Greetings everyone. Today marks the end of the Taiji dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan. Today, Japanese fisherman went about cleaning the butcher house and removing the tarps that they use to hide their horrific practices. The number of dolphins killed or sold into captivity I do not know at this time, but it is easy to say that several hundred dolphins had their lives changed forever, regardless as to how short their lives may had been within the cove. If I find the number of dolphins killed, I'll be sure to include it in a future blog. This blog though, I want to focus more on the future.
First of all I want to give a massive, and I mean massive thank you to Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians whom were standing guard at the cove for the duration of the hunt. Everyday these brave men and women endured being mocked, harassed, and verbally abused for documenting what the world needs to see. They are a huge part in this fight to see these slaughters put to an end. They've livestreamed killings from start to finish. They've helped to bring the focus back to Taiji where it needs to be. Every year more and more pressure is mounting on Taiji to end the killings and hopefully with Taiji returning to the news this year, Japan will reconsider the killings next season. I doubt it, but we have to have some hope right?
Regardless as to how many dolphins Japan kills in an effort to conserve fish populations, Japan will continue to see it's fish populations deplete. It is not the dolphins that are eliminating too many fish. It is the commercial fisherman whom are going out and literally removing any and all fish from the seas. It is time for Japan to realize this and also realize just how important those dolphins that they are killing are to the local environment. Time continues to tick for these animals and we are the only ones who can make it so that they are able to survive into the distant future. Sea World and other large parks and aquariums need to step up their game and get involved. If Sea World were to step up and tell the world that the Taiji dolphin hunt is wrong and needs to end, then I would not be at all surprised to see other facilities follow suit. The same thing can be said for IMATA and WAZA. Stating that they do not support drive hunts is not enough. That just sounds like a company statement that the cast majority of people will overlook. If people from those groups actually came out against it verbally, I think it would be a drastically different story.
Now that the Taiji dolphin slaughter has come to a close I guess I should let you guys know what I am planning for the end of Operation Kibou. From this point forward, do not expect to see much in the way of dolphin blogs. Now that the killings in Taiji have ended my focus is going to shift even more towards the West Australia shark cull. Sea Shepherd's Operation Relentless is still going on in the Southern Ocean and I will continue to try and keep you all up to date on that as well. I will hopefully be able to squeeze a couple more whale blogs in by the end, but again, my primary focus is going to be on the shark cull. So when is the end of Operation Kibou? This operation will conclude on March 19th, 2014 and my next campaign, which is currently unnamed, will begin immediately on March 20th. All I can tell you about the operation right now is that it's focus will be on sharks, manta rays, and for a second spring/summer campaign, bluefin tuna! Stay tuned as March 19th gets closer for news on that operation, but for now my focus returns to West Australia.