Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Three Horrific Images to Start 2013

I was trying to find a way to incorporate a few different current events into this blog in a way that they would blend together. Well I figured out how to do that and what I wound up looking at is a rather sad blog to start off the new year. So before I get started, let me warn you that the three images that I'll be looking at and reflecting upon are disturbing and very sad. The first image is just ahead...

Photo: Here's an image taken from the air above the building in Hong Kong that has over 10,000 shark fins drying in the sun. Truly sad.

Upon first look, this just looks like a rooftop colored to look like a cow or something. Upon further inspection and a tad bit of research the image is much different. Ladies and gentlemen, what you are looking at right now is a rooftop in Hong Kong that had over 10,000 shark fins drying on it. Yes, each and every one of those black and white things are hundreds and hundreds of shark fins. If this is not a sad and scary picture, then I don't know what is. The species of shark that these fins came from are unknown, but the fact remains that an insane amount of sharks had to die for these fins. The shark fin industry is being pushed hard as more and more regulations are being are being installed world wide. However, the shark finners are thinking of new ways to try and hide their catches. The sheer number of fins in this picture alone speaks volumes as to why this insane trade needs to be end for good. The fight against shark finning continues to pick up speed, but the poachers are not giving in without putting up a fight of their own. Marine parks are still being poached and millions and millions of sharks are being slaughtered every year. The next picture is a disgusting reminder of the horrific activities that take place in the cove in Taiji...

Photo: January 5th, 2013:

This morning, the dolphin hunting boats remained in the Harbor for what we believe to be the last day of their holiday break.

However, we were given a shocking reminder this morning that the horrors of this town are always present. During an orientation of new Cove Guardians this morning, we climbed the hills overlooking the Killing Cove and came across a gruesome and horrific sight.

The decomposing body of a Bottlenose Dolphin was floating within the waters of the killing cove- this dolphin was amongst the 200+ dolphins driven into Taiji on the 11th of December. The dolphin died during the 6 days that the pod was held within the cove as 101 juvenile members of its' family pod were captured for marine parks and 23 were slaughtered for human consumption.

Divers found the bodies of 2 dolphins that did not survive the process during those 6 days. They have failed to find the body of this dolphin which has only very recently risen to the surface and swept toward the beach within the Killing Cove, as there have been 2 drive hunts since, on the 20th (Striped) and 23rd (Risso's) of December.

This is a horrific reminder of the brutality of the captures and slaughters within the cove- and the trauma that the dolphins endure during this process. We will now be monitoring what the killers of Taiji will do with the body...

We cannot stress enough the importance of NOT supporting facilities that exploit marine mammals for profit!! This would not have occurred if it weren't for the demand for dolphins to 'entertain' humankind.

What can YOU do? Follow this link: http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/what-you-can-do.html

The first time I saw this image, I wanted to vomit. Plain and simple. It still makes me sick to look at. This is an image of a dead bottlenose dolphin that was found in floating in the cove. This dolphin was found floating by Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians on January 5th. This dolphin was a part of the massive pod of 101 dolphins that were chased int the cove. The majority were taken into captivity, 23 were slaughtered, 3 died in the cove before the slaughter. Of those three, 2 were recovered. This one however was not. Despite the cove being blue on January 5th, this dolphin showed a horrific reminder of what goes on in that cove on a regular basis. As I type this blog, the Japanese fishing fleet is herding another pod of dolphins towards the cove where they will be slaughtered or sold into captivity. Of all the evils in this world, slaughtering dolphins is probably one of the worst. If you were to pick one animal on this planet that could probably outlive humans based on sheer instinct, it would be the dolphin. They are so incredibly smart and yet, here we are, killing them for no real reason. Same goes with sharks, they are being slaughtered simply because of the fact that they can make a dollar. Again, this image is a harsh reminder of the horrors that take place in the cove in Taiji, Japan. The third image is a total heart breaker...

Photo: Giant manta ray caught in Beihai, China, this week.

At the start of Operation Sadistic Truths, I did not say that manta rays were going to be a focus of this campaign, unless something serious or new came out regarding their position in the world. Well something did. This did. This heart breaking, enraging picture of a giant manta ray, dead, and clearly having to had suffered a great deal. Giant manta rays, along with whale sharks and basking sharks are some of the world's gentle giants. They have never harmed a person, and never will harm a person. They do not have barbs like stingrays. They do not have teeth that can do anything to a human. They are filter feeders. However, they are mercilessly slaughtered. Take a look at this image and you can see what people want from this animal. Well you kind of can see. Take a look at where all of the blood is pouring out. Those are the animal's gills. Inside of those gills are gill rakers that filter food out and push water back out of the gills. That is what people want from these animals. Again, it's all about the dollar. Some Chinese believe that the gill rakers hold some magical medicinal power. Of course, they don't really have any medicinal properties, but again, some people believe they do. The rest of this manta, odds are was chopped up and sold for a very low price, or simply tossed.

These three images are horrific reminders of the nightmares that are happening in the Oceans. It also is a reminder to people like myself, and hopefully you as well, that there is still a ton of work to be done. As long as the demand for dolphins in captivity, shark fins, and manta gill rakers continues to be so high, people will continue to rape the seas of these animals. It doesn't matter how important sharks are to the health of the Oceans. It doesn't matter what secrets the minds of dolphins have that we could benefit from. It doesn't matter how gentle and majestic an animal the size of a giant manta ray is. All that matters is that all three of these animals make a dollar. That is the mindset of the people who go out and slaughter these animals. That is the mindset that we need to continue to try and change if any of these animals have a hope in this world.

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