It was a weird day in Taiji today. The police and coast guard were everywhere. The day started just like all the others, up before the sun and a quick stop at the Katsuura fish market to check the catches for the day and off to lookout point we went. The banger boats were way out today, so far south that Bob and I jumped back into the car and headed to another lookout point to see if we could get a better view. No luck there so back we went to the original lookout. Bob had to return the car so he dropped me with the other cove guardians and we just sat and waited. Press, police and coast guard officials were everywhere. Soon the banger boats appeared, and they had dolphins. LOTS of dolphins! We watched for what seemed like an eternity as they tried to herd the dolphins, but where? The gutting barge was moved out into the larger bay, but not near the killing cove. Something was up, we just didn’t know what. After awhile the banger boats scattered…hooray! Most of the dolphins managed to get away. It was an amazing site to see. Swim dolphins swim! Tears fill my eyes just thinking about it all over again. However, 3 dolphins were not so fortunate. The banger boats started to drop their nets right out in the middle of the harbor entrance. Weird. They slowly circled the remaining dolphins and the trainers came out to select the prettiest for a life of doing silly tricks for folks in aquariums and zoo’s. Ever wonder where those mammals come from?
The trainers circled these poor dolphins with nets for about an hour until returning to the pens where the dolphins are kept before they are sold. Only one dolphin was tossed into the training pens. Sadly two beautiful white sided pacific dolphins were then killed, probably drowned, and delivered straight to the slaughterhouse. I have witness 3 slaughters now in the 5 days that I have been here and it does not get any easier. Bottlenose, Risso, and now Pacific white. One slaughter is too many.
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