A creature of habit, I sit in my usual spot. A beautiful flat, smooth piece of Lava rock, on a small cliff overlooking the early morning Ocean. The early morning ocean is dark gray, capped in white and I sit and wait ,watching as the sun turns the ocean I love so much, different and delightful shades of blue.
I whistle as I watch the ocean for the unmistakable sign of dolphins. Water rippling with excitement is a sure sign that the dolphins have arrived, swimming with their usual joy and abandon. I hear footsteps and voices on the rocks behind me. Lava rock is not easy to walk on and the voices are a mixture of excitement and frustration.
"xxxxx-cuse-a-meeee?", "xxxxx-cuse-a-meeeee?" , I turn my head as I reluctantly turn my attention to the human world. I see two Japanese tourists standing next to my little lava perch. My first impulse is to completely and totally ignore them. Each year beginning in September and going on for months the nation of Japan kills and captures more than 30,000 dolphins. My heart has been in a state of heaviness since Sept. This is just the dolphins, the nation of Japan also hunts and kills thousands of whales under the cloak of research and offer 10's of thousands of dollars for Blue Fin Tuna, which as of right now in the year 2010 is close to extinction. Japans endless appetite for anything from the sea is ruthless and in the year 2010, senseless.
The horror of the killing of 30,000 dolphins in Taiji,Japan flashes in my mind as i answer" YES?". " What time the dolphins come?" "what time the dolphins come?" I hear myself being asked. Their faces are flushed with excitement. I shallow my urge to ask them " Why? We don't hunt and kill dolphins here" Instead I'm replied," Oh soon i hope, with dolphins you never can be too sure when they will come." I look them both over, making sure they were not carrying harpoons and then continued saying," If you wait they may come."
We all fall silent , eyes focused on the Ocean. I swear i could not help myself when i suddenly blurted out, " Do you know about Taiji?" Their eyes immediately fell to their feet. " OH they KNOW" , i thought silently. I took a deep breath and continued on in conversation with them, sharing my views on the ocean and our need as humans with 6 billion people on this planet in the year 2010 to cherish and protect her and her creatures.
They explained to me how Japan has always been a fish eating nation and how much they enjoy whale meat a delicacy, more so than beef. I held my temper in check and continued right on saying," We can no longer steal from the ocean. We MUST start eating only what we can grow in farms from the ocean. We MUST leave the ocean and her wild animals alone. Our world, this planet and the billions that live on it in the year 2010 demands we protect, not misuse the ocean."
I shared with them how I no longer eat beef or pork and have how I have stopped eating ALL ocean caught fish. For me as a Hawaiian that's a profound change in my diet. They fell silent looking at me intently. I know by being raised around Japanese people that their silence could mean nothing, they can agree with me but they will continue right on dogmatically in their customs. I continued on anyway, I share with them how I have swum with the wild dolphins for 8 years and how the deaths of the dolphins in Taiji, Japan brings me great sorrow.
The dolphins never came that morning and i parted ways with the two tourists from Japan hoping my words would stay with them as they returned to Japan.
I never told them I was part Japanese, never told them how ashamed i was of the country some of my ancestors came from, a country stuck on stupid, lost in senseless tradition, oblivious to the real world issues of 2010.
I will tell the next set of Japanese tourists I meet. I seem to have found a way, quite by accident of speaking for the ocean. Right now in the year 2010 we have the technology to preserve this planet. We have, each one of us ,the power and knowledge to make a difference! Let's make this happen! It is not by accident i feel that we have this ability, we were born to care for this planet... it is BY DESIGN!!
i am an island gal....