Inside the Killing Cove – Is there dismay inside the local community!

We have been given this footage and some photos, exposing the inside of the killing section of the Hatajiri cove, Taiji – apparently quite up-to-date – by a local resident, who wants to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. This person meant to reveal the extent of cover-up (literally) undertaken by the Taiji Fisheries Union, to hide what is presently happening in the killing cove.

The killing cove

Inside the killing one

I do not know, if this person has legal access to the killing section of Hatajiri cove or if the images were taken without permission; but this is not of concern to me. The anonymous source expressed confusion about why the Taiji dolphin hunters try to hide so desperately what they claim to be so proud of.

And the source showed deep concern for the reputation of both Taiji and Japan, with all the negative international attention drawn by the “distressful situation” related to the Hatajiri cove. “Many people, even within the Taiji community, are against dolphin hunting and the difficult situation resulting for this rural town”, the source clearly said: “But they do not dare to raise their voices.”

This is why these present images have come to be disclosed by the anonymous local person: “So they could be spread as widely as possible, both internationally and within Japan.” I wish to give thanks and appreciation for the courage of this local person and to those, who made the connection and the communication possible for this sensitive matter.

This is not the place to write a love song…… The cove, Taiji. Japan.

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.

Under blue tarp

We know what you are doing

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……

A new perspective, The Cove, Taiji.

This place just blows your mind. I skype my beautiful wife when i get back to my hotel room after each onslaught and looking at her image on the screen, it makes me feel I’m broadcasting from another planet… The culture here is totally alien to me, I have never experienced anything like it and i have travelled the world extensively.
I watched the cove like everyone else and I was repulsed by what i saw, It was after reading the Sea Shepherd daily blog from Taiji that compelled me to come down here.
The sick videos that appear on facebook and Youtube were enough to stop you eating for a month of sundays, I really had to dig into my pockets and make a conscious effort to get down here.
After a bombardment of killings within the first day of getting here, it gave me no time to reflect, my soul was being destroyed by all this abuse to the very thing I love (The animals)
I was on the hillside high above the killing cove on the morning of the 5th of December and I was watching trainers select dolphins from a trapped pod of around 40.
They were riding around on their backs and choosing the most suitable for their dolphinariums, After selecting 5 for a life of captivity, The fishermen slaughtered the remainder in front of the very trainers who tell you they have no part in it…
They laugh and drink beverages around the campfire on the killing cove beach. The sounds from the dolphins as they are slowly executed are most disturbing and horrific.
They slap and bang their tails frantically while the fishermen drive stakes multiple times trying to find their spines like a backstreet practitioner. The dolphins finally die after 5 painful minutes and you practically throw up while witnessing the violence.

They say the woman trainers have nothing to do with the slaughter

Train them with one hand and kill them with another

These fishermen are no different to the slaughterhouse workers in America Europe and Australia to be perfectly honest with you. Civilized countries carry out these atrocities everyday of the week on Cows, Pigs, Sheep, chickens and anything else that ends up on the dinner table.
Yes these fishermen are scum and the world has its attention on the cove and quite rightly so but, where are the protests outside our own barbaric houses of horror?
Dolphins are cuddly looking creatures that we relate to flipper and any other gorgeous looking pet animal, cows and pigs are just not cute enough to care? If we did care would we not close these houses down?
This dolphin was free this morning, butchered this afternoon.

You can run but you cannot hide...

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in Taiji because this is horrible, worse than I could ever imagine but if slaughterhouses had glass windows would we be as horrified as the atrocities in Taiji?
Fishermen are processing meat like we process our meat. I just want to make sure we stay focused here, Japan has some amazing people, I found out today after talking to them. It is a culture that will NOT change in the near future. Should we set an example on our own doorstep first?
Chickens never see the light of day, Turkeys have their beaks filed down and their toes cut, the weight they develop crushes their bones, Sheep and pigs are shipped off to slaughterhouse all around the world and treated in the worst possible way. These dolphins that are butchered in the cove have had a sense of freedom, Farmed animals would never know what it was like to eat grass and roam free…
I will stand against Japan for the treatment of animals and I would welcome its citizens to stand by me in my own country likewise.
Until then, I’m here to do what I can for the dolphins… I am deeply affected by these atrocities towards nature….


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Lost for words, The Cove, Taiji…

To be honest with you, If I just used the title with a blank page that would sum up how I really feel… Empty. Hate is easily used in everyday terminology but today the definition of hate was understood loud and clear. I raged inside and I crumbled to a pulp. I watched animals abused like no other time in my life. There was a violation bigger than anything I care to remember in the cove today.

This short clip will speak my words for me………. I am without strength this evening….

No empathy to any animal

The disgusting treatment of a species


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Still waters, The cove, Taiji.

December 1st 2010

We have just gone through two days of relative peace in the cove. On the 1st of December a dolphin pod battled against their worst nightmare, man, and won with the help of mother nature. For 3 hours we watched the pod getting away from the molesters only to be rounded up again like sheep and driven towards the cove. As the winds got stronger we realised the pod may get away for good as the boats were struggling against all the elements. Sure enough, one by one the boats picked up speed and headed for shore. We sent the news back home and we danced a merry jig…
After the day before with so many dolphins killed we just experienced one of the lowest lows to the highest high.. It was one of joy and tears..
The pod in their grasp was of around 20, we never saw them flee because of the amount of white horses on the ocean but we could feel their spirit as they went back to their home.
I looked at Kim (one of the guardians) and her face was radiant, she has been so ill here but she was there every morning, I felt that another day like yesterday would demoralize her, Lady luck shone down for sure…. It was a huge tonic…
We went to celebrate and as we packed up our spotting gear and cameras, the boats drove past the rock we were on

The fishermen are defeated this time

Boats come in without their prey

and one of the fishermen stuck his finger up at me, I did not need to retaliate, Mother Nature had done it for me… Its that little man syndrome that makes them kill, They have to prove their masculinity to face life because of their insecurities and low self esteem. To attack animals is the most cowardly act but seemingly they attack their wives too! 80% of Japanese men I’m told are ok with wife abuse. Look at this and you get the whole picture. Pick a fight with those who are less powerful. Their boats are big and strong against the dolphins but when they step ashore they as little men with little dicks! God I hate them……….
Off we went to the whale museum to look at the exhibits to try and get into their culture a little. The place is the animal equalivent of Auschwitz. Absolutely disgusting! There are dolphin and whale fetus in specimen containers covering the pregnancy month by month. 1 month old, 2 month old up to 11 months. Just for this exhibit alone you would kill 11 Orca whales and 11 dolphins just for one glass case!!!
They rob the womb of the fetus

Just so that we know, Right!

Kim was her usual expressive self, full of horror and emotion, it was sickening to see, Then up comes a Japanese couple looking as though “what’s the big deal” They were later seen in the dolphin show eating cetacean meat!

I honestly don’t believe you can change this culture, It has to start from the ground up but it is indoctrinated in the young by the parents, This place has no empathy for which it kills, You can literally buy anything that moves here to eat…
Before we can stop all this barbarism we will loose a great majority of our cetaceans that swim past Japan, What will happen then?

The Whale Museum houses many captive dolphins, They live in pools half the size of a backyard swimming pool in suburban America and there are two dolphins to each pool. I hated seeing them go round and round, I spoke to them and cried a little. I felt embarrassed that I was one the the same species that put them there robbing them of their freedom.

Free in the ocean not long ago and destined to a life in a pool...

I want to say sorry for my species for what they have done to you....

Today was a good day in some ways but this place brought us back down to ground fast….

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Captive dolphins by Martyn Stewart

The Death of a family…….. The Cove, Taiji.

November 30th 2010

Today was extremely hard trying to get a grip on emotions while filming, recording and taking pictures at the same time. I watched a small pod of dolphins, around 10-11 pushed into the killing cove. The pod was nothing like the size of yesterday but size has no meaning here, They are ALL individuals with a right to live. The family huddled together as if they knew their fate and it was heartbreaking. It was almost like they were holding on to each other. You just can’t help getting emotional and a sense of uselessness. I want to swim in there, release them and apologise for my own species.

Point of no return

Waiting for their death

Watching these magnificent creatures trapped into an area the size of a large room with the smell of death would be traumatizing, I wonder what fear they would be going through and what words they would say to each other in their final minutes. I wanted them to know we were there for them in some pathetic way. (I cry as I write this, I can’t help it, the tears are blurring what I write down…) The monsters went in with their small boats and everything was over in 10 minutes. I could hear the engines drive them onto the pebble beach inside the killing cove, One by one they would have been killed as their family unit waited for their turn…………
The locals watch from a viewing area by the toilets with smiles on their faces, The locals stop at the roadside when the boats come in with a pod, The locals know exactly what happens in this shit-hole of a place. Don’t be kidded that these people are not aware of what is happening here. The fishermen all have families and people talk…..

The mercury is working on these bastards

Because of the work the guardians are doing here, the fishermen are learning to conceal their despicable acts. Everything now has thought put into it, concealing is the word here, they are now covering up the bodies as they shift them to the gutting barge with blue tarpaulin. No more will you see the tails lassoed on the side of the boats as they drag their victims away from the cove. The trouble is, we all know what they are doing and they know this is wrong otherwise why hide it? If this is a cultural tradition then show it?

tradition |trəˈdi sh ən|
1 the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way : every shade of color is fixed by tradition and governed by religious laws.
• a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way : Japan’s unique cultural traditions.
• [in sing. ] an artistic or literary method or style established by an artist, writer, or movement, and subsequently followed by others : visionary works in the tradition of William Blake.

I had to go to the butcher house after, I felt duty bound, it was like following the hearse to give my last respects to the animals whose life was so cruelly taken by my species.
I’m amazed at Scott West and his daughter for the endurance they have shown while down here, This is only my second day witnessing these atrocities, Hell knows how they must feel after 3 months!
Tomorrow will show more evil here i’m sure. Without YOUR pressure on the Japanese government this work here would be futile, I thank you for all the encouragment, It is a strength to us all here..
Please keep those calls going to the Emabassy…..
The following organizations have the power to stop this now.Taiji Mayor Sangen…City Hall: phone: 81-73-559-2335 Fax: 81-73-559-2801Taiji Whale Museum: 81-73-559-3732Taiji Fishermens Union (The FU) Phone: 81-73-559-2340Fax: 81-73-559-2821

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The cove, passing of a family by Martyn Stewart
Video to follow soon………..
Captive dolphins by Martyn Stewart

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

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


A battle ground, The Cove, Taiji,

November 28th 2010
I arrived in Katsurra a little after 12:30 pm, Checked into the hotel and met a Sea Shepherd guardian from France by the name of Thomas. He drove Kim and I out to the village of Taiji and of course to the cove. It was a strange feeling seeing all the buildings made famous in the film, The Whale Museum, The dolphin resort, The mayors office. Once we got to the cove it was unmistakable, it was like walking on a film set, the rocks and trees, the beautiful green waters, the railings, the steps to the pebble beach. The place is immaculate, no paper in the street, shrubs and lawns are manicured in the parking area, then you see the off limit areas barricaded by fences that warn you in English that its dangerous here because of falling rocks!!

I could stand here all year and never see a rock fall

The only thing that would fall on your head is bird shit!

I have walked in many old battlefields in my life like Culloden moor in Scotland, Battle of Hastings but this was totally different. The Cove is a battlefield but the enemy to the aggressor is a dolphin, The dolphin does not prepare for battle like the Scots did against the marauding English, This is an enemy that is simply trying to migrate north like it has done for hundreds of years past a victor that has no shame. The dolphins crime is that of eating fish!!! This battlefield is one of complete sadness for all the wrong reasons and I cannot quite put this into proper words yet..

Eerie waters with a secret that is no more

The Killing cove

There is no evidence of any battle because the aggressor does everything in their power to hide the victims. The Police are bought like any corrupt government and its plainly obvious to see. Rocks cannot possibly fall on your head from a hillside 30 feet away from a adequately planted mature hillside. The foliage that grips to the hillside is well rooted and stable. The Police are there every-time the molesters bring in a pod of dolphins to help cover-up the barbaric slaughtering (I will witness this tomorrow I’m sure)
Yesterday I’m told there were 25 Dolphins slaughtered yet you would never know from looking at the water. The cove has an Eery feel to it for sure, very macabre..
Thomas took us to the lookout above the village, here you can see where the banger boats would drive in the pods to the killing cove, You can also see the butcher house and the pens that hold the captive dolphins.
They slaughter the dolphins with one hand then train the others that are bound for dolphinariums in another.
I am NOT looking forward to tomorrow…
A sea shepherds view

View from Mountain pass on the killing cove

I will be giving live updates from the Cove each day dolphins are caught.
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Destination Taiji, Flight to Osaka

November 26th 2010.

I have just finished watching the cove on my iPad while on my almost 12 hour flight, this is the third time I have seen this now and it still repulses me. I know the characters now that hang around the cove including the infamous “private space. Trouble is, although this is an academy award winning film, there are definitely no actors, this is for real.
I still can’t watch the killing of the dolphins completely, I look through gaps in my fingers, the sounds and the red blooded waters that these dolphins struggle for their last breath are some of the most horrific scenes I have ever seen. It keeps posing the question, “how will I cope with witnessing it for real?
The rising sun, Osaka
I was talking to a Japanese woman on the plane as we filled our overhead bins with luggage, she asked me if I lived in Japan and if not where would I be going? I told her it would not be a visit of joy for me and that I was going to Taiji. She did not know Taiji or the film or the slaughtering of the dolphins down there. She said that I should go visit other places instead of “wasting” time and sample the amazing food and country. I told her that my journey to Japan was one of necessity and to bring awareness to people throughout the world, she still did not understand why I would spend time watching fishermen kill dolphins. I told her that after speaking to you, I am more than convinced I’m doing the right thing because I need to affect people like her so that she KNOWS I’m doing the right thing and spending valuable time in the right place.
I said to her that people around the world are repulsed that Japan continues to hunt whales and dolphins on a major scale and that people are boycotting Japanese products because of it. She said that was sad because she has a beautiful country! Did I plant a seed in her? I hope so because this is exactly what this cause is about, people awareness.
It is the people that elect governments and it is the people that can make change, we can stop this if we want to!! I would love to go back to Japan one day as a tourist and not as an activist without the thought of blooded waters.

Please call the Japanese embassies where you live around the world and demand that they stop whaling and dolphin killing. There are phone numbers on my website, please call now before it is too late.

I will be giving live updates from the Cove each day dolphins are caught. Please check out the facebook pages.
Twitter pages found here


Destination Taiji

On the 26th of November 2010 I will be heading to Japan, Taiji. Taiji is the place “the Cove” was filmed, Each September to March an estimated 2000 dolphins are slaughtered in the most barbaric possible way. Sea Shepherd (conservation group) hold a yearly vigil between September and March by sending guardians down there to blog, film and document these horrific atrocities. I feel compelled to help in some way as nature has given me so much in my life that it is time to do something to help. I will be spending all of my time observing, filming, recording and blogging to the best of my ability.

From Osaka to Taiji

The land of the rising scum

I’m not the most calm bloke on the block, crimes against nature this way boil my blood. For many weeks I have been tying to compose myself for this terrifying venture, I am a very impulsive kind a guy but I need to keep many of my aggressive feelings under complete control. If I punch out at these murdering molesting monsters it will do me no good at all. The focus needs to be on making “people” awareness, Only people can make this stop.
I ask you all to pressure the governments that can make this change. Please share everything I write, record and film to as many people as you know. Let them know that this is happening in the 21st century.Please watch the Cove and get involved. Your Kids and their kids deserve to be able to see magnificent creatures roam our beautiful planet. What will you tell your kids when they ask “What did you do to help?” Please share and blog on your social networking sites. We all need to be proactive to reverse the trend of animal abuse. I cannot live in a world without them.

I will be posting updates to my Facebook account when i’m there and on Twitter, Please share as much as you can and Phone the nearest Japanese embassy to voice your concern and demand that they stop Whaling and dolphin slaughtering immediately.

Please call or Write…. Details here….

Martyn Stewart November 23 2010