Posts Tagged With: sea shepherd

Taiji – Hell on Earth for dolphins

DSC_0079The beauty of Taiji, Japan is undeniable. There are views here that will literally take your breath away. No photo can do it justice. A couple of mornings ago the Cove Guardians all headed out to a lookout to watch for the gut wrenching “drive formation” of the hunting boats. While walking down the stairs we all had to stop to admire the gorgeous sunrise that was occurring. The orange glow was illuminating the rocky cliffs as it appeared on the horizon. I personally have never seen a sunrise so beautiful. The beauty here is evident and amazing.

The part that is hard to comprehend is the absolute horror that takes place amongst it all. I have been in Taiji as a Cove Guardian for six days and witnessed four slaughters. Three of those four slaughters resulted in dolphins being taken captive as well as being murdered. Monday, January 21, 2013, a family of Pantropical Spotted Dolphins were destroyed by this annual hunt. On this particular day the abuse and disrespect for these animals was appalling. The trainers were present once again for the capture process. They originally selected 27 for a life of slavery in the captive industry. The stress and violence of the hunt and capture resulted in the death of two dolphins before they could even be thrown into the sea pens. How can the Mayor of Taiji say that this hunt is humane and ethical when animals selected to actually survive die in the process? When these poor souls died at the hands of those who claim to “love” them, their loss was not mourned for even a moment. The dolphins that were first considered slave-trade quality were simply thrown onto a boat and hauled away to the butcher house. Their sacrifice was never considered by the killers or the dolphin trainers. They simply joined their slaughtered family members in a pile of waste and death.

Everyday that the hunts take place and the dolphin families are ripped apart shows an absolute lack of compassion and respect. This lack of compassion and respect is not a statement about Japan and the Japanese people. It really bothers me when “supporters” make hateful and racist comments about Japan and the people that live here. These hunts involve a handful of people when compared to all of the country’s population. The fishermen, trainers, buyers, and the few individuals who knowingly eat dolphin do not represent the entire country. The individuals that are a driving force in this annual atrocity live all over the world. Every European or American that takes their family to SeaWorld is responsible. Every hotel or resort owner that enslaves dolphins for tourists seeking a thrill while on vacation is responsible. The dolphin trainers across the globe who KNOW the extent of intelligence and self awareness that these animals have are responsible. The hunts occur to satisfy a demand for captivity. Eliminate the demand and you can end the source of supply.

I say it all the time and I will keep saying it until marine mammal captivity is eliminated, DO NOT BUY A TICKET TO A DOLPHIN SHOW OR SWIM WITH DOLPHIN PROGRAM. Do not support any hotel, resort, or business that profits off the lives of these animals. Every ticket purchased is encouragement for these fishermen to go out with their boats to hunt dolphins.

Thank you for reading.

~Rachel

Categories: Animal Welfare, Cetaceans, Cove Guardian, Dolphins, Sea Shepherd, seaworld, Taiji | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Journey Towards Taiji….

Okay guys, it is official. I have decided to go to Taiji, Japan during this year’s dolphin hunting season. I am aiming to go sometime in January 2013, but I need to start fundraising for the trip. I sent in my Cove Guardian application to be a part of Sea Shepherd’s on-going campaign, Infinite Patience. Since my application was accepted I must now start the process of FUNDRAISING!

I am very excited to begin this new journey towards helping the dolphins of Japan even more. In order to stop this annual slaughter of dolphins we must show the world what is happening. People need to see how their tickets to Sea World directly contributes to the deaths of these magnificent creatures.

I have started a fundraising page with the website Go Fund Me. I needed an easy way for friends and family (and hopefully some animal loving strangers) to help support me in this dream.

So check out the donation page HERE. (www.gofundme.com/stopthedolphinslaughter)

Thank you so much for reading and I will continue documenting the steps in this journey right here at World Wide Waves.

~Rachel

Categories: Animal Welfare, Cetaceans, Dolphins, Marine Wildlife, Oceans, Sea Shepherd, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Help the Bonneville Sea Lions

I wanted to give a couple resources on how you can help the sea lions at the Bonneville Dam. Not everyone can travel to the Dam to be a Dam Guardian but there are ways to give your voice to the innocent sea lions.

Call and Email! Contact the governors of Oregon and Washington and urge them to stop this senseless abuse and killing of sea lions.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber:

phone: (503) 378-4582

email: http://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/contact.shtml

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire:

phone: (360) 902-4111

email: http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/

 

You can also sign the petition to help stop the sea lion killings by clicking here.

 

Thank you for doing your part to help the California sea lions!

~Rachel

Categories: Animal Welfare, dam guardians, Marine Wildlife, sea lions, Sea Shepherd | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Dam Guardians and the Bonneville Dam

Well, yesterday, May 4, 2012 was my first day as a Dam Guardian for Sea Shepherd. I traveled down to the Bonneville Dam at the Washington/Oregon boarder with my friend Eloisa. We had signed up to be Dam Guardians shortly after learning the government was ordering California Sea Lions be trapped and killed for eating salmon. We got to Portland, Oregon late on Thursday night and slept for a few hours. We got up at 4:30am on Friday and drove to the Washington side of the dam where we met another Dam Guardian, Katie. She had been there before monitoring the activity and was able to give us the lay of the land. As we were standing there watching with our cameras and binoculars, a couple of men in uniforms parked across the river and were watching us. At one point they even waved as Eloisa was looking at them through the binoculars. We were greeted shortly after by a couple more men who had been informed by the woman at the gate that it was our first time there. They wanted to make sure we knew where we could go and what was off limits. They seemed nice enough but clearly we were being watched.

It was cold, cloudy and rainy most of the day. We saw several sea lions playing in the rough waters and rain. We saw two eating fish as they swam by us. Two men stood on the dam looking out over the river. One had binoculars and the other had a gun. Katie told us they shoot off hazing shots and explosives from there when the sea lions get too close. The traps remained empty the whole time we were there which was a good thing of course. Around maybe 10:30am or so the boat that patrols the area drove past. There were 3 men on board and Katie once again told us about them. That boat apparently drives back and forth chasing the sea lions and firing shots at them. It was definitely eerie to hear pops and explosives going off while we were standing in the rain along the shore. At one point as the boat went by the shore where we were standing it fired off a shot. (NOT at all aimed at us) The men seemed amused as we jumped at the unexpected ‘pop’. The sea lions were not near that spot at that moment so it was clear that was just for us to remind us that they do not like our presence there.

All in all it was a quiet day and no sea lions were trapped, branded or killed. So far the government has killed 9 California Sea Lions and sent one poor soul to a life of captivity at an aquarium in Chicago. The sea lions consume 2-4% of the salmon on the Columbia River. Fishermen take 17% of the salmon  and the dam itself claims the lives of 7-16% of the adult fish. Clearly the sea lions are not the reason for the current salmon population problems. They are simply the scapegoat for a group of government entities that do not want to take responsibility for destroying an ecosystem. Humans have driven the salmon into a state of decline with their fishing, habitat destruction, dam construction, and even the introduction of farmed fish and non-native fish.

I am hoping to travel to the dam again this Friday so stay tuned!
Thanks for reading!

~Rachel

Categories: Animal Welfare, dam guardians, Marine Wildlife, sea lions, Sea Shepherd | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Erwin is FREE!

It has been a busy week for those involved with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Yesterday a judge denied the Institute for Cetacean Research’s attempts to keep Sea Shepherd out of the Southern ocean and out of their way when whaling. They tried to claim that SSCS has no authority in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and hoped that a U.S court would keep them away. Luckily the judge plans to look at exactly why the whalers are there as much as he will look at the SSCS’s presence.

In even BETTER news, Erwin Vermeulen was released from a Japanese prison today! Erwin was in jail after being falsely accused of pushing an employee at the Dolphin Resort while taking photographs. The judge signed an order to have him released. He has to go back to court on February 22nd to get the verdict of the assault charges from the alleged push. No jail time has been requested though. Only a $1,300 fine has been requested. Like I have said before, it is pretty obvious this entire arrest has been to try to make the Cove Guardians look like the bad guys.

Luckily, a Japanese judge saw through that and allowed Erwin to leave and go back to his duties as a volunteer for Sea Shepherd.

Categories: Animal Welfare, Cetaceans, Dolphins, Marine Wildlife, Sea Shepherd, Whales | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Honor of Erwin

Erwin has been in a Japanese prison since 12/16/2011

Last night in Seattle a candlelight vigil was held in honor of Erwin Vermeulen. Erwin was arrested on December 16, 2011, in Japan for allegedly pushing an employee of the Dolphin Resort.

He is hero being held prisonor because of false accusations. Erwin refuses to plead guilty which is exactly what the Japanese police want him to do so they can justify their police force at The Cove. He is being fed only white rice and has lost nearly 20 pounds since his arrest. It is an absoulte outrage that he is being kept in prison and Japan should be ashamed that they are allowing this to happen.

Supporters of Erwin

Last night a large group of Erwin and Sea Shepherd supporters met at Westlake Center with signs, candles and messages of hope for Erwin and his family. We marched from the fountain at Westlake Center to the Japanese Consulate with our candles and signs. Bringing some awareness to the people of Seattle. It was great to see a couple of news cameras there and hopefully I can find those links soon and post them on here as

 

 

 

 

 

Walking to the Japanese Consulate

A poster made for the vigil

 

 As of now Erwin faces two years in a Japanese prison for this alleged push. A push that caused no injuries and had no witnesses that saw it. A verdict is expected on February 22nd.

Another gathering of support will take place on February 21st in Kirkland, WA. Visit Seashepherd.org for more information.

Categories: Animal Welfare, Marine Wildlife, Oceans, Sea Shepherd, Whales | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SSCS has located the Japanese whalers

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December 24 – Sea Shepherd ship the Steve Irwin has located the Japanese whaling fleet on Christmas Eve. The factory ship, Nisshin Maru was found 1000 miles north of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. 

SSCS used a drone that was donated to them to locate the fleet. The drone was able to get the location as well as take photographs of the Nisshin Maru and relay it back to the Steve Irwin. After a pursuit began, 3 harpoon/security ships went after the Steve Irwin in order to protect the Maru. 

This is very good news to hear on Christmas Eve. Also happy news to hear the banger boats stayed in the harbour in Taiji as well today.

Categories: Animal Welfare, Cetaceans, Marine Wildlife, Oceans, Whales | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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