by Captain Paul Watson:
In 2003, Sea Shepherd brought the issue of the dolphin slaughter to worldwide attention. In October of that year we sent photographer Brooke MacDonald to Taiji. Her pictures appeared on the cover of newspapers around the world and her video was aired on CNN.
Yet the killing continued.
In November two Sea Shepherd volunteers including Sea Shepherd Global Director dove into the Cove, cut the nets and freed 16 Pilot whales. They were both arrested and spent a month in prison and were fined $8,000.
And the killing continued.
In 2009 Louie Psihoyos and Ric O’Barry made a documentary film called The Cove. It won the Academy Award for best documentary film and exposed the horror of Taiji to hundreds of thousands of people.
Yet the killing continued.
Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians were on the ground every year since 2009. Seven years for six months, a total of 42 months on the ground, livestreaming, witnessing, filming, photographing, protesting, monitoring – watching dolphins die and unable to do anything to physically stop it.
During that time we sent in hundreds of volunteers.
After yet after 14 years the only dolphins saved were the 16 freed when Sea Shepherd cut the nets in 2003.
Since 2014 Japan has been denying entry to Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians eliminating 100% of our Cove Guardian leaders and most of the volunteers.
This year, Japan has made Sea Shepherd tactics subject to charges of terrorism. Under the new laws, 2 people with a camera may be charged with terrorism.
This is, to put it bluntly – insane!
These official decisions have convinced me that we are dealing with a psychopathic attitude where every single obstacle is being thrown into the path of anyone who opposes the mass slaughter of dolphins in Taiji.
Since September 1st, Sea Shepherd has received some criticism for not being in Taiji this season. This criticism is quite unfair. How can the Cove Guardians be in Taiji when they can’t even get into Japan? And how can they expect us to send inexperienced volunteers into a position where they will be charged with an act of terrorism just for being there?
Some critics say that the Dolphin Project is there, so why is Sea Shepherd not there?
It is true that Ric O’Barry has been banned from Japan but very few Dolphin Project Cove Monitors have been denied entry – yet. Sea Shepherd is happy that Dolphin Project people can be on the ground but I predict their freedom to do so will soon be greatly diminished.
The Japanese government wants to remove observers.
The thugs in Taiji are psychopaths completely lacking compassion and empathy for the dolphins. The attached image screams the word – psychopath!
The politicians enabling the mass slaughter are also psychopaths lacking empathy and compassion.
Being on the ground in Taiji now is a fruitless endeavor. Years of documentation and live-streaming have not made a difference. The killing continues and the killers become more entrenched in their ruthlessness to the point that their very identity as Japanese is equated with the merciless massacre of dolphins.
It has become painfully evident to me that they simply have a perverse lust for killing. They do it for money AND they do it because they enjoy it. We can see it in their eyes, this lust for inflicting gross suffering and death.
The Dolphin drives are an organized highly ruthless slave trade. Slavery is where the money is, the meat trade is minor by comparison. They could enslave dolphins without killing any and still make a huge profit. The reason they don’t do so is very simple – they like to kill.
What has been going down in Taiji can only be understood as a form of collective insanity. We cannot expect reason, compassion, pity, empathy and kindness will have any influence on the minds of psychopathic individuals and collectively Taiji has become a community of psychopaths backed up by the not surprising psychopathic politicians, passing laws against compassion, empathy, kindness and pity.
Because of this I came to the realization that continuing to be in Taiji, with the increasingly difficult possibilities of even being there, was becoming very unproductive.
We have achieved nothing since 2003, not a single dolphin saved since 2003. Yes, we have raised awareness throughout the world but Japan does not care what the rest of the world thinks or feels.
Sea Shepherd is not abandoning our opposition to the despicable cruelty and killings. We are simply changing strategies and developing new tactics.
We have 14 years of documentation so there is little that continues to happen that we have not already captured on film. We need to get these images out to the public – in Japan.
We need to develop a Japanese website and Japanese social media. We need to make the Japanese people at least as aware as the rest of the world. We need to develop economic strategies aimed at Japan with a special focus on the Olympics in 2020. We need to research legal options.
Unfortunately we’ve done all that we practically and strategically can accomplish on the ground in Taiji.
We are refocusing and planning for a new strategy.
The Cove Guardians were heroic, steadfast and I appreciate the efforts of each and every person who spent time on the ground there. They suffered harassment and abuse including numerous abuses from the police and fishermen and most importantly they had to endure the trauma of witnessing the monstrous acts of cruelty and murder.
They did all that could have been done within the context of having to do so within Japanese territory under the ever present watch of the police and rejection from border guards.
When I first organized the Cove Guardians I felt confident that it could have success but I did not take into account the one factor that makes it difficult to overcome such a heartless behavior and makes it impossible to deal with the situation in any meaningful way.
That factor is insanity. We can’t reason or appeal to the heart of a Psychopath because we have been looking for something that does not exist – their heart!
We must develop a new and effective approach.