A baptism of Fire in Taiji

If tears could build a staircase and memories were a lane, I would walk right up to heaven and bring you back again…..

I never thought after yesterday things would start the way they did but I must be totally stupid to have thought any other way.
The morning started as planed, We met at 06:30 and went off to see if the boats had left the harbour. Sure enough, all 12 dolphin boats were gone from their mooring births. We went off to one of the highest points in Taiji to see if we could see them driving in. The bird sound in the morning was lovely and everything felt like a “stepford wife” situation, Perfect world, perfect setting! I recorded some of the bird sounds (as i do) and took pictures of the amazing coastline. Then on the horizon we saw 7 boats, they were unmistakingly the banger boats and dolphin molesters, You could tell by their formation as they drove towards the mainland.
It was hard to see if there were any dolphins with them but judging by the way they maneuvered, you would have thought so for sure.
Family pod on their way to be executed
As time passed and they got nearer, you could see surf breaking and a large dark patch that somehow resembled a washing machine cycle. Round and round you could see confused dolphins jumping out of the ocean trying to get away from that banging sound that so torments them. I could then see 9-10 boats driving this huge pod of dolphins including families and young. I took a guess of around 50 to a 100 dolphins hugging together. As the boats got closer there was this evil feeling about the place and a shroud of darkness turned the light coloured rocks to dark. I was about to witness a massacre that just never registered possible yesterday.
We quickly packed our equipment together to race off to the next vantage point, one that we call “Mountain pass” Here you could see the boats coming together and hear that god awful banging.

A dolphin has her last say to the molesters

Exposed crimes against nature

A wall of sound was trapping these amazing animals from escaping. I wanted to cover their ears and get them away from it but i stood there hopeless and empty.
Suddenly half of the pod split up and escaped away from the boats and headed out to sea, A couple of Banger boats turned on them but they made their escape and I was wondering if this could turn out the way I wanted it to?
It was not to be and the 50 or so were pushed into the killing cove.
My heart sank and tears were hard to keep from running down my cheeks. You know the rest of the story because it happens too many times. The gutting barge got into place draped in Blue tarpaulin and the small boats headed into the cove to kill this family of dolphins that thought could pass this country unharmed on their way north this morning!
The molesters have got this off to a fine art now and killed the dolphins in about 35 minutes. They use 3 small boats to transport the paralyzed dolphins to the barge and gut them alive, they drag them with their tails lassoed to the boats, some drown but most are gutted alive. It is as sick as it gets. After, the same small boats bring in the bodies to the infamous Butcher house. The fishermen now try to hide their acts by holding large blue tarpaulin over the boats as they attempt to drag the corpses into the slaughter house without us seeing.
It makes you wonder, If this is their tradition, why are they hiding it? They go out of their way now to conceal their evil acts. The Police watch us as though we are the criminals but it’s the fishermen that have blood on their hands. We were followed by our every move today.

We need to keep this pressure up on the Japanese government and get this stopped. I will be reporting live everytime the molesters leave in their boats and you can call the embassies throughout the reports. We can get this stopped if WE want to….
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook
My facebook account is here
and my Twitter account is here.

With a sad and empty heart, I hope not to report tomorrow…..

Dolphin slaughter in Taiji. November 29th 2010 from Martyn Stewart on Vimeo.


About Martyn Stewart

9 Responses to “A baptism of Fire in Taiji”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Kelli Stanko says:


    UGH!! after three months of hearing this horrid news almost every day, its hard to find words to say. I am glad you are there, it was hard last night not knowing fully what was going on, usually Elora has up to the minute posts. Although it was obvious what was happening. All of my support to you and stay strong we are all here for you and the dolphins….


  2. Diana Allan says:

    Beautiful writing my friend. So sad but true :( It Is A Tragedy! :/ I’m thankful you are there to “witness” in hope of change for our dolphin friends. I feel the same as you & there are so many others just like us! We Can Change This! Hang-in there mate! Will be sending you & the dolphins light & <3

  3. Ronald says:

    I have bean calling to ambasie and told them how i feel about this.
    We do what we can and zaterday we stand in frond of the supermarket that sells those tickets.
    The written us that this slaughters must stop but the see no reason to stop selling tickets, the other biggest supermarket from Europe the LIdl stopped selling dolphin tickets immediately after they have seen the videos from the cove, they have written us that they will never sell dolphin tickets again

    So we did this pre action with 1000 free cove tickets n frond off the supermarket that not stopped the Albert Heijn http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuF1Po5PeXE

  4. Louise says:

    What a terrible shame, 50 plus killed today, and for what? This is getting so old. Everyday, when I begin to read the reports coming out of Taiji, I get a pit in my stomach. Will it be good news or bad? Today, horrible news!! Stay strong, we will change things!! There are too many of us to ignore, sooner or later, the Japanese government will have to change , the world is demanding it. I just do not comprehend how any one can dismiss the life of an animal, we as humans are destroying our planet, the animals are not. We are the ones that are selfish, greedy, and distrustful. The Dolphins are guilty of trusting us, they are guilty of having gentle and kind souls. They are guilty of a bond with their families that stay strong until death or captivity separates them. Just a really rough day for our oceans!
    Until they are all free!

  5. April says:


    I am a birder too, and am pleased to find your webpage while checking in on the crimes in Taiji. I’m glad you are there and appreciate your writing style and point of view regarding the dolphin slaughter. I’m sure the reality there will not fail to assault your senses and heart. Keep up the hard work and I will be following. ~ April

  6. Mary says:

    I am touched by what you write and they way you put it. The words would certainly be hard to find to describe what you feel in your heart. Every morning when I wake up my first thought is for the dolphins and cove guardians who are witnessing this barbaric practise. We are all sending you light and I am grateful that you are there. The world needs to know – the world needs to get mad enough so that this will all change.

  7. Many of us wish we could be there with you. Your writing has made us feel a part of what you are doing in Taiji. I can’t thank you enough. I am also very grateful for your tweets. I pass them along to my friends as soon as they arrive on Twitter. They, in turn, pass them along to their friends. You are reaching many.

    Warmest Regards,
    Holise E Cleveland III

    “It is worth remembering that the time of greatest gain in terms of wisdom and inner strength is often that of greatest difficulty.” – Dalai Lama

  8. cwlumpo says:


    Thank you for what you are doing. I cry every time I see this, but we will never give up until it has stopped. Even in their death, the dolphins will not let the killers of Taiji hide behind their blue tarps.

    Stay strong.

    Cheryl Walenty

  9. Regina says:

    Dear Martyn,
    its so important that you are there and show this japanese shame to the rest of the world. My admiration to you and the other cove guardians. I´ll try to be a part in Taiji next year.
    Take care and my heart is with you.
    greest from germany

Leave A Comment...