Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Cove Guardian in Taiji

One of the hardest things about being a Cove Guardian is not knowing what the day will bring. There could be tremendous relief, or there could be tragedy.
The weather kept the killers in port and I am back at the hotel, writing my blog, and using social media to draw attention to the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji.  
This is what I hope for every day, but my typical day involves waiting at the Cove and hoping not to see the fateful formation of banger boats that will force the dolphins into the Cove of death.  When that happens, all we can do is document, watch, and pray.  
As the boat formation moves closer to the Cove, the option for a good outcome diminishes.  When the nets close the mouth of the cove, the dolphins’ fate is sealed. 
Perhaps a boat with dolphin trainers will come around the corner and enter the Cove. The trainers might pick out a few pretty dolphins who will be sold into a life of slavery at an aquarium.  Before they are transported out of the Cove to the holding pens, these dolphins hear and see their families being murdered.
You don’t need to hear about what happens next.
The Cove Guardians have been criticized because we do not throw ourselves in the water and try to stop the killing, but with 4 women against dozens of hunters, coast guard, and police, our effort would be futile. We would end up in jail and not be able to fulfill our mandate of drawing attention to the plight of the dolphins.   
The strategy we choose must be the one that is the most effective, not the one that gives us the greatest short-term satisfaction. If we choose to focus on saving the life of an individual dolphin, we will be unable to reach our goal of permanently ending this genocide.
If we break the law, we and all future Cove Guardians could be banned from the Cove. The world will hear nothing about the dolphin slaughter and might assume it has stopped.
I will spend the rest of my day communicating with people who will tell their friends and colleagues to never go to an attraction with whales or dolphins.  Please ask as many people as possible to register their objection to the Taiji dolphin hunt by calling the Japanese embassy.
So our days continue. 
Often we don’t know what day it is, but tomorrow it will start all over again.
For the Oceans,

Lisa, Janice and Libby at the Cove

Early Morning in Taiji  - Photo by Libby Miller Katsinis


  1. Great stuff Janice. I remember Carrie writing in her blog how she hated the mornings. I know that feeling. After I saw my first slaughter, I was uncomfortable with the term guardian. I hadn't guarded diddly. I had to remember that the reports back to the public will help draw attention. The fact that they find new ways to cover up things, is evidence that our/your actions are working. It has to be getting to them. To those that want us to cut nets, the fishermen would love it. They would use it to make everyone fighting for the dolphins look like crazed idiots and our fight in Japan would be lost.

    Thank you for being there and telling the story Janice.

  2. Thank you both! You have made a huge difference by sharing what you have seen with the rest of us.