Sea Shepherd Conservation Society announced today that their Cove Guardians are on the ground in Taiji, Japan for their fourth consecutive year documenting the slaughter of dolphins at the now infamous cove.
The annual six-month hunting season begins on September 1st, claiming the lives of thousands of dolphins each year. Those who are not killed are sold and transported for captivity.
Cove Guardian leader Melissa Sehgal and Cove Guardian Scott Cator have already arrived at the cove, and so has a police task force monitoring the Sea Shepherds. There are also already signs that the drive hunts, slaughter and dolphin trade for captivity are about to begin. The organization writes, “Preparations for the upcoming killing season have been observed throughout the town — tarps draped at the entrance to the Fisherman’s Union, banger poles painted and ready for mounting, and the killing floor of the butcher house ready to process dolphins.”
“Despite the telltale signs of the imminent slaughter, many remnants of the disgusting summer in Taiji remain, in particular a swim-with-the-dolphins experience that continues throughout the summer within the Cove. This program allows children to swim with the captive dolphins in the precise spot where the dolphins were ripped from their families,” they add.
Sea Shepherd says that they will have more presence than ever at the cove this year, “to document and expose the horrific dolphin slaughter in Taiji, ground zero of the captive dolphin trade.” Last year, the Cove Guardians streamed live from the cove during hunts and captures. This year they will be live streaming from the Sea Shepherd website, which they say will allow supporters to easily access the video from anywhere in the world.
If you want to see the cove through the eyes of the Cove Guardians, tune in tonight. At 5pm PT/8pm ET (August 30th 9am, Japan time), Melissa Sehgal will be live streaming a walking tour of Taiji. It can be watched here: http://livestream.seashepherd.org.
As the hunt season kicks off, so do more than 100 protests this weekend as part of Japan Dolphins Day, an annual event organized by Ric O’Barry‘s Save Japan Dolphins, and Save Misty the Dolphin. To find an event near you, please visit JapanDolphinsDay.net. Leilani Munter will be joining in the demo in Tempe, AZ. Where will you be?