About Kirsten Massebeau

I am a blogger activist for dolphins and whales.

In Memory of the Dolphins Lost in “The Cove” Hunting 2014-2015


By Kirsten Massebeau

As another year of the Taiji dolphin drive hunting season ends dolphin activists worldwide take time for reflection as they contemplate and remember dolphins families and victims lost since September 1st.

Dolphin travelers migrating North will find the Kuroshio Current has a deadly "truck stop" known as Taiji. Only the lucky make it South in winter months.

Dolphin travelers migrating North will find the Kuroshio Current has a deadly “truck stop” known as Taiji. Only the lucky make it South in winter months.

Whilst the “False Killer Whale” has fallen from the roster of dolphin victims (none spotted since the 2011/2012 season) many other species of dolphin travelers going South on the Kuroshio Current were found by the dolphin hunters. 46 pods of dolphins were driven into the bloody killing cove of Taiji where they lost their children, liberty, history and their lives for aquariums, fertilizer, and human consumption.

The Risso’s dolphins would be seen as the dominate species driven into “The Cove” in 2014/2015 as the hunters went beyond their quota: 333 individuals were captured, 259 large adults slaughtered, only seven juveniles (children), were taken for marine parks, and 67 were dumped, or brutally driven back out to sea. The hunters took five over their quota for Risso’s dolphins. (source)

The striped dolphin a favorite food of the coastal area took the worst toll in terms of deaths. There was a quota of 450 for Striped Dolphins, of those 383 individuals were pushed into the cove. Of the 383 striped dolphins, not one was shown mercy or spared. No releases and no captures. Small pods, little families, with babies on board, and grandparents, would lose everything as they were pushed past hell’s gates to their deaths in Hatajiri Bay also known as “The Cove” a state park located in Taiji, Japan. (source)

Whilst the Japanese Fisheries would have the world believe that dolphins die instantly nothing is farther from the truth. In 2010 wildlife photographer Dieter Hagmann obtained secret footage of a slaughter during a striped dolphin drive. He captured the inhumane and slow slaughter of dolphins documenting what appeared to be death after struggling for 7 minutes. Because pithing begins with paralyzing the dolphin, and the bamboo nails inhibit the bleeding the suffering is extended. Some have estimated the dolphins still live for up to an hour or more as they are pithed at the cove and then transported to the butcher house where the dolphins are literally slaughtered and sold.

The dolphin meat contains Mercury, PCB’s and Cesium-137 as documented by most recently by the the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project:

The full results were as follows:

  • Cesium-137: 3.37Bq/kg. This is below the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 100Bq/kg.
  • PCBs: 0.12ppm. This is below the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 0.5ppm.
  • Total Mercury: 1.4ppm. This is higher than the Japanese Health Ministry’s recommended level of 0.4ppm.

The mercury level is of concern. Even low-level mercury poisoning can have a substantial impact on human health because it bio-accumulates in the body over time. (source)

The Fisherman’s Union responsible for the hunt numbers are few. There is little call for dolphin meat in a modern world. So how does the hunt survive?

According to The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project: Dolphinariums that work together with the Japanese dolphin killers are a major reason that the dolphin massacres are still going on, and organizations such as the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums or WAZA, endorse the hunts by allowing members into their orgs who source dolphins from the drives. (source)

Thanks to the academy award winning documentary, “The Cove” saving dolphins and whales from marine parks, captivity, and the slaughter it supports has become a worldwide movement that is growing each day. September 1st marked the opening of the hunt and events were held in Taiji and globally in opposition to the dolphin drive.


By ScubaFilmFactory

On January 15th the 5th Annual “Change for Taiji & Candle Vigil” Event took place in  in front of the Miami Japanese Consulate. Because of the captive industries close ties with dolphin drive fisheries to many the day was a moving demonstration of sadness, and hope that ended with a candle vigil.

          2014/2015 QUOTA:     1,938 total animals from seven species

  • Bottlenose : 108 caught · 028 killed · 041 live-capture · 039 released · 069 total take · quota = 509 · 440 more allowed
  • False Killer Whale : 000 caught · 000 killed · 000 live-capture · 000 released · 000 total take · quota = 070 · 070 more allowed
  • Pantropical Spotted : 193 caught · 040 killed · 024 live-capture · 127 released · 064 total take · quota = 400 · 336 more allowed
  • Pacific White-sided : 006 caught · 000 killed · 006 live-capture · 000 released · 000 total take · quota = 134 · 128 more allowed
  • Risso’s : 333 caught · 259 killed · 007 live-capture · 067 released · 266 total take · quota = 261 · 005 over quota
  • Short-finned Pilot : 061 caught · 041 killed · 002 live-capture · 018 released · 049 total take · quota = 114 · 065 more allowed
  • Striped : 383 caught · 383 killed · 000 live-capture · 000 released · 383 total take · quota = 450 · 067 more allowed. (source)

Be the change you want to see! Join and support  dolphinproject.net today!

Ric O’Barry personally spent a good part of this winter in Taiji monitoring and documenting the dolphin hunt and captive facilities foregoing holidays with family and events in his honor to stand watch for dolphins. He works 24/7 to be a voice for the dolphins in Taiji and in captivity. Where and when ever a dolphin needs help you will find Ric O’Barry.

“Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project has some phenomenal projects in the works — returning to the Solomon Islands, ending Indonesia’s traveling circus, Taiji of course, and Camp Lumba-Lumba — the first and largest permanent dolphin re-adaptation center in the world. Find ways to help here and become part of the pod here!.

Save the Blood Dolphins and Champions for Cetaceans Always Sharing Current news for dolphins, whales, ocean life, and ocean health.

Save the Blood Dolphins and Champions for Cetaceans Always Sharing Current news for dolphins, whales, ocean life, and ocean health.

Join us on Facebook pages Champions for Cetaceans and Save The Blood Dolphins for news and updates about dolphins and whales daily! Save the Blood Dolphins and Champions for Cetaceans always sharing current news for dolphins, whales, ocean life, and ocean health. Don’t forget to like our friends at I Love Dolphins another page with amazing updates and ways to take action for dolphins and the International Whale and Dolphin Stranding Network for current news on dolphin strandings worldwide.

Check back for upcoming posts on individual species analysis 2014/2015 drive season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

PBS Stands Behind Lie To The Public That Keiko Star Of Free Willy Who Lived 5 Years Free Died The First Year of Release


By Kirsten Massebeau

Keiko swims free on 2002 by the Orca NetworkIn their lopsided article entitled article, “In danger or endangered? Will world’s lonliest orca be released into the wild?” PBS discusses the release of Lolita the captive whale at the Miami Seaquarium and her possible release if she obtains endangered species status along with her family, still present in the Puget Sound L-Pod.

In this atricle PBS has made a huge blunder. In what looks like a pro-cap move the giant super station has contended that Keiko the star of “Free Willy” who was later released only lived one year in the wild promptly dying. Sadly PBS has not vetted their source or they do not want the world to know the truth as described in the documentary, “Keiko The Untold Story”.

Why PBS quoted Hari Sreenivasan, printing his lie obviously defending orca captivity is the question? “Keiko was the iconic killer whale that starred in the movie “Free Willy”. Keiko was released into the waters off Norway in 2002 but died alone a year later of pneumonia”.(source)

Apparently PBS would have preferred to see Keiko die in a tank truly alone far from the ocean. Howard Garrett Director of the Orca Network and expert on Lolita’s release and Keiko’s life was not included in the interview . Instead Pro-captivity Hari Sreenivasangot got the last word.

This is how PBS Ombsbudsman Marcia A. Apperson, Assistant Director PBS Ombudsman’s Office Responded to my question on their blatant lie:

Ms. Massebeau:
Several messages our office received about this report were forwarded to the PRODUCERS. Here is the response they sent:
Thank you for your comments. It is true that proposed plans to move Lolita, the killer whale, includes time for her to get re-acclimated into the wild before being released completely.  We addressed this briefly in the story. Here is that line: 
 
“That could lead to Lolita being re-acclimated over time and eventually released back into the waters off Seattle, where she was captured in 1970.”
 
It is also true Keiko, the iconic killer whale that starred in the movie “Free Willy,” also had time to acclimate to the wild.  A year after Keiko was fully released into the wild, Keiko died.  We understand there is a passionate debate around Keiko’s death and whether she was properly prepared for returning to the wild or if she died simply of natural causes.  In the future PBS NewsHour may have the opportunity to do an in-depth story about this important debate.
 Best,
Marcia Assistant Director, PBS Ombudsman’s Office
                         Please take action and demand PBS Correct their Story                                                                       to reflect the TRUTH!
                                     @Marcia A. Apperson on Twitter #PBS
                                         Call PBS Corrections and Complaints: 
                                                     703.998.2138
                                              Viewermail@newshour.org

Ask CNN To Report on The Captive Selection and Slaughter Of Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales In The Cove


By Kirsten Massebeau

Today the roar of the banger boats, and the black smoke was an unwelcome sight to dolphin advocates on the ground in Taiji, Japan as the dolphin hunting boats known as  moved into formation. Twitter became alive with Tweets as The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project and other activists reported a large pod of pilot whales was being forced into the infamous killing cove. It wouldn’t be until the nets were drawn that bottlenose dolphins, most desired by SeaWorld, and friends to stock marine parks and aquariums would be noted within the pod.

In 2009 the documentary, “The Cove” staring Ric O’Barry would be released exposing the terrible capture and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. The world was shocked to watch dolphins, who science have determined are highly intelligent beings divided destroyed. The young and strong were selected for captivity, while their parents and grandparents were slaughtered for meat, and fertilizer. The entire process was so obviously cruel and inhumane that many thought it would end following the release of, “The Cove” and then it’s academy award win in 2010 for best documentary would give it even more impact but sadly that would not be the case. Sponsored by the captive industry in order to fill orders for marine parks the hunt would continue with captures escalating. Young dolphins would be hoisted into slings headed for captivity whilst their parents were simultaneously, slowly slaughtered.

In 2011 the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project representative, wildlife photographer and storm chaser Brian Barnes was on the ground in Taiji. His footage of a mass pilot whales suicide would shock the world as the hunters stood by and laughed as whales threw their huge bodies against the rocks to avoid being dragged to a slow death under the blue tarps now associated with terrible dolphin suffering.

Killing Dolphins at Taiji is Slow and Cruel from BlueVoice.org on Vimeo.

The supposed, “Fisherman” claimed this was Western foolishness, propaganda. They took every stop possible to cover up what went on once a dolphin was dragged beneath their tarps. Again though the terrible suffering would be exposed by Dieter Hagmann of Atlantic Blue in Europe. His time elapsed secret footage would prove once and for all that these dolphins were suffering beyond any slaughter known. Behind the blue tarps a striped dolphin would have a steel blade driven behind his or her blow hole. Then the “Fisherman” drove bamboo pegs into the wounds to slow the bleeding in order to hide their work. For approximately 10 minutes the dolphin flays, twisting and writhing as the butcher heartlessly slices this highly intelligent being slowly, showing no empathy or emotion for such obvious and terrible suffering. The footage was later analyzed by a board of scientists whose finding were featured in the Huffington Post: Several veterinarians and behavioral scientists who watched a covertly recorded video wrote, “This killing method… would not be tolerated or permitted in any regulated slaughterhouse process in the developed world.” That includes Japan, oddly enough.

Japan’s own slaughter guidelines for livestock require that the creature being killed must be made to lose consciousness and be killed by methods “proven to minimize, as much as possible, any agony to the animal.” But those guidelines do not apply to whale and dolphin killing, which is governed by Japan’s Fisheries Agency..

On January 17, 2014 a mega pod of bottlenose dolphins would be driven into the cove. Within the center of this pod was a mother with a rare albino dolphin calf. Mother and daughter clung together until the following morning when at day break International Marine Mammal Animal Trainers and the dolphin hunters roared into the cove to begin three long days of dolphin hell and suffering as mothers and juveniles were separated, the youths were hauled away in slings for over seas SeaWorld’s and marine parks whilst watching their mothers and fathers slowly dying in the red tinged water.

The images of the mega pod slaughter and capture, and the albino dolphin now dubbed, “Angel” would be imprinted on the world forever. As the days of horror unfolded Carolyn Kennedy Ambassador to Japan would Tweet:

Following Carolyn Kennedy’s Tweet on January 22, 2014 Anderson Cooper 360 spoke with Ric O’Barry, director of the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project, who argues the killing “is not traditional, it is not cultural, and it’s time to end this.”

Despite the growing awareness and the constant presence of the dolphin activists documenting and reporting on the capture and slaughter against these highly intelligent beings the dolphin drive continues. In addition, while SeaWorld may be failing in the United States because of the powerful documentary “Blackfish” that exposes the truth behind the death of Dawn Branchau and the abuse and exploitation of killer whales they are in fact expanding. SeaWorld has a contract with Samsung to build a mega size dolphinarium in South Korea, the Middle East, and China countries where they would easily be able to purchase wild dolphins captured from Taiji with the support of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums who depend on Taiji wild captured dolphins to stock their display facilities.

Taiji: Doomed. No words to describe how I feel. - Richard O'Barry Take Action Here: http://goo.gl/iEkkTr

Taiji: Doomed. No words to describe how I feel. – Richard O’Barry
Take Action Here: http://goo.gl/iEkkTr

Ric O’Barry has spent a lifetime trying to undo the captive industry that he had helped to design almost a life time ago. Now he stands at the cove along with other activists documenting what was once a secret kept from the world. As the nets were drawn into place by the hunters to hold the dolphins and whales overnight prior to tomorrows early morning selection for marine parks and slaughter, Ric had this to say:

Taiji: Doomed. No words to describe how I feel. -Richard O’Barry

Our voice is their only hope! Don’t buy a ticket and join Ric O’Barry of the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project.net and all the brave activists standing up and speaking out about “The Cove”.

Follow this link and contact CNN and let them know that again a huge capture and slaughter of dolphins, and small whales will be taking place in “The Cove” and ask them to cover it! 

Risso’s Dolphins are First Victims of Taiji “The Cove” Dolphin Hunting Season 2014


By Kirsten Massebeau

The string of “blue cove days” ended September 16, 2014 as an innocent pod of Risso’s dolphins was driven into a remote cove in a state park in Taiji, Japan where a handful of men captured, and then slaughtered the entire pod. The yearly capture and slaughter of dolphins was made famous in 2009 when the documentary, “The Cove” was released revealing the inhumane and cruel treatment of these highly intelligent beings whose lives are destroyed for aquariums, food, and fertilizer. The hunt that takes place each year from September until March is brutal, grueling, cruel and deadly for the dolphin victims that attempt to travel past Taiji, Japan located in the Wakayama, Prefecture.

For several hours the  pod of Risso’s dolphins fought bravely for their lives but sadly they were no match for the hunters with their high powered Mercury engines and banger poles. The family was driven into the cove, pushed under the killing tarps, and then were quickly transported to the butchers house, the entrance known as “Death’s Door”.

While the Taiji Whale Museum and ISANA dolphin hunters union continue to scream culture and “tradition” this is absolutely untrue. The dolphin drive began in 1969 as pest control and then only a few years later aquariums began buying dolphins from dolphin drive fisheries. In the early 1980’s SeaWorld and other marine parks began to underwrite the drive fisheries began to underwrite dolphin drive fisheries for display. 

 Ric O’Barry states that the “World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) has the power to end this if they would stop these captures”. They must immediately expel the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) responsible for blood dolphin trafficking. “They get as much as $154,000 dollars for one dolphin for an aquarium or marine park”. In a recent CNBC interview Ric O’Barry star of The Cove, and head of The Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project points out a graph that shows the slaughtered dolphin numbers dropping ( the meat is toxic only eaten by a few!) while captures for aquariums are increasing. Ric’s wish is to bring Carolyn Kennedy who spoke out against dolphin drive fisheries last season to come to The Cove” and see first hand the terrible dolphin death and suffering that goes in Taiji, Japan and their strong ties to the captive industry.

Dolphin Talk Radio Interviews Takayo-san Japanese Activist For Dolphins


By Barbara Napoles

Takayo-san will be our next guest on Dolphin Talk Radio! This rising Japanese activist has dedicated her life to saving dolphins and animals worldwide! Please listen and call in with your questions on Tuesday 10PM EST, 7PM PST, and 11:00 Tokyo time!

Takayo was deeply moved upon seeing the plight of the dolphins in Taiji when viewing the Academy Award-winning documentary, “The Cove.”

Since then she has dedicated her life to saving these and other precious creatures. Takayo has done extensive research on the destruction of sea life and established “One Ocean, One Breath,” an organization dedicated to protecting aquatic animals.

She has worked tirelessly investigating the illegal sale of whale and dolphin meat in Japan, and has been in constant contact with numerous Taiji officials. Takayo has been chosen to be a representative for Japan at the upcoming Asia Animal Conference. The purpose of this coalition is to have united power to lobby the various organizations and governments that deal with captive dolphins.

Takayo has received support from all over the world and is eager to spread the message far beyond Japan.

Once the show starts there will a “Skype” logo where you can listen but also call in to the show for our overseas listeners. Please wait until we announce that the phone bank is open. Guest Call-in number is (424) 675-8287

Direct link to the show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dolphintalkradio/2014/08/27/interview-with-takayo-a-japanese-activist

►Event Time Announcer: bit.ly/1loGyLp

Dolphin Talk Radio Interview With Ric O’Barry Star of The Cove!


By Kirsten Massebeau

On August 19 at 12 noon EST Dolphin Talk Radio will be interviewing Ric O’Barry star of, “The Cove” and director of the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project. He will be discussing and taking questions on the dolphin drive in Taiji, Japan that begins September 1st, Japan Dolphins Day 2014, WAZA and JAZA’s involvement in Taiji, and the dolphins on display at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas. Compose your questions for Ric, and be listening, and ready to call in when the lines open for questions! Please limit one question per caller. (424) 675-8287 

“Ric O’Barry’s mission is to put an end to dolphin exploitation and slaughter once and for all. Dolphins are regularly captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit. The Dolphin Project was founded In 1970, a group that aims to educate the public about captivity and, where feasible, free captive dolphins. O’Barry works not only to halt these slaughters in countries around the world, but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation, and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.

The Dolphin Project has achieved many important victories for dolphins over the years. We brought the world’s attention to brutal drive hunts taking place along the coast of Japan, as seen in the 2009 Academy Award-winning feature documentary “The Cove,” ; we successfully negotiated for an end to dolphin slaughter in the Solomon Islands; we and we continue to raise awareness that captivity is cruel.

Ric O’Barry has been working towards there goals for over 40 years, and he continues his quest to put an end to dolphin suffering. Be sure to stay tuned for information on how you can get involved and make a difference”. (Source, Dolphin Project Facebook)

 

 

 

 

Dolphin Talk Radio’s Second Show with Runners for Dolphins a Success!


By Kirsten Massebeau Join us for the show! Call in and get involved in spreading awareness for dolphins! Dolphin Talk Radio’s second show entitled “Athletes Running for Dolphins” was a great success! Please have a listen! Just follow this link and learn more about these two great athletes and advocates for dolphins!

Shannon Richards a third grade, teacher and triathlon athlete did a fantastic job of sharing her passion as she participates in grueling triathlons in support of dolphins in captivity. In her bio this is what she said: “I feel like I am just an ordinary person who wants to make the world a better place, like many of us do. I love being inspired by others, and I strive to inspire others to find their passions and fulfill them, no matter how silly or insignificant they may be. My passions are teaching, loving animals, and competing in triathlons. I got this crazy idea to combine them all after seeing Blackfish and The Cove. Why not raise awareness for cetaceans in captivity while I am training and racing? In doing so, I feel like I am helping these dolphins and whales in some small way by causing people to stop and wonder why captivity is so wrong for these beautiful animals. If I can reach one person by running down the street, or riding my bike with “Ric O Barry’s Dolphin Project” logo on my back, I feel like I am one step closer to helping end captivity for them. Ending cetacean captivity is something I feel very strongly about, and I am so glad I have found such a great cause to help keep me motivated! I have made some wonderful new friends around the world, and I have also helped educate my family and friends, who in turn pass this information on to others. My plan is to continue to race for dolphins and whales and reach all the people I can until all the tanks are empty” (Shannon Richards, Tri for Change) Listen to Shannon’s story HERE!

Jennifer Wolfsong an attorney spoke about her drive to help dolphins after seeing the 2009 documentary on Netflix called, “The Cove”: I happened upon the movie, “The Cove” about 3 and a half years ago when I was surfing Netflix.  It disturbed me so much that I couldn’t think about anything else.  I didn’t sleep for weeks because I couldn’t get those horrible images out of my head.  I decided I had to do something, something drastic to catch people’s attention.  I have been a runner since high school so a running event seemed the natural choice.  In 2011 I started training to run 100 miles on Sept. 1, 2012, the start of Taiji’s dolphin hunting season.  I ended up shortening my goal to 100k (61 miles) but with the hopes of running 100 miles in the future.  I did successfully run 100km in Sept 2012 and raised more than $3,000 for Save Japan Dolphins.  I was unable to do a 100 mile run in 2013 but late in 2013 I started training again, this time to complete a 100 mile race this September.

” In watching the Cove, there is one thing that Ric O’Barry said that stays with me.  He said (and I’m paraphrasing) that if we can stop this one brutality in the world, there is hope that we can save the planet.  This is what I hold onto during my long, grueling training runs, that I’m running to keep hope alive”. (Jennifer Wolfsong) Listen to Jennifer’s story HEREFollow the link and listen to their creative activism to help dolphins worldwide!