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The purpose of this blog is to update stories from The Voice of the Dolphins and to tell some of the amazing stories that did not make it into the book. Please visit our website www.hardyjonesdolphins.com

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Two Years After the Cove - Taiji Still Hunting Dolphins

 By Hardy Jones, photo by Dieter Hagman, Atlantic Blue

Nearly two years have passed since The Cove won an Academy Award. There was great hope that the force of the film would end the killing at Taiji. It has not. Fishermen continue to “harden” the cove. A new slaughterhouse has been built, indicating the fishermen have no intention of stopping their brutal business. They believe, according to a highly knowledgeable Japanese expert, that they have “defeated The Cove.” There are some noteworthy changes at Taiji this fall. The number of dolphins killed is significantly down and the main victims have been Risso’s Dolphins. We are investigating why this is so. It may be that warming ocean temperatures are redistributing dolphin prey. Where the prey goes dolphins must follow. BlueVoice is investigating.

The following is a report from Dieter Hagmann, German director of AtlanticBlue and admin for BlueVoice’s European website. BlueVoice contributed funds to Dieter’s mission.

Dieter Hagmann Taiji Report 11/11

I think the new constructions are a reaction to the observation from the last season, especially the observation with the hidden camera in January this year. http://bluevoice.org/webfilms_killingattaiji.php
The new tarp area in front of the old one is for me a note that the fishermen plan to extend the protection of the cove. According to my observations, the new tarps are not in use until now. Perhaps the new tarps will only be used for big slaughters in the future.

A further new construction is the area on the left side of the cove. It consists of metal posts and wire mesh. On the top there are wooden slats. The fisherman had big problems with jumping dolphins in this area in the past. I believe that the reason for this construction is to avoid the dolphin jumping on the rocks in this area. I documented this several times, last in January this year. Especially the Striped Dolphins have the behavior to jump on the rocks in panic. I think the fishermen will do anything to avoid cruel records and documentations. Both constructions - the new tarp rows and the new construction wall on the left will help the fisherman in future to obstruct the documentations. Additionally I will send you a picture with the entrance door of the cove area. This door is also new constructed and over two meters high.

It seems to me that the fisherman will continue the killing in the future.

My work in Taiji was difficult. I was observed every day by police. The police checked me several times on the tsunami hill or in the area next to the hill. Two times they controlled (searched) my body for illegal devices. They found nothing... It is not forbidden to go on the tsunami hill, but it is not allowed to go behind the fences on tsunami hill. The police have seen me countless times on the hill, but never in an illegal action.

Hardy’s question:
“It seems all they are only killing are Risso’s dolphins. Do you know why that might be. Also the number of dolphins killed is very low."

According to my observations so far only Risso's dolphins were caught and killed. On 13 November, however, two rough-toothed dolphins trapped but not killed. They were released (no license to kill).

Hardy note: After Dieter's writing a pod of Striped Dolphins was massacred.

Why only Risso's dolphins? I do not know. I'm sure that other species are not spared. Maybe time will only be won until the conversion work completed in the cove. Until then, perhaps only Risso's dolphins are killed. Risso's dolphins are not "Flipper"-dolphins ... you know what I mean ...

Hardy Note: It is possible that changing water temperatures are causing other species – bottlenose and pilot whales – to seek food in areas away from Taiji. We can only pray. If you read my Blog on Iki you’ll have seen that dolphins, once so plentiful at Iki Island, Japan are no longer found there. http://hardyjonesdolphins.com/blog.html October 3, 2011

Yesterday I sent you a video with my best scenes from Taiji. I hope you have no problem to download the file (1 GB). You can use the video for your work.

Hardy: Great thanks to Dieter for his courage and tenacity

Hardy Note: will be posting this video shortly

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