Friday, March 2, 2012

The View From (and of) Taiji

As you may already know, Taiji's dolphin slaughter has ended for the year. The banger poles have come off most of the boats (they spend the rest of the year as regular fishing boats), the structure they use to hide the butchery has been dismantled, and they're moving on to the pilot whale slaughter and bonito fishing.


Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians will still be on the ground for at least the next month or so to evaluate the situation and plan future campaigns, a rather daunting task when the future of Taiji itself seems so uncertain.

Anyone who spends a significant amount of time in Taiji, will come to notice three things:

1. Taiji is beautiful.
2. Taiji is poor.
3. Taiji is dying.

I'm no economist, but it seems to me that these states should be mutually exclusive; if you have beautiful land, invite people to look at it, then charge them for the privilege. Make all food and drink walking distance from the gorgeousness obnoxiously expensive. This would lead the people who live there to be proud of their home and encourage other people to visit, or move there, instead of moving out at the first opportunity.

The problem with Taiji is that for every this:

There is this:

For every this:

There's this:

For every this:

We see this:


You get the idea.

For bonus cognitive dissonance, please scroll back up to the top two images. That's the cove. When you turn right you see beautiful water and mountainside...netted and barricaded so the dolphins can't get in and humans like us are less likely to get out. Turn left and you have signs warning you away because of "falling rock". At the risk of stating the obvious, there is no falling rock. There is falling respect for Taiji with every photo and video released from the cove. There is a falling standard of living. There is a falling population. Clinging to the dolphin slaughter and the pittance the Japanese government gives them to subsidize it won't change that.

I genuinely believe Taiji's dolphin slaughter will end in our lifetime. It's just not financially sustainable. The children of Taiji are uninterested and moving away. Without them to pick up where their parents leave off, it will just die. I'm hopeful Sea Shepherd and other conservation organizations will be able to expedite the demise of this abhorrent practice.


Kirsten Massebeau said...

What an excellent article! You are so right. I see pictures of Taiji and it saddens me that the vision of the blood filled cove always overwhelms the beauty of Taiji. I too believe that if they were to stop murdering the people of the sea they could take down all the fences. I believe people you come from all over the world to see the beauty instead of the terrible sadness of dolphin suffering.

Richard Mann said...

Brilliant! Fantastic writing. There is no defence or justification for slaughtering the very Species that HELP AND SAVE US if We are in trouble at sea.

Seitan Said Dance said...

Thank you, Kristen and Richard. It's heartbreaking, but hopefully it will end soon!