Former Highveld and 5fm DJ, media personality, company director and activist, Grant Nash, has just landed in Taiji, Japan, as part of an awareness campaign to save the world’s dolphin community.

Grant was approached by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit marine conservation organization whose mission is to defend, conserve and protect ocean wildlife worldwide. With the generous sponsorships from PURE IMAGINATION MEDIA and CANON South Africa, Grant is able to make, and document, this trip.

The slaughter of 20,000 dolphins, porpoises, and small whales occurs in Japan each year. Starting on September 1st and usually continuing through March of the next year, fishermen herd whole families of small cetaceans into shallow bays and mercilessly stab and drown them to death. This annual slaughter of dolphins was virtually unknown until 2003 when Sea Shepherd globally released covertly-obtained footage and photographs of the now infamous bloody “Cove” in a village called Taiji.

After the widespread controversial release of the documentary, The Cove, more and more people are becoming aware of the abuse and savagery occurring in the waters of Taiji every year. Grant Nash and hundreds of other “Cove Guardians” worldwide are uniting in their fight against this barbarism. To date, their plea to the Japanese government to stop this cruelty has fallen on deaf ears, but by documenting the slaughter and raising awareness, the Guardians hope to unite the world to create change.

Grant Nash will be in Japan from 13th – 27th February, using his celebrity (though he modestly denies this term) as a platform in which to enlighten South Africans, and the world about the initiative.

More than just a tree-hugger:

Grant Nash is a very vocal vegan, and has become synonymous with protecting wildlife. He has been called a tree-hugger on more than one occasion, but he highlights the bigger picture:

The Ocean, which covers two thirds of our planet, is an extremely volatile and complicated eco-system. This eco-system thrives and functions on diversity. Once you eliminate an entire species you cause havoc on the biodiversity of the seas. Dolphins are highly intelligent, social animals who communicate and live in complex family units like we do. They play a very important role in this biodiversity. Seeing that the oceans give our planet two thirds of its oxygen supply, most scientists and biologists agree that messing with this ecology is going to have devastating effects.

In short, the issue of dolphin slaughter or the decimation of any natural resource is a global dilemma that has far reaching and devastating implications for us all, and as custodians of this planet we have the most important role to play in its conservation.”

Making up with Jack Parow

“I would like to state that I believe strongly in the freedom of belief and expression. The debate that happened on twitter recently between me and Jack Parow was aimed at me trying my best to explain to Mr.Parow that his support of Ushaka Marine World and the captive industry has a direct link to what is happening in Taiji. As soon as we glorify and support the industry, we make what is happening in Taiji acceptable. We also GROW the industry and as soon as someone sees there is money in the captive dolphin industry and choose to open a new dolphaniarium in this country they will almost definitely have to get their dolphins from Taiji.

After the discussion he agreed to look into it and we definitely ended the discussion as amicably as it began. We both LOVE Dolphins and want to see them happy and healthy.”

Applying pressure:

The Cove Guardians on the ground put great economic pressure on the government of Japan and the local government of the Taiji region. A great number of Policemen and National Guard are deployed in Taiji to watch their every move. Much time and effort is put into trying to stop the Cove Guardians from documenting the process. The killers erect huge tarps across the killing cove and around the butcher houses to hide their dirty deeds. “If we can continue to stream in and continue to apply this economic pressure on the killers and the captive trade, we hope to create an environment where they feel the pressure to stop the killing and captures.”

Grant’s last say:

“Don’t support the captive trade anywhere in the world, especially here at home. I am a scuba diver who has had many direct encounters with wild dolphins, trust me when I say it’s far, far more rewarding than watching them jump through stupid hoops and smacking a ball with their tail. If you love dolphins like I do, become a SCUBA diver and see them in the wild and stop contributing to the death of thousands of these incredible creatures yearly by the direct support of marine parks and aquariums. Become a Cove Guardian!”

FOLLOW THE TRIP ON GRANT’S BLOG FOR DAILY UPDATES.

For more information, or to become a Cove Guardian, please connect with the organisation online:

http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/

http://www.facebook.com/CoveGuardians