Sunday, May 11, 2014

Welcome to Beautiful Taiji, a Little Town With a Horrible Secret

Greetings once again everyone. I hope all is well. Before I get started I'd just like to say that my school stuff is finally quieting down a bit so I will be able to be on here more so huzzah about that. On another note I'd just like to remind you guys that I will be out of state from the 17th through the 25th, so please don't expect any blogs during that time. With that being said, let's get on with this.


Welcome one and all to beautiful Taiji, Japan.

Taiji, just a quiet little town in southern Japan with a local fishing community and a deep and caring love for dolphins. Walk the streets and ask people what they think of dolphins. Chances are the responses you get will be not all that different from anywhere else in the world. Yes the majority of people in Taiji do love and are amazed by dolphins just like the rest of the world. There are statues and banners throughout the town. People back in the day would probably think that the people of Taiji literally worship dolphins. Look a little bit deeper into the town and you'll find the truth though as to why Taiji and dolphins are so closely linked.

It's beautiful isn't it? The greenery, the beach, the perfect place for people to go observe dolphins and other marine life. This ladies and gentlemen is the cove. It looks so peaceful. Throughout much of the year it is. However from September through the spring it looks more like this.

Yes the beautiful cove runs red with blood throughout a good portion of the year. Not just with any blood either. This is the blood of the same animals that any tourist walking the streets of Taiji would think the people of Taiji love, dolphins. Sadly, not all of Taiji love dolphins. There is a nasty, nasty business going on that frankly the general public hardly knows anything about. In fact until The Cove was released, the majority of people living in Taiji had no idea the slaughter of dolphins was happening in their own backyards.

The Taiji dolphin slaughter has become one of the world's worst kept secrets as conservation groups have exposed the slaughter and it's true motives. Japan claims that the slaughter is a tradition that dates back many many years. In reality this slaughter has only been around for a couple decades. In reality this slaughter is no more traditional then sending massive ships down to Antarctica to shoot whales with exploding harpoons. The government of Japan says that the slaughter is necessary to feed the country. If that was the case then the meat of the dolphins would not have to be disguised as tuna as Anonymous discovered or as other whale meat as the team of The Cove revealed. Simply put. The dolphin meat is not selling anywhere near enough to be deemed necessary to feed a country. Less and less people are actually eating dolphin in Japan as more and more people are becoming aware as to where it comes from and how it gets to them. So before we go into what is really driving this slaughter, cause it clearly is not hunger, let's take a look at how this slaughter even happens.

The first thing to happen is a fleet of boats head out to see in search for dolphins. Upon finding a pod they get into the formation below and begin to make a lot of noise. People will bang the sides of the boats, scaring the dolphins into changing their course. The smaller skiffs will be used to prevent the dolphins from getting away from the wall of sounds. Since dolphins are incredible sensitive to sound, the boats banging equates to an underwater wall of sound that virtually pushes the dolphins towards the cove.

Once in the cove, the dolphins are netted off and apparently become property of Japan. Depending on the size of the pod, it may be separated into several smaller groups. At this time, babies are often ripped away from their mothers as the fisherman show no care at all in separating the dolphins. Some have already been injured from being ran over by careless skiff drivers. What happens next can be one of two things. Either the dolphins will be left overnight with no food or trainers from around the world will begin a selection of the best looking dolphins to be sold into captivity.

The fate of the dolphins that are not sold into captivity is one of the most horrific things on this planet.

Watch the above video to fully understand what it is that goes on in the cove. Words cannot describe the horror that these animals are forced to see and feel. So what drives this slaughter?

As I mentioned before, the Japanese government will say that the drive is needed to ensure the long term survival of the Japanese people. In reality though it is all about the sale of the dolphins into captivity. While dolphin meat sells for a pretty low price. The price of a live dolphin being sold into captivity can well exceed $50,000 USD. With that number, it's not hard to see why this is going on. Rather than release the unselected dolphins, there is still some money to be made so the rest of the dolphins are then slaughtered. As you can see the slaughter itself is incredibly barbaric and hopefully you will agree that there is simply no place for it in this world. That is why I have joined the fight to see it all come to an end. Time and time again I, along with countless others have called out to organizations such as Sea World to end their support of this barbaric practice. So far none of the organizations have done so and now we have simply seen enough.

The people are now taking a stand for the animals that facilities such as Sea World and organizations such as WAZA and IMATA claim to care so much about. Their greed and lust for money has severely clouded their ways and while they may say they do not agree with the drive hunts, they have done nothing to stop it. All that an organization like Sea World would need to do is say to the world "do not purchase dolphins from Taiji". I would place money that marine parks world wide would listen to what the omega of marine parks says, with the exception of those in Japan, and end their buying from Taiji. Within a short time this slaughter would be gone. For me this has nothing to do with emptying the tanks or freeing the animals that are already in captivity. For me this is about ending an incredibly barbaric practice that has been allowed to go on for far too long. If groups like WAZA and IMATA continue to show sympathy and not take a stand for the animals they claim to care so much about, then they are an enemy in this battle. Sea World has dolphins living in it's facilities with Taiji blood running through them. They claim to have changed their ways and no longer buy from Taiji. So why are they so afraid to come out and tell them to stop for the animals they claim to care about so much. Until they do so, they are continuing to support the hunt and the killing and therefore are an enemy as well.

These are just a few of the groups that can speak up for the dolphins, but simply wont. They have all the power in the world to put this slaughter to rest, but they wont. Why you ask? It's all about the all powerful dollar. There is still a mountain of money to be made and each one of these corrupt organizations are putting that money in front of the animals that again, they claim to love so much. Normally I wouldn't post stuff like what I'm about to post as I usually stay out of the whole captivity debate as I am far, far more focused on the animals in the wild, but there is a truth here and that is...


Is the sole reason that this


Without the insane amount of money that the Taiji fishermen get from these parks, the slaughter would not be able to sustain itself and it would die out. It's simple economics. If you feel that boycotting the parks will drop the demand for dolphins, go ahead and boycott them, from what I'm told it has done quite a number on Sea World over the whole Blackfish scenario. Keep in mind though that boycotting Sea World will not be enough as there are many other marine parks around the world that have at one point or another given money to the Taiji fishermen. Again, I tend to stay out of the whole captivity debate outside of making it clear that I do not believe that cetaceans (small or large) should be being brought into captivity and that is all I'm going to say about that stuff.

One of the more common things that are asked is what are the fishermen to do if they can't hunt the dolphins. That's an easy answer. Fish for something else, or better yet, the town of Taiji should put dolphin watching tours in place where visitors can go out on boats and watch the dolphins in the ocean. There is a ton of money to be made in dolphin tourism.  Until the time comes though that this little town changes it's ways, we will continue to fight. In an overall ugly move, the town of Taiji has decided to do something "nice" for the dolphins. Taiji is currently working on building a marine park of it's own, pretty much down the street from the cove if I understand correctly. This facility will allow guests to swim with the dolphins.... and then eat dolphin afterwords... Picture going to lets say a puppy show and then eating a puppy after the show was over. I don't know anyone who could honestly even do that. This also means more dolphins being removed from the wild and more killings to take place. Again, we will not allow this to happen without making life for those involved a nightmare.

Who is this we I am talking about? There are many of us and after learning what happens in the disturbing little town of Taiji, I hope you would also like to take action against this slaughter. There are many ways you can. Many people have boycotted marine parks, but many have also decided to take the fight to those directly responsible. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project, and several others are actively peacefully protesting at the cove throughout the drive hunt season. One, newer group to the scene is the collective known as, Anonymous.

Odds are you have seen members of Anonymous if you have been in any big city such as New York. These are the men and women you see walking around wearing Guy Fawkes masks. Their numbers are numerous and a good number of them have shifted their eyes towards Taiji. Welcome one and all to Operation Killing Bay 2 (#OpKillingBay2). Members of the Anonymous collective have decided to once again take a stand against the incredibly brutal slaughters that take place in the cove of Taiji, Japan. Once the operation begins, Anonymous will work around the clock to bring down as many websites as possible that are in support of Taiji. Some of these sites include those of Sea World, IMATA, WAZA, the Taiji Police Department, Georgia Aquarium, and many others.

So why am I adding all of this to this blog? Why would you want a part of this collective? Well folks, this is NOT just for hactivists. In fact, this operation is for anyone who is sick and tired of this slaughter. We are all standing up to those who encourage, support, and sustain it. If you have a Facebook or a Twitter account then you have a voice and it takes literally nothing to join. On Twitter simply use the hashtag #OpKillingBay2. On Facebook visit and join us to keep up with what Anonymous is planning for Taiji and to connect with other activists on this issue. Be as aggressive as you want to be with these people, but be sure to get your point across that you do not support what they are supporting.

United we all can make a difference. In the end we are all just regular people that are out to make a difference for the dolphins of Taiji. None of us are in it for fame. We are in it for those who do not have a voice. These people have been allowed to spill the blood of the innocent for far too long. It is time that the world shows them that we do not have to idly sit by and watch as a non traditional slaughter takes place for nothing more than profit. Again, I stress that you do not have to be a hacker or do anything illegal to be a part of this movement!

Well ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it has come to my attention that Memorial Day is quickly approaching. This means that the annual sharks of New Jersey blog will be on it's way soon, so stay tuned and be prepared to learn about some of the sharks that visit New Jersey throughout the year!

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