Each week, Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project will recap events from Taiji. If you’ve missed any events in the past seven days, here’s the place to come for a quick refresher. We will feature the numbers of dolphins captured or killed in the Cove and where the hunt stands vs the quota.
Current Dolphin Drive Season Statistics from Ceta-Base.com:A total of 138 dolphins from two species have been driven into the cove in Taiji since September 01.
Risso’s dolphins: 111 driven; 2 live-captured; 31 released; 78 slaughtered QUOTA: 261
Short-finned pilot whales: 27 driven; 2 live-captured; 10 released; 15 slaughtered QUOTA: 114
The week was off to a great start – the dolphin hunters had been unsuccessful in their chase for 17 consecutive days but on Tuesday, October 21st, the streak ended. Despite heavy rain, a pod of Risso’s dolphins was found and after a 3 hour drive they were pushed into the Cove. About half of the pod was slaughtered while the rest were trapped in outer nets left to watch. The bodies were dragged out of the Cove, and the remaining pod members were driven back out to sea, forced to live without the support of their pod, and carry with them the stress and trauma of witnessing their demise.
Bad weather protected the dolphins in the two days that follow but on Friday the hunters once again found a small pod of Risso’s dolphins, quite possibly the same individuals from Tuesday’s drive. The pod resisted being driven into the Cove and split into two groups. The 12 banger boats were persistent though, and the dolphins became too exhausted to fight against the diesel powered engines. Once netted into the Cove, all individuals were slaughtered.
Weather was calm on the final two days of this week and boats left the harbor in search of dolphins, but dolphins were not found, and the Cove remained blue.
Seventeen days of blue ended on Oct. 21, when a pod of Risso’s dolphins were driven into the Cove. Despite help from the weather, the pod could not escape the dolphin hunters.
After three days of blue, the Cove turned red once more as another pod of Risso’s dolphins were killed. Despite a valiant effort to escape, none survived the drive and the subsequent slaughter.
If you’re in the UK on Nov.6th and 7th, then London is the place to be. We’re aiming to make this the largest demo in dolphin history and we can only do that with your help. Let’s make some noise outside of the Japanese Embassy for the whales and dolphins killed every year in Japan. Organizers are doing a superb job with this event which will feature DJ sets from TBoy & Scott Dickie (Widlkats / You are we). Ric will be there for both the protest and a special screening of ‘The Cove’ on Nov. 6th.