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    Posted September 28, 2012 by
    Taiji, Japan
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
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    Waiting to die in Taiji


    Only 10 days ago, 70 pilot whales were slaughtered in a small cove in Taiji, Japan, despite repeated calls for media to bring needed attention to these atrocities. In an unlikely twist of fate, another pod of pilot whales is once again at the mercy of the Isana Fisheries Union.

    From her vantage point on the ground in Taiji, Cove Guardian Ashley McDaniel hastily posted on her facebook page, "Just witnessed by far the worst thing I have even seen." The young woman reported that two pilot whales had broken away from the fishermen's nets and were throwing themselves on the rocks in the cove. Said McDaniel, "I was standing within feet of one of them..I have no words."

    With typhoon-strength waves churning towards Taiji, these pilot whales were driven into the killing cove on the morning of September 28. Now trapped between the fishermen's nets and the rocks against which they will have no protection, the whales may find themselves torn to shreds before the fishermen raise their knives.

    The annual Taiji dolphin drive hunt is fueled by the aquarium industry. During the 2011-2012 season, 15% of the dolphins and whales driven into the Cove were trained to perform tricks and then sold into captivity. The performing animals were sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Those not selected for captivity were slaughtered and sold for human consumption even though the meat contains toxic levels of mercury.

    The clock is now ticking for the pilot whales in the Cove. With no time to waste to spare the lives of these whales, activists around the world are calling upon the mainstream media to cover this story LIVE from Taiji. Will the media answer the call of #Media2Taiji? 


    Photo courtesy of Ashley McDaniel

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