Tag Archives: pilot whale

Taiji dolphin hunters reach new low – as they “have enough” pilot whales

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.

Pilot whales huddle as Taiji hunters select whales for slaughter

Pilot whales huddle as Taiji hunters select whales for slaughter. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd Conversation Society

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,

Baby pilot whale trapped in fishing net Taiji, Japan

Baby pilot whale trapped in fishing net Taiji, Japan, as mother spy-hops nearby, helpless to intervene. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

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”.

Pilots whales terrified and traumatized are further traumatized during their release by Taiji hunters

Pilots whales terrified and traumatized are further traumatized during their release by Taiji “fishermen”. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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.

Taiji fishermen lasso a pilot whale to drag it

Taiji fishermen lasso a pilot whale to drag it to “freedom”. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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.

Gentle and timid pilot whales huddled as they await their fate in the Taiji Cove

Don’t turn away from these gentle and timid pilot whales, huddled as they await their fate and the blood of their family streams in from the Taiji Cove. Photo Credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

100-120 Pilot Whales Trapped in The Cove, Taiji, Japan


We have as little as seven hours to act to save 100-120 pilot whales and the people who will eat them.  Media coverage, reach out to Japanese embassies worldwide, something immediate is needed to stop this atrocity.

Fishermen's Union pilot whales 103012 Taiji Japan

,Dolphin hunters corral 100-120 pilot whales, whose fate will be decided in as little as seven hours. Photo Credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Cove Guardians

The Fishermen’s Union (FU) of Taiji, Japan, has once again herded a pod of 100-120 pilot whales into a “killing cove.”  As night passes in Taiji, the rest of the word could act to save them.  But will the world, or even the villagers of Taiji, ever know?  While most of the people of Japan are unaware of this slaughter, the mainstream media could act to save not only whales, but the people of Japan.

CNN reported a similar story in September, when the FU trapped 80-100 pilot whales, about half of whom were slaughtered and butchered and sold at market for human consumption, the rest of whom were released after multiple days of being held.  This media coverage may or may  not have impacted the decision to release half the pod.  But the media should be on the ground, reporting this, so that whales and people are spared.

The horror – and don’t be mistaken, this is a horror – impacts not only the pilot whales who will lose their lives.  The local citizens of Taiji, and those anywhere that the flesh of the slaughtered whales is shipped and consumed, will unwittingly be exposed to potentially toxic levels of mercury.

Pilot Whales 100-120 Taiji, Japan to be slaughter

These pilot whales, gentle and timid whales, may be slaughtered and see their families slaughtered as early as 3:30p.m. EDT US 12/30/12 or 4:30a.m., 10/31/12, Taiji, Japan. Photo Credit: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Cove Guardians

Pilot whale and dolphin meat has been demonstrated to have mercury above safe health-based levels, but most Japanese citizens who purchase this whale and dolphin meat are unaware of the dangers.  Mercury – in particular methylmercury, the form found in fish – is a neurotoxin with both immediate and chronic impacts.  Children exposed to methylmercury in the womb show impairments to cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, and fine motor and visual spatial skills.  In previous outbreaks of mercury toxicity, some mothers with no symptoms of nervous system damage gave birth to infants with severe disabilities.

Please shine a light on this atrocity right now, before the slaughter begins in as early as seven hours.


And as always, please check the Save Misty the Dolphin page on Facebook for the URGENT ACTION being taken.