Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends in Japan and all those affected by last night’s devastating earthquake and its horrific aftermath.
Many of you have been asking for an update on our staff and volunteers. We can’t thank you enough for your concern. Here’s what we know so far:
– Dolphin Project volunteer Brian Barnes left Taiji several days ago to monitor the Dall’s porpoise hunts in Iwate Prefecture, which is in the northeast corner of Japan near where the earthquake hit. Sea Shepherd volunteers Scott West, Mike Vos, Tarah Millen, Carisa Webster, and Marley Daviduk were also in the area.
Our last video report was taken by Brian, who was headed out of town after the earthquake as tsunami alarms sounded. The tsunami hit Iwate Prefecture very hard. According to some news reports over 300 homes were swept away, leaving many dead or in ruinous condition. We have not heard from any of the volunteers, but they were already high above the shoreline at the time of their last report. We hope and pray that they are just unable to get a signal strong enough to reach us or that electricity is out.
– Ric and Lincoln O’Barry and the Blood Dolphin$ team are safe in another part of Asia that was not affected.
– Taiji was not severely impacted (it’s southeast of the quake zone), but they no doubt felt ocean swells from the tsunami. We’ll be sending volunteers to assess the situation once it’s safe to travel there.
– Many have asked about the dolphins and whales in the area. The most damaging areas in a tsunami are at the shoreline so most deep-water sea life should not have been impacted. Of course, the debris does not help the pollution load in coastal waters. We’ll, of course, be monitoring the situation.
Once again, our deepest condolences to all who have been affected by the earthquake, and our continued thoughts to everyone on the ground. If you want help here are few useful links:
We’ll report back once we have more information.