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.