Latest news from Taiji.
By Hans Peter Roth – WDCS rep on the ground.
The month February is only 2 days old and already over 20 rissos dolphin had to give their lives in the death-cove of Taiji. I will never get used to the sight of the hunting boats lining up on the sea and starting to chase the dolphins towards the cove, when black smoke rises from their chimneys due to the quick manoeuvres they have to take
too block the paths of the cetaceans.
And I will never get used to the noise when fishermen knock against their boats to stampede the dolphins and to disturb their communication.
Yesterday they killed eight and today around fifteen dolphins. This can't be true – but it is the bitter truth!
At the same time another tragedy happened in Taiji.
At the “Dolphin Base” in Taiji, a dolphin trader complex, about half a mile from the infamous cove, 3 pacific white-sided dolphin where taken from their enclosure and loaded into three small wooden boxes for transport. After several hours on the road, northwest of Osaka, the truck driver came into a snow storm and lost the control over his vehicle and crashed into the guard railing.
It took estimated eight hours before the truck was able to continue his journey. All along the three dolphins had to hold out in their small, cold and dark prison. Members of “Sea Shepherd” followed the truck with a rental car and reported afterwards that the journey, all in all, took over 30 hours. The cruel journey ended at Tsukumi Dolphin Island, a dolphinarium in the prefecture Oita, on the island Kyushu, which shell be opened by April this year. The fact that another dolphinarium will open his doors, sadly shows that the number of dolphinariums - and therewith the demand for living dolphins – is still raising in Japan.