The Cove Runs Red: First Slaughter of the Season #tweet4taiji

Yesterday morning before sunrise the dolphin killers of Taiji were already in the water herding a family of Pilot Whales toward the shore of the killing cove for slaughter.  In the end a total of 18 Pilot Whales were slaughtered. These were the largest adult whales, since the juveniles and babies are not large enough and not worthy of the quota. After several hours of witnessing in horror and lingering in the bloody water of the Cove next to their murdered family members these juveniles were driven back out to sea. Being left to fend for themselves, the likelihood of these young Pilot Whales surviving is slim.

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The pod begins to panic as their family members are pushed towards the shore of the killing cove.

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The monarch female pilot whale (largest of the pod) struggled for over an hour under the tarps, as other juvenile whales continued to linger at her side.

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The killers tie ropes around the whales flukes to drag the to the shore of the killing cove.

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The trauma of the slaughter was simply too much for this Pilot Whale to bear as it continued to barely swim on its back after witnessing the slaughter of it’s family.

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Juvenile lingers beside it’s dying mother in the killing cove.

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Blood begins to seep out of the killing cove as the remaining pod is forced to swim in the bloody water of their family members.

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The remaining pod of juveniles and babies were left to fend for themselves and driven back out to sea

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As the killing and kidnapping season has only begun in Taiji, it is vital to note the potential number of lives that could be taken from the waters off of the coast of Taiji by both killers and trainers alike. The 2013-2014 season quota is as follows:

  • 134 Pacific white-sided dolphins
  • 450 Striped dolphins
  • 557 Bottlenose dolphins
  • 400 Pantropical spotted dolphins
  • 265 Risso dolphins
  • 137 Short-Finned pilot whales
  • 70 False Killer whales.

Please follow the SSCS Cove Guardians for the daily activities in Taiji:

Twitter: @CoveGuardians

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SeaShepherdCoveGuardiansOfficialPage

Live Stream: http://livestream.seashepherd.org

All photos courtesy of the Cove Guardians,

For the dolphins and whales of Taiji!

2 Days 18 Bottlenose Dolphins – This is Taiji #Tweet4Taiji

And so it begins … the beginning of another dreadful season of the dolphin drive hunt in Taiji.

September 1, 2013 was the opening day for the dolphin drive hunt and the killing boats left Taiji Harbor by 5:15am in search of dolphins and small whales.

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The killers did not waste anytime as they quickly drove a pod of 60-70 bottlenose dolphins into the Cove. These dolphins who were unfortunate enough to pass through the waters of Taiji were held in the Cove overnight without food awaiting captive selection the following day.

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After spending the night in the cove, this pod of dolphins huddled together exhausted from the drive into the cove and terrified of what is to come next, as the killers and trainers arrive for the captive dolphin selection. In this process, the trainers select the young juvenile dolphins deemed suitable for captivity, generally those without any scarring visible.

A total of 18 bottlenose dolphins were taken captive, kidnapped from their mothers and their home in the ocean. Now, they are destined for a life of misery and imprisonment in a Marine Park with the sole purpose of being entertainment. The dolphins taken captive are placed in the Taiji harbor pens, which are 10’x10′ and typically have 4-6 dolphins placed in them. The remaining pod was driven back out to sea, which is just as vicious as the drive into the Cove, as the dolphins often panic and do not want to leave their loved ones behind. While the remaining pod was driven back out to sea, this does not ensure their survival. The stress and trauma endured over the past 2 days, along with no food and no hydration, significantly increases the chances that some members of this pod will die and show up washed ashore.

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All photos and information from SSCS Cove Guardians, via twitter, Facebook and live stream.

Please follow the Cove Guardians: Twitter: @CoveGuardians Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SeaShepherdCoveGuardiansOfficialPage

Live Stream: http://livestream.seashepherd.org/

Commentary from Paul Watson on the Cove Guardians and Operation Infinite Patience: “The Cove Guardians are passionately compassionate men and women who come from all over the world including Japan. They come at their own expense. The are up before the sun rises and they are on the ground after the sun sets. There are Cove Guardians in Taiji every day between September 1st and March 1st, year after year. Six months every year on the ground bearing witness to one of the most remorseless and brutal massacres of marine mammals on the planet. They are armed with the most powerful weapon in the world – the camera. It is however an emotionally draining exercise in daily defending dolphins. I admire and respect everyone who is involved with opposing the massacre at Taiji. But my admiration for the volunteers who participate in the Cove Guardian program is immense. These men and women are average people motivated by a deep sense of compassion and love for nature and animals. They gain nothing for themselves and suffer the emotional trauma of witnessing the atrocities against these gentle creatures. Since the Cove Guardians program began fewer dolphins have been killed than the years before the program. This is because of the time taken by the fishermen to attempt to cover up their activities. It has also greatly increased policing costs and the fishermen have increased costs to pay for the measures to hide their activities from the camera.” For more please read http://www.seashepherd.org.au/commentary-and-editorials/2013/09/02/the-cove-guardians-and-the-sea-shepherd-policy-of-gaiatsu-624

Please follow and support the SSCS Cove Guardians with Operation Infinite Patience, by following the various social media account, watching the live stream, sharing the information and photos from Taiji with friends and family. Remember that Taiji is ground zero for international trade in dolphins … there is a direct link between the captive dolphin entertainment industry and the bloody waters of the Cove in Taiji. Please do not support dolphin captivity by purchasing a ticket to Sea World, Marineland Canada or any other Marine Park or swim with Dolphin Program.

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For the dolphins!

 

 

Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt & Slaughter #tweet4taiji

Only 8 days remain until the fisherman of Taiji begin another season of the annual Dolphin Drive Hunt & Slaughter

The slaughter of dolphins, porpoises and small whales occurs in Taiji, Japan each year. Starting on September 1 and usually continues through March of the next year. Fisherman herd whole families of small cetaceans into a shallow bay and mercilessly stab and drown them to death.

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The dolphin drive hunts in Taiji do not just end in the killing of dolphins, Taiji is “ground zero” for the international trade in live dolphins. There is a direct link between the captive dolphin entertainment industry and the bloody waters of the Cove in Taiji. Supporting a live dolphin show or participating in a confined swim with dolphin program is supporting the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji and in return directly relates to killing of thousands of dolphins each year for human consumption.  It is the dolphin entertainment industry that drive the hunt and the killing of dolphins follows in its wake. For the dolphins pulled from their families and sold into captivity, life is beyond horrible.

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Once the dolphins are driven into the Cove area, they are then herded into a southern finger off the Cove. Oftern main mammal trainers from the nearby Dolphin Base and the Taiji Whale Museum wil move among the captured dolphins and select the young dolphins and those deemed “beautiful” (that is without any scarring) for the captive entertainment industry. Those not selected are pushed further into the Cove and hunters push a metal rod into the dolphin’s spinal cords. Once the rod is removed, a wooden plud is then hammered into the pole. The insertion of the rod causes paralysis, however the dolphins are stil alive and very much aware of what is happening to them and to their family members. A rope is then tied around their tails adn they are hauled out tothe waiting gutting barge by small skiffs. Most of them slowly drown and die during this towing activity.

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What can you do to help:

Dolphin exploitation continues to this day because the public remains unaware of dolphin suffering. Now that you are aware, please do not fund the suffering of dolphins and cetaceans by purchasing a ticket to a dolphin show or swim with dolphin program

Spread the word by following  Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Operation Infinite Patience on social media and spread the word to your friends and family

Follow the Cove Guardians on Facebook & Twitter for daily activity in Taiji at the Cove:

Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians Page (official) & @CoveGuardians

Educate others on the link between the Taiji dolphin slaughter and the captive dolphin entertainment industry. Discourage your family and friends from visiting dolphinariums, such as Sea World, Marineland Canada, etc., or participating in swim with dolphin programs.

The Real Sea World 2

Approximately 20 dolphins were spotted hunting on the Moray Firth in Scotland.

Amateur photographer Alister Kemp, 47, was  watching from the shore and managed to captured a series of amazing and stunning  shots. Alister, from Evanton in Ross-Shire, said: ‘I  took these pictures when the salmon were returning to the river to spawn during  low tide.

The pod of 20 dolphins had been  laying in  wait for the annual ‘salmon run’, where they can be guaranteed a tasty snack as  hundreds of fish swim from the sea back to freshwater  to spawn. Once the dolphins have got a fish they will  throw it out of the water and then you will see them leap out after  it.

“I have taken hundreds of pictures of the  dolphins over the years but I think these could be my best so far. Sometimes I have waited two to three hours  to see them but I have also been there at just the right time to spot them, when  the tide has just started to come in.”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2342865/Heres-I-learned-Tom-Daley-Bottlenose-dolphins-acrobatic-display-leaps-water-diving-grab-salmon.html#ixzz2XnkZxSqn

Why spend hundreds of dollars to go to Sea World when you can watch an amazing display such as this in the wild. This is the REAL SEA WORLD!

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For the dolphins!

 

 

Thoughts for the Day

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Only 69 days until Sept 1, 2013 and the start of the annual Dolphin hunt and slaughter in Taiji.

Please check out www.japandolphinsday.net to join an event near you or host your own event.

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Incredible Dolphin Surfing off the coast of South Africa

A pod of 40 bottlenose dolphins were spotted jumping out of the back of the breaking waves that were rolling into the east coast of South Africa. Despite facing waves as big as eight feet, some of the more energetic marine mammals were seen leaping six foot out of the sea.

The dolphins were photographed by Mark van Collier as they made their north up the east coast of South Africa, near Port St Johns. Mark travelled alongside the pod on a boat and was amazed to see so many dolphins ‘surfing’ in unison.

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Dolphin Birthday Cake

This amazing birthday cake was made for me by a coworker/friend! She did such an incredible job that I had to share it.

The Dolphins on the cake were edible but I couldn’t bring myself to eat them so I decided to save them instead!

If you have a dolphin loving friend this is the perfect idea for a birthday cake! I absolutely loved it!!

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Cruelty of Dolphin Captivity – Sensory Deprivation

Is captivity more stressful for dolphins than other animals?

Yes, dolphins are sonic creatures—their primary sense is sound.

If you go to the zoo, take a look at the reptile exhibit and find a snake. You’ll see that the snake is given more consideration than the dolphins at Marineland. You’ll see that the snake has got tree limbs to climb on, he’s got rocks to hide from the public if he wants to, grass—there’s always something natural about the snake’s habitat.

But if you look at the habitat of a captive dolphin, you’ll notice there’s nothing there. It’s just a blank, concrete box. Is that stress? Of course it is.

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Why can’t marine parks create better environments for dolphins?

It’s really not what’s best for the dolphin; it’s about getting people to come and watch a show, and then getting another group of people to watch the same show.

The dolphins are separated from the natural rhythms of the sea: the tide, the current, the sounds of the sea, the things we take for granted. All of that is missing. That is what we call sensory deprivation. That makes it more stressful for them than other animals in captivity.

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Don’t forget that ….

Dolphin Smile

For the dolphins!

Myths – Dolphin Captivity

Myth – Dolphins are happy in captivity.

Truth – Dolphins look as though they are smiling because that is the way their faces are shaped. Captive dolphins are constantly on display with nowhere to hide and are forced to perform shows every single day. Dolphins are denied their freedom to travel, and in many cases are taken from their families and homes in the ocean. Would you be happy if you were a captive dolphin?

Myth – Captive dolphins are safe from predators and don’t have to look for food like would in the wild.

Truth – Inmates in prison are safe from being burgled and are fed each day. But do you think they are happy? The main difference between a jail cell and a aquarium tank is that on is filled with water.

Myth – Captive dolphin display have educational value.

Truth – The only thing captivity teaches is that it is okay to imprison animals and force them to perform for our entertainment. In captivity, a dolphin’s natural behavior are repressed. In the wild dolphins do not jump through hoops or drag people through the water with their fins. Captivity presents a completely false image of everything a dolphin is!

Myth – Children establish a connection with dolphins in captivity that would otherwise be impossible to achieve.

Truth – many children care about dinosaurs yet they have never see one. Through photos, videos, stories, tours to see wild dolphins and animations, children can develop love for dolphins without their having to suffer in captivity. Do you think your child would dolphins to suffer if they knew the truth?

Myth – Rescued dolphins have a good home in captivity.

Truth – Dolphins found injured or stranded need medical care and rehabilitation. However, they should not afterwards be forced into a life of servitude and display; they should be released back into the wild. If this is not possible they should be sent to a sea pen where they can live out their lives in privacy and a mostly natural environment.

“Dolphin shows are nothing but a display of human dominance over animals. They are as educational about dolphins as Mickey Mouse is about mice.’ Ric O’Barry

Dolphin exploitation continues to this day because the public remains unaware of dolphin suffering. Now that you are aware, please do not fund the suffering dolphins and other small whales by purchasing a ticket to a dolphin show or swim with dolphin program.

For more information please visit Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project

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For the dolphins!

Scientists See Cruelty in Killing Method Used in Japan’s Dolphin Hunt & Slaughter

In a new peer-reviewed study, scientists assess the killing method employed by the dolphin hunters of Taiji, Japan, by watching video recorded surreptitiously in 2011 by a German dolphin-protection group, AtlanticBlue.

Here’s the researchers’ not-so-surprising prime conclusion: This killing method does not conform to the recognized requirement for “immediate insensibility” and would not be tolerated or permitted in any regulated slaughterhouse process in the developed world.

Here’s the abstract of the paper: “A Veterinary and Behavioral Analysis of Dolphin Killing Methods Currently Used in the ‘Drive Hunt’ in Taiji, Japan” Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, Volume 16, Issue 2, 2013 (DOI: 10.1080/10888705.2013.768925) Andrew Butterworth, Philippa Brakes, Courtney S. Vail & Diana Reiss

Annually in Japanese waters, small cetaceans are killed in “drive hunts” with quotas set by the government of Japan. The Taiji Fishing Cooperative in Japan has published the details of a new killing method that involves cutting (transecting) the spinal cord and purports to reduce time to death. The method involves the repeated insertion of a metal rod followed by the plugging of the wound to prevent blood loss into the water. To date, a paucity of data exists regarding these methods utilized in the drive hunts. Our veterinary and behavioral analysis of video documentation of this method indicates that it does not immediately lead to death and that the time to death data provided in the description of the method, based on termination of breathing and movement, is not supported by the available video data. The method employed causes damage to the vertebral blood vessels and the vascular rete from insertion of the rod that will lead to significant hemorrhage, but this alone would not produce a rapid death in a large mammal of this type. The method induces paraplegia (paralysis of the body) and death through trauma and gradual blood loss. This killing method does not conform to the recognized requirement for “immediate insensibility” and would not be tolerated or permitted in any regulated slaughterhouse process in the developed world.

Here are questions from Andrew C. Revkin (NY Times) and Diana Reiss’s responses: (source)

Q. Can you tell me in a few words what this analysis means to you in the larger context of human/animal relations?
A. Dolphins are a cognitively and socially complex species that exist in their own societies in the seas. To see any animal treated in this way is shocking. Given what we know scientifically about the awareness, sensitively, cognitive and social prowess of dolphins, this treatment is unjustifiable and unacceptable and needs to be stopped immediately. In the larger context of human and non-human animal relations, the methods used to herd dolphins and then kill them is off-the chart in terms of any concern for animal welfare. At a time when most countries are concerned for the conservation and welfare of dolphins and whales it is strange and disturbing to see a modern country like Japan continue to ignore scientific knowledge and concern for these species. In most modern countries these mammals are protected but sadly we see these exceptions. Our scientific knowledge needs to transcend cultural and geographic boundaries and these species need global protection. 
Q. One of the standard replies from Japan on this issue (whether with whales or dolphins) is that we, for example, cherish bison but eat bison burgers. Is there a distinction?
A. You cannot compare bison to dolphins in the cognitive domain. However, bison are not killed in this inhumane manner.  Nor are lab rats. In cases in which animals are domesticated for food, most modern countries are striving for better animal welfare practices that minimize pain and suffering during the killing process with the goal to render an animal unconscious quickly before it is killed. This is not the case in the dolphin drive hunts. These are not domesticated animals; they are wild dolphins that are captured within their social groups, mother and young, and slaughtered using a technique that actually prolongs death, pain and suffering.  The herding procedures themselves are inhumane and may include forced submersion as the dolphins are dragged by their tails to shore to be killed. This is not to say that dolphins should be killed. They should not.

In an interview last month with the journalist David Kirby, Mark Palmer, the associate director of Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project, estimated that the dolphin hunters of Taiji killed nearly 900 dolphins and pilot whales this season and kept nearly 250 to sell for alive to the aquarium trade (which is booming in the Middle East and Asia).

This video is not suitable for children and may be disturbing to some adults:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzOw5IBmqWk&feature=youtu.be

For the dolphins!!

Powerful Message from a Grieving Dolphin

Whale watchers aboard Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari had an unexpected and heartbreaking encounter with a pod of bottlenose dolphins yesterday. A deceased dolphin calf was being carried by an adult bottlenose dolphin on its back.

This video sends a powerful message and it is a window into a dolphins heart. This animal is laboring under the strain of carrying the deceased calf on its back and is probably keeping it near the surface so the departed dolphin can breathe. Dolphins do not normally swim with their dorsal fins sticking out of the water continuously like this bottlenose did.  This poor grieving mother dolphin takes us, without words, to a place where as one of our passengers said in the video “humans and dolphins are not so different.”

The pair were surrounded by other dolphins, almost as if they were being protected, during this profoundly sad time. The dolphin was seen an hour later by another boat still carrying the calf.

For the dolphins!