The end of Saturday in the US means that Sunday is already underway in Japan. This weekend will prove to be a good one for dolphins because Saturday was the usual day off for the dolphin killing fishermen and Sunday the boats will stay docked again due to strong winds. However, it was still a bad week in the small town of Taiji, Japan with several dolphins losing their lives and families. The fishermen slaughtered and stole the lives of 14 Risso’s dolphins this week. They destroyed the lives of 7 others who will be sold into the life of marine mammal slavery. I will never understand how the people that work for marine parks continue to contribute to these mass dolphin slaughters in Taiji. At least we can all enjoy the weekend knowing that the dolphins are safe.
Another sad situation in Taiji revolves around a man named Erwin Vermeulen. Erwin is a volunteer with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and was in Japan documenting the dolphin slaughters. On December 16, 2011, an employee of the Dolphin Resort accused Erwin of pushing him while filming a dolphin transfer. There were no witnesses to this accusation and there were clearly no injuries but the police still arrested Erwin. He has been in jail since the arrest 46 days ago. He can only be released if he confesses which he refuses to do. It’s pretty clear that the Japanese police are simply trying to make it seem as though the volunteers at the Cove are violent and aggressive. All the volunteers in Taiji know that any aggressive action towards the dolphin killers will get you arrested and kicked out of the country. There was video early in this hunting season that showed another Sea Shepherd volunteer getting pushed by a fisherman. The police did nothing with that individual and yet Erwin has been behind bars eating only white rice and having no contact with family or friends. He faces up to two years in prison if convicted. Two years in jail for a “push”. That is absolutely absurd in any country.
The trial is supposed to begin on February 2nd and a verdict is expected by February 22.