by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .
Photo: Sea Shepherd

With the start of the dolphin hunt season in Taiji this month, we’ve recently told you about Ric O’Barry and Save Japan Dolphins’ presence at the cove and unforunately, the first dolphin slaughter of the year. Now, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has announced that their Operation Infinite Patience has officially begun.

Yesterday, Captain Paul Watson wrote on the Sea Shepherd site that the first Cove Guardian is now in Taiji. According to Watson, crewmember Rosie Kunneke  is on the ground in Japan and will be leading the campaign. “Rosie, a native of South Africa, arrived in Japan this past weekend to continue to document and expose the dolphin slaughter in this small Japanese town without pity for cetacean life. It is here that dolphins are caught and sold into enslavement into marine theme parks all over the world, while the Cove turns scarlet as the dolphins deemed unworthy for human amusement are cruelly slaughtered.”

Captain Watson goes on to explain the difficulty of preventing the slaughter of the dolphins while in Japan, a very different scenario than their anti-whaling campaigns in Antarctic waters. “It is a campaign that takes place in Japan and that in it of itself imposes significant obstacles…How can we stop the slaughter without breaking the law?…We need to stay within the boundaries of the Japanese law and Rosie has the discipline to ensure that the Cove Guardians do just that…I have always maintained that the one language that our opposition clearly understands is the language of economics. We must make the hunt more of a financial liability and negate all profits from the slaughter. This means increasing Japanese security costs, motivating consumer boycotts of Japanese products, and keeping the spotlight on this ugly blemish on the entire Japanese society.”

Kunneke reported from Taiji that she had been thoroughly searched at the airport and questioned by police when she attempted to view the cove. “The police now has a form that must be completed indicating why you are visiting Taiji, what you are planning to do, where you are staying, and how long you intend to stay. I informed the police who I was, and as expected, they became really concerned on hearing I am here for Sea Shepherd. The questioning changed to whether I was alone and when more people from Sea Shepherd would arrive. After taking all of my information, they informed me that I would be questioned again.”

Captain Watson said that they are still in need of Cove Guardians to go to Taiji. He reminded anyone interested that it would be completely voluntary and at your own cost and risk. If you’re interested in being a Cove Guardian, you can send an email to

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

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  • romika3

    “Watson goes on to explain the difficulty of preventing the slaughter of the dolphins while in Japan, a very different scenario than their anti-whaling campaigns in Antarctic waters. “It is a campaign that takes place in Japan and that in it of itself imposes significant obstacles…How can we stop the slaughter without breaking the law?…” Here Paul Watson goes on the record that he and the SSCS are breaking the law in the southern Ocean.

    • Username required

      Ha ha ha … oh, for goodness sake, no he does not.

      The Whale Sanctuary in which the Japanese slaughters is 1,000s of miles away and International waters where Japanese cannot carry out is abuses. Taiji is dry land and Japanese territory, where they can twist and exploit their own laws.

      Next you will be telling us that the Japanese government only holds people in prison for 23 days

      without trial,
      without charging them,
      without offering bail, and
      without proper legal representation

      because they are a wonderfully hospitable people which a high regard for foreigners and human rights … rather than to torture, interrogate, shame and elicit false confessions.

      • SS Fan

        I thought in western countries like USA and UK people are held in prison forever for no good reason. They fly suspected terrorists to other countries and interrogate them there. They claim they are not breaking national law, as it is done out or their jurisdiction…

        In Japan you have to release a suspect if you can’t charge the person during that time frame. But in other countries, you can extend “detention without trial” for one year or more. Germany and France are such countries.

        Oh yes, and you can certainly say there’s good hospitality in Japanese prison! Poor people sometimes commit crime because they want to go to prison where they will receive good care.

  • SS Fan

    It appears that SSCS and other organizations cannot find many people who go to Taiji as Cove Guardians. They only have 2 now, while they had 5-10 throughout the last season. Also the mainstream media are not reporting on the issue as much as they did last year.

    I wonder why this is the case. Is it radiation? Heavy policing? Fear of natural disaster? Any ideas?

    • Alana Roberts

      Cost! Plane tickets are at an all time high!

      • SS Fan

        Is it so different from last year? It usually cost 1000 Euros from Europe to Japan.

  • AO

    Unfortunately the interest seems to vanish. Here is hope it can be build again – tho if you think that Japan has severe problems to overcome one would think they’d stop this Taiji-Hunting to care for their problems… it seems they just don’t want to learn.

    When it comes to be a guardian: I’d love to – but it is just to expensive for me. The flight alone is around 1000 Euro. I don’t even earn 1000 Euro per month.

  • King Ghidorah

    SS Fan. Your comment that people are held in Prison for no good reason in Western Coutries is highly misleading. While it is no secret that you could be held in prison, i know for a fact that the police must have the proper paper work and warrents to arrest you. (unless you actually commited a crime). As for extending the time frame, again, to actually detain someone would require permits, so there is a whole process. Not only that but you are given access to a lawyer at almost all times.

  • King Ghidorah

    Are the ticket prices different from last year? No. But 1000+ or even 500 dollars is a lot of money. I highly doubt most people would have the finances to go there year after year. Have people done that? Yup, the ones who are truly dedicated and commited to the cause and who do have the proper finances to do it.