Tuesday, September 27, 2011

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: info@dolphinbase.co.jp or info@dolphinresort.jp
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

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