Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year from Save Misty the Dolphin

It was a 49 second YouTube video.  Some of the footage was shaky and awkward, but one thing that was perfectly clear was that a lone dolphin was floating in a tiny above-ground pool on the grounds of Dolphin Base in Taiji.  The water in the pool was black, and the dolphin, who was clinging to a  dirty yellow buoy, barely moved. This groundbreaking video, taken on December 29, 2010, was a first glimpse behind the walls of the Dolphin Base complex.  It also sparked a worldwide movement now known as “Save  Misty the Dolphin.”

After Andy Romanowski uploaded the video and shared it via social  media, activists got busy.  Adam Filby and Alyson Walsh-Fernandez started a Facebook campaign, Save Misty the Dolphin.  The purpose of the campaign was to put pressure on Dolphin Base to MOVE the dolphin, dubbed “Misty” out of that stagnant pool and into a clean water.  Caring people around the world became involved in the effort.  Thousands of  calls, emails and faxes were logged.  On January 2, 2011, Cove Guardian Libby Miller noted in her daily blog for Sea Shepherd that she had a brief conversation with the vet at Dolphin Base.  Said Miller:

He specifically mentioned that he wished the phone calls and  e-mails to Dolphin Base would stop. His statement indicates that what  the general public is doing by taking the time and making an effort to  call and write to Dolphin Base is actually working! Not only is it  working, but it’s changing things and making a difference. Each and  every one of you is contributing and actively participating to change  Misty’s situation. And for that, we thank you.

On January 4, 2011, Misty was moved to a cleaner pool.  Cove Guardians continued to track his condition until a devastating tsunami hit northern Japan in March 2011.  Volunteers with Sea Shepherd and Save Japan Dolphins, who had traveled to Otsuchi, Japan, to expose the Dall’s porpoise hunt, barely escaped with their lives.  As an international  community, we grieved for the thousands of innocent lives destroyed on  that fateful day. Our thoughts remain with those who continue to struggle to rebuild in the wake of the March 2011 disaster.

Following that first season, our social media campaign grew.  During  the 2011-12 Taiji dolphin hunt, we continued to monitor and report on daily activities in The Cove. Just as the hunt came to a close in February,  Save Misty the Dolphin partnered with Sea Shepherd Hong Kong in a successful initiative to stop the Hong Kong Airlines from transporting  dolphins from The Cove.  Into the spring, we worked with Sea Shepherd  Conservation Society to bring attention to the plight of scapegoated sea lions who are being targeted by Oregon state officials for the act of eating  salmon at the Bonneville Dam. 

Even though the sea lions have been determined to be eating a much smaller percentage of the salmon than are taken by the fishery for human consumption, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife authorized and ordered the branding and killing of California sea lions by lethal injection because the marine mammals are  said to compete with fishermen for salmon on the Columbia River.  The sea lion campaign has revealed not only how our laws and the implementing agencies are out of step with humane - and reasonable - treatment of these sea lions, it was also a demonstration of the fallacy of boycotts.

Just as most people in Japan are not aware of  the Taiji dolphin hunt, most people in the United States are not aware of the Bonneville sea lion cull. If one follows the logic of those who support a boycott of Japan because of the Taiji dolphin slaughter, we would also support a boycott of the United States because of the Bonneville sea lions.  Neither solution is logical, and neither solution will stop the spilling of blood.  Why punish people who have nothing whatsoever to do with Taiji or Bonneville for the actions of a few?  It is our opinion that such actions are not effective and serve only to alienate those who may be in a position to make real change.  In the case of Japan, we believe that the collective voice of Japanese citizens is key to ending the Taiji dolphin hunt.  Earlier in 2012, Japanese citizens gathered for the first time ever to protest the killings in The Cove.  This was a major step for a group of brave activists who stood strong in the face of angry nationalists, who shouted and even spat upon the peaceful protestors. Save Misty the Dolphin applauds these heroes for the dolphins.  We wish them only the best and stand ready to support them as they continue to seek solutions from within.  

July 12, 2012, was an historic day as we were finally able to report that Misty is alive in Taiji.  Months of investigative work preceded this news, which was supported by video and photographic evidence.
Throughout summer 2012, we had the great privilege of working with folks from Save Japan Dolphins and activists around the world to produce Japan Dolphins Day 2012.  On August 31, 2012, caring people in nearly 100 cities around the globe took part in the single largest gathering ever for the dolphins of Taiji.  The video below includes clips from protests around the world and a glimpse of our friend Misty!

As we are now well into our 3rd season of reporting on Taiji, we  want to share some observations.  While watching what happens in The  Cove is nothing short of horrid, we do see change.  Following the recent destruction of a large pod of bottlenose dolphins, there can be no question that what happens in Taiji is at the behest of a greedy captive industry.  When trainers share boats with killers and stand idly by as dolphins are drowned in nets, there can be no question that the captive industry, which claims to care about dolphins, is preserving that industry in full awareness and at the expense of the casualties of Taiji.  We see killers going to great pains to hide their murderous deeds.  We see annual  decreases in the number of animals being killed.  We see dolphin meat sitting unsold on store shelves in Taiji.  We see heroic volunteers from Sea Shepherd and Save Japan Dolphins who bear witness and tell the word about Taiji.  We see the number of people  involved in the cause increasing by many thousands and we believe wholeheartedly that all of these factors will spell the eventual end of  the Taiji hunt.  A compassionate world has very little tolerance for the atrocities of Taiji.

It is the commitment of our 11-member crew to continue doing what we do until that day comes when the waters of The Cove are forever blue and every last one is free, but we know - as we have known from that very first day - that the strength of Save Misty the Dolphin lies not in the members of our social media team, but rather in an amazing community built on six simple words:  Never be silent - never  give up.

We toast each of you in the New Year and wish you only the  best for 2013. Thank YOU for all you do to make the world a better place for vulnerable marine mammals.  

Monday, December 17, 2012


photo courtesy of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

December 17, 2012
Shelley Woods President
Eric Gaglione President-Elect
IMATA 1200 South Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60605-2490 Phone: 312-692-3193 Fax: 312-939-2216 Email:
Re:       Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt Statement of Refusal of Bottlenose Dolphins Caught on December 12-17, 2012, and other Hunts
We write to you as concerned members of the global social media campaign, Save Misty the Dolphin, to request that the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA) act swiftly to issue a statement discouraging its membership from working with any dolphins procured from the dolphin drive hunt in Taiji, Japan.  This statement should include, in particular, 101 bottlenose dolphins taken from a drive hunt that occurred on December 12, 2012.
On December 13, and all days since then, IMATA has received communications from the Save Misty the Dolphin community, and from many other individuals who are concerned about the welfare of dolphins, notifying IMATA of a horrific drive of a large pod of bottlenose dolphins into The Cove in Taiji, Japan.  These emails were generated by thousands of individuals who sent them to you individually and via a petition at
As we notified you on December 13, 2012, and you are, therefore, aware, on December 12, 2012, in Taiji, Japan, a large pod of bottlenose dolphins was hunted and trapped in The Cove.  After reviewing photos and video footage, it appears that this large pod contained approximately 200 dolphins.  Of the 200 detained in The Cove, at least 23 were killed underneath tarps while trainers observed.  Two dolphin calves drowned in nets strung to prevent them from escaping.  At no time does video footage show that any fisherman, diver or trainer made an effort to free the calves as they were drowning.  The 25 dolphins died so that 101 juvenile dolphins could be selected by trainers in The Cove, in a long and torturous process, to become performers for the aquarium industry.  Further, video footage and photographic evidence reveal multiple physical insults to numerous dolphins during the selection process.  Many were bloodied as a result of being run over by skiffs or hit by propellers.  In no instance does footage show that trainers intervened to prevent these injuries or to treat the injured dolphins after the fact.
If IMATA stands behind its claims to be committed to the conservation and appreciation of dolphins, the organization cannot at the same time accept dolphins from any drive hunt. IMATA cannot continue to accept dolphins caught in the Taiji Drive "Fishery" and expect the public to believe that the association is concerned for the welfare of dolphins.  We request that you issue a statement to your membership immediately.  Such a statement should send a clear signal that IMATA, in deed as well as mission, truly supports the appreciation and welfare of dolphins in the wild and that IMATA encourages its members and member facilities to refuse to work with any of the 101 bottlenose dolphins caught and selected in the Hunt on December 12-17, 2012 or any dolphins caught in Taiji, Japan.
Please contact the Administration team at Save Misty the Dolphin - - if you wish to discuss this statement or have any questions regarding this matter.
Save Misty the Dolphin

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Just the FAX: A call to Action for the Dolphins of Taiji


Please FAX this message to the recipients below.  A recent article in the Washington Post highlights the importance of the fax machine in modern communication in the Japanese business culture.  We want to be sure these messages get to their intended recipients, so we urge you to send them via fax.  

We have provided a list of key recipients and the message "PLEASE LET THE DOLPHINS LIVE AND BE FREE.  THANK YOU." in Japanese characters.  All you need to do is cut and paste this message into your fax.

Here is a link to a site that will allow you to send 2 FREE FAXES PER DAY RIGHT FROM YOUR COMPUTER!  YOU DO NOT NEED A SEPARATE FAX MACHINE!  We have confirmed that this link works.  Once at the site, you will need to click on the link to receive the "free call pin".  You do not add in the country code for Japan (81) or any dashes or spaces between numbers.  You must fill out the form completely. Just click on the words "free fax button" to the immediate right of the colon to be redirected to this site : FREE FAX BUTTON


Taiji Fisherman’s Union 
Fax  81-73-559-3018

Dolphin Base
Fax  81-73-559-3514

Hotel Dolphin Resort
Fax 81-73-559-2810

Taiji Mayor Sangen
Fax 81-73-559-2801

Embassy of Japan, United States of America
Fax 202-328-2187

Embassy of Japan, United Kingdom
Fax 020-7491-9348

Embassy of Japan, Australia
Fax 61-2-6273-1848

Embassy of Japan, New Zealand
Fax 04-471-2951

Embassy of Japan, Germany
Fax 49-30-2109-4222



Iruka wo jiyuu ni kurasasete agete kudasai onegaishimasu.

Please let the dolphins live and be free. Thank you.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dear Oceans,

Dear Oceans,

Please watch over 
Our friends the dolphins
Please keep them harm's way
Especially those who pass through
The perilous waters near Taiji
Please keep them safe that they may be
Forever free to swim in your vast
And blue home

~Save Misty the Dolphin

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The dreaded Taiji dolphin hunt looms ahead

A pod of dolphins moments from death in The Cove
photo courtesy of Chasity Reed

September 1 is traditionally the start of the cruel dolphin drive hunt in Taiji, Japan.  During the hunt, a small fleet of fishing boats goes out to sea in search of dolphins.  Dolphin hunters use “banger poles” to create a sound that disturbs the dolphins’ sensitive hearing.  This sound confuses them and makes it easier for the hunters to push the panicked animals towards the shore.  When a pod of dolphins is driven into The Cove, it is netted off.  Some dolphins may be “selected” for training as show animals.  The rest are brutally stabbed to death.  The killing is neither quick nor painless.  The meat, which is toxic, is sold for human consumption.  All of this is documented in the 2010 Academy Award-winning movie The Cove, which was directed by Louie Psihoyos and stars Ric O’Barry.  PLEASE take 90 minutes to watch this movie.  It will change your life.

Once the hunts begin, we invite you to follow the updates at Save Misty the Dolphin on Facebook.  We have been covering Taiji for the last two seasons.  You can expect accurate and timely reporting via the experts on the ground with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins.  Our dedicated team tracks all of the updates from Taiji.  As soon as they are available and verified, you will see them on our Facebook wall along with a request for direct action from YOU.

There are many things YOU can do to help the dolphins of Taiji.  We will provide a comprehensive list of places to call, email and fax to register your objection to the hunt and to request that they let the dolphins LIVE AND BE FREE.

Over the years, our Facebook wall has also become a place of mutual support.  We care deeply about the people in the Save Misty the Dolphin community.  We ask that you please take good care of yourself during the Taiji dolphin hunt.  Please find something beautiful to look at every single day.  Please get outdoors and get some exercise.  Please get enough sleep, and please don’t feel like you need to follow every last post and update out of Taiji.

We ask that you keep things respectful on our wall.  Like Ric O’Barry, we feel strongly that the solution to the crisis of The Cove rests with the people of Japan.  The Japanese government and media suppress the information about The Cove and the toxic mercury in the dolphin and whale meat.  Taiji is a tiny fishing village with a population of about 3,225.  It is about a 7 hour drive from Tokyo.  What happens to dolphins in Taiji is simply not reported throughout Japan.  Likewise, accurate information about toxic mercury in dolphin and whale meat is not made available to Japanese citizens.  It is very important that this information reach the people of Japan.  Knowledge is power.  Armed with this information, it is our hope that the good people of Japan will be able to stand up for themselves and for the dolphins.  All of this said, there is a zero tolerance for racist remarks of any kind on our facebook wall. Such comments will be removed and those who make them will be banned from the page.

Thank you for all you do to support the dolphins of Taiji.  To become even more involved on the front lines as a Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian or a Save Japan Dolphins Cove Monitor, please click on these links:
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Cove Guardians
Save Japan Dolphins Cove Monitors

To learn more about toxic mercury in dolphin and whale meat, please click on these links:
Elsa Nature Conservancy
Oceanic Preservation Society
Save Japan Dolphins
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Please be sure to sign and share the petition created by Melissa Sehgal, urging Yahoo to stop the sale of toxic dolphin meat!

We are all in this together.  Imagine what would happen if everyone around the world visualized a blue cove?  We’ll never know until we try. NEVER BE SILENT ~ NEVER GIVE UP!

The Administrative Team at Save Misty the Dolphin

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Misty the Dolphin is ALIVE!

Misty the Dolphin is Alive!

Today we have obtained a photograph of a dolphin we have come to know fondly as “Misty.” The image was taken in 2012 at Dolphin Resort in Taiji, Japan (Misty is the dolphin on the left).  While we are never happy to see a dolphin in captivity -- especially in Taiji  -- the sight of this particular dolphin brings tears of joy to the eyes of many, many people across the globe.  MISTY THE DOLPHIN IS ALIVE!
We first learned about the plight of a very sick dolphin being held in a filthy pool in Taiji, Japan, on December 30, 2010.  Video footage obtained by Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians Andy Romanowski, Nicole McLachlan and Libby Miller, showed an animal floating listlessly in blackened water.  He clung tightly to a small yellow buoy.  He appeared to be hours from death.  
Within hours, our campaign, Save Misty the Dolphin, was founded on facebook.  Within hours, thousands of people became part of an international movement to get this animal moved into a cleaner pool.  Thousands of calls, e-mails and faxes were logged to Dolphin Base and Dolphin Resort in Taiji.  Sea Shepherd’s Captain Paul Watson even offered to purchase the dolphin, but this offer was rejected by Misty’s captors.  The calls from people around the world persisted.  Members of the staff of Dolphin Base literally begged Sea Shepherd to have the calls stopped.  We wouldn’t be silenced...and in the late hours of the evening of January 3, Misty was moved to a cleaner pool.  
Cove Guardians with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society continued to monitor Misty until the end of the 2011 drive hunt. We watched in horror as the disaster of March 11, 2011, hit Japan. We held our breath waiting for word about survivors. Our prayers were answered when we learned that the volunteers from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins survived the earthquake and tsunami. At the same time, we were grieving for a nation that lost thousands of innocents - all in a matter of minutes. 
Following the tsunami, we had no way of keeping track of Misty.  Then, with the start of the 2011-2012 dolphin drive hunt, there were all kinds of new restrictions in place in Taiji that made it extraordinarily difficult -- and illegal -- to obtain the kind of footage that was obtained by the Cove Guardians in the previous season.
Our team has studied images of Misty for the last several months.  Like all dolphins, Misty has certain identifiable features.  In Misty’s case, these features are a short beak, an overbite and a birthmark above his eye.  We broke down video clips frame-by-frame.  We scoured every obtainable transfer record of dolphins shipped from Taiji, and we reached the conclusion that Misty was still being held at Dolphin Resort.  In early 2012, we had an unconfirmed sighting of Misty.  Now, with the acquisition of this image we can say, without a doubt, that Misty the Dolphin is alive.  
To us, Misty is a symbol of hope.  He is the reason why we are here.  He is the reason why we fight, every single day, to stop the slaughter and to end captivity.  We have never given up on Misty and we never will.  In his name, we continue the fight.  We will never be silent and we will never give up until the waters of the Cove are forever blue and all dolphins are free.  We are so glad you are here with us.  Let’s continue the fight - TOGETHER!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The countdown to Taiji begins....

71 days...the day we all dread is 71 days away!

September 1, 2012 is the start of the 2012-2013 Taiji dolphin drive hunt. Will you help end it?

Over the coming weeks we will post information & updates on our facebook page Save Misty the Dolphin about the many ways YOU can get involved to END IT FOR GOOD! Please keep an eye on our page as we have LOTS to share.

For starters, PLEASE participate in our ONE CALL A DAY CAMPAIGN:

JUST ONE CALL A DAY. Get up, exercise, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth and CALL YOUR JAPANESE EMBASSY. Please make it part of your daily routine. One call per day, Monday-Friday, from now until September 1, 2012.

Politely urge them to NOT issue any permits to the Taiji Fisherman's Union for the purpose of the cruel & senseless Taiji dolphin drive hunt that is typically held from September - March (The drive hunt is graphically illustrated in the 2010 Academy-award winning documentary The Cove, starring Ric O'Barry). Ask them to stop permitting harpoon hunting the remainder of the year. If there are no permits, there is no slaughter. It is as simple as that. AND WHILE YOU HAVE THEM ON THE PHONE LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU THINK THE IDEA OF A WHALE PARK IN TAIJI IS TERRIBLE! WHALES & DOLPHINS BELONG IN THER OCEANS - PERIOD!!! For more on the story click here:

Here are the numbers for the Embassies:
In the United States call 202-238-6700
In the United Kingdom call 020-7465-6500
all other countries please use this link:

Save Misty the Dolphin was built on the love of dolphins. We came together in the end of 2010 to save Misty & haven't stopped since. Pressure from our community got Misty moved from the isolation of a tiny, algae-filled pool to better conditions in a larger, cleaner pool with other dolphins at Dolphin Resort Hotel. In Misty's name we continue our work for other vulnerable marine mammals in Taiji and around the globe....

Our heartfelt thanks to all of the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians & Save Japan Dolphin Cove Monitors who bravely stand in The Cove to bear witness and to shine a bright light of truth on the atrocities committed by the Taiji dolphin hunters & the trainers at Dolphin Base and Dolphin Resort.

...and our thanks to YOU for NEVER BEING SILENT ~ NEVER GIVING UP!