October 12 , 2012- NOAA-NMFS Public Hearings in Washington, DC

This wonderful post by my friend Barbara Napoles says it all about the Beluga NOAA hearings. The post includes video of Ric O’Barry and a recording of Barbara’s speech to the panel. A very worthy read with a take action link. NOAA/NMFS are still accepting comments on this important issue.

A Dolphin Activist

The team from Save the Blood Dolphins arrives in Washington, DC full of energy and ready to speak at the NOAA-NMFS public hearings  but first we had to stop by the Japanese, Indonesia Embassies and drop off the signatures for the petitions “Stop the Annual Slaughter of Dolphins” with over 9,823 signatures.

As we arrived at the Japanese Embassy a strong gust of wind blew the officers papers away from his podium, Mila and I  helped him picked them up. We made a new friend. (Thank you God of the Wind – Aeolus)

The petition “Dolphins Don’t Belong in Traveling Circus” with over 23,500 signatures also delivered to the Indonesian Embassy.

We are very thankful to each and everyone that  took the time to sign these petitions. Then we head out to Silver Springs, Maryland, The NOAA – National Marine Fisheries Service and their Public hearings.

For the first time…

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Beluga Whales Need Your Help!

By Kirsten Massebeau Champions for Cetaceans Daily Scoop

A Beluga Whale at the Georgia Aquarium

Ric O’Barry of The Dolphin Project has made a call to action for beluga whales, the white dolphins:

The Georgia Aquarium is proposing to import EIGHTEEN wild belugas, caught in the wild in Russia, to distribute to the three SeaWorld parks (Florida, California and Texas), Shedd Aquarium and Mystic Aquarium.

Belugas are the wonderful white dolphins that inhabit the Arctic Ocean.  They are also called the “sea canary” for their high-pitched whistles underwater, part of their communication and sonar.  Like all such dolphins, they live in close family groups.

Russia is becoming a bigger and bigger exporter of wild cetaceans as countries around the world shut down the blood dolphin$ trade.  Belugas are chased by boats and netted, ripping them from their freedom and their families, the two most important things in their lives.

Georgian Aquarium claims the imports are “for public display to enhance the North American beluga breeding cooperative by increasing the population base of captive belugas to a self‐sustaining level and to promote conservation and education.”

But there is no reason to breed belugas in captivity except to put more on display.  And the education and conservation benefits of displays of these and other dolphins in public are nonexistent.

This is a rip-off of the public trust by aquariums seeking income from rare species to populate their small tanks.


The US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for issuing the permits to import and hold any cetacean in aquariums in the United States.  Your voice is needed to help save these eighteen beleaguered belugas.Deadline for Comments is October 29th, 2012″.(Read the entire article here) You can submit you comments to NOAA here. The article written by Ric O’Barry includes NOAA-NMFS addresses,phone numbers, and all the reasons why dolphins do not belong in captivity.

A Captive Beluga

Join The Dolphin Project with Ric O’Barry Here.

Join Champions for Cetaceans and our friends at Save The Blood Dolphins on Facebook for current dolphin issues and news everyday.


Beluga Whales to be Captured by Ocean Park in Hong Kong

Beluga Whale
Beluga Baby in The Wild

by HongKong Dolphinwatch


South China Morning Post 18th August, 2011

Ocean Park wants to know what you would think if a group of beluga whales was captured in the wild and brought back to Hong Kong for display in a new North Pole attraction.

The popular aquarium and theme park has commissioned an independent public opinion survey, officials said yesterday, as they consider the politically fraught decision to import the hump-headed sea mammals, which are classified by conservation groups as “near threatened”.
Specifically, the poll would ask Hong Kong residents how they would feel if Ocean Park brought four or five of the animals, known also as white whales, back from Russia’s far east, according to someone familiar with the acquisition plan.
The plan would be to put the animals on display along in its new Polar Adventure exhibit along with South Pole penguins recently acquired from a Japanese zoo.
Conservationists, however, dismissed the poll as an attempt to justify a decision after it has been made.
“Isn’t it too late to ask the public’s view?” said Dr Samuel Hung Ka-yiu, chairman of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society. “They have already built a facility and now can’t wait to fill it.”
An Ocean Park spokeswoman said the agency was still processing the survey and the park would announce the findings as soon as possible and make a decision afterwards. Redeveloped portions of the park will open next year.
A person familiar with the plan insisted the any whale capture would hinge on the outcome of the poll and the park was prepared to walk away from the idea. “It would be difficult to go ahead with the plan without public support,” the source said.
The park says the import of the belugas – probably the most controversial of its recent intakes – could help enforce conservation efforts by giving the public the chance to see the view the animals close up.
Conservation groups assign the category “near threatened” – below “least concern” and above “vulnerable” – to animals that have sufficient numbers to survive on their own or with minimum human intervention. Although beluga whales are considered “near threatened” globally, certain North American subpopulations are considered endangered.
A population assessment sponsored by Ocean Park, which has recently been reviewed by a specialist group under the International Union for Conservation of Nature, concluded that removal of a certain number of beluga whales from the wild might be acceptable.
Park officials say they are confident risks to the animals in capture and transport would be low but are also aware of the potential for public criticism if any problems arise.
Beluga whales were just one of several animals on Ocean Park’s wish list when it announced a HK$5 billion redevelopment plan in 2005. The list has since dwindled, however, with less numerous polar bears and killer whales already dropped.
Last year, the park acquired 10 rare Chinese sturgeon after several in an earlier batch took ill and died.
Officials would not say who they had hired to conduct the survey. Hung, of the dolphin conservation group, questioned any result.
“Most Hong Kong people are emotionally associated with Ocean Park,” Hung said. “It is possible some of them might be misled to come to a conclusion favoured by the park.”

Drop them an email and let them know that not just Hong Kong is concerned, the whole world is watching:

Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park Hong Kong
Suzanne Gendron, Executive Director Zoological Operations & Animal Acquisitions, Ocean Park Hong Kong
Chifai Cheung, South China Morning Post Reporter

allan@lkfgroup.com, suzanne.gendron@oceanpark.com.hk, chifai.cheung@scmp.com

Please come learn more about Hong Kong Dolphin Watch!