Birch Bay resident sets sail to stop dolphin slaughter

Published on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 by Libby Katsinis

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Libby Katsinis, 30, (on right) is a Birch Bay resident who is living in Japan for three months working for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to stop the annual massacre of thousands of dolphins.

I’ve always been a dreamer. Perhaps it’s my inner artist but I’ve always lived very much in my head and have always desired a life rich with travel, change and downright awesomeness. But things don’t always work out the way we wish and I’ve spent the majority of my years fighting to turn my life into something I can be proud of.

Since I was a very small child, I’ve harbored a passion for marine life; dolphins and whales in particular, and I’ve longed so strongly to somehow protect them that it’s nearly a physical hurt. But the “American Dream” digs its claws in deep and I found myself working a full time job, paying bills that nickel and dime me to death and feeling trapped within my own skin. I have always lived a life that does not suit me, a life that I felt I had to live in order to be considered responsible, yet all the while struggling internally with the need to do something more, something great, something to change the world.

I am now living proof that if you dream passionately, sometimes those dreams do come true. Now, with my 30th birthday only a month away, I am living in Japan and working as a Campaign Leader for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. My objective is to put an end to the annual slaughter of nearly 23,000 dolphins. Every day I’m up before dawn to head to the Cove, location of the Academy Award winning documentary, The Cove, in order to document and therefore share with the world the brutal and barbaric massacre of entire dolphin pods.

Every day, I witness death on a mass scale. I see horrible acts of inhumanity with my own eyes and each day I write my thoughts and the events of the day and publish it on the Sea Shepherd website. I am here as a volunteer and I lead a motley crew of other volunteers from around the world called Cove Guardians. We are truly Guardians of the Cove and ensure that the 26 men that slaughter dolphins in the coastal town of Taiji, Japan cannot hide their shameful act from the world.

I am a photographer by profession and have given up my career in Bellingham to serve as Campaign Leader for Sea Shepherd because it is something that I strongly and truly believe in. I have a husband, a mortgage, two car payments, etc. and yet I put my life on hold to live in Japan for three months and experience harrowing heartache and severe feelings of helplessness. However, the work I’m doing here is by far the most rewarding experience in my life as of yet. I am here, fighting to change what I believe is wrong and I can see that my actions are making a difference. I hope to spread the word to others, to women in particular, and prove to them that it is possible to follow your dreams. I want others to be inspired by my story and find the courage they have been seeking to do what their heart desires.

Here is a link to the Sea Shepherd website where you can read my daily

Spread the word. Raise awareness. Speak out.

For the Dolphins,

Libby Miller Katsinis

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Taiji, Japan Campaign Leader


More about dolphins

Scott and Elora West, from the Cove Guardians, will present “Dolphin Capture, Slaughter and the Entertainment Industry: 90 days in Taiji” at 3 p.m. Friday, January 21, in Western Washington University’s communications facility, room 120.

The event is free, open to the public and is part of the WWU Huxley College of the Environment speaker series.

The Wests will be discussing the current situation of dolphin hunting in Taiji, Japan.  Many became aware of the hunting in the region after the production of the documentary film, “The Cove.”  In an effort to end dolphin hunting, the Wests were commissioned to start an ongoing campaign in the region, and became known as the Cove Guardians.  The presentation will focus their efforts and how the dolphin entertainment industry has provided economic incentive for the hunting to continue,

For more information on this presentation, contact Patrick Buckley, an associate professor of Geography within WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment, at 360/650-4773 or