Monday 20 January 2014

4th Day of the Horrific 250+ Bottlenose Dolphin Drive in Taiji Japan, 3rd Day of Selection Continues

The captive selection was a grueling 8 hours. 
 It took 3 traumatic days for the greedy Taiji fishermen to catch each of the 250+ dolphins
one by on, examine them to determine if they were salable to the captive dolphin industry. 
Those were removed, the rest were marked with white paint on their backs. 
The marked dolphins await their fate on the 4th:  slaughter or release? 
Any released are in very poor condition to survive,
 they have not eaten since before the drive, now 5 days ago.
The unfortunate 250+ bottlenose dolphins continue to be brutalized on the 4th day (I include their traumatic drive to The Cove) of the Taiji dolphin drive, and the 3rd day of captive selection. 

The dedicated Sea Shepard Cove Guardians began their Livestream broadcast early in the morning to document the awful treatment of the huge pod of 250+ bottlenose dolphins at the hands of the Taiji Japan fisherman "killers".

Killers entering The Cove to start the 3rd day of captive selection
The Killers continued their callous selection process to pick the "pretty" dolphins that they can sell for lots of money to aquariums and swim with dolphin programs all over the world, this industry is only about GREED.   The killers were being even more picky on this 3rd day, to find the ones that would fetch the highest prices.  So many of the dolphins have been injured over the last 3 days by the killers who crowded the panicked dolphins into the nets and ran them over with the skiffs, so there are now fewer "pretty" ones to chose from.

Dolphins became agitated as the killers entered the cove.
The 210+ dolphins (40 had already been selected and removed for captivity the 2 previous days) still trapped in the netted off cove were caught by the divers, one by one and manhandled into small nets hanging off the sides of the killer's skiffs.   After being netted, each dolphin is dragged underneath the tarps and examined by the trainers.  If the dolphin passes the examination as being worth money to sell to the captive dolphin market, it is then put into a sling on one side of a skiff.  When a second dolphin is found it is put on the skiff's other side, then both dolphins are taken to the harbor pens.  Later the trainers will work with them to be trained dolphins so they can be sold for more money, several 100 thousand dollars to dolphin shows vs about $500 butchered for meat.

Dolphins fighting to avoid the Taiji fishermen nets for captive selection
Even after 4 days of starvation and dehydration, the exhausted dolphins fight the killers to get away from them as the divers grab them and wrestle them then to be netted and dragged underneath the tarps. There they are examined and their fate determined: captivity or slaughter...with maybe a small chance of release if they are worth too little money.

Killers marked unsuitable for captivity dolphins with white paint under the tarps
 The ones not picked for captivity are painted with white paint on the dolphin's backs or dorsal fins to mark them as unsuitable for sale.  I think it very unlikely that the paint used on the dolphins has  been approved for application on sensitive skin.  Any dolphins "lucky" enough to be released with paint on them, have already had their health severely compromised from the forced 4 day starvation and dehydration since eating fresh fish is how they "drink".  Add that to the extreme trauma of being manhandled, and possible injury in the crowded nets, any adults that are released may have a hard time surviving.

Divers among the dolphins who are trying to avoid getting captured.

Release sounds wonderful for a lucky few, but it is most always the young babies and juveniles who the killers release because they do not want to waste their precious quota numbers on dolphins not "pretty" enough for captivity and the live dolphin market.  Instead of wasting their quota numbers on nursing babies, and juveniles who are too small in weight for butchering as food (making less money for the killers than larger adults) they are usually taken by skiff and dumped out at sea.  There they are ledt to fend for themselves with out mothers to nurse them or adults to care for, teach them or protect them.  Release for these young ones means a lonely death of starvation or predation at sea without their family.  Bottlenose dolphins remain with their family pods for most of their lives so releasing the ones too young will mean death - but NOT count against the Japanese government set quota for the Taiji fishermen.  Again, it's all about GREED.
One Bottlenose dolphin threw herself against the skiff as killers
 approached her during the captive selection
Early on the morning's selection, as one of the dolphins was being manhandled by the divers, other dolphins (it's close family? friends?) clung to it making it harder for the divers to get the net around it and drag it away under the tarps.  Dolphins live in family groups and care for one another, there was a report, with video (HERE) from last January of a group of long beaked common dolphins making a raft of their bodies to help a dying pod member stay above the water so she could breathe.  This is kind of care and empathy for another being is something we usually think of as something only humans do, this is further evidence of how wrong the Taiji killers are to treat sentient dolphins and other cetaceans as mere commodities for sale as entertainment and for meat.

Dolphin surrounded by killers in skiffs as divers manhandle it
to get it into the small net for captive selection

Dolphin manhandled into a net to be examined for possible captivity
 for the rest of it's life or possible slaughter
After a few hours the killers took a break, after the break, a skiff came back to the cove while the SSCG were watching a dolphin all by itself near the edge of one net.   It seemed exhausted and kept sinking underwater only coming up occasionally by poking it's head out of the water to take a breath, then sink back underwater again.  Then, while the CC were watching, that single skiff coming back to The Cove, deliberately ran the injured or exhausted dolphin over!  There was nothing on either side of the net, nothing and the skiff 's operator, instead of choosing a slightly different route, the killer just ran the poor dolphin over.  To the killers dolphins are just swimming money to be grabbed.

Skiff with killers take 2 dolphins in slings to the harbor pen
for a live time of captivity in the dolphin entertainment industry.
After 4 hours of captive selection 8 dolphins had been selected for captivity and taken away in slings to the pens in Taiji Harbor.  A SSCG team keeping an eye on the butcher house where the slaughtered dolphins are taken to be butchered, radioed to let the Livestream narrators know that the butcher house had been prepared to receive dead dolphins when the slaughter begins.

Angel Shoujo now captive at the Taiji Whale Museum after being taken away from her mother
 who remains with the other dolphins trapped in The Cove
Capt Paul Watson called to talk with the SSCG Cove Leader Melissa Sehgal on the Livestream broadcast about this particular 250+ bottlenose dolphin drive, and the mission of the SSCG to help stop the drives.  Paul Watson also talked about calling the albino baby, caught with these dolphins, Shoujo, meaning little girl in Japanese.  Captive Cetaceans SBTS later in the day, posted this on the CCSBTS  Facebook page"Ric O Barry named this baby Angel yesterday after one of his cove guardians said she was like an angel with fins. Today Paul Watson decided to call her Shoujo. As we had been calling her Angel all day yesterday and I am sure Paul Watson would not have known she had already been named. In respect to both great animal advocates who both fight against the Cove, she will be known on this page as Angel Shoujo." 
We will call her Angel Shoujo on this blog.

Killers and trainers warmed themselves by a fire during their lunchtime break
The dolphins had been held for over 72 hours without food
Shortly after that call, the trainers took a break for lunch on the cove beach and warm themselves by their beach fire.  In the meantime, these dolphin's last meal (and water) was probably the day before the drive which was 4 days ago, so 5 days since the dolphin's last nourishment.  Yet the dolphins continue to fight hard to keep from being netted and dragged underneath the tarps.  It was heartbreaking to hear the dolphins calling out to one another through out the Livestream broadcast, their calls sound like urgent bird peeps.

Cove Guardians Kirsten, Tom, Dominick and Ian document from the cove.

Through out what we though would be the last day, the killers kept tightening the main net as they worked through the remaining pod members with their captive selection.  The dolphins not selected to live the rest of their lives entertaining people in aquariums or swim with dolphin programs, were taken to a larger netted area in The Cove with the rest of the dolphins marked with white paint. These exhausted dolphins that have already been through selection, swam slowly, some barely moving.  Eventually all 250+ bottlenose dolphins will have under gone the brutal captive selection, and about 200+ dolphins will be wait for their final fate to be determined by the killers.

Newly captive dolphins jump as new captives are brought into the sea pens
The captive selection of so many dolphins has taken 2 full days and it is nearly now 7 hours on this 3rd day, and the killers are not yet done doing selection with all 250+ dolphins.  Greed made them work most of a day to capture 5 different pods 4 days ago.  Now they have so many dolphins they have to take days to make all the captive selections.  The killers rampant greed catching so many dolphins, more than they can humanely handle, and now the dolphins have to suffer many days of the killers brutal treatment.  There is going to have to be another day, day 5, of the dolphins suffering.  The 5th day (including the drive day) will definitely lead to the ugly mass slaughter of most or all the white marked bottlenose dolphins.  If any of these starving, traumatized dolphins are released, they will be in very poor shape to survive.  Of course that is not important to the killers, as long as those deaths are not counted towards their quota... it is ALL about money. 

The violent process of captive selection is exactly what Marine Parks do not want you to see.
After nearly 8 hours the killers finally finish their captive selections, a total of 11 Bottlenose were taken today, 51 in the last three days.  The trainers leave the cove and the killers stay and reposition the nets keeping the remaining 200+ dolphins in two separate groups, very probably to make tomorrow easier for them.  They also removed the yellow plastic on the rocks that helps keep the dolphins from getting damaged (don't want any potential "pretty" show dolphin damaging itself and losing the killers money) and bloodied as they fling themselves on the rocks trying to escape.  The remaining dolphins getting bloodied and hurt on the rocks won't matter to the killers tomorrow.   The remaining 200+ bottlenose dolphins will remain trapped in The Cove for a 4th night.  This means a 5th day (I include the drive day) of trauma.  Tomorrow, the SSCG stated that they believe that some of the 200+ dolphins will be slaughtered and they hope that some will be released.

200 plus dolphins remain in the cove for a 4th night of suffering - what will tomorrow bring?
Slaughter or Release? Release for some & slaughter for the rest?
As the SSCG ended their Livestream broadcast, you could see those 200+ dolphins swimming in circles in the middle of each of the 2 netted areas, trying to comfort one another with close body contact as they stay far away from the nasty nets and shore.  We could hear the dolphins calling out to one another, it's too bad that the killers would not allow the dolphins to spend their last night together.  Tomorrow will be awful........

~ Kindness for Animals

See and find out more about this incredibly sad day:
  • Sea Shepard Cove Guardian PHOTOS of the awful day - as hard as it is to read and see the photos, the SSCG are witnessing the day in person as it happens.  I don't think I can fully imagine how hard that must be.  Thank you Cove Guardians.

Please read more about this tragic story of the 250+ dolphin pod with a baby albino dolphin that happened over 5 days:
Day 1 - Dolphin Drive Captures 250+ Dolphins Plus Baby Albino
Day 2 - First Day of Captive Selection:
Day 2 - Baby Albino Dolphin, Angel, is Taken First into Captivity
Day 3 - Horrific Second Day of Captive Selection
Day 4This is this post: 3rd Day of Captive Selection
Day 5 - The slaughter of 40 of the remaining dolphins who have survived so far and release and drive back out to sea of the exhausted, injured, traumatized and starving dolphins.

Updated to include this BBC report on YouTube of this 250+ bottlenose dolphin pod.  This has excellent SSCG video footage of the activity in The Cove with these dolphins, you can even catch a glimpse of the young albino dolphin Angel Shoujo towards the end.

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