Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 7 in Taiji

Another beautiful day in Taiji, which unfortunately means that the dolphin hunters were out and about. All 12 banger boats and the harpoon vessel went out this morning. At first glance the area is gorgeous, but after spending a week in Taiji it is difficult to appreciate the beauty of it when there is so much cruelty to animals going on here.

The hunting boats leaving the harbor, ruining a perfectly beautiful sunrise.  

The boats were out for about 3 hours before we spotted them. Once we saw them we were fairly concerned because they were in a formation like they had found a pod of dolphins, although their movements were very erratic/unorganized. We continued to follow their locations for another hour, but ultimately they were unable drive in any dolphins. Hopefully the dolphins continue to elude the fishermen!

We checked on the  dolphins at the dolphin hotel, and yet again the sick dolphin is being ignored by the trainers. To make the dolphins do stupid tricks they are deprived from their normal amount of food, by the time the trainers come around they are basically begging for fish, but the ill dolphin has zero interest! It doesn't even acknowledge them at all! When we asked them to help the sick dolphin, the trainers laughed and made jokes about us. These are the people that claim to love the dolphins, yet they don't even care that one of the dolphins lays listless all day, won't interact with the others, and will not eat?! These people do NOT care about the dolphins! They are GREEDY!

The Taiji Dolphin Hotel sea pens where wild dolphins are held prisoner. 

Today the police were a little more aggressive with us as well.  We are constantly followed by them and today when we were out at the lookout waiting for the boats to return Rosie spotted 2 men hiding in the bushes staring at her when she was on her way to the washroom.  When she spotted them they jumped out of the bushes and pretended they were exercising.  When she approached them they ran!  Were they police?  Or perhaps perverts peeping at woman from the bushes?  Who knows, but it would be nice if they identified themselves.  We also noted that the dolphin trainers at the Hotel are getting police escorts. It seems at if 2 Wakayama policemen are driving around with them and guarding them when they are training.  Although the local Taiji police are very friendly and helpful these Wakayama Prefecture police are smarmy, rude, and they love to laugh and joke with the dolphin trainers, taking pictures of the dolphins when they are doing their tricks.  Perhaps for their dolphin scrapbooks?  Who knows.  Who cares, they can't intimidate us and we will continue monitoring the sick dolphin that the trainers are ignoring.  Shame in them!

Marley and Carisa

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 6 in Taiji

Well the wild cetaceans around Taiji are very lucky again.  The hunter boats left the harbor today and came back empty handed AGAIN.  Today was a bit different though because the harpoon ship came back much later than the rest of the boats and we were dreading to see why it was so late but it came back empty as well.

Our afternoon consisted mostly of sitting in the harbor for 6 hours waiting for the harpoon ship to return.  In that time we were visited at least 7 times by undercover police and sketchy individuals asking totally ridiculous questions pretending to be supporters.  The undercover police in Taiji really need to work on their skills because they really do stick out like a sore thumb.  Oh well, at least they are entertaining.

While sitting in the harbor we also watched an elderly man who was fishing off the pier and he actually caught a plastic bag on his hook.  We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw him take the bag off his hook and toss it back into the ocean.  Again, it's clear to us that even the elderly residents of Taiji do not care about marine life and the coastal ecosystems around their home.  I can't imagine my own grandparents ever throwing plastic garbage into the water, how shameful.

As always, please call and email the Japanese embassy and tell them what you think of slaughtering dolphins and the sale of wild dolphins for entertainment. For instant updates follow Sea Shepherd on Twitter, Rosie updates frequently!

For the Oceans,
Marley and Carisa

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 5 in Taiji

And yet again another great day for wild cetaceans in Japan, the banger boats and the harpoon ship left the harbor to hunt today and came back empty handed.  GO DOLPHINS!

Again we spent the day checking on the captive dolphins at the Taiji Dolphin Hotel.  Today we saw something there that really blew our minds, and yet kind of didn't surprise us at all.  So firstly I really want to stress how much garbage we see in the water here.  Some of it I am sure is from the typhoon, but for whatever reason the water is FILLED with garbage everywhere we go and no one seems to be cleaning it up.  Today at the harbor there was so much plastic floating in the water and at least 50 dead fish floating amongst it.  We also see a huge amount of garbage floating around the dolphin pens and literally every day we have been there we see dolphins playing with garbage.  The last 3 days we have visited the Dolphin Hotel we have seen dolphins pushing around plastic bags which would get caught on their dorsal fins and they would roll around trying to get it off.  We also see the trainers picking the garbage out of the pens but today we actually saw a trainer playing fetch with a dolphin using a plastic bag.  He was actually throwing a plastic bag into their pen and the dolphin would bring it back to him apparently in an effort to teach the dolphins how to clean their own pens.

But today we saw something that really disgusted us.  A large plastic trash can that had been floating around in the water got stuck between two of the dolphin pens.  We saw one of the trainers pull the garbage can out of the water and we honestly thought that they would take it up to their dumpster or something but no.... he actually tossed it back into the ocean away from the pens, he THREW A LARGE PLASTIC TRASH CAN INTO THE OCEAN, next to the dolphins no less!!!
Is this what the people of Taiji think of the oceans?  That they are just a big garbage dump to put their trash in, to steal animals from, and to totally overfish?  Considering the treatment of these dolphins at the Taiji Dolphin Hotel why would we be at all surprised that they would throw garbage into what SHOULD be a beautiful ecosystem.  Total and complete disregard for marine life.  TOTAL AND COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR MARINE LIFE.

And to top the day off we had to watch the public come and swim with the dolphins twice.  The 4 dolphins in the middle pen are the most tame so all of the tourists get to climb in with them and ride around on their backs, grabbing on to their dorsal fins.  The first group we saw was 4 adults, but the second group was 27 high school children.  There were literally 27 people in a 60 foot by 60 foot sea pen, all at the same time, all grabbing at the dolphins.  It is very difficult to watch all this and not spontaneously combust, there are so many things wrong with this place it is almost too much to take.

The best part is we were followed by undercover police officers all day.  I am not really sure what these undercover police officers were expecting, but we knew they were police right away and when they were pretending to have a nap in their car we marched right over, tapped on their window and asked who they were.  They looked absolutely horrified we had approached them and when they showed us their badges we just started laughing.  I can't imagine a town where wild animals are being tortured and abused in the worst way and they follow us around like we are the criminals?  It's a joke.

We get the message loud and clear, the people of Taiji have ZERO respect for marine life and the oceans.  If they had any at all the beaches wouldn't look like a garbage dump and dolphins wouldn't be getting hacked to pieces and molested in cheap, filthy, roadside dolphinarium hellholes.

This place is really starting to get to me, and I haven't even witnessed a hunt yet.

Marley Daviduk
Cetacean Defense League

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The Taiji police are very friendly and reasonable... although I think they like to tell us tales.  They warn us not to go into the hills because of deadly snakes, and today they saw me eating Inari, a delicious tofu snack and they told me there is an ancient Japanese proverb that says the Osprey from Japan love tofu and are liable to snatch it out of your hands.  

This is the lookout where we watch for the killer boats returning.  

This picture pretty much shows how we feel when we witness animal cruelty firsthand.  Rosie and I are watching tourists swim with captive dolphins.  These dolphins were caught in the wild a year ago, they watched their entire families get cruelly slaughtered and now live their lives in extremely small enclosures.  These tourists pay to swim with them and molest them like sex slaves being pimped out to perverts.  Shame on anyone who supports a company that profits off of captive cetaceans.  Keep wild animals in the WILD. 

Day 4 in Taiji

Today was another choppy day on the water and the killer boats thankfully did not leave the harbor.  We are worried about the weather tomorrow as it looks like it may be a bit more clear but lets hope for the best.

Our days as Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians are long and tiring.  We wake at 4, meet the others at 5 and head straight to the hill over looking the Taiji harbor soon after that.  We usually wait there until 7 watching the weather and the banger boats to see whether they leave.  If they haven't left by 7 they usually do not go out at all.

At around 9:30 we head to the Dolphin Hotel to wait for the trainers to come out and feed the dolphins.   If the banger boats do not go out we usually check on the dolphins at the hotel 3 times a day so we can watch the trainers feed and administer drugs.

Sometime in the last week 2 dolphins escaped the sea pens at the hotel by jumping over the edge into the open ocean.  It breaks our hearts to see that they will not leave the other dolphins, perhaps out of loyalty we do not know.  Over the last several days we noticed that during feeding times the trainers do not feed the dolphins who escaped, and it has become very clear that the dolphins are hungry because as the trainers walk around the pens the free dolphins follow them jumping 6-10 feet out of the water right beside them as if they are begging for food.  Once a day the trainers open their pen and throw fish in it to try and lure them inside but they have refused to go in it.  Yesterday we took a picture of one of the dolphins as it jumped out of the water and we can clearly see the dolphins ribs.  We are not experts on dolphin physiology, we have sent the pictures to an expert to access their body conditions but it seems to me that dolphins need blubber to keep their internal organs warm in the cold water.  The dolphins do not have access to the fish they need in the shallow harbor and if the trainers are withholding food from the dolphins in an effort to force them back into the pens they would be knowingly starving them to do this.

We think they may have been successful today in forcing the free dolphins back into the small 40 foot by 40 foot pens this afternoon but we will confirm this tomorrow.

In the afternoon when we checked in at the dolphin hotel we saw a family standing in the pens with the dolphins.  They paid money to bring their small child out to the pens so they could stand there and have a dolphin wave his tail at them and put fish in his mouth.  These are the very people who are paying for this entire mess.  If they didn't pay money to see captive dolphins then they wouldn't be driving entire pods into the cove and capturing the desired ones and killing the rest.  SHAME ON THEM.

Please contact the Dolphin Hotel and let them know what you think of cetaceans in captivity and the fact they are withholding food from animals in an effort to make them comply.

Email: or
How to Call Taiji, Japan from the United States:
Phone: 81-73-559-3514
Fax: 81-73-559-281

Marley and Carisa
Cetacean Defense League

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 3 in Taiji

Today was even stormier than yesterday with pounding rain and gale force winds.  The banger boats never go out in this kind of weather so the wild dolphins are lucky.

We spent the day checking on the captive dolphins in the city instead.  We are very concerned about one dolphin in particular at the Dolphin Hotel in Taiji.  The dolphin hotel is a terrible tourist attraction where you can stay there and watch dolphin shows and swim with the dolphins in their pens.  They have 7 sea pens in ocean as well as an unknown amount of dolphins in their dolphinarium.

The dolphin we are worried about is the one we saw exhibiting neurotic repetitive behavior bobbing up and down constantly spyhopping.  Yesterday we watched as they caught him and pinned him against the side of the pen, injected him with an unknown substance and put what looked like an iodine mixture on these open bloody wounds on his tail fluke.  It looks like he is rubbing his tail raw on the bottom of his shallow pen while bobbing.

Today when we arrived we saw that he had received more veterinary care for an injury he received below his eye.   We could see that there was a large amount of what looked like a white substance, almost putty like as if it had been spread on this wound, and still the large jagged mark was still clearly visible below his eye.  We sat and watched as the trainer fed all the dolphins but the sick dolphin would not eat.  While all the other dolphins were jumping at the dead fish, he still bobbed up and down showing no interest in the meal.  We could see that the trainers were speaking about him and pointing at him.  Rosie from Sea Shepherd said she witnessed them force feeding him the other day so we may see that again tomorrow.

Something else that could be a serious problem is 2 dolphins who have escaped from their pens.  We don't know how long these dolphins have been loose, but they just swim around the outside of the pens that keep their friends and family captive.  We don't know why they don't head out to sea, perhaps they are loyal and refuse to leave the others.  We noticed today that during feeding time the trainers did not feed the two dolphins who are loose and when we inspected some close up photos of them their ribs were clearly visible.  When the trainers were walking around the pens with food the dolphins were jumping 6-10 feet out of the water as if to get their attention.  We are not experts on dolphin physiology but we have sent the pictures of the dolphins to a professional.  I don't think it is a good thing to be able to see the ribs on a dolphin, especially because they need blubber to keep warm, and considering these dolphins won't leave the harbor they may not be getting enough food if the trainers aren't bothering to feed them.  We will wait to here more about this dolphins condition and will update soon.

The police were kind of aggressive with us today.  They pretty much follow us around where ever we go, and the police we have met so far have been extremely friendly.  Today the dolphin trainers called them because they don't want their pictures taken and the police are trying to force us to stop taking pictures when the trainers are out there.  They say it is because Japanese morals say it's not ok to take a picture of someone who hasn't given permission.  Morals?  From these people who are mistreating wild animals?  Well this makes it a little bit difficult because we need to take pictures of the trainers feeding and treating these injuries.  We will continue to take pictures for the dolphins sake, we will not stop.

Ultimately we are here for the dolphins! If the police would like to be our personal escorts around the town of Taiji, they are welcome to. All of this personal attention is costing a great deal of money!

We will continue to update as much as possible, but if you would like to help please call the Japanese embassy near you on behalf of the captive dolphins. They need to hear that it is NOT okay to treat these sentient creatures like objects for entertainment. They are all hungry and have too little space to move around.

For the Oceans,
Carisa and Marley

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 2 in Taiji

Well today was another great day for the wild dolphins of Japan.  The weather was so windy and the water was so choppy that the boats didn't bother leaving the harbor.  This gave us a lot of free time today to check out the local fish market as well as the captive dolphins in the city.

At the local fish market we saw hundreds of yellowfin tuna, mackerel, swordfish, and approximately 200 shark fins all stacked in a pile.  More than 2 million dolphins are killed every year by tuna fisheries, compare that to the 2000 that are killed in Taiji every year.  That is just the purse seiners, MILLIONS more dolphins are killed in drift nets, gill nets and on long lines every single year.  Anyone that eats sea life is significantly contributing to the deaths of many dolphins.  Go vegan and NO ONE get's hurt including the tuna.

Many of the fish we saw at the market were extremely young, and may not have had the chance to reproduce yet.  This is a serious issue that is causing the demise of all the animals in our oceans.  The shark fins we saw were extremely upsetting.  It was obvious that the sharks had been finned, most likely alive and tossed back into the ocean as there were no shark bodies at the market.

Human beings need to leave the oceans alone along with all the animals in it.  PERIOD.

After the fish market we stopped by the Taiji Whale Museum to peak through the fence at their captive dolphins. One of the dolphins is so depressed he doesn't move, just floats there lifelessly.  At the Taiji Whale Museum you can watch a dolphin show while eating dolphin at the same time.  Next to the museum there is a gift shop that we entered and saw that there was A LOT of whale and dolphin meat for sale.  It is so disturbing to see whale meat literally in the flesh.  It's is so dark and bloody, and there was even dried whale/dolphin fat with the skin attached.  You could see their smooth beautiful skin and the clean slice marks that mutilated the animals beautiful body.  HOW SHAMEFUL.

After that we headed to the Dolphin Hotel to check out their captive prisoners.  We noticed right away that there was one dolphin in particular who was spy hopping over and over again constantly.  We think that the intense confinement has caused him to start exhibiting neurotic repetitive behavior.  Then sea pens these dolphins are confined in are no more than 25ft by 25ft square.  As we sat and watched these dolphins playing with sticks and garbage that had floated into their pens (3 of the dolphins were playing with plastic bags in three different enclosures) the trainers came down with a bunch of equipment and it was clear they were going to administer something to the dolphin who was neurotically spyhopping.  We watched as they jumped into his pen, injected him with something and held his tail out of the water exposing a bloody raw tail fluke.  It then became clear to us that because the pen is so shallow that the dolphin is rubbing his tail against the bottom net every time he spyhops.  As he holds himself vertically in the tank and bobs up and down over and over again his tail keeps smashing on the rough netting on the bottom showing us his tank is barely deeper than the length of his body.  In each of these tanks there are 4-5 dolphins.

While the molesters were administering his drugs the other 3 dolphins in his tank huddled together in the corner, like small children hiding from their perverted abuser.  Once they were done the 4 dolphins swam side by side, all touching each other clicking and talking to each other probably communicating about their cruel confinement and treatment.

I can't believe how any person with any kind of intelligence would look at these animals and think that it is acceptable to keep them in such cruel conditions, while they are obviously going crazy like poor confined circus animals.

Anyone who chooses to support the captive cetacean industry, whether in Japan, China, the US, Canada or ANYWHERE else is directly causing animal cruelty.   Boycott ALL aquariums, dolphinariums or any kind of park where you can pay to interact with captive dolphins and whales.  They belong in the wild with their families and there is not an aquarium on the planet that can provide them with what they need and deserve.  That is why cetaceans NEVER live long in captivity just like poor Tiqa the 3 year old Baluga whale who died at the Vancouver Aquarium this month, she was their 8th dead whale and her mother's second dead baby.

Keep checking Sea Shepherd's Twitter for live updates!

The Cetacean Defense League,
Marley, Carisa, Adrienne

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dolphins escaped the banger boats today!

Today was such a great first day in Taiji.  We were up at four this morning arriving at the harbor at 5am and watched as all 12 banger boats and the harpoon ship headed off into the sunrise.  Unfortunately they were able to locate a pod of dolphins within a half an hour and they were all within sight.  We watched anxiously for three hours as they attempted to drive the pod towards the shore and the dolphins fought for their lives.   After 3 hours they finally gave up and came back to the harbor empty handed.

Even though today was a fantastic day for the wild dolphins, we checked on the captive dolphins at the Taiji Whale museum and the Dolphin Hotel and that was a very upsetting thing to witness.  The poor dolphins at the whale museum are in tanks so small, it's amazing that they can even survive in them.  I would think that they would die of stress living in these filthy, tiny smelly tanks.  You can see the animals showing signs of stress from the intense confinement.  Some floating lifelessly, some exhibiting disturbing repetitive movements swimming in tight circles over and over.  In the wild these animals would swim for miles and miles yet there they are in an enclosure that is only several lengths longer than their own bodies.  I don't know how any normal person could pay money to enter that place to stare at these clearly depressed animals.  

In Taiji there is a dolphin hotel where tourists can come and swim with dolphins in the pens and watch their stupid shows.  We watched as the trainers were working down on the platforms of the pens and the most disturbing thing we noticed is how these dolphins followed the trainers where ever they went frantically jumping out of the water as if to get their attention.  We realize this is because they want food, they are hungry and because these dolphins are all in training they have food withheld from them to force them to learn these circus tricks.  In the wild they would have free choice to their food and many of them have only been in captivity for a short period of time.  

So although we are full of joy for the wild dolphins that got away today, our heart aches for the ones we witnessed earlier who will be staring at the same concrete walls every second of the day until they pass away from the stress. 

Please continue calling the Japanese embassy in your country regularly!!

Please check the Sea Shepherd twitter site for live updates, that is the most current and up to date source of info.  Rosie from Sea Shepherd tweets daily as events unfold.!/SeaShepherd

Marley, Carisa and Adrienne
Cetacean Defense League

We'll be in the Cove tomorrow!

Finally after almost 2 full days of traveling and no sleep at all we have arrived in Katsuura (10 minutes from Taiji) and we start work tomorrow morning at 5am with Rosie a representative from Sea Shepherd.  We have no idea what is in store for us tomorrow but we hope there is no violence towards the dolphins.

We spent the afternoon looking for vegan food which is always a challenge in Japan.  We ended up settling for white rice, soy sauce, Inari, chestnuts, soy milk and juice.  The options were VERY slim and we are hoping tomorrow we can find a bigger grocery store because there is not nearly enough food there to feed 3 hungry vegans.

We are looking forward to getting started tomorrow morning, this is what we have been working towards.  We are ready to make a difference for the dolphins here in Taiji!

Now that we are here we will be posting daily updates, stay tuned and spread the word!  We are still asking for donations to our campaign, all funds donated will help pay for our hotel and living costs here allowing us to take action for the dolphins.

Thank you so much for your support!

Marley (Canada), Carisa (Canada) and Adrienne (Canada)
Cetacean Defense League

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We have arrived in Japan

Well Carisa, Adrienne and I have arrived in Japan minus our bags.  Unfortunately our airline didn't transfer our bags in Shanghai which is extremely inconvenient but not the end of the world but we will be without most of our stuff for a couple days at least.

We are taking the train in a couple hours here and hopefully we will be joining Rosie Kunneke of Sea Shepherd by dinner time tonight.  By tomorrow morning we will be in Taiji, we will meet the fishermen and the police and spend the day monitoring their actions.  We can only hope it will be a violence free day for the dolphins.

The most important thing the public can do to stop this slaughter is phone the embassy regularly.  Please keep up the calls, scroll down for embassy contact information.

Marley (CANADA) , Carisa (CANADA), and Adrienne (CANADA)
Cetacean Defense League

Monday, September 19, 2011

We have purchased our tickets to Japan!

Please stay tuned!  We will be leaving within the week. 

Check out the last video I took in Otsuchi in March of this year.  This was less than an hour after the initial surge of water destroyed the city.  We walked down the hill to find that the road we need to drive out on no longer existed.  We ended up having to hike out the next day.

Marley and Carisa
Cetacean Defense League

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


 Ric wants everyone to call your local Japanese Embassy & file an official complaint that toxic meat is being sold to Japanese people. Dolphin meat from Taiji has been tested & shown to be contaminated with 2000 ppm of mercury, accepted level is 0.4 ppm. The meat is poison, this is a human health issue.

Please pledge to call your Japanese embassy on a regular basis, monthly, weekly or daily!!  These calls are logged and they do make a difference!

Marley and Carisa
Cetacean Defense League

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The first dolphins of the season are being killed in the cove right now.

We are sad to report that the first blood has been shed in the cove.  As I write this, approximately 12 Risso's dolphins are being slaughtered in Taiji.  They were driven into the cove 2 hours ago by the banger boats.  That is all we know for now and we are anxiously awaiting updates.  Please continue phoning the embassy every single day
Shame on the Japanese government for allowing this, only the scum of the earth would commit such a crime against another living creature.

Cetacean Defense League

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Looking back at our first trip to Japan VIDEO 5

Great news!  Sea Shepherd returns to Taiji!  

Operation Infinite Patience: Return of the Cove Guardians

Check out the Sea Shepherd website to read about this years campaign in Taiji,

Carisa and I are extremely happy to hear that Sea Shepherd will be returning to The Cove this year.  Originally we thought there wouldn't be an official campaign so this is great news!  We are pleased to volunteer with Sea Shepherd in Japan and are thrilled that the campaign continues!  Last year an estimated 750 dolphin and pilot whales were saved as a result of the pressure applied by the Cove Guardians.  

Please donate to help us stay in Taiji for three weeks!!  Even $5 or $10 helps!  

For the oceans, 
Marley and Carisa