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Sea Shepherd: The Cove Guardians Have Arrived in Taiji

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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 coveguardian@seashepherd.org.

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