Dolphins Crying for Help: What Marine Parks Don’t Want You To Know


By Kirsten Massebeau

Bottlenose dolphins have last moments together before being dragged to slaughter. By SSCS C.G. 1.20.13

Bottlenose dolphins have last moments together before being dragged to slaughter.
By SSCS C.G. January 20, 2013

“Blackfish” the new documentary about the captive industry being previewed at the Sundance Film Festival is making waves as it delves into the dark side of captivity. Marineparks are coming under scrutiny as it becomes more obvious everyday that captvity for dolphins is ultimately a death sentence with nothing but suffering along the way.

Taiji, Japan is a perfect example of a place marine parks do not want people to think, or know about. Every year Japanese dolphin hunters are given permits to hunt over 2000 dolphins. A portion are taken for captivity and the rest are slaughtered in the infamous killing cove. Made famous in 2009 when the academy award winning documentary The Cove was released revealing to the world where captivity begins.

Pantropical Spotted Dolphins and trainers working with killers By SSCS C.G's January 21, 2013

Pantropical Spotted Dolphins and trainers working with killers
By SSCS C.G’s January 21, 2013

In the cove killers and trainers many of them IMATA certified work side by side as the brutal captive process and slaughter takes place. During a recent pantropical dolphin drive several dolphins died during the selection process and one that was badly injured was returned to the killing cove and slaughtered with his pod mates.

“54-56 pantropical spotted dolphins were driven into the cove after fighting with everything they had to escape the killers. Trainers from all three captive facilities and killers selected 27 Spotted dolphins for a life in captivity, however, 2 of them died within minutes from the stress they incurred during the drive and selection process. In addition to those, 1 Spotted dolphin was injured so badly that as it left the cove with trainers, the skiff turned around and left the dolphin with killers for slaughter. The 26-28 left over Spotted dolphins were seen as unfit for captivity, but not the butcher house floor, as they were slaughtered at the hands of killers”.

— at Taiji, Japan. (Source)

Many dolphins are kept in the tiny sea pens awaiting transport to Marineparks and AquariumsBy Martyn Stewart January 10, 2013

Many dolphins are kept in the tiny sea pens awaiting transport to Marineparks and Aquariums
By Martyn Stewart January 10, 2013

Taiji harbor, the Whale Museum, and Dolphin Base are loaded with captive dolphins. Each dolphin brings sells for about $150,000 trained and $38,000 untrained. These dolphins are then shipped worldwide. Many are shipped to China, Korea, and the Middle East. It is rumored that these countries can work as stopping points through which the dolphins are shipped to change place of origin.

A Taiji Dolphin at the Dubai Dolphinarium 2012

A Taiji Dolphin at the Dubai Dolphinarium 2012

The Dubai dolphinarium openly purchases dolphins from the cruel Taiji dolphin drives. In addition, their trainers are IMATA certified. A list of marineparks, aquariums, dolphinariums that purchase Taiji dolphins can found here 

Parks like SeaWorld claim to no longer stock using Taiji dolphins directly. Conversely, they do not oppose aquariums and marine parks that do.

“SeaWorld has apparently never taken any action against the drives themselves.

Their argument seems to go as follows: There’s nothing shameful about benetifing from a massacre that would still occur anyway, with or without the sale of certain traumatized animals lucky enough to be spared execution and dispatched to a faraway tank for fun and profit.

Three years ago, after the release of the Oscar-winning film The Cove,MSNBC reported that SeaWorld “refused to condemn those who still buy from Taiji.” Company spokesman Fred Jacobs, “likened such purchases to a salvage operation that prevents some animals from being killed.” (source)

A Taiji Dolphin at the Batumi aquarium 2012

Who is ultimately responsible for the dolphin suffering that takes place in Taiji, Japan? The marine parks and aquariums are complicit but what about the consumers? Everytime a consumer buys a ticket to any marine park world wide they support the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji. Captivity pays the bills. Without the support of the captive industry the slaughter would have died long ago. Those that eat dolphin numbers are few but the captive industry keeps the drive alive.

“No aquarium, no tank in a marineland, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea,” Jacques Cousteau once said. “And no dolphin who inhabits one of these aquariums or one of those marinelands can ever be considered normal.”

While lucrative captive industries continue to provide financial momentum, wild dolphins in Taiji and larger Japan will continue to lose their lives in barbaric drive hunts.

Pragmatically, however, it is up to patrons of dolphin shows to abstain from supporting marine mammal parks by accepting responsibility that their tickets pay a much larger price—and that price may be the life of a Taiji dolphin.

So don’t buy a ticket”. (source)

37 thoughts on “Dolphins Crying for Help: What Marine Parks Don’t Want You To Know

  1. Hi Kirsten thanks for the great article; you present the situation in a way that the uninformed can quickly grasp the reality of what is going on and how their actions affect it!

  2. I suggest that anyone interested in “saving cetaceans” do REAL research into organizations that are actually helping them and not rely on one-sided, accusational, and fictional depictions like “the cove” and “blackfish”. Mocumentaries like these only cloud the waters of education and prey on miss guided animal lovers for 15 minutes of fame…

    • The IP address connected to this comment is from SeaWorld. Are you really still trying to cover up the truth with your shady comments. “Blackfish” and “The Cove” tell the real truth of what you are all about. How do you answer for what you did to the orca pods of the Puget Sound. How do you answer to your documented presence in The Cove years ago. There is no excuse for your exploitation of whales and dolphins. We Want to shut you down and we will keep after it until the last dolphin and whale are free from SeaPrison!

    • $hitworld BUSTED! Keep back peddling and spinning your propaganda – your days are numbered and you know it! PETA purchasing voting shares; the release of Blackfish; The MANY trainers/slave drivers that left and you are SUING for exposing your extreme cruelty; The exponentially increasing and overwhelming evidence of the obvious fact that you care NOTHING about the welfare of the cetaceans you are responsible for Slaughtering, Kidnapping, Enslaving and Humiliating. There are tens of thousands of educated people now and that number is increasing exponentially as well. Your fake ‘rescues’ and other publicity stunts are no longer working because we are constantly exposing you for the worthless piece of human waste that you and all of corporate captivity represent. My advice to you is to SELL your $hitworld stock; release AND rehabilitate every cetacean back to the wild; and go observe wild dolphin (btw Orca – that you ‘educate’ people about as “killer whales” ARE dolphin). Then do some soul searching for how you will live with yourselves with the weight of so many tons of dead cetaceans on your conscious. Live with that. Oh, and lawsuits will be coming your way as well; not just for your whistleblowers but for extreme cruelty to animals; AND if all goes well, CRIMINAL actions as well, now that Dolphin have been accepted as “non human persons” by the world’s leading scientists and marine biologists – You are responsible for their murder, kidnapping, torture, extreme cruelty and SLAVERY!

    • “miss guided?”
      1. First and foremost, learn proper spelling.
      2. Seaworld, all pro-captivity organizations and the fishermen that round-up and slaughter these beautiful animals are misguided (proper spelling).
      :o)

    • I believe it is you and your trainers that need to do research and educate yourselves. Your former trainers said in person that they knew nothing of incidents that had happened or the real danger they were in. They didn’t even know the real life-span of orca! Yes they are one-sided films, but sometimes facts are just facts.

    • I believe it is you and your trainers that need to do research and educate yourselves. Your former trainers said in person that they knew nothing of incidents that had happened or the real danger they were in. They didn’t even know the real life-span of orca! Yes they are one-sided films, but sometimes facts are just facts.

    • @all drama aside: SeaWorld and the likes have yet to provide any convincing argument that captivity is beneficial to the animals they profit from. I’d rather have 15 minutes of fame for fighting for the whales’ freedom rather han making the news as often as SeaWorld does for losing so many of them prematurely. Just as its prisoners’, SeaWorld’s days are numbered.

    • Mocumentry? The Cove shows the actual situation in Taiji, and Blackfish informs on how those orca and any other wild cought animals got to Seaworld and other marine parks. They don’t just fall from the sky performing stupid tricks!

    • No problem, SeaWorld ! We don”t have to do real research into organizations because we are one of them. And we really thank all the people aware of the importance of dolphins in their inhabitats for helping us, directly or indirectly. You don’t belong to them…

    • Education? Really?
      What’s SeaWorld and the other marine parks got to do with education?
      These animals are ASSETS which you exploit for profit. Nothing more, nothing less,
      I’ve been to SeaWorld Florida before I got EDUCATED and I am now properly educated.
      There’s nothing educational about seeing these mammals in a false, cramped environment begging for food and doing stupid tricks for entertainment, for scraps of food.
      This is animal cruelty. Simple.
      You WILL be closed down in the future when people are EDUCATED!

    • You can spray your bullshit over as many people as you want SeaWorld (your ip proves its you) the proof is there and it ain’t going away. Anyone who does ‘REAL’ research will know the only organisations that help save cetaceans are: WDC, WWF, SeaShepherd, Earth Island institute, Blue Voice and lots more plus the thousands and thousands of everyday people on social networking sites sharing and supporting these amazing organisations and getting involved themselves to make a difference who are not blinded by your crap. I have never once heard a story of SeaWorld saving animals yet you want a medal for maybe picking up a piece of trash from the beach..you are not out there defending wildlife every single day, you are not out there stopping poaching like SeaShepherd, you are not out there helping to end grinds and slaughters like in Taiji…still there is a reason for that isn’t there SeaWorld?

    • Damn it, why is profit so interesting to SeaWorld? If I have as much money as you, I’d really try to safe whales and dolphins. I’m not going to lock them in teeny-Tiny tanks, let them feed on dead fish and put heats on their melons. That’s CRULE and if someone would do that to you, I’m sure you’d not like it.
      But it’s OK to abuse animals ’cause they can not speak to us, they can not understand us and so they are easy to earn money from. We are living in a modern world, not in the caves of primitive times. You have no feelings, you are as bad as the devil, but, actually he has more feelings for beings than you. Good day.

    • So are you saying that the makers of “The Cove” showed fake dolphins getting brutally slaughtered and that they dyed the cove read with fake dolphin blood? Thanks to your special brand of ignorance, I am even more fired up to shut Sea World down!

    • Screw you, you Sea World troll. I hope you don’t meet me in a blind alley some night, I’ll show you what happens to dolphins at Taiji.

    • Busted, SeaWorld! Busted for lying; busted for not being able to spell, busted for callous indifference to your slaves’ welfare, and for wanting only one thing: MORE MONEY! The writing is on the wall; get out before you go bankrupt.

      • I would challenge that person to be put in a room the size of a tank with a bunch of others that have been kidnapped and forced to do tricks for an audiance for just five years, I think that they would want to be free.

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  10. “Without the support of the captive industry the slaughter would have died long ago. Those that eat dolphin numbers are few but the captive industry keeps the drive alive”.

    Is there factual proof for this? Does real evidence exist that this the case? I’d like to know not because I support what is happening, but because I want the hard proof that without the captive industry the drives in Japan would stop. Thanks

    • Lawrence I suggest you watch the movie the cove. Also go to Save Japan Dolphins website and Blue Voice.org. A captive dolphin sells for $38,000 to 150,000 where as a dolphin sold as meat sells for around $700.00. Not many people eat dolphin and whale as the meat is tainted with mercury so it is captivity that keeps the drive alive. Here is a link to a great article on the topic, “Driven By Demand”, http://www.wdcs.org/submissions_bin/drivenbydemand.pdf

    • I have watched The Cove. It shows a slaughter that is sanctioned by the fishing industry in an effort to eliminate the competition for fish. The fact of the matter is that fish are becoming scarce, not because of dolphins, but because of the way fishing has changed as years go by. But the slaughter goes on as a bloody custom. It is true that the entertainment/captive interests have been given permission to attend these “events” to take live specimens for captivity, but even if these companies did not harvest from this kill, it would go on until the fishing community wakes up and stops blaming dolphins for the effect the fishermen are having on the fish population. Many more dolphins are murdered than caught for captivity at Taiji and other kills around the world. There is always fall out when wild animals are kept in captivity, but it is a practice that has gone on since the beginning of time. Paring a distaste for this practice with a slaughter linked to something altogether different will not improve the plight of captive animals.

      • While we agree that pest control was was and is a part of motivation for the Dolphin drive in Taiji we have to disagree in that is the problem today. Please follow the link and learn how aquariums and marine parks keep the drive alive. 1 dolphins brings the Taiji whale museum and Dolphin Base partners with the Fisherman’s Union $150,000 to $200,000 dolphins while a dead dolphin only brings in 300 to 600 dollars. I have included a link that will give you more information on this http://www.wdcs.org/submissions_bin/drivenbydemand.pdf. Please visit Save Japan Dolphins to learn more about the issue. Captivity kills.

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