Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wrap up in Taiji

It has been relatively quiet in Taiji since my last post and the season officially ended on Monday.  

There was only 1 day of killing in the past 2 weeks.  On February 20 a pod of Risso dolphins were herded into the Cove and slaughtered.  This put the Japanese over their allotment by 7 Rissos.  Apparently, they didn't care.  For a group who has no respect for life, I'm not surprised.

On February 19, 2 Russian beluga whales have been brought to Taiji in a trade for 4 bottlenosed dolphins.  The beluga whales will be included in the collection of captive dolphins and whales in the Taiji Museum.  The dolphins were transported by truck this morning to their new destination.

It has been a sad season in Taiji but with increased awareness and pressure, hopefully more people in Japan and the rest of the world have a deeper understanding of the horrible actions that happen in The Cove.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This Week in Taiji and other opportunities

The killing continues in Taiji this week.

Last Thursday two separate pods of Pan Tropic Spotted dolphins, 47-49 total, were corralled 15 miles into the cove.  A total of 9 were taken captive:  4 went to the Taiji Dolphin Base and Dolphin Resort and the other 5 went to harbor sea pens.  Only 3 of these survived and the other 2 were taken to the butcherhouse along with the other 36-38.  Thrashing and screaming, the video footage is now archived at

Friday through Sunday, there were no new pods brought in.  Instead of hunting, the dolphin killers assisted with the transfer of the 90 dolphins that were in sea pens waiting for their journey to captivity and built additional sea pens to hold more captive animals.

Monday, a large pod of 100-110 Striped dolphins were herded into the cove.  80-90 were slaughtered one by one while the remaining members of the pod swam in their blood awaiting their turn.  HORRIFIC!  Twenty of these were driven back out to sea, although their chance of survival is slim due to the stress they endured.

Yesterday a pod of 17 Risso dolphins were netted into the cove.  One drowned in the net before being noticed while the others were slaughtered.

Thankfully, today the boats remained in shore.  BLUE COVE DAY!

If any of you live in the Jacksonville area, Sea Shepherd is showing "Eco-Pirate:  The Story of Paul Watson" on Saturday night.  For more info, CLICK HERE

For anyone who is a fan of Paul, please consider signing this petition to help keep him safe.  Paul is the founder of Sea Shepherd and currently has 2 Interpol Red Notices against him:  One in Costa Rica and one in Japan.  These notices are politically motivated.  Paul is currently on board with the latest campaign in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary fighting Japanese whalers while filming the next season of Whale Wars.  This petition is requesting that the US not extradite him.  You do not have to be a US citizen to sign but you do need to complete a quick registration procedure.  You can find the petition HERE

If you live in the Miami area, check out the BLACKFISH screenings at Miami Film Festival March 3 and 10.  CLICK HERE for more details.  Tickets are now available.  

Don't forget to "Like" my Ocean Advocate Facebook page or Ocean Advocate on Twitter Here.  Thank you to new followers.  Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, do something, GET INVOLVED!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Blackfish - The Movie

BLACKFISH - the name given to killer whales by Native American fisherman and ...
A documentary directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite premiered at Sundance Film Festival at the end of January to rave reviews.  After it's first showing, Magnolia Films and CNN have already bought distribution rights.  The film will be widely distributed through Landmark Theaters around the country this summer and shown on CNN in the fall.  Soon after, the film was acquired by Madman to be released in Australia and New Zealand.

Blackfish starts with the capture of Tilikum, the 12,000 pound whale responsible for the 2010 death of Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld Orlando.  The capture is followed by Tilikum's violent history, including two other deaths, as well as video of other attacks by the whales at SeaWorld that were previously hidden by the park in an effort to preserve the captivity industry.  Former trainers report that they were also left in the dark about the dangers caused by Tilikum and the other whales.  It has been billed by Sundance as the film that exposes "the species cruel treatment in captivity" and the "growing disillusionment of workers who were misled and endangered by the highly profitable sea park industry".  

Next up, Blackfish will be shown at Miami Film Festival which runs March 1-10.  Check it out at

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Taiji update

The dolphin/whale hunt continues in Taiji.  This hunt started in September and continues through March.  The "fisherman" herd pods of dolphins into the cove by banging on the sides of their boats with long, metal pipes.  The dolphins are drawn closer to shore where they are netted into a small area.  Scared, hungry and often injured they are sometimes left for days.  Other times they are immediately killed or the young or "pretty" ones are picked for marine parks around the world, sold for up to $150,000 each.  Meat is sold for human consumption.  

This week, on January 31, 17 Pacific white-side dolphins were driven into the cove.  Ten, bloody and injured, were chosen for captivity while the other 7 were killed.  

On February 3, ten Risso dolphins were driven into the cove and killed for their meat.

Yesterday, a pod of 32 bottlenose dolphins were driven into the cove.  Eleven were taken captive while the other 21 were slaughtered.

This brings the total for the season to 740 killed and 240 captive.  320 have been released after originally being driven into the cove but many of them will die due to stress or injury.  Some juveniles were released after their mothers were killed.  They will likely not survive either.  There are still almost 2 months left of the hunt.

Outraged?  Do something.  There are advocacy groups all over fighting the hunt, starting with Ric O'Barry and Sea Shepherd.  Sign a petition.  Tell a friend.  With more people aware and pressuring the Japanese, maybe this will stop once and for all.  The majority of Japanese people either don't even know what's happening or they are afraid to speak out, but even a few have come forward this year.  

Don't forget to "Like" my Ocean Advocate Facebook page or Ocean Advocate on Twitter Here.  These pages are updated much more often with news from Taiji and other whale and dolphin news around the world that I don't have time to blog about.