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!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

How Kids Can Help Save the Bonneville Sea Lions

California Sea Lion

CALLING ALL KIDS!  Here is how YOU can help save the sea lions at the Bonneville Dam:

At the Bonneville Dam, California Sea Lions are being killed because they are eating salmon. Fishermen are allowed to catch the salmon, but sea lions aren't. Sea lions who catch too many salmon are killed by state officials. These killings are legal because the states of Oregon and Washington have received permission from the federal government to kill the sea lions. 

PLEASE print out and color in this picture of a California sea lion (or, even better, make your own picture of a California Sea Lion) and send it to the Governors of Oregon and Washington ALONG WITH A MESSAGE ASKING THEM TO STOP KILLING SEA LIONS AT THE BONNEVILLE DAM.

Here are the addresses for the Governors:

The Honorable John Kitzhaber
Governor of Oregon
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4047

The Honorable Chris Gregoire
Governor of Washington
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Please be sure to take a photo of your picture and share it on our Save Misty the dolphin facebook page before you send it. IF YOU WOULD CONSIDER MAKING A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF YOU DRAWING THE PICTURE AND THEN READING YOUR MESSAGE TO THE GOVERNORS, THAT WOULD BE EVEN BETTER!

Thank you so much! YOU are awesome! Ask all of your friends to do the same! Let's all work together to save our friends the sea lions ♥

For your information, here are some helpful background links:
Social media campaign urges kids to help beleaguered sea lions
An Advocate's Guide to the Scapegoated Sea Lions at Bonneville Dam

Thursday, April 12, 2012

An Advocate's Guide to the Scapegoated Sea Lions at Bonneville Dam

Bonneville Sea Lion, photo courtesy of the Sea Lion Defense Brigade
Why all of the ruckus about Sea Lions at the Bonneville Dam?
On March 15, 2012, NOAA Fisheries issued a letter authorizing the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho to use lethal means to remove up to 92 salmon-eating sea lions from the Bonneville Dam.

Following the release of the letter, the Humane Society of the United States filed a lawsuit and sought a temporary restraining order to prevent the killings.  The lawsuit is pending, however a federal judge denied the restraining order.  Judge James Boasberg did rule that 30 sea lions (not 92) can be killed per year and that the method of killing shall be by lethal injection.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports that since 2008, the Oregon and Washington departments of fish and wildlife have removed at least 40 California sea lions from below Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. Ten were placed in zoos and aquaria across the country, 25 were euthanized and five died after they were captured.

The states claim they are removing the sea lions in an effort to protect threatened and endangered populations of salmon and steelhead. The California sea lion is a protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. However, the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho have been granted permission to remove the sea lions by NOAA –Fisheries, the federal agency responsible for managing marine animals. The authority was granted under Section 120 of the act and allows the states to use lethal and non-lethal (hazing) means to remove individual California sea lions that have been documented eating salmon or steelhead in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.

How much fish do the sea lions eat?
According to the NOAA, The proportion of the run consumed by sea lions varies depending on run size. It has generally ranged between 2 and 4% since 2004, but was just 1.6% in 2011.  The Humane Society of the United States reports that fisheries harvest 17% of these same fish.

Which sea lions can be killed?
Only certain sea lions can be killed.  These animals must meet the following criteria:
  • Must be individually identifiable through natural or applied features (usually a brand)
  • Have been observed eating salmonids in the Bonneville Dam area between Jan. 1 and May 31 of any year
  • Have been observed on a total of any five days (consecutive days, days within a single season, or days over multiple years) between Jan. 1 and May 31
  • Have been subjected to but not responded to non-lethal hazing (rubber buckshot, firecrackers, noisemakers and other deterrents)
Why the urgency?
The 30 sea lions can be captured and killed at any time now!

What happens when they catch sea lions on their hit list?
According to the Sea Lion Defense Brigade, the traps are visible from the Washington side, but when they catch animals they cover them with tarps, bring around the death barge, and drag them off around the Island - they are still visible then from the Oregon side by the intrepid.

Which are some of the key organizations working to help the Bonneville sea lions?
Humane Society of the United States - For the past several years, the Humane Society has been championing the cause of the Bonneville Sea Lions in court, in congress and with federal and state agencies.  For a complete history of their important work, click on this link:
Bonneville Dam Sea Lions Under Siege: The Humane Society of the United States

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - Volunteers with Sea Shepherd have visited the Bonneville Dam multiple times since the release of the March 15 letter of authorization.  For more on Sea Shepherd’s position on the Bonneville sea lions & to learn about their "Dam Guardian" campaign, click on this link: Sea Shepherd: Impressions on the Bonneville Dam

Sea Lion Defense Brigade - a grassroots campaign on the ground at the Dam monitoring, recording and reporting on activities impacting the Bonneville Sea Lions.  Please follow them on facebook at:

Save Misty the Dolphins - started the petition to Save the Bonneville Sea Lions, reports on activities impacting them & uses social media to support their cause.  Please follow us on facebook at:

How can YOU help the Bonneville Sea Lions?
1. Sign and share the petition at Director, Office of Protected Resources, NOAA: Don't Kill the Bonneville Sea Lions

2. Contact the Governors of Oregon and Washington state to urge them to stop the senseless killing of the Bonneville Sea Lions:

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber:
phone: (503) 378-4582
twitter: @govkitz

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire:
phone: (360) 902-4111
twitter: @govgregoire

* we have heard from many folks that the Governors' offices are responding to callers with commentary suggesting this is a federal issue.  Please be very clear in your understanding, THE STATES REQUESTED AUTHORIZATION TO USE LETHAL MEANS TO REMOVE THE SEA LIONS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT - NOT VISA-VERSA!

3. Please join the on-the-ground efforts of the Sea Lion Defense Brigade or Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

4. Make a tax-deductible donation to: The Humane Society of the United States and/or Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

5. Tell everyone you know about the scapegoated sea lions of Bonneville Dam.

6. Never be silent - never give up!

Additional background reading:

Scapegoating + Bad Math = Devastation for Federally Protected Sea Lions at the Bonneville Dam

Op-Ed: Two sea lions killed at Bonneville Dam

State officials perplexed by sea lion killings

Please be sure to watch this eye-opening video:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Good News Comes in Twos

We have something very important to say to everyone in the Save Misty the Dolphin Community:

Thank You, Merci, Danke, Mahalo, Tak, Toda, Grazie, Kamsa hamnida, Takk, Gracias, Obrigado, Tack, Arigato

Thank You for showing up...for taking action over and over and over again, for staying positive, for saying lots of prayers, for visualizing blue waters, for supporting one another, for sharing your POWER and for being part of something called a community.  Did you know that as of December 31, 2011, there were more than 37 million facebook pages?  We are GRATEFUL that you choose to be part of ours. 

Our facebook page Save Misty the Dolphin began in the final days of 2010 because two activists - Adam and Alyson - saw an immediate need to do what they could to help a very sick dolphin being held in a small & filthy pool in Taiji. By day three of the campaign, Sandy M. was onboard. Then over the months came Chasity, then Erin, Alan and Sandy Y. It is our honor and privilege to serve the dolphins of Taiji and an incredible community of more than 6,000 friends and activists who walk the walk and talk the talk everyday for the dolphins.

It is not lost on us that you tuned in throughout the 2011-2012 Taiji dolphin hunt and periodically had your heart broken over the senseless loss of life and freedom at the hands of a few heartless men in Taiji.  And yet you never gave up for Jiyu and the hundreds of other dolphins whose lives were stolen.  It is not lost on us that you made thousands of calls, faxes and emails over the course of the last six months.  When Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian Erwin Vermeulen was arrested on phony charges you really kicked it in...and when he was found INNOCENT we ALL celebrated a major victory for him and for the dolphins of Taiji.

Thank you for NOT spreading racism or hatred and for understanding how very important it is for us to reach out to the people of Japan.  It is our firm belief that if the people of Japan knew about what was happening in the Cove, the bloodshed would come to an end.  Ric O’Barry of Save Japan Dolphins continually reminds us that a Japanese boycott is NOT the answer.  We stand in solid agreement with him on this position.  The one year anniversary of the worst natural disaster in the history of that nation will be upon us in days.  Thousands died, thousands are missing and millions still struggle to bring their lives back together.  The people of Japan need our support -- not a boycott.  We urge you to take some time on March 11th to honor the memory of the victims of the disaster.

In addition to thanking all of YOU, we wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Cove Guardians and the Cove Monitors who served this past season in Taiji - including our very own Chasity Reed.  These folks go to Taiji on their own dime to stand, bear witness and to bring the news back to all of us.  They inspire us every single day.  They are the change.  THEY ARE TRUE HEROES IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.  We urge you to consider going to Taiji as a Cove Guardian or Cove Monitor.  A strong presence on the ground in Taiji is vital to ending the slaughter for good.  To understand the real importance of that presence, please watch this video, "The Economics of Sustained Resistance" from Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian Campaign Coordinator Scott West.

It seems that good news comes in twos:

1. On February 29, after thousands of people worldwide signed our petition telling Hong Kong Airlines to Stop Profiting from the Misery of the Taiji Dolphins, the Airline issued a statement announcing a ban on all future activities of this nature.  We would like to thank Gary Stokes and volunteers with Sea Shepherd Hong Kong for hand delivering that petition, a copy of The Cove and a letter to Hong Kong Airlines.  We would like to thank the 6,500 people who signed and shared the petition and most importantly, we would like to thank Hong Kong Airlines for doing the right thing.

2. On February 29 (March 1 in Japan) the 2011-2012 Taiji dolphin hunt came to an end!  The first posts coming from the folks on the ground sounded encouraging...from Tim Burns of Save Japan Dolphins came this “Boats appear to be staying in today. We will be watching to see if they change rigging to fish Bonito or not today, and remove the tarps at the cove. We are being told that no more dolphins will be hunted, only pilot whales if they come across any. The Bonita / Tuna grounds are much further offshore than the migratory path of the pilot whale.”  As the hours wore on the updates were more and more definitive.  Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian Melissa Sehgal shared this post “Update from Taiji: We watched as the Taiji butcher house was steam cleaned and the kill floor was removed. The tarps that drape the entrance were also put into storage. Five killing boats removed their banger poles and relocated within the harbor. I believe the process of the hunting season ending is upon us, however there is still many concerns here in Taiji. There are still seven remaining boats with banger poles, the tarps the cover the cove are in tact and pilot whale migrating season is beginning. Cove Guardians will remain here monitoring the killing boats activity. We also will continue to document and film the many captive dolphins that are held prisoner at the three holding facilities. Sea Shepherd remains a strong presence here in Taiji.”  And so, all around the world there were tears...tears of sadness for the dolphins who died and FINALLY tears of joy for those who can migrate safely past Taiji.

PLEASE take some time for yourselves.  YOU earned it.  Find something beautiful to look at every single day.  If we have learned anything from Taiji it is that life is so precious and so fleeting.  Find a way to laugh and spread joy.  It will come back to you tenfold.

...and please stay in touch.  We aren’t going anywhere.  There is much work to do over the coming months.  We hope you will become a part of our “One Call a Day” Campaign. Between now and September 1, 2012 we are simply asking that you make one call a day to your Japanese Embassy: Wake-up, exercise, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth and call your Japanese Embassy to ask that they STOP ISSUING PERMITS FOR THE DOLPHIN DRIVE HUNT IN TAIJI. Will you make the commitment? If you are in the US, the number is 202-238-6700. All other nations, please click here to find your Japanese Embassy. Plug the number into your cellphone. One call a day...

Please be sure to check-in with us on facebook at Save Misty the Dolphin.  We will continue to post all updates and action items right there on the we like seeing YOU!

Never be silent and never give up until the last one is free and the Cove is blue forever.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

May 2012 be the Year of Peace in The Cove

Yesterday, Cove Guardian Andy filmed what we thought to be an empty pool with water so still that it was collecting algae. When the footage was reviewed back at the hotel, we were all shocked to learn that there actually was a dolphin in that tank. More footage was taken and it is now clear that this dolphin is floating all alone in a dirty tank. There is no pump in the pool making the water near stagnant, with green algae ringing the waterline.  --Sea Shepherd Report from Taiji, December 30, 2010
These are the words that literally galvanized a movement just one year ago.  The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) Cove Guardian team on the ground captured footage of a sick dolphin that the world would soon come to know as “Misty”.  Sick and isolated in a small above ground pool, Misty clung to a yellow buoy and floated listlessly.
Within hours the facebook community “Save Misty the Dolphin” was born and thousands of concerned citizens across the world began a non-stop campaign of calling, faxing and e-mailing Taiji’s Dolphin Base seeking better conditions and medical treatment for the sick dolphin.
...and within days...Misty was moved to a cleaner, larger tank where he was able to recover from a lung infection.
In the following weeks, our community evolved.  We continued to work in collaboration with volunteers on the ground to bring you breaking news from Taiji and to encourage you to take action.  Like you, 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 SSCS and Save Japan Dolphins (SJD) survived the earthquake and tsunami.  At the same time, we were devastated for a nation that lost thousands of innocents - all in a matter of minutes.  
Throughout the Spring and Summer of 2011 we continued to build our social media campaign; adding a blog, a Twitter account and a monthly Positive Experience Radio Show.  In anticipation of the start of the 2011-2012 dolphin drive hunt in Taiji, we rolled out the Countdown to the Cove website and worked collaboratively with Save Japan Dolphins and a team of dedicated volunteers worldwide to coordinate Peaceful Protests in 31 cities & 12 nations on September 1, 2011.  
Over time, we have evolved a “positive” approach.  We feel strongly that solving the crisis of The Cove will ultimately involve a partnership with the people of Japan, many of whom have no idea about the atrocities of Taiji.  Like Ric O’Barry, we do not support a Japanese Boycott.  We will continue to extend a warm arm of friendship to those who share this point of view.

At the start of the New Year, our thoughts remain with incarcerated SSCS Cove Guardian Erwin Vermeulen and his family.  We will persist in calling upon the leaders of the nation of Japan to right this injustice until he is released.
We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins, and every single one of their volunteers on the ground for their commitment to the Taiji dolphins and for allowing us to help spread their messages.  We encourage you to support these organizations with tax-deductible contributions AND by joining their volunteers on the ground in Taiji.  More importantly, we remain steadfastly grateful to each and every single one of YOU for everything you do as a part of the Save Misty the Dolphin Community.  It is now, and will continue to be, our belief that we are only as good as the people we work with.  We think YOU are the best group of advocates in the world!
Best wishes for a fantastic New Year.  May 2012 bring PEACE to The Cove & vulnerable marine mammals worldwide.
--Adam, Alyson, Chasity, Erin & Sandy