The Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians Defense Campaign against the capture and slaughter of between 1,600 and 2,000 dolphins in Taiji, Japan, was happy to report that in the last 24 hours, the killing boats returned to port with empty holds. The annual slaughter of these beautiful creatures is depicted in the chilling movie, “The Cove,” a massacre that began this month and runs for the next six months. You can watch some of the disturbing video, provided by the Sea Shepherd, above.
On #Tweet4Taiji and #ophenkaku the Cove Guardians tweeted out “More than 1/2 the fleet back to port, headed this way, looking very good!!” followed by “There you see the last killing vessel headed back to port..empty! Blue Cove Day 4!!” Twelve boats had headed out, but came back with no catch. The Taiji bloodbath was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, but inclement weather forced the boats to remain in dock until Thursday.
Although defenders of the creatures are calling this a success at the outset, the killers have many more months ahead of them to continue corralling hundreds of dolphins into a secluded bay and butchering them, turning the water crimson red with the blood of the innocent. Cultural defenders will attempt to mask this butchery, saying it is an “ancient tradition” when, in fact, it did not begin taking on these proportions until the 1970s. Protesters are attempting to reach the Japanese people by posting in both English and Japanese.
Celebrities such as Sean Penn, Jennifer Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Shannon Doherty and Oliver Stone, activists and concerned citizens the world over have continually blasted this senseless annual slaughter. Ric O’Barry, a U.S. animal rights activist, who trained dolphins for the TV show ‘Flipper’, was arrested near Taiji for not carrying his passport. On Wednesday, Japanese police said that they had released him.
Women of the World United Against Taiji have a very informative webpage and Facebook page to follow if you would like to learn more about this decades-long outrage. There is a clock on their webpage which will keep counting off the seconds until the six-month killing season comes to a close.
Minke whales in Japan are also threatened. Japanese fisheries officials have announced they would start an annual coastal whaling hunt with plans to catch 51 minke whales over the next two months. Tokyo says it is for research but this announcement has attracted strong criticism abroad. Activists urge the public to educate themselves on the bloody reality of Taiji.