Saturday, August 27, 2011

Countdown to the Cove

Many who know me are aware that I am absolutely enamoured with dolphins. To the point that I will make you stop the car so I can try and take a picture of them swimming, and squeal excitedly whenever I see a pod. I don't remember when my love for the animals first started, but I do remember the day that my heart broke for the dolphins.

I am an avid proponent of boycotting dolphinariums and such similar programmes. Dolphins do not belong in a pool, they belong in the sea. Animals of such intelligence simply do not do well in what is essentially the equivalent of us living in a room full of mirrors. I've written a few blogs about the dolphinarium in Hurghada (here and here), and what started me on my path to awareness of the plight of dolphins was a powerful documentary 'The Cove.' Watch online for free here.
Where the dolphins belong - in the wild

It's that time of year again, the time of year where countless numbers of dolphins are rounded up and brutally slaughtered in Taiji, Japan. A campaign has been launched on Facebook by animal rights activists around the world, yet there are a meagre 2,400 in attendance. Have we all forgotten? Must The Cove replay every year to incite a few months of outrage, then be allowed to happen again. Have you, Hurghada, forgotten that four of your "beloved dolphinarium" dolphins were brought here as a result of this slaughter? Please, do your part, and share this event and maybe together we can hope to save some innocent lives this September.

Countdown to the Cove:

Around the world, September signals the start of school...yellow school buses, children with new sneakers, lunch boxes and sharpened pencils...

In the small coastal town of Taiji, Japan, September signals the start of something sinister... The annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins.

For the first time ever, in 2010 -2011, Cove Guardian Activists from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins were in Taiji every single day of the dolphin slaughter, which ran from September to March...yet the tragedy continues...

The activists witnessed day after day, week after week, month after month, as pods of dolphins were hunted and driven into the Cove by fishermen using high-tech gear. Terrified and exhausted, the dolphins were systematically and brutally bludgeoned to death. Dolphin calves swam in their mothers' blood. By the end of the 2010-2011 "drive hunt" season, 850 dolphins were killed in the Cove. Another 171 were sold into captivity after witnessing the murder of their families.

Had they attempted to intervene, the Cove Guardians would have faced jail or deportation, neither of which would have benefitted the cause of raising awareness about the Taiji dolphin slaughter. Instead they harnessed the power of social media and reported the devastation in the Cove to activists all over the world in real time. In turn, these activists made thousands of calls, sent thousands of emails and faxes, and organized protests at Japanese Embassies across the world.

The presence of the Cove Guardians was felt - our voices were heard. The brutal killers of the Taiji Fisheries Union struggled to conceal their savagery behind blue tarps, but they were not successful. The world bore witness to the senseless killing of some of natures most beautiful and intelligent creatures.

Working with the Cove Guardians over a five day period in December, the facebook community Save Misty The Dolphin was able to help secure better captive conditions for a very sick dolphin named Misty, who had been left to die in a backyard pool. Suffering from a lung infection, Misty floated listlessly in blackened water until a non-stop calling campaign forced his captors at Dolphin Base Resort to move the animal to a clean pool and provide better veterinary care for him.

As the Countdown to the Cove is underway, we ask you to make a commitment to the vulnerable dolphins of Taiji. Please do what you can on this list to help stop the slaughter:

1. Watch The Cove Documentary and share it with at least one friend

2. Take ACTION - Every time there are dolphins in the Cove, thousands, if not millions, of people all over the world are needed to call, e-mail, and fax Taiji and the Japanese Embassies. Please use our Taiji Urgent Contact List:

3. Please sign and share our petition:

4. Participate in a protest outside of your Japanese Embassy on September 1st
We have created a separate facebook event: International Day of Protest for the Dolphins of Taiji. Please sign up for the event at

5. Consider volunteering as a Cove Guardian through Sea Shepherd Conservation Society or Save Japan Dolphins

6. Support the Cove Guardian Campaigns of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society or Save Japan Dolphins with a tax deductible gift


Throughout the Taiji Dolphin Slaughter Season, The Save Misty the Dolphin community will bring you daily facebook updates directly from the Cove Guardians - along with specific ways YOU can help. PLEASE become a part of our facebook community and also join our facebook event COUNTDOWN TO THE COVE. The dolphins need you now!

Thank you.

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