Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blood spilled on our last day in Taiji

Today we witnessed the most violent, cruel, worst thing we have ever seen.  Approximately 30 Bottlenose dolphins were murdered in the Cove today.

The day started at 5:30am with all the banger boats leaving the harbor and the harpoon ship staying behind.   At approx 8:15 we spotted the boats driving in a pod of dolphins.  It took them several hours to drive the dolphins in and we watched them fight for their lives, they were thrashing and fighting, three times they refused to enter the Cove and attempted to escape.  There were 5 banger boats dealing with these dolphins and the rest of the boats were attempting to drive in the rest of the pod which eventually escaped.

The banger boats were pounding away on their hideous poles creating a terrible sound that was driving the dolphins into a frenzy.  We saw baby dolphins flying completely out of the water attempting to escape the terrible sound.  As they were driven into the cove small skiffs came in with nets and roped the area off trapping the animals.  They were fighting against the nets and the boats as if they knew what was going to happen to them.  I witnessed one dolphin jump out of the water onto the rocks smashing his face causing blood to gush out of his mouth and nose, he fell back into the water and that was the last I saw of him.  Several dolphins broke loose and divers quickly grabbed them and dragged them back into the nets and under the tarps.

The Cove is now covered entirely with tarps so we can only see boats entering and exiting.  Right away we saw a boat head in and come out with a live dolphin that they obviously picked out to sell to a dolphinarium.  The dolphin was sitting on the bottom of the boat and they were pouring water over him.

After the boats left was when we started hearing the thrashing of the tails pounding against the water.  This sound is etched into my brain and I will never forget it.  The dolphins were thrashing as the dolphin killers were plunging knives into their bodies and then the blood started to ooze out of the Cove.  The thrashing went on for 10 minutes at least and we could hear the men yelling and laughing, clearly struggling to hold onto the animals who were fighting for their lives.

I became physically ill at what I saw, I could not contain my emotions.  Behind us there was an undercover police officer laughing with a Japanese man wearing a Yushin Maru hat.  The Yushin Maru is one of Japan's notorious whale harpoon vessels.  Clearly they thought this was entertaining.

The dolphin killers took two and a half skiffs full of dead dolphins to the slaughterhouse where they were loaded and gutted under tarps.  Since last year they have sufficiently covered up every visible area with tarps so none of this process is visible.

As the day ended we watched all the dolphin killing scumbags leave with a bag of dolphin meat to take home to their families.  Even the smarmy, rude, cranky police officer that follows us around in an unmarked car went in to the slaughterhouse and brought out a bag of meat for himself.  Hows that for bribery?

After everything we saw today, and reviewing our footage there were between 25-30 dolphins murdered today. It will stay with us forever.  Both of us are very positive people, but it is INCREDIBLY difficult to remain calm or positive in a situation like that.  Japan will forever be stained with blood for us.

Out last day here was the hardest day by far! We have both made the commitment to send an email or call the embassy EVERYDAY! I hope you do too.

Marley and Carisa

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