1-4 – BLUE
5 – On the first hunt of 2018, a pod of melon-headed whales was driven into the Cove. Initially, the pod was very large, Cove Monitors witnessed the vast majority swimming frantically away to open ocean, but thick black smoke still billowed from the banger boats who were chasing after the remaining dolphins. The pod fought hard and tried several times to escape, but it only made the hunters rev their engines louder and drive them in more forcefully. Once they had been netted in, the dolphins clung together tightly, swimming in circles, in their last living moments as a family. Skiffs then aggressively pushed them under the tarps to their deaths. Cove Monitors witnessed one panicked individual trying to evade the killers before a diver then launched himself at him, tied a rope around his tail, and dragged him back to the killing beach to be slaughtered. There was lots of loud thrashing, before three skiff emerged dragging along dead bodies of the dolphins who were swimming wild and free just hours ago. This was the seventh pod of melon-headed whales to be driven in this season, and all 16 of them lost their lives today.
6 – BLUE
7 – Cove Monitors were concerned this morning when no other banger boats followed the three that first returned to the harbor. Sure enough, a formation soon emerged from the South, thick puffs of black smoke hovering above the boats. It took them a while to drive the pod all the way to the mouth of the Cove. By which point, we could tell that the dolphins were completely exhausted from being chased so far by how slowly they were swimming. They used all their strength to keep going, but were shoved under the tarps very quickly. As the thrashing began, some stray dolphins swam around erratically. One individual got caught in the nets in a panic, until a diver tied a rope around its tail and handed it to a hunter on a skiff. The dolphin continued to struggle desperately as it was then dragged under the tarps to its death. Skiffs left the Cove shortly stacked with dead bodies covered with tarps. Another pod of Striped dolphins was decimated today, a total of 21 dolphins were slaughtered. Now to be butchered into slabs of meat for human consumption.
8-11 – BLUE
12 – A family of Risso’s dolphins was destroyed in the Cove today. Banger boats congregated in the East and started driving the pod towards Taiji at 8:15am. Soon after that, the pod somehow split into two groups, so the banger boats split too and pursued both sections of the pod. The first part of the pod appeared to be younger by their darker color. When they were netted in the Cove, they swam around frantically, one of them become increasingly distressed slapping the surface of the water with its tail as it became entangled in the nets. The second part of the pod were then chased in and the family were reunited, little did they know it would only be for a short while. The whole pod swam around in circles in panic, led by their older leader of the pod, looking for a way out. Then, the trainers arrived. Cove Monitors witnessed divers launch onto a dolphin, manhandling it as it struggled, then pass it over to the hunters who trapped it in a net and took it under the tarps to be transferred for a life in captivity. The rest of the pod were shortly driven under the tarps and the loud thrashing began. At least one dolphin was alive witnessing their whole family be murdered, but in fact 6 Risso’s dolphins were being put in slings ready for captivity whilst the slaughter was occurring. Two skiffs emerged from under the tarps with 6 live dolphins alongside trainers who stole them from their homes in the ocean to incarcerate them in tiny sea pens. Two more skiffs then left, but this time, with dead dolphins. A total of 10 were slaughtered today, in addition to the 6 dolphins that were selected for captivity.
13-15 – BLUE
16 – A pod of 24 Striped dolphins were slaughtered for their meat this morning. After an extremely long drive, everything happened very quickly once they were netted in the Cove. The thrashing began almost instantly. Cove Monitors witnessed dolphins panic as one became entangled in a net and driven over by a skiff, and another dragged under the tarps by a rope tied around its tail. The thrashing got louder and louder. It was unbearable to listen to the dolphins struggle as they drowned in their own – and their family’s – blood. The water crimsoned and began to seep out from underneath the tarps. Eventually, the thrashing subsided and was replaced by the sound of throwing dead bodies onto the skiffs. Through a gap in the tarps, Cove Monitors saw the face of a dead dolphin lying lifeless on a pile of bodies. Once swimming wild and free, now to be butchered for human consumption.
18 – It was an extremely traumatic day for dolphins in Taiji today. Two species – two families – were harassed and massacred. Firstly, a pod of Striped dolphins, including a calf. After putting up a tough fight during the drive, these dolphins, in exhaustion, finally succumbed to the hunters pursuits and were forced into the Cove. Even once netted in, the hunters continued to throw lead weights at the pod and imitate the banging sound of the banging boats to further threaten them. The family huddled close together, the calf never leaving its mother’s side, before the hunters chased them under the tarps by aggressively revving the engines of their skiffs at them. Cove Monitors witnessed a few dolphins throwing themselves at the rocks in a panic, meanwhile divers were grabbing at others and tying ropes around their tails to hand over to the hunters who would then drag them to their deaths. The distressing sound of thrashing began and continued for several minutes, followed by the sinister sound of bodies being thrown onto a skiff, before it then left the Cove covered in tarps. A total of 15 Striped dolphins were slaughtered today, including the calf. But the hunters weren’t finished yet.
As the first pod were being driven closer to the mouth of the Cove, Cove Monitors had noticed a second group of boats in formation driving from the South. They were charging after a small pod of Risso’s dolphins, who were also putting up a strong fight, as the banger boats circled behind them several times as the pod made efforts to escape. Like the Striped pod, as they were netted into the Cove, these dolphins had weakened, swimming much more slowly than before. And again, the banging continued, but this time because one determined dolphin had escaped and tried to make a getaway. The hunters greedily persisted and managed to trap the individual in with the rest of his family, and then pushed all of them together under the tarps to be slaughtered. One individual got caught in the nets, at the same time as a diver wrestled with its tail in attempt to tie a rope around it. The dolphin managed to free itself and kick away the diver, but unfortunately swam in the direction of the beach, where he was then killed. A total of 6 Risso’s dolphins were murdered, in addition to the 15 Striped dolphins that had been decimated earlier that morning,
A transfer of 6 dolphins also took place.
19-20 – BLUE
21 – The sixth Striped dolphin pod were driven into the Cove and slaughtered. As the banger boats drove the pod in closer, the dolphins became more and more determined to try and flee from the hunters, resulting in the pod splitting into two. One half of the pod successfully broke free, swimming out to open ocean at full speed! However, the other half weren’t so fortunate. The banger boats remorselessly hunted them down, revving their engines, black smoke billowing behind them. They netted the dolphins into the Cove fairly quickly, although unbeknownst to the hunters, a couple of stragglers swam outside the nets, helplessly watching their trapped family members. As the hunters lifted the nets to push the few outsiders in, they started swimming as fast as they could out of the Cove. Two skiffs charged after them, but returned empty handed. Another few dolphins had escaped. Unfortunately, the others’ fate was sealed. Shortly after being pushed under the tarps, the thrashing began and the water started to cloud with blood. 16 Striped dolphins were stolen from the ocean and brutally slaughtered.
22 – A family of Risso’s dolphins was slaughtered in the Cove this morning. Everything happened extremely fast – the banger boats hadn’t even been hunting for an hour before they came across this pod. The Risso’s weren’t giving in easily though. They made several attempts to escape and swim away, but the hunters were relentless and charged after the pod every time. When they were netted into the Cove, it was clear that there were some younger pod members due to the lack of white scaring from feeding on squid on their darker coloured bodies. The pod swam tightly in circles and tail slapped the surface in panic as the skiffs revved their engines to drive them under the tarps. The docile dolphins reluctantly succumbed and all 12 of them lost their lives in the Cove today.
23 – BLUE
24 – The seventh pod of Striped dolphins this season was driven into the Cove and slaughtered. It was a very quick drive – Cove Monitors saw the formation within 45 minutes of the boats leaving the harbor. The white splashing indicated that this was a bigger pod, and as they got closer they could be seen porpoising and jumping out of the water frantically as they were being chased. A portion of the pod were able to escape, but the banging from the banger poles and the lead weights thrown from the skiffs forced the other dolphins closer to their deaths. This Striped family huddled together as they were netted in the Cove and panicked as they were separated into groups. Individuals were tied to skiffs by their tails and dragged under the tarps to be killed. As the dolphins thrashed, blood seeped into the sea. Skiffs shortly left the Cove with hunters sat across the bodies covered with tarps. One dolphins lifeless rostrum peered out from underneath. A total of 34 Striped dolphins were slaughtered today, now to be reduced to slabs of meat.
25 – A small pod of 6 Risso’s dolphins was driven into the Cove and slaughtered this morning. Despite the small number of dolphins, all 12 banger boats congregated to drive this pod in, but it seems they were trying to get their work over with – a Japanese-speaking Cove Monitors heard a hunter say, “let’s do it quickly”. Risso’s dolphins are docile beings, and in this shallow, alien environment, they were swiftly pushed under the tarps once netted in to the Cove. There wasn’t even any loud thrashing, although we did hear one Risso thrash against the side of a skiff as it had mostly likely been tied up by its tail. Only minutes later, a skiff appeared from under the tarps dragging along all 6 bodies. A hunter then threw a tarp over them and sat across it in attempt to conceal the bodies, but they couldn’t avoid revealing their lifeless bodies as they were transferred to a banger boat.
26 -29 – BLUE
30 – A pod of 51 Striped dolphins was brutally murdered. The level of cruelty that was inflicted on these animals was unimaginable. Many dolphins threw themselves at the rocks in panic, cutting their skin and bleeding out in the process, before divers came and tied ropes around their tails and handed them over to the skiffs. Hunters then dragged the still-living dolphins under the tarps to their deaths as they struggled and thrashed against the boat. One diver found a dead dolphin wrapped in the nets, its lifeless body was then also dragged by its tail under the tarps, another individual, was trapped between the net and the rocks in the blood of its dead pod members, took its last breath and floated upside down. Each of these dolphins was tortured, harassed, and mutilated before finally being massacred in front of their whole family. The slaughter lasted at least an hour, and the Cove was stained bright red. There are no words to describe the devastation that occurred here today.
31 – BLUE