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

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

  1. A very sad day indeed and many of us will never forget -forgive what they did yesterday…….. this has to end and and now

  2. so heart braking!!! I simply can not believe that there are such insensitive and stupid people NEVER BE SILENT NEVER GIVE UP!!!!

  3. How anyone can be so cruel as these fishermen is beyond me. How do they sleep at night ?

  4. Life for the surviving members of the pod will never be the same. The extremely shy, sensitive animals will be forever scarred by this experience.

  5. I’m fighting every day to stop this atrocity, Mo! The world is waking up, and this WILL STOP!!

  6. Something tells me those fishermen have no limits to their cruelty, and we may witness more horrors as they vent their frustration and desparation on these innocents.

    • And the world will be watching, and being moved to action with every misstep of theirs.

    • BrianH (@bbrihar)

      And I unfortunately fear that you are right. We are dealing with (sub) human beings that are amoral, devoid of conscience & solely motivated by greed. BUT, ‘The Wheel Turns,’ & with unswerving resolve we will eventually stop them. Just needs ‘Infinite Patience’ (Sea Shepherd)

  7. I can not believe that these humans can treat these beautiful animals like this and get away with it. I am shocked and deeply distraught. I honesty can not just sit back and be ok with this. The world must come together and fight for These animals that they are destroying.

    • Please take the two actions at the end of this blog post, as a first step. Sign the petition, which goes to the media and Japanese Embassy. We must shine a bright light to end this. And if you can, call the store in Taiji where the lives of the whales are sold as meat, and let him know that we know.

  8. Listen to us Japan and Taiji and all other sea life murderers, for we are the voices of those you have murdered and we will never be silent until you stop your slaughter of the innocent.

  9. This just goes to show how horribly inhumane these people can be that are doing this to these poor innocent whales and dolphins….they are probably just trying to send us all a message that they will do what they want when they want and we can not stop them. Well, they need to think again, cause we will stop them, it may not be today or tomorrow but they will be stopped. Hopefully, before they have murdered all of these beautiful creatures. This also begs the question, how do they treat their own families….animal cruelty has been tied to child abuse, spousal abuse and other forms of cruelty. Maybe it is a normal thing in their society, to be cruel…I don’t know, but I hope not.

  10. Thank God we have the guardians on the ground to document the scene. IF it weren’t for them, we’d have no understanding of the injustice going on. Support the front line.

  11. Bear in mind that they COULD have brutally slaughtered them, as they usually do. So let’s be careful about HOW we object, bearing in mind that they do not understand what they’re doing (or the Pilot whales) as we do. Move towards change in that way… or instead they’ll just slaughter them all since they’re :”Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don’t” in their minds.
    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”.

    • I’m a sort of, if the shoe fits, kind of person. As a vegan, I have little understanding of those who can even already dead meat, and even less of those who can kill a being as it cries for its life. If the shoe doesn’t fit, then will not wear it.

  12. I will never forget this day ever . These poor whales 🙁 how can anyone be so heartless to make a living creature suffer like this ?

  13. Sickening! Dolphins and whales don’t belong to these monsters. Dolphins and whales are the people of the ocean, except they embed what’s good in us humans. At least in some people, not in these blood-craving men who feed on innocent beings. If there is a hell, I really hope they will burn forever in it

  14. Thank Heavens they released the pilot whale survivors. Prayers for them and their lost loved one. Now they may flee to safety (basically anywhere that is not Japanese). Please remember they were allowed to live, in spite of how they herded them and hurted them back to sea..this sad ugly moment in time will remind us that even if the Japanese fisherxxx are horrible horrible people, they did grant freedom and allowed (as if they are kings of the sea) this group of dolphins/whales to live. People…this is just the beginning,not the ending….fight for their lives, continue the fight.
    I agree with John Taylor in that we should not negate ANY KINDNESS THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO THE DOLPHIN., no matter how un-kind it appeared to be. If we chide them for the way the dolphins were released, there may not be any more releases… because you know they are reading whatever we say about them. for this one moment, give thanks they did not kill them all.

    • Believe me, I am thankful for the lives that were spared. I am not blind to any part of this story. Not to gratitude, and not to the objective truth that these whales were herded in by fear, slaughtered in front of their families, and then herded out by fear. By people who truly do not concern themselves with any part of that.

  15. As i saw on the livestream this morning on the whales release i have to agree with a couple of comments above that maybe we should be grateful for them releasing some of the pod, although we do not agree at all with the way they are treated, lets think positive and stay positive for the dolphins and ourselves, its very sad to watch anything suffer, but luckily some of them are free now and hope they now live in peace 🙂

  16. What can we do? How can we help? Its heard breaking! How can anybody eat orcas

    • Pilot whales are not orcas, but they are both part of the dolphin family. There are many actions you can take. Right now, the immediate one is to sign the petition in the blog. We have generated over 20,000 signatures in just over 48 hours. The purpose is to get press on the ground in Taiji. First, it was intended to save the whales. Whether the petition effected that outcome, I’m sure we’ll never know. Now that the pilot whales have been released press presence in Taiji could make the Taiji Fishermen’s Union hold back on the hunt while deliberating how to cut phase out the hunt, or cut it out cold turkey, if you will.

      Another action that each of us can take is to tell all our friends and family to NEVER go to an aquarium that hold captive marine mammals. NEVER. NEVER.

      And you can sign this petition, asking the President to support ending the drive hunt, now at almost 500,000 signatures: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/724/210/624/

  17. There have been times in history that are earmarked for future generations to read… the treatment and barbaric slaughter of the pilot whales in Taiji this week is beyond human comprehension .. sadly it it puts the 12 fishermen into a new light ~ by modern terms it is called Satanic.. Taiji you bring great shame upon Japan…thankfully not all of your people are as you.. how you sleep at night and kiss your children goodnight is beyond me.. do they realise your children, that their fathers are in fact killers of the ancients spirits of their forefathers… Taiji ..look to the past the spirits are watching you… as is the world… and I watch also….A Message to the “Killermen of Taiji” – Japan — next time you step on your boats – “SARU” – “KUTSUU” – “SHI -NI”

  18. Yesterdays slaughter just like the others hit hard.It makes me wonder what sort of people could do this-it was barbaric,bloodthirsty,brutal.These monsters are psychopaths-everyone is thinking the same-how do they sleep-how can they kiss their children,hold their wives,be loving towards people who care about them?The more publicity that is raised the more we will win the fight.This is never going to end unless the Japanese gov is forced to back down.They are being shamed everyday,the corrupt police force are an embarrassment to their country,the laws that have been broken by Japans own people are being ignored whilst The Cove Guardians are arrested for no good reason!Taiji is a place of fear,horror,injustice & murder and the sooner this place is history the better.I don’t want Taiji to be remembered.I want to be able to forget this massacre ever took place.

    • I hope this doesn’t sound sadistic, but I hope you don’t forget. And I hope you act every day to free dolphins and whales from their captors, whether in Japan or the U.S. or anywhere else in the world.

      • I do act everyday!Taiji is imprinted in my head-I don’t stop and never will-these vile monsters won’t be allowed to get away with this.I don’t forgive-the release wasn’t any act of kindness-those released whales will never recover from the trauma inflicted on them,they willl live a slow painful death,free to swim but trapped in turmoill forever.I am as determined as before and some!I won’t forget-I want it forgotten from everyday life-not from what what has happened.I don’t forgive-I never will.Finally,where’s Animal Welfare?Where’s the Media?You won’t be forgiven either-COWARDS.:(

  19. This is so cruel and sick. To even release the whales with torture is just sick mean people. KARMA KARMA ! KARMA.

  20. This is what the Japanese government turns a blind eye to. Actions that bring disgrace and dishonour to an entire country. A blind eye to torturing and murdering entire families of intelligent sea mammals. Some have said it is ‘tradition’ in Taiji. That is no excuse. Your ancestors did not know that dolphins and whales are not ‘fish’, they were just easy prey due to their family ties. Just like yours.

    It’s time to take a stand, Japan. Show the world you are better than this.

  21. The ONLY reason these were “released” was because they would have exceeded the allowed limits if they had killed them all. As it stands they can hunt another pod of this type of whale/dolphin. Lets not forget, some other dolphins that have been driven back to freedom have subsequently died as a result probably of being driven in and then back out, going through the stress of their family members being murdered and kept prisoner for 2 days.

  22. I just keep thinking that Japan is too civilized to behave this way, but obviously, they are not!! There must be a way to stop this. THIS HAS TO BE A VIOLATION ON INTERNATIONAL WATERS!!! Is the UN and IWC just able to ignore this and do nothing?? Frustrating beyond belief.

  23. michelle connolly

    Absolutely disgusted by the cruelty at the hands of these men, I feel sorry for any family member that has to share the same breathing space as these disgraceful individuals..

    • Call/Sign/leave messages on everywhere that you can find and do, thats how this well end and it needs to end NOW.

  24. Pingback: Taiji dolphin hunters reach new low - as they "have enough" pilot whales | Cove Blue for Jiyu | Marine Conservation Research | Scoop.it

  25. Japan The whole world is watching you! You do not own the Sea I will be Boycot your goods for ever until you stop this disgraceful matter these creatures feel pain and emotions and are extreamly inteligent WHY WHY Please start telling us why a human person would do this

  26. Japan, the actions of the few at Taiji are bringing dishonour for all of your countrymen. These actions are being broadcast all around the world and are ensuring that many, many other people’s of other countries will not show you respect until this barbaric activity is completely stopped. I personally will boycott all Japanese products and do as much as I can to achieve a halt to this brutality

Leave a Reply