Pilot whale family mercilessly slaughtered at Taiji
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
8th November 2003
At 5:00 P.M. on Friday November 8 in Japan (Nov 7 in North & South America and Europe) - thirty pilot whales were brutally speared and stabbed by Taiji dolphin killers.
The pod had been captured on November 6 and confined behind nets in the bay of Taiji. Two large males tried desperately to protect the pod of females and many young including newborns.
Nik Hensey and television star Billy McNamara, both of the United States, were unable to approach the whales because of gangs of fishermen guarding the nets around the clock. In the early morning hours on Friday, Nik and Billy had climbed the cliffs overlooking the captured whales. They were immediately assaulted by fishermen who threatened their lives repeatedly.
The police finally arrived but once again took the side of the fishermen and refused to act on the complaints of the Sea Shepherd crew that they were being assaulted. The police have erected signs prohibiting photographs and videos, continually restricting the access to the killing area from documentation.
The plaintive screams of the whales echoed through the community of Taiji as the bay turned an obscene bloody crimson with the hot blood of the whales.
Sea Shepherds call for volunteers is being answered.
En Route to Taiji are two volunteers, a Dutch citizen and a German citizen. They are both expected in Taiji within the next two days.
The Sea Shepherd campaign in Taiji has been underway for 42 days. Nik Hensey as expedition leader has been the one volunteer who has been there from the beginning and continues to endure the hostility and the discomfort of being an activist in a hostile territory.
Brooke MacDonald of Canada and Morgan Whorwood of Great Britain left Taiji in late October after three weeks on the front lines. Famed dolphin defender Ric O'Barry arrived during the last week in October for a two-week stay on patrol but was forced to leave on November 7 because of commitments to other dolphin campaigns. He will be returning. Ric was replaced by television actor and passionate dolphin defender Billy McNamara
Both men will be reinforced by two more Sea Shepherd volunteers within the next few days.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is committed to ending the annual slaughter of some 22,000 dolphins and small whales in Japan.
The Japanese are saying we are interfering with their culture and they are right,” says Captain Paul Watson in defence of the Sea Shepherd campaign. "It is our business to interfere with human communities that commit cruelty and slaughter in the name of culture. The right of the dolphins and whales to live, free of fear from human atrocity takes precedence over the rights of any hominid culture. Our answer to the Japanese dolphin killers is to stop waging war on the culture of the dolphins."
For more information on the "Dolphin/ Whale Round-up" go to the website at
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