The boats spread out across the horizon and were out of sight. They will travel 20-30 miles offshore where migrating Dolphins pass by. We had a little time so Ric showed me one of his favourite spots down on the rocks. It was down a steep climb onto rocks which have been carved into smooth shapes over millions of years.
We headed back up and I admired the whole view, to my right was gorgeous coastline, to my left, rocky islands, outcrops and hotels and buildings, including those in Taiji.
It’s such a beautiful place. There should be diving, kayaking, whale watching, climbing, boat trips. People would swarm here from all over the world. It’s just immaculate, I wish I’d brought a snorkel, but I’d be arrested entering the water here for ‘Interrupting Commerce’! Instead, a corrupt mayor controls the town and profits from the sale of Dolphins. The fishermen are some of the best paid people in the area, live in the best houses and have a power which nobody seems to be able to crack.
People can’t speak out and oppose what happens, even though many think what happens is disgusting. People fear that they will be ostracised, which is why nobody has the confidence to do anything. The media also twists the truth, saying its a tradition to hunt Dolphins. But it isn’t. Taiji has been whaling since the 17th century, but that has nearly died out. They only started hunting Dolphins in the last 30-40 years.
The tourism, the economy and the pride that community would gain by seeking alternatives would be staggering. There could be so much to see and do here. Shut the museum down, rehabilitate the captive dolphins using money raised from increased tourism, create a sanctuary for other captive dolphins for release, it’s an absolute no brainer.
This place has the potential to be on the world stage for Eco tours and cetacean welfare. But corruption and hostility stands in the way, for now. I honestly believe that if given the chance, some of those involved in the hunts would want to speak about what really goes on if they had no reprisals. Possibly some may want to get out of it. I hope there is some humanity in that community.
The 12 boats will spread out in formation for a better chance of spotting a pod of dolphins. When one sees some, they will lower a huge metal mast into the water. At the end of the mast is a bell shape.
It wasn’t long before we spotted a tiny dot on the horizon heading our way with the binoculars. We couldn’t be sure it was a Taiji boat at first, but Terran and Ric have been doing this for 13 years, they know what to look for.
Sure enough it was. Then we saw another and another from all across the horizon starting to head our way. They are still miles and miles away still so nobody is going to call a blue cove day unless all boats are back, despite the promising signs.