Yesterday, the Taiji “fishermen” decided that they didn’t want to kill most of the 100-120 pilot whales they had trapped two days before, after having driven it via a cacophony of frightening noise and forced it to swim for untold distances into a death cove.
For two days the pod saw its family members selectively ripped from among them. For two days, the whales huddled, not knowing who would be next for the slaughter. For two days, they swam in the stench of their family’s death. A baby whale became trapped in the fishing nets, as its mother stayed close by,
repeatedly “spy-hopping”, helpless to do anything but stay as close as she could, while her baby drowned.
So there was something especially callous yesterday, as the “fishermen” decided that they would release the lion-share of the pod that they had driven by fear into that dead-end of life as the whales had known it. If there were remorse on the part of the “fishermen”, if this signaled an end to the drive hunts, that would be another matter. But all this signaled was that the “fishermen” had gotten enough use from this traumatized group of victims. Much as rapists who have “had enough” and let their victims go, the “fishermen” decided that they had had enough use of the ones whom they had not killed but who had been forced to watch the murder of their family.
They decided to release those “survivors”.
The scene that unfolded yesterday as the “fishermen” conducted a “release” that was probably more brutal than the capture showed these men running into the whales, roping them, using the same cacophony of terror to drive them back out to sea – because the traumatized whales were too tired, confused, and frightened to know which direction to swim. The scene that all witnessed should raise an international outcry. The livestreaming video, narrated by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Cove Guardian, Melissa Sehgal, is not a graphic one due to scale. There is little visual clue, but Ms. Sehgal’s narrated film, now archived, described a day that few who watched will ever forget.
This is a new low by the fishermen. Whether the trauma survivors will beach themselves, having been through an ordeal that few in this life have, we may never learn.
But I trust that you will find a new voice to match this new low, and that you will use it to secure a ban on this dysfunction of our society that allows and even supports the torment, trauma and death of creatures, a torment that the survivors carry with them. Say that you, too, have had enough; you have had enough of the “fishermen’s” having enough.
Use your voice to stop this now. Sign a petition to get media on the ground. Call the buyers of the mercury-tainted flesh and tell them that you know the history of the lives that they are now selling. Stop this atrocity. Now.