The first week of February did not end well in Taiji, Japan. The cove turned blood red as the fisherman slaughtered 30 striped dolphins. Their lives and families were ripped apart in just one afternoon. Thank goodness the following week was a little better for the dolphins of Japan. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday the fisherman caught no dolphins.
However, on Tuesday, February 7, the waters again turned red with the blood of Risso’s dolphins. On this day the trainers were also at the Cove working with the fisherman to claim the lives they wanted for captivity. Two Risso’s dolphins were taken that day for a life of imprisonment, but not until they had to witness the deaths of their family members. The count was 22 Risso’s killed. 2 Risso’s bought by the trainers.
Tuesday was also an interesting and stressful day for the Cove Guardians who are in Taiji with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The police held the CG and ended up restricting the use of all hand held radios. They had been using the same radios for two years so it appears the police of Taiji are once again just getting desperate to find ways that the protesters are breaking the law.
This week also ended in a sad and tragic way. The fisherman found a pod of striped dolphins on Saturday. They drove them into the Cove and slaughtered all 30 adults. After the family was dead, they drove the juveniles and babies back out to the sea. They have no pod or mothers to keep them safe, so their fate will ultimately be death. They will starve or get taken by a predator. Tim Burns of Save Japan Dolphins was at the Cove this day:
“Now the Taiji dolphin hunters have driven these young dolphins from the open sea to land, killed their entire family in front of them, and condemned them to die at sea.”
This killing season only has 7 more weeks until it ends. As of Sunday, February 12, the fisherman have reached their quota for Risso’s and striped dolphins. They cannot hunt those species anymore.
We’ll see what this new week brings for the dolphins of Taiji. But whatever happens there will be 14 Cove Guardians standing by to witness it all.