I have been here about a week now and it does not get any easier. Many thoughts and feelings came rushing back to me the moment I arrived back in Taiji. This time the Japanese authorities have tightened up on security and obviously have been trained in detail for this killing season.
Riot police, Coast Guards patrol everywhere when there is a drive happening. Lots more scaffolding has been put in place in the cove and it has become a theatre of tarpaulin and wires.
The gutting barge is not used anymore, They kill the dolphins and slice them up within minutes rather than hours and take them back to the butcher shop covered at the side of the banger boats with blue tarp.
Everything is about concealment, hiding their catch, sneaking between dolphin pens and the fishermen union’s building. They honestly believe that if we can’t take pictures like last year then we will go away, This is where they are so terribly wrong. We know what is going on every time they drive innocent dolphins into the cove, they cannot throw blue tarpaulin over the ocean. We have enough incriminating footage to last a lifetime including the excellent documentary that compelled me to be here called “The Cove”
What amazes me is the money the government is spending to protect these fishermen! I would say that over 2 million USD is spent on policing Taiji this year and why? There are many struggling fishermen in Japan that would not have so much as have a Yen to support their fishing activities.
I believe the bigger picture is the trade the dolphins bring in for live export, They get maybe 500 USD per dead dolphin as opposed to $125,000 for a live one. It costs over 2K per day to take out 12 banger boats, Dead dolphins hardly make it viable.
So who picks up the tab for the riot police that sit in a camper van every day, the special escorts the coast guard provides, The extra police squads that are abundant now? Well, yes you guessed it, The tax payer! Trouble is, here nobody questions it, you would never have an “Occupy Taiji” protest amongst the locals.
The coastline here is amazing as is the country itself. The natural beauty i’m talking about but you don’t see the jet-ski or the surfer out on the ocean enjoying it, not even the waterski, every vessel around the coast of Japan is built for killing. Everybody is out there pulling stuff out of the ocean. Kind of ironic that the Japanese make all the water sport toys in the world with their high powered engines. Not here though, this place is Macabre, there is a sense of evilness… Yesterday 13 Risso’s dolphins were murdered in the cove, 3 hours later I went with Ady Gil on his boat into the cove under the heavy scrutiny of the authorities. It was a disturbing journey filled with emotions that i am not intelligent enough to articulate here.
I will be here again, not because i want to but i feel i have to, Somebody has to write for these dear souls of the ocean and make aware of their plight, I dedicate this to all the passionate people that give up their own money to be here for the animals. I see compassion in their faces and love. I only see hate from the hosts.
This is not the place to write a love song……