On October 9, 2012, the weather kept the boats in port in Taiji, Japan. Many folks watching the news coming from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) Cove Guardians had gone on about their business, as the real business of Taiji transpired. This morning, as life went on for many, over half a $million $reasons why the dolphin trade won’t stop were loaded into cargo crates, bound for destinations as yet unknown, on transport as yet unidentified.
Six dolphins, each worth, on average, over $100,000 to the Fisherman’s Union, were sold and bought, having been snatched from the ocean, where only weeks ago, they lived the life that nature gave them. The life that mankind has now taken away. For money.
The story unfolds for the six via a series of “tweets” from SSCS, the first, a foretelling of what was to come.
Taiji: Rain and wind have kept all killing boats in port today. However, large transfer truck at FU to transfer dolphins.
And the next with accompanying photo revealed that today was a fateful one for the six unfortunate dolphins:
Taiji: at least six dolphin transport crates are lined up at Fishermans Union. Police stand guard
The next messages that were sent by the Cove Guardians told of first, one, then another, dolphin being loaded into crates heading for parts unknown, but certain of a life in captivity if they survived the transport.
Taiji: First captive dolphin taken from harbor pens via sling
Taiji:! First dolphin is in truck now. Second being lifted by crane 4 more waiting to be transferred
What was also disturbing as the events progressed was how unremarkable it seemed. Minutes ticked by and more dolphins lost their lives to a future controlled by a money machine.
Taiji: Third captive dolphin being place in air cargo crate.
Taiji: Dolphin killers on skiffs and using forklifts for transfer.
Taiji: transfer 6 on skiff now. Crane is in place lifting 5th Bottlenose dolphin.
The way these events transpired with a mechanical and well-rehearsed precision masked the deep and palpable grief that they forevermore created. For the many of you who did not witness this, it may seem like a minor “incident”. But rest assured, that to the degree we do not stop the captivity industry, with its mindset that dolphins are “cargo” not to be appreciated, with their own rights and intrinsic value, then we are all, my friends, buying half a $million $reasons for grief. A grief that will last for us all until they are all free.
My heartfelt appreciation to Sammarye Lewis for the theme of this piece, to Sandy Young for its heart, and to the Cove Guardians for bearing witness with their lives.