Monday, September 28, 2009

Final Rounds on a Rainy Day

By Richard O’Barry Campaign Director Save Japan Dolphins Coalition

Our friends from the media left yesterday and today, preparing stories that will soon be around the world via the Internet.

We spent the morning going “on patrol,” as I call it. Basically I drive around Taiji, making sure the fishermen know we are there, watching.

I don’t want to cause an incident – it is enough for me to show my face and my camera, and the local fishermen think twice about going out and killing dolphins.

We drove past the Fishermen’s Union office, where yesterday the meat from a Minke whale was sold to the public, but today, a Monday, all was silent. However, I’m sure they knew we were there.

Our Italian friend Pio from Sky TV managed last week to track down the main warehouse in town where the dolphin meat is kept. We drove slowly past that place, as well. (Pio sent in a Japanese friend to buy some pilot whale meat – he plans to test it to determine the species and the mercury content for his Sky TV story.) We then drove past the harbor where the 13 boats are kept that participate in the dolphin drives.

We did not even get out of the car (except at the Cove itself, where we took some photos). It is enough that the fishermen know we are there, and we are watching.

It’s like the old Woody Allen joke: 90% of success in life consists of showing up. I always make a point of showing up in places around the world where dolphin friends are needed. I don’t always know what I am going to do, but the situation there usually suggests what I should be doing. Show up, and the rest is easy.

Our friends from Australia 60 Minutes managed to get the mayor of Taiji to sit down this morning for their cameras (something my son Lincoln and I were unable to do). But the mayor, once on camera, simply said “no comment” to any questions. I think it will make an interesting program!

Tomorrow, we will be leaving Taiji, but a German TV crew is coming to Taiji the next day for ten days. And the fishermen will know that we are still watching.

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Ric O’Barry on the shore of the Cove, with no dolphin drive fishery for several days.
Photo Copyright Mark J. Palmer

One of the beautiful temples in the hills above Taiji.
Photo Copyright Mark J. Palmer

The hills surrounding Taiji during a tropical storm.
Photo Copyright Mark J. Palmer

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