Taiji, Japan Blogs

“If we can’t change this one thing, then there is no hope for any of us”- Richard O’Barry

It takes guts to stand up and call someone’s bluff… it takes more to prove it! That’s what Steven did today… Prepare for slaughter tomorrow, Red October is officially beginning.

This morning we went back to our normal routine, getting up at 5:30 and arriving at the Cove at about 6:30. We were told that the fishermen were not going to go out, because it is the last day of their festival… well the fishermen lied to our source. We arrived at the Cove and there was a film crew there. Two people, making an independent film about the different sides to the argument over this problem. They interviewed all of us, and were very focused on my dad! Wonderful! So much passion and opinion, I’m so happy to call him daddy!

Unfortunately, about 15-20 Risso Dolphins were driven into the Cove this morning. The video of today’s events will be on my youtube by my tomorrow morning! I’m sorry, but I have hours of footage to go through and it’s an early early morning tomorrow. We will be at the Cove at 4:30 tomorrow morning to document what happens.

After the drive happened my dad, Patricia and I went back to the hotel to share with the world what happened and to catch up with Steven. Jackie, John and Junior were at the Cove with two girls who are based in Japan for the Navy stayed at the Cove. We went to the store and we got food for all day, I like to prepare for being there ALL day…. it’s a lot of stuff to drag around, and I look like a bag lady, but it’s great when you are there from 10-6!

When we returned, we found two more film crews, what looked like the entire group of Taiji fisheremen, coast guards, two police officers, and families coming and going. It was a ZOO! One film crew wanted nothing to do with us… the other was with Save Japan Dolphins (SJD), and I think they were doing PSA’s. Everyone from SJD was so friendly! I really enjoyed talking to them, I chatted away like I normally do, to two of the film crew members and showed them a picture of the last Risso Dolphin Slaughter that I had printed. They will probably be out here tomorrow morning too!

The fishermen all looked like they were sucking a mouth full of War Heads Sour Candy! Those things are strong! So it was fun watching them getting uptight about all these westerners running around filming and most obviously against them!

The police would come and go. The two guys (who rotated shifts with two others) that had to stand in the heat, were coast guard. They had to stand up at the top railing, so they could see almost everywhere… but this is the one place the sun in shinning all day! I felt so bad for them, burning up! But there was a simple way to stop that… end the hunt! Okay, so not so simple… but still.

Patricia and I were eating on the sidewalk in front of the water, and ants started to come and investigate. I smashed some popcorn and a small piece of cracker and put in on the ground beside us… they were so cool! They work so well together, picking them up and turning, twisting and carrying them ALL THE WAY ACROSS the sidewalk! Long distance for a little ant. One even picked up the inside of a popcorn piece (you know like the orange crunchy thin part? And carried it all by himself to the other side! It was fun watching them, and a nice distraction from what was in front of us. We would keep an eye on them so no one would step on them!

Later this afternoon John went to go and pick up steven… we were nervous because he had said something on facebook (I know from John’s Iphone) about getting arrested. We thought he was going to swim. Now we were told that if anyone got in the water while fishermen or dolphins were in the Cove that the person would be arrested. Steven wanted to test that bluff… we soon found out once he arrived. He spent a lot of time thinking out the idea, because he does have a wife and a daughter at home… but he felt like this needed to be done. He did it! All of a sudden, about an hour after all the contemplating Steven jumped into the water and towards to nets! He surprised us… we didn’t realize he was going to make a big speech. We thought he was just going to test them and we didn’t want to see him go to jail. The video on my youtube, should be up by my tomorrow morning. I think Steven explains it better then I ever could… the reason why he did it, that is.

The fishermen were pissed as could be, police and coast guard were freaking out…. because the police could not arrest him. Steven tested and caught their bluff, the most the police could say was “that was very rude.” Now I have a lot of respect for the police here… but this was very powerful what happened this afternoon! And it’s all in my video I made.

Right now Steven is pulling an all night’er at the Cove

We are all at the hotel getting a little bit of rest before tomorrow’s stressful morning

And the dolphins…. Time will tell.

For the Animals,

Elora Malama

53 thoughts on ““If we can’t change this one thing, then there is no hope for any of us”- Richard O’Barry”

  1. Thanks Elora, for that update that is!

    Fishermen, dolphin trainers, Taiji museum, Japanese authorities, whoever reads this blog: Let these animals go in the morning. You have a wonderful country, you have wonderful citizens, this does not fit. I know, I have traveled your country for 6 weeks now, the dolphin captures and killings DON’T fit here – for sure YOU want to be proud of your country, this does not help! This hurts your country a lot.

    Thank you in advance for letting them go in the morning!

  2. Ugg….. thought they were finally relenting and weren’t going to slaughter the dolphins. Sorry Elora. Wish they would wise up like Rick did and stop.
    The movie the Cove and all you do has changed my life.

  3. I guess they really want to make sure that all of us are fired up to protest at the Japanese embassies of the world on Thursday, International Dolphin Day. Their actions with these dolphins will be witnessed around the globe in clear and stunning detail. We will follow the shipment of any murdered cetaceans out of Taiji and expose any sushi restaurant that has the nerve to list the items on their menus.

    Most Japanese people are indeed brilliant and remarkable, but the corrupt faction that is promoting the murder of cetaceans is bringing the reputation and image of the entire country to its knees.

    There’s a strong correlation to the long recession Japan has suffered and the country’s whaling practices – it’s easily charted and it’s a sad reality that they simply don’t see it.

    1. Very interesting points you make Geena. I didn’t even put 2 and 2 together with the protests on Thursday. You are very correct. Not only are the embassies fielding calls all over the world (and those will only increase if those dolphins are murdered tomorrow instead of released) but Thursday should prove to be an interesting day.

      Thank you for bringing us a daily account of what is happening and for insight well beyond your years. You are truly God’s gift to this planet and those who know you.

      in short, you are amazingly strong and brave for what you did today. Of course we’ll bail you out! Your passion and calm are to be admired. We are so proud of you as I am sure your family is.

      Taiji Fisherman and the people of Japan,

      Please let these dolphins return to the sea alive- to their families. Put down your spears and look to a future of beauty that would more proudly represent your beautiful country and its honorable traditions. The murderous slaughter of these creatures does not represent your honor.

  4. Thank you for the update! I’m very proud of the work you are doing down there, I think it’s a very brave thing to do.
    ohh and thanks for adding me on FB 🙂
    Keep up the good work!!


  5. This was posted on Paul Watsons page!

    Paul Watson Sea Shepherd offered to buy the dolphins and asked how much to pay to release them. The fishermen said our money was dirty and they only take money they work for, meaning for dolphins enslaved or murdered. Lives are not for sale only death is for sale! They say they will kill these dolphins tomorrow!

    What does this tell everyone does it tell you “THEY LOVE THE KILL”

    1. I guess we’ll spend our “dirty money” on US and German cars and Korean TVs rather than anything that has come out of Japan. While there are a few Japanese companies who support Ocean conservation, we’ll start making a list of companies to boycott – Mitsubishi is at the top.

  6. Hi Elora,
    Thank you for the update. If any Japanese are reading this blog and believe that this slaughter, please stand up and make it known that you don’t want to see beautiful, intelligent creatures die at the hands of these fishermen anymore. That you will not eat any of this meat. That this is wrong. And you don’t want to see your country to be viewed in such a negative light anymore. It may have started with westerners, but it needs to end with the Japanese. And it can end now.

    And I was wondering…do you think the film crew who wanted nothing to do with you guys are their filming on behalf of the fishermen? I just can’t imagine why people filming against the slaughter wouldn’t want to talk with you guys.

    Steven~ you are SO amazing!
    I know right now must be an extremely difficult and stressful time to be there, but you guys have so much backing. And you’re doing the best thing for the animals. Thank you so much. You really are heroes. Xo

  7. Elora, Scott, Steve:
    It has been said that the fisherman do not believe that a tourist market can be created utilizing their vessels. What if all efforts were directed toward making it happen?
    If people were constantly approaching the fishermen, with money in hand, and asking for a ride out to see the dolphins, then there would be no time to hunt. They would also not want to hunt while giving tours.
    I am sure that there are businesses that would want to donate for advertisement of dolphin tours and swims.
    It may be difficult for many people to volunteer their time and money to do what you are doing and bare watching potential slaughters, but they may be more than willing to play the part of a tourist and give to the cause at the same time.
    You may even be able to find a few businesses to sponsor a free shuttle from the larger cities. They can simply advertise on the side of the bus.
    Give this some thought please. Anything is worth a try.

    1. Yeah, I totally agree with that. They have to know that there’re very good alternatives! Speak the only language they understand: economics.

    2. These seems a pretty good idea to me, afterall like Holise Cleveland III says, its all about the money. People are greedy in todays society and it all comes down to the basic fact that they will do whatever it takes to make more money, so if the money was to be stopped, i.e people stopped buying the meat to sell and stopped buying dolphins for shows, they would seek for alternatives. Similarly if the money was to come from elsewhere and offered the same income or more than hopefully they would favour the alternative!

  8. That must have been a very hard and stressful discission for Steven to make. I myself being married with two young daughters I can imagine what would have ben going through his head while making the discission to swim. I doubt I would have be able to do it.
    But I am so thankful and excited about the swim!! Good job Steven!!

    My daughter (6) thinks the story about the ants is hilarious! As we were reading it she was cracking up laughing “That’d be like me carrying this COUCH across the street!!!” lol

  9. Elora
    Thank you for your remarkable courage and poise in such trying instances. You are becoming a heroine to my young kids. You are the next generation, and you are formidable!

  10. Thank you Elora for the wonderful updates! I almost feel as though I am there with all of you……..I will be anxiously awaiting the outcome of the risso dolphins capture.

  11. Ok so i think it’s 4 in the morning for you elora, which means you will be heading down to the cove soon! Thankyou for the dedication you are putting into this, i only wish i could help more! I just pray that somehow the dolphins this morning are freed, they dont deserve to be innocently slaughtered! I must admit i do understand where you are coming from when you called it a holocaust the other day, it pretty much is a holocaust of dolphins and it shouldnt be allowed to happen!
    Good luck elora and stay safe!

  12. Spoke to someone on the emergency number for the japanese consulate in NYC, yet again I left my message that this is an emergency and that they need to help stop this from happening. This person apparently is Japanese. He took my message, as I was crying at the thought of the slaughter happening soon. He told me he is not supposed to say this, but that he agreed with me that this should not happen. The consulate is not open do to the holiday. He will email all of my message. Not sure if it will be read. I sure hope so. Doing a lot of praying too. Elora, I think you are so brave to actually be there, and maybe bear witness to the killing. I could not, just the thought breaks my heart. Keep strong, I’m sure you will need to be. Take care..

  13. hmmmm….if Steven can swim out there, does that mean others can swim out when they start the killing? how about taking a boat out there? and filming and taking pictures?

  14. I was really conflicted on what to say on my protest poster because there are so many things I want to say and of course limited space. Capt. Watson’s post regarding the offer to purchase the lives of these precious Rissos dolphins from the fishermen and their response of our money being “dirty money” has really gotten me angry. I will be sure to include this comment in big ass red and black letters on my poster so that all can clearly see on Park Ave in NYC!!! Japan will not be receiving another penny of my “dirty money”. Have the Japanese forgotten how they rely on the presence of US military at their ports as a threat against China? And our tax dollars go towards this. Enough is enough I say! Maybe they should rely on their harpoons to defend themseves agaist the Chinese!

    1. The Cove is not a movie that can be adequately summarized when someone asks, “What is it about?” My response would be, “You simply have to see it to understand.”
      A sign reading, “Watch ‘The Cove’ and you’ll be mad, too!” should pretty much sum things up. We can wave signs in front of the embassies and consulates that read, “Save the Dolphins,” and the Japanese may just laugh. The last thing they would want, however, is for more and more people to be informed by watching The Cove.

      I was at the facebook causes page for Save Japan Dolphins last week. I kept refreshing the page and found that people were logging on every 3 to 10 minutes with questions like, “What can I do?” and statements about just having seen the movie. It is a powerful film and is the ultimate tool for winning people to the cause. We can inform and educate people, but the film recruits people.

      A sign that reads, “Watch ‘The Cove’,” besides another that simply says, “www.SeaShepherd.org,” pretty much tells it all, (especially to people who are driving by), yet leaves enough mystery so that they may want to investigate further. Of course, this is just my opinion.

  15. Japan the world is watching and the world is not happy!

    I have sent letters to many news stations today, with the video and a few of the photo’s of Steve in the water, lets hope they respond…They were also given Steve’s cell phone number!

    Please post if he hears from anyone!


    I think when the world realizes they would not let Sea Shepherd purchase the Dolphins/Whales people will even be more angry than they already are.

  16. Steven,
    You are truly a wonderful person! All of your acts of compassion are being documented and set in history and one day your children will be old enough to understand and they will be so proud that you are their Dad!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your bravery.

    1. I agree, Marysia. Steven is an awesome person. I read of the Sea Shepgerd website that when he got out of the water, he got up on the rocks and yelled at the fishermen to at least spare the babies and pregnant females. And that he was fasting because the dolphins are being forced to fast. It literally brought tears to my eyes when I read that. Thank you, Steven.
      I know it’s after 6:00am now. I’m saying for the dolphins and you guys who are there.

  17. Hi everyone,
    Some consulates are closed today due to the Columbus Day Holiday. The Embassy in DC informed me that the LA consulate is open today from 1-4 PST and SF consulate opened just a little while ago. Their numbers respectively are: 213-617-6700 and 415-717-3533

  18. One other report said 2 for captivity….BLOOD IN THE WATER and BLOOD in the souls of the fishermen of Taiji, they will be cursed! They will pay in some way somehow they will pay!

  19. I thought a lot today about SSCS offering money for these poor souls and the fishermen refusing. I thought twice before saying anything wondering if I might be going too far but I am upset by the apparent lack of judgement from the Japan Government.

    I remember a quote from Osama Bin Laden saying the only difference between the free world and his group of people is that the free world loves life and his people love death. Now, I can hear you now… saying that there is a difference between people and animals; but life is life. The end. It’s life. How can you justify destroying something you can’t understand or create?

    Sea Shepherd offered to buy these dolphins because they love life. Japan refused… why? What do they love? This is NOT about money. What philosophy do they subscribe to? Life or death?

  20. Will put this up here too for anyone looking for updates:
    just called Scott in Japan~ details are: 1 or 2 were selected for aquariums, not sure exact # killed but approx 14 or so… There are still a few in The Cove, it is a logical assumption that these are mothers and babies due to the outcry to free them at the very least… still not sure those number but maybe 4 or 5. Hopefully they are not just babies but also mothers to care for them.
    They were trying to get to a better viewing point to confirm. There are currently 6 hunter boats out looking for dolphins. These are the best details right now, they will have a complete report asap but are staying at The Cove until the boats come back to see if any more are captured today.

    1. Suzanne,
      Thank you so much for the up to the minute updates… it is so much appreciated by everyone.

    2. I very deeply appreciate your update! I had been wondering how the day unfolded on the 12th of October in Taiji. I truly can imagine how extremely stressful the day must be for everyone. I truly am so crushed about the ones killed, and I very much hope the mothers and their little ones will be spared!

      I read everything – including the offer of the ransom money and Steven’s incredible courage when testing the fishermen’s bluff. I am greatly bothered about the fishermen’s response to the offer and could not have been more pleased for Steven with his unwavering dedication to the dolphins!

      I just completed the creation of FOUR large signs for the upcoming protest, and my heart/mind will be with all wild cetaceans while I am at the protest this Thursday.

      Again, many thanks for the update!


  21. Residents of a Japanese village made infamous in the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove for slaughtering and eating dolphins and whales have been found to be contaminated with high levels of methylmercury.

    The National Institute for Minamata Disease made the discovery after taking hair samples from about a third of Taiji’s residents.

    Microscopic organisms convert inorganic mercury into methylmercury, which accumulates up the food chain in fish, fish-eating animals and people.

    Analysis of the hair samples revealed that Taiji men had mercury contamination 4.5 times higher than the average of 14 other regions in Japan.

    Taiji’s women had levels about four times higher than the average.

    A total of 43 of the 1,137 people tested had concentrations exceeding the level recognized by the World Health Organization as having the potential to cause neurological damage.

    While no health problems could immediately be linked to the contamination, the institute said the findings “suggest a connection between mercury concentrations and eating cetaceans.”

  22. need to put pressure on our local representatives – someone needs to step in, as this is out of control.

  23. I know this sounds crazy, but all I can think of is that I would have committed a samurai suicide on myself in that red water. That would have gotten some real media coverage. I guess that it’s a good thing I am not there.

  24. the one thing i don’t understand is how the trainers can live with themselves? i’m assuming trainers actually like animals, so how can they go there and select dolphins, knowing that the dolphins’ family will immediately be killed, and that they are supporting the Taiji dolphin killers? how can any human being do that?!

  25. This is just so upsetting. I’m at a loss for words. To think, just yesterday, this pod peacefully graced our oceans, as a family. It is the most heart rendering thing to know that they are now gone. Gone, for what? Greed. They can easily stop this merciless slaughter. I don’t know. Maybe it’s not all greed. They turned down money from SSCS to free them. They’re sadists. They must enjoy watching the cove turn blood red. Seeing these beautiful creatures writhe in agony. If they didn’t enjoy it, wouldn’t they want better for their kids? Instead of claiming that they need to preserve this slaughter so that they’re sons will have a job. Why not teach your kids the importance of education. That there’s more out there than growing up and being a killer. If they keep this slaughter up, they’ll deplete our oceans so quickly, that their children really won’t have jobs.
    Honestly though, I can’t keep up with their excuses. It’s like everyday they have a new reason for pursuing the hunt and slaughter.

    1. Simply mortifying. One thought about the tradition and carrying this needless slaughter is so their sons have jobs well it sounds more like they ar expecting them to remain in their town for the rest of their lives. You would think the fathers would want more for their sons. Like a future

    2. You put it so very well, Ashley. The fishermen in Taiji, as well as the killers in the Faeroe Islands, are so incredibly stubborn, cruel, and heartless that continue to keep their minds closed to potential changes (for the benefit of all wild cetaceans), as well as how beautiful whales, dolphins, and porpoises are from the inside and outside. They are truly very selfish, greedy, and sadistic people!


  26. Shameful, pathetic Japanese fishermen. The world hates Japan because of their barbaric history.
    After the Americans took Japan over and brought it into the 20th century (almost) Japan’s karma got better. In the 80’s it became a power economy. Then they became egotistcal bastards again and tried to be who they once were – barbaric controlling bastards – and KARMA put their country back into the dumpster.
    For every child of the seas these INAKA-MO kills, their own children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will suffer with their own lives.
    Pathetic Japanese – when will you learn?
    You are DAI MARU. The Supreme Nothing country. All of your country pays for your heartless stupidity.
    Shinde shinasai Bakayaro Inakamotachi! HA!

    1. Goddess711,
      Well said! Isn’t it funny that both of our comments got a thumbs down for telling it like it is. Like it or not, Japan, without the aid of others, American being one of them, you would not be prospering today. So don’t isolate yourself from the world with your pride! That said, no Japanese products for me until this capture and slaughter ceases. I want nothing to do with a culture that snubs their noses at everyone else.

  27. The dolphins were killed!!!! read on sea shepherd… OMG, you brutal bastards fishermen, if there is a God He is gonna make you pay with your lives, I curse you all… I hope you all die of a painful death and your piece of crap country go down. Your lives are meanless…

    Ps. Sorry people, but I am so full of hate now… I needed to vent!

  28. My heart is aching at what mankind continues to inflict on God’s precious creations. The fishermen in the east WILL reap what they sow, but let’s not forget the United States and the slaughter that takes place daily in the factory farms. I would encourage all who decide not to spend their money with Japan to also help make an impact on the grocery stores in the United States by choosing not to support this industry as well.

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