolphin slaughter, which is great, but I’m afraid they will likely never stop dolphin capture. It’s very sad, but there’s just no way to shut down Sea World, and all the zoos in the world for that matter.

    1. Good thing there are online translators 😉

      The above is translated into English as:

      “Already leave Taiji; … Frankly speaking, it is annoying.”

      Annoying to you perhaps .. but inspiring to others 🙂

    2. 申し訳ありませんが私の存在あなたがたを悩ます。あなたが仕事ならばおそらくドルフィン虐殺を終わらせるために、私は家に帰ると思います。

      I am sorry my presence annoys you. Perhaps if you would work to end the Dolphin slaughter, I would go home.

    3. 申し訳ありませんが私の存在あなたがたを悩ます。あなたが仕事ならばおそらくドルフィン虐殺を終わらせるために、私は家に帰ると思います。

      I am sorry my presence annoys you. Perhaps if you would work to end the Dolphin slaughter, I would go home.

      1. 屠殺のイルカおよびクジラである限り、人々はうんざりさせていかにありなさいかそこに世界に示すこといる。 そしてそれが実際に迷惑を掛けなければこのブログを見つけ、そのコメントを掲示することの悩みによって行かなかろう。

        As long as you are slaughtering dolphins and whales, people will be there to show the world how disgusting you are. And it must really bother you or you wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of finding this blog and posting that comment.

      2. 世の中には多種多様な文化が存在し、その中にはあなたの許容できないものもあると思います。




  8. I agree with Craig. Most people think that captivity is just fine. They are fed, get veterinarian treatment, etc…and apparently that’s the perfect life. But they are so wrong. To rip these beautiful, intelligent (and you’re right, I think they are smarter than us) creatures from their families is heartbreaking. I’ve been checking your blog so much today. I’ve had this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach just wondering what was going to happen. I can’t imagine how you must feel waiting right there in the line of fire. You’re doing amazing. I can’t thank you enough for keeping us so in the loop. It really does feel like we’re right there with you. Don’t let those disgusting, sorry excuses for humans intimidate or upset you. They know they’re trash. And now the whole world knows they’re trash too. Xoxo

  9. Thanks for your reports Elora. I’m still with you all the way, have just been at a loss for words the past few days. Still am… (good thing it’s you reporting and not me!) xoxox

  10. I share your anger for Green Peace that organization has becomeworthless. That is probably why Paul Watson abandoned it years ago. What a waste of money, I wish people would see there in activity and begin donating more to SSCS.

  11. Thank you for the update…I know your angry and hurting but you are making the difference..those other dolphins would have been slaughter had you not been there…It sucks that the captivity continues but have faith it will end..sending lots of prayer your way for the dolphins, whales, and for all over there helping your fight.

  12. イルカが知性を持つということは科学的に証明されていません。



    1. Translated:

      “It isn’t proved that a dolphin holds intelligence scientifically. Even if you admire a dolphin as new God, we don’t mind it. But please don’t force own faith on another person”

      Actually yes dolphin intelligence is proven. Please do your research.

    2. イルカが知性を持つということは科学的に証明されていません。



      isn’t proved that a dolphin holds intelligence scientifically. Even if you admire a dolphin as new God, we don’t mind it. But please don’t force own faith on another person.

    3. A Japanese,

      If dolphins don’t “hold intelligence” as you say, then why do you think they are so valuable to the trainers that take them from their families to be used in marine parks, dolphinariums and aquariums… Dolphins are incredibly intelligent and the reason why they are able to understand and learn SO MUCH from humans… their intelligence is being honored on one hand and ignored on the other… they’re intelligent when people want to use them as entertainment, they’re not intelligent when people want to use them as food… Here is some information on dolphin intelligence
      you can translate the entire article here

      Separate for a moment from science and connect with that part of yourself that is nature… go to Taiji, sadly there will be more captured. Look into the eyes of the dolphins and realize that they have families they care for, they nurture, they protect, they educate, they fight for and they love… The dolphins that have been captured are feeling sorrow today, they are missing their families deeply and their families are missing them. If you look at Elora’s video you will notice how closely yet calmly the dolphins are swimming with each other, they are comforting one another like we would do with our friends and families during a time of crisis or danger…

      We are not trying to change who you are. As Elora has mentioned, the majority of Japanese people are kind people. This so called tradition however, is cruel. The sad thing about this is that there is only a small group of people who benefit from the capture and killing of the dolphins… its not you or the majority of Japanese. It is the dealers, the trainers and the investor who sell & trade the dolphins. The Japanese people who are eating dolphin are being poisoned by the mercury… and mercury is terribly dangerous…

      Also, the people of Taiji including the fisherman could be making so much more money if they stopped hunting dolphins & turned Taiji into a tourist destination which is something people around the world would support. Taiji is a beautiful place, but right now it is stained with blood.

      The fact that you spoke up about your beliefs even though they are different from ours shows you have character… I hope you
      consider watching The Cove and realize the terrible wrongs that are happening in Taiji right now… you could be a great voice for the dolphins…


      1. 確かに、イルカに限らず、多くの種類の動物が文字や人間を識別できる能力を持っています。








      2. 太地でのイルカ猟は、イルカやクジラを愛する人々にとって目を覆いたくなるような光景であることは私にも容易に想像できます。







      3. アメリカ、カナダ、オーストラリアが毎年多数の牛や豚を殺し、その肉を日本に売って莫大な利益を上げてることを知っていますか?






      4. 現在イルカやクジラの肉を食べたことによる水銀中毒の被害は何も報告されていません。






    4. あなたの意見をする権利を有します。あなたがが自分の名前を明らかにする場合はよいでしょう。あなたが信じている場合は、これは問題にならない場合よりも言う。私は私の名前を明らかにaninimotyの後ろに隠れていません。それは私の信念は、どのように強くされ、私は彼らの後ろに立つ。

      You have the right to your opinions. It would be nice if you would reveal your name though. If you believe in what you say than this would not be an issue. I reveal my name and don’t hide behind aninimoty. That is how strongly my beliefs are and I stand behind them.

      1. Excellent Brigitte! You are so incredibly right. They know what they are doing is wrong. “A Japanese” thinks he/she can justify their reasoning behind these captures and killings, and they can’t. Theres too much evidence to prove they’re wrong.

    5. A Japanese: I ask you to consider this subject with an open mind. Over time, everybody will realize that dolphin captivity and the inhumane slaughter process in Taiji is wrong. It may be 5 years from now, it may be 100 years from now, but over time, everybody will know it is wrong. It is just like racism and slavery. They were part of many countries’ cultures decades or centuries ago, but now everybody knows they were wrong. That’s why you should approach this matter with an open mind.

  13. A Japanese: If you don’t know why all of us supporting the end of dolphin capture and slaughter, you really haven’t read this blog or any research regarding Whales and Dolphins. Have you watched THE COVE?

  14. A Japanese:

    RE: 世の中には多種多様な文化が存在し、その中にはあなたの許容できないものもあると思います。




    You can not tell any of us that this is a cultural hunt! None of us believe that. Anyone who tells you hunting dolphins in Japan is a cultural necessity is lying to you.

  15. A jap why don’t u take ur narrow ass out of here. N better yet why not go somewhere with ur whole family and get trap n be speared to death because ur aren’t the one they need?

    1. Hey Bubbles, while I appreciate your passion about this issue, and I am very much against the killing of whales and dolphins for monetary gain and/or sport and entertainment, I think we have to be careful how we represent that passion. Bigoted name calling (the word “j–” is offensive to many, including me) and implied violence towards other people will not help the cause. I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel the way you feel – just to be careful with how you express yourself so that people will take you seriously. But I do indeed appreciate how vehemently you feel about the issue.

    2. I’ll go ahead and say it. YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL THAT WAY!!! Hate is not good either way and only accomplishes being wrong. I hate what the fishermen do, but I do not hate the fishermen themselves. They are doing a job and providing for their family. There are better ways to do these things and what they are doing is killing the planet, but I do not hate them personally. Most Japanese people either do not know about what is going on, or they don’t even eat whale and dolphin. When you show bigotry and hated for any race of people, you show your own ignorance and shallow mindedness.

      1. 100% agree, do not hate the fishermen. A bridge has to be build between all parties and a solution shall be found. They are ‘a tool’ only. Acting on behalf of.. who knows whom…
        They are for sure wrong, but they have seen this their whole life, they really believe there is no problem.
        This is my conclusion after observing for a week in Taiji.

    1. Hi Ashley,
      I don’t know if I will be back next season or not. I actually am in running start, so I will have my first two years of college done when I get my High School diploma in 2012. After that I will do two more years of school, or possibly more and probably start participating in more SSCS things. I am doing my senior project a year early. I wish I could come back next year… once you see them get separated, and see the blood pouring from an empty body…. You realize you will stay and do whatever it takes to help end this! 🙂

  16. I am so thankful that there was no slaughter of the approximately 20 dolphins today – the 23rd. BUT honestly, it truly tears me up to hear that these special pod-mates had already been broken up so that the ‘young and best ones’ could be shipped off to public display facilities! There is absolutely nothing worse than the young ones being separated from their mothers and being dumped into their pens awaiting for export! I could sense from your very own words how traumatic it must be for these precious dolphins to be taken away from their pod-mates and to find themselves extremely isolated in their downright tiny pens! No wonder why there was a lot of splashing around when these dolphins had been put into their pens! I have not watched your videos yet, but in my own mind, I can truly picture what it must be like for the captured dolphins to go through this! You truly described the episode so very well.

    The permanent separation between the captured and released dolphins will have its long-lasting consequences. This is definitely something that the most cruel fishermen and other heartless individuals do not really understand and appreciate. After all, dolphins of varying species do share a number of things in common with us, humans. They’re very intelligent, highly sociable, and quite sentient. And they’re most capable of experiencing emotions and are very aware of what’s going on around them and what’s been happening to them. Dolphin families/friends are very much like human families/friends. These fishermen and others should try to place themselves in the dolphins’ position and appreciate what it must be like for these special creatures to experience stress and suffering due to separation and isolation!

    I’ve followed Dr. Ann Weaver’s research on dolphin behavior and population biology during the last four or so years and have learned so much about the 200+ dolphins that she studies off the coast of Florida. She shared so much about their lives, characteristics, habits, and behaviors. There is a great deal of unity among these precious dolphins, and it is definitely quite a community. No wonder why separation, isolation, and abuse of all kinds can cause so much physical and psychological trauma to the dolphins. This is just as comparable to the slaughter itself!

    I am extremely concerned about the following:

    1. Life will probably not be the same for these released dolphins. Their use of echolocation could be a bit off due to extreme stress, as well as loud sounds from the fishermen with their boat engines and banging poles.

    2. I’d say the exact same (as above) for the captured dolphins. We all know what the captivity industry would do to the dolphins. They will face enslavement for the rest of their lives. Their lives will most likely be shortened.

    Two bottle-nose dolphins and one beluga whale that had been taken to a couple of public display facilities in Japan died last month. Link as follows: http://phinventory.whale-web.com/ (See the ‘Most Recent Deaths’ list.)

    3. I thought that there was a ‘no kill’ policy in place for this month. Yet, the beloved pilot whales and Risso’s dolphins had already been killed. The first cull of this season, as well as this month! The fishermen have already released the bottle-nose dolphins that were not selected for the public display facilities. What are the fishermen trying to tell us? Are they trying to appease Ric O’Barry since he used to train bottle-nose dolphins for the TV program “Flipper”? If this is the case, the pilot whales and Risso’s dolphins are definitely being ‘discriminated against’! If the trainers did not want any of the pilot whales and Risso’s dolphins, was there a reason why the fishermen did not release them just like they did with the bottle-nose dolphins?!

    Yes, these fishermen truly sound quite nasty. And just plain rude. Just keep your cool, Elora, like you always have. These guys, as well as others with similar views, just do not have the brains and the heart to really understand how extremely special ALL wild cetaceans are and how extremely important it is for them to maintain their family units, as well as their precious lives, in their home environment.


    1. Hi Laurice,
      I am concerned about all those things to. I completely agree too, that to separate them is extremely cruel. And they are heartless.. you cannot have a heart and do that do a creature as amazing as we both (and 99% of everyone who reads my blog) know they are. And yes, the unity. A pod is a huge family. And they do not work the same when several or even one is pulled out and gone forever. It’s so upsetting!
      Thank you for the long and detailed comment. I love reading things like this! And thank you for the link!

  17. Elora,
    I’m glad you kept your cool today. I am also glad they flipped your dad off. He is getting to them and that makes me feel great inside. I agree with everthing you said. I also want to tell you this is the best report I have read from you. You speak so well through your blog, I can picture everything that happened in my minds eye. You two are doing a great job. We will do a rain dance! Thanks, Matt, Erin, and Aidan.

    1. Thanks! I am trying really hard to keep my cool, it’s frustrating sometimes. Oh! Yes have Aidan do a ton of rain dances! 🙂

      BTW. Did you know that one of those dolphin shaped boats.. you know the ones that took you to your hotel that one night, you didn’t stay in? Yes! Why the heck didn’t you take it from Katsuura to Taiji. There is one that drops you off right at the Whale Museum. Ha! Dumbo walk the entire way why don’t you.

  18. You are doing great Elora, and we can tell. We have the pleasure have met you and your dad here in Taiji and watched what happened today in Taiji. Keep going girl, write the world about what is going on here. It is heartbreaking. We wish more people can come over here and watch what is going on.
    It is not a movie. It is REAL!!!

    1. Thank you so much! It is so heartbreaking. I had a really rough day today watching those poor baby calfs going out to see without possibly 8-12 of their family members and possibly mothers.
      That’s so right! This is real. And scary, because if we wipe out the oceans… man kind will not survive.

  19. I’m glad those 12 dolphins have been released back to sea, but so sad that the other 8 dolphins will be going to marine parks, and never see their family ever again.

    Here is an email i received from Greenpeace after i asked them a couple of things about the drive hunts in Taji, and how they stand on this. They mainly talk about by catch from fishery and whaling in general. As to my question why they aren’t there with you, no answer was given.

    I’ve translated this with google, so it isn’t perfect but you’ll get the idea.

    Dear Mr. de Vos,

    Thank you for your email.

    Greenpeace opposes the slaughter of dolphins for commercial purposes or to protect fisheries interests.

    Greenpeace can not list all the wrongs around Dolphins tackle how terrible we also find this hunting. We ask year after year attention to the dolphins who are victims of harmful fishing techniques.

    Worldwide, the vast majority of man killed dolphins
    and whales, some 300,000 animals per year, not by hunting slain but by the fishery. Therefore Greenpeace campaign to eliminate harmful fishing practices. Greenpeace also fighting for a global network of marine reserves that cover 40% of the oceans.
    These measures are good for protecting dolphins,
    whales and all other marine life.

    This annual slaughter has many parallels with the commercial whaling. Greenpeace, the discussion surrounding the slaughter of cetaceans such as dolphins and whales by Japan from sea brought the Japanese mainland. Using an undercover operation We have a massive fraud involving tax dollars within the
    whaling industry had surfaced.

    Following this operation were two activists of
    Greenpeace, Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki justified because their share The uncovering of this massive fraud. more about can be found on our website:

    Greenpeace has for decades been a pioneer in the
    international pressure to stop whaling. In recent years
    We have a lot of work in Japan. Important, because
    are the decision makers who can end the hunt forever.
    Demand for whale and dolphin meat is also very low in Japan it will only further away.
    The whaling empire starts to break up. The
    credibility of the Japanese government is at stake, the
    International pressure is increasing, ships of the Japanese whaling fleet are
    ontvlagt and industry begins to withdraw from the

    Greenpeace continues to call for the abolition of whether or not the denominator of the science conducted commercial whaling, with a immediate stop to hunting in the southern ocean. It would also Greenpeace for a reform of the IWC is an association for whaling whale into an organization with a protective character,
    is really necessary to protect the cetaceans for new and emerging

    For more information about our work against whaling in Japan:




    Samira Melehi
    Information & Service
    Stichting Greenpeace Netherlands
    By telephone at
    0800-422 33 44
    Jollemanhof 15-17
    1019GW Amsterdam

    Stay strong and safe. 😉

  20. Hi everyone,

    Just penned an email yestereday to “the Blackstone Group” which acquired SeaWorld officially on 12/1/09.

    Here’s how it went:

    TO: BlackstoneInvestorRelations@blackstone.com

    Dear Sirs:
    I am writing to you since you are the parent company of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. On 9/21/10 15 Pilot Whales and Risso’s Dolphins were slaughtered in Taiji Japan during their annual dolphin/whale hunt. It appears that SeaWorld San Diego, a division of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, was granted a permit to export a Pilot Whale from Kamogawa SeaWorld hence leaving the need for a replacement Pilot Whale by them. The presence of aquarium traders was evident at the cove in Taiji on this day. Please note the date of the permit grant as 9/10/10 which further implicates SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in these deaths. The timing of these killings was not a coincidence and this recent purchase by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is directly related to these deaths. Based on this I would like to inform you that I will be making my investment decisions wisely with a company not connected to such atrocities. I will also be making every effort to never patronize any company owned by you for this reason. For example when making business travel related decisions I will be sure not to book at a Hilton or through Orbitz to name a few. I will be sure to inform all of my colleagues and friends to do the same as well as post my concerns on the World Wide Web. Your connection with the present cruelty occurring in Taiji Japan is not going unnoticed.

    Thank you for reading this. I am sure that you care about your reputation in the business arena and this plays a very important role in your daily business decisions.

    We must acknowledge that companies such as “the Blacksotne Group” and people here in the US are directy benefiting from these hunts and hold them accountable.


  21. You can tell that your presence there really is making a difference. If it was not then the Japanese would not go through all the trouble of reading and posting on your blog. They are scared and angry that the word is getting out. This means your work is even more important than you know. Keep up your hard work and dedication!

    Scott and Suzanne, you are right, You have raised an amazing, caring and insightful daughter. See is a stronger, more grounded adult than most of us. Congratulations!!

    We love you all.

  22. Elora, you ask why organizations like Greenpeace and PETA aren’t in Taiji. Have you considered that perhaps they are simply respecting the opinions of many activists here in Japan who are simply against the idea in principle?

    As a westerner myself, it has often been hugely frustrating trying to understand the Japanese “style” of activism, the insistence on avoiding confrontation, the reluctance to get involved with non-Japanese groups, etc. It often seems like Japanese groups are simply not doing anything at all. Even Ric himself, calm and level-headed and always respectful of Japanese culture as he is has expressed a lot of frustration with this reality.

    But most of us agree, Japanese and non-Japanese alike, that it ultimately has to be the Japanese themselves who bring about change. We can lobby politicians and bureaucrats, we can send petitions, we can educate people, but as long as these things are seen to be done by westerners, it is all too easily criticized as foreign interference. And the vast majority of Japanese people aren’t reading your blog, the Sea Shepherd website, the Save Japan Dolphins website… they’re not even watching The Cove. They’re getting their information from Japanese media sources, which are largely a mouthpiece for the government.

    Mayor Sangen of Taiji, the right-wing extremists you’ve seen, the average person in the street, they all insist this is Japan’s tradition and culture, they agree that dolphins and whales are just another marine resource to be exploited.

    I have a lot of respect for your and your father’s decision to be in Taiji. But short of taking to a boat, unfortunately it’s unlikely that your presence will affect any decisions about the killing or capture. They’ll do what they want because, as they insist, they are acting within the law and with the full permission of the prefectural and national government. If those politicians said “Stop” they’d stop in a heartbeat.

    But I’m afraid none of us has figured out how to end this, even though we think about it all day every day. Rather than do nothing, you’ve decided to do something you think makes a difference. Other people have decided to pursue other approaches. So please be careful about assuming that your approach is the best or only way.

    1. Yes Mark,

      We too agree that it has to ultimately be the Japanese who solve this problem. By a continued presence here of Westerners, and hopefully Japanese, we are able to expose the lie that this viscous and secretive slaughter is “cultural”. In addition, by documenting the events and telegraphing them to the world, we are able to bring international pressure to the government of Japan. This shameful stain on Japan’s international reputation caused by a handful of men in Taiji should be enough of a reason for the national government and the Wakayama Prefecture government to instruct the Mayor of Taiji to stop the slaughter. As you say, these politicians have the ability to end this.

      If it is not enough then the fact that the dolphin and whale meat being consumed in Japan is loaded with toxic levels of methyl Mercury. How can a responsible government condone the poisoning of its population for any reason?

      There may be more than one way to address this issue and we encourage everyone to do something, but there is nothing like direct action Japanese style. That is in your face confrontation. We will not be intimidated into leaving and allow this dirty secret to go on unnoticed. Now is the time for the world to speak out against this slaughter and let the Japanese government know that what happens in Taiji shames the entire nation of Japan.

      Now is the time for folks to come to Taiji and stand with us. For big conservation organizations to be missing from the scene is unconscionable. Sea Shepherd is a small donor supported organization and we are here. Individuals have heeded the call to join us and have done so using their own limited personal funds. There is no excuse for the groups with big bank accounts to not be here.

      If anyone wants to join us, write to me at inform-us@seashepherd.org

      For the Oceans,

      Scott West
      Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

    2. Thank you Debbie downer. Do you have any positive info to add other than Scott and Elora are wasting their time? I would love to know. I understand your need to put your opinion out there but what good comes from it in this blog that is trying to rally up people in what Scott mentioned as “face to face confrontation”. Which I and I’m sure many others in here feel is the best way. The fact that you are a bit defensive in favor of the Japanese and Greenpeace makes me question your motives and who YOU really are.

      1. Debbie Downer? Defensive in favor of the Japanese? I have no clue who YOU are Scott Jomaos, but I take offense at your questioning my motives. It’s not easy or pleasant being devil’s advocate, especially via a keyboard. I know what side I stand on, and believe it or not it’s the same side as you, but as a foreigner in Japan I can SEE both sides.

        Listen, there is no shortage of people willing to be cheerleaders for SSCS, Elora and others. And that’s fine. Lots of people agree 100% with what they believe and support what they’re doing 100%. A s for me, I 100% want what they want – for the slaughter and capture of cetaceans – in Taiji, the rest of Japan and the world – to stop. Now. But what’s more important – always accentuating the positive and ignoring the negative; or dealing with reality, the good and the bad?

        As someone who has lived 21 years in Japan; as someone who speaks Japanese and has some understanding of the culture; as someone who has been to Taiji; as someone who is actively involved in efforts to bring this and similar hunts to an end, I can tell you that this issue is way more complicated than most people realize. I’m still learning, every day.

      2. Mark,
        Since when was Greenpeace and PETA more about the opinions of activists and less about the welfare of our animals? I fully understand that the good comes with the bad but your post that stated:
        “But most of us agree, Japanese and non-Japanese alike, that it ultimately has to be the Japanese themselves who bring about change. We can lobby politicians and bureaucrats, we can send petitions, we can educate people, but as long as these things are seen to be done by westerners, it is all too easily criticized as foreign interference.”
        simply implies that we stand by and do nothing while waiting for the Japanese to suddenly have an epiphany and want to exit the slaughtering and exporting of dolphins. Do you see how this seems like your rooting for the wrong team? I do agree that it has to be the Japanese who bring about this change but they aren’t going to do it on their own, especially with the media blackout and government influence.
        You also said:
        ”I have a lot of respect for your and your father’s decision to be in Taiji. But short of taking to a boat, unfortunately it’s unlikely that your presence will affect any decisions about the killing or capture.”
        If this is true why then have the Japanese tried to cover up their “tradition” with tarps, and decided not to kill dolphins in September because of media coverage and interference.
        The bottom line is while you and I are talking Elora and Scott are doing!

      3. Scott, first of all, I’m not here to have a fight, with you or anyone else. I’m also not here to criticize Elora or her father. As I said, I have respect for what they are doing.

        But please don’t assume that I am simply sitting here all day waiting to write comments on this blog. I’m involved in a wide variety of things connected to this issue. In short, I AM doing, Scott.

        While I’m here, I’ll share something I learned the other day. It’s the term “reactance” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactance_%28psychology%29). I’d spend a lot of time trying to explain to people what is happening, in relation to mass public opinion, in Japan. But this is it, in one word. The stronger non-Japanese insist that Japanese do something, the stronger and more stubborn their resistance. So you can poo-poo what I and others are doing as “just” talking. And the day Sea Shepherd actually bring an end to the dolphin slaughter or whaling, I’ll finally agree with you.

  23. First off,

    To “A Japanese”,
    There are plenty websites for translation so why don’t you just type it in English so we can all read what you have said or would you rather just stay secretive like the Taiji and Japan governments have?! And you must care about this subject if you’ve taken the time out to find this blog and post so many times.


    Miss Elora,

    You are absolutely on my list of heros. You have been strong through them choosing on dolphins, seperating them and then the slaughtering of the pilot whales and Russo dolphins. I actually passed a girl on my college campus today with a Sea Shepherd shirt on and we are trying our best to get the Cove shown here at our school and get the animal rights group here with us on these horrible acts. Love to you! 🙂

    To everyone else,

    I’m reading your comments and I have to say you guys are the best! We have to continue to support Elora and Sea Shepherd since all of these other organizations are to chicken to go to the Cove.

    PS I have contacted CNN, CBS, MSNBC and my local news stations about the lack of coverage…hoping this will help!

    – Rebecca

    1. hi rebecca, my daughter, a senior in college, has already gotten the go ahead to air THE COVE’ as a fund raiser for sscs. she plans to do it in the spring and out of doors so as to attract passesrs by. you may be able to book scott or someone else from ssscs to speak at the showing, if your college would pay travel expenses. this may be premature, because she has not gotten the info yet about aquiring the right to show the dvd as a fund raiser, but it seems doable…

  24. Thank you for the updates and keep doing what you’re doing it’s going to take young people like you to do away with this cruelty. And thanks to people like your dad and Paul Watson for dedicating their lives to protecting this creatures.

  25. I think the real motivation for killing whales and dolphins is to decrease the competition for fish, (which is a colonial concept and won’t be effective in the long run) as no one is truly interested in eating dolphin or whale (why else would there be such a massive back stock that they can’t sell – estimated to be over 40 million servings in freezers).

    The stock excuses he/she lists are obviously cut and pasted in as you can see them word for word all over the web. I think the whaling lobby has hired a PR firm to astroturf these sentiments all over. The intentional lack of compassion is quite a canned response – and is not one that is shared by the majority of Japanese.

    There are a number of Japanese originated petitions circulating within the country that I know of with the express intention of bringing Futo and Taiji dolphin hunting to an end.

    1. Kairie, you have some god insight. Competition for fish is one of the excuses that is used and has been for some time. There is very little interest in eating dolphin, but still quite a stubborn interest in eating whale. And now the government is trying to increase the use of whale meat in school lunch programs. It’s an issue we’re trying to tackle.

      The whaling lobby is indeed doing a serious PR job (see the Institute of Cetacean Research) and even have non-Japanese on the payroll to post stuff on news sites and blogs like this (I sometimes get accused of being one of them for simply trying to have the occasional reality check). But the worst culprit is the media, who are so tied to the government line it’s depressing. The Japan Times (and just sometimes the Asahi) is really the only newspaper brave enough to report the whole truth.

      The petitions you mentioned (I and my wife have created or helped create some of them) are having some impact. But again, it’s so easy to collect thousands of names from outside Japan, but Japanese names are much, much harder.

      Even efforts by Japanese groups to stop the construction of a new aquarium in Kyoto – Kyoto, for God’s sake, not even near the ocean – destroying one of the city’s few green parks in the process…even a campaign like that is proving incredibly difficult. Construction has already started.

  26. thanks for the update elora! I was on pins and needles all day waiting to hear what happened to those poor guys. Too bad the lightning didn’t just strike them all down….i know that sounds mean to say- but it’s obvious they have no respect for living beings whatsoever, not even for people trying to make a difference in this world. Glad your out there!

  27. Personally, I don’t think the planet has time to wait for diplomatic approaches or the slow spreading of awareness. People need to change their practices now if we are going to save the oceans and ultimately ourselves. There is not enough fish for everyone anymore, and the marine life that depends on it has no choice. People have a choice. Be selfish to satisfy your appetite at the expense of us all, or evolve into a steward of the land and sea by greatly reducing if not eliminating your unsustainable habits. We cannot go on exploiting every other living being without doing great harm to OUR home. As Jacques Cousteau said “We are all in the same boat”. Short term monetary gain cannot take priority over the long term health of the only ecosystem we’ve got. The Japanese (and many other) people need to see Earthlings as well as The Cove. A dolphin is a cow is a dog is a laboratory rat. All feel, and want to live. We simply have no right and no need to harm them. We can learn from them and from being kind to all.

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