2013 Brings New Hope for Dolphins

By Kirsten Massebeau

Dolphin Watching Fireworks by Born Free Facebook

Dolphin Watching Fireworks by Born Free Facebook

2013 offers new hope for dolphins everywhere! In 2012 there were some significant events that can only mean new, positive changes for dolphins. SeaWorld lost their bid to overturn the OSHA decision banning dolphin trainers from getting into the water and performing with Orca all of this stemming from the death of Dawn Brancheau’s death  in 2010 (source). In July David Kirby published his revealing book “Death At Sea World” that would crush the happy picture of captivity created by the captive industry forever.

On May 11, 2012 Born Free released Tom and Misha back into the ocean after two years of preparation. Tom and Misha were captured in 2010 off provincial port of Ismir in Turkey. They were then sent to a tourist hot spot  Hisaronu where they were kept in horrific conditions used in a swim with dolphins. Thanks to the work of Donal MacIntyre a journalist, Dolphin Angels, and Born Free today the dolphins swim free!

“Helen Worth had been with the project since the beginning, and said, “When I first saw them in that hell of a pool I wondered if they would survive. It’s been the most heart-wrenching journey with so many challenges but each and every one of them has been overcome by the team and, most importantly, by Tom and Misha themselves. The drama and emotion of Tom and Misha’s story is an inspiration.” (source)

November 23, 2012 Japan March for Dolphins and Whales By Michael Todd

November 24, 2012 Tokyo March for Dolphins and Whales By Michael Todd

November 24, 2012 gave way to a historic march for whales and dolphin in protest of whale and dolphin hunting, and capture. While dolphin and whale hunting continues to be sanctioned by the government in Japan, Japanese activists are coming forth and joining the International campaign to save whales and dolphins worldwide. These brave pioneers bring an entirely new perspective to ocean activism and animal welfare. Thanks to social media ocean activists can join together on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms sharing information, and taking action from all over the world.

Marcos the baby dolphin

Marcos the baby dolphin rescued August 20, 2012 By PROMAR

On August 20, 2012 baby dolphin Marcos was discovered by the Spanish Civil  Guard who then alerted PROMAR a non-profit organization in the South of Spain. A striped dolphin Marcos species normally lives in the deep waters. How was separated from his mother and got so close to shore is unknown. PROMAR dedicated to dolphin freedom has and is doing everything possible to make sure Marcos has a successful release. They hope to locate a pod of the striped dolphins using a helicopter and then release Marcos into the group. It is a huge undertaking but Marcos has come a long way. Promar working with Ric O’Barry and The Dolphin Project believe Marcos has a shining wild and free future ahead! Join Marcos on Facebook and see how you can help!

Dolphins slaughtered while IMATA celebrates in Hong KongTaiji dolphins by SSCS Cove Guardians 2012

Dolphins slaughtered while IMATA celebrates in Hong Kong
 Dolphins in the cove By SSCS Cove Guardians  December 2012

Sadly the total disconnect with dolphins continues in Taiji, Japan and the overall captive industry. While International Marine Animal Trainers Association ( IMATA) trainers, many of whom work with Taiji dolphins celebrated their profits, dolphins were being captured and slaughtered in the cove. For several days bottlenose dolphins watched as a pod of short finned pilot whales suffered, and then were slowly slaughtered. Eventually the dolphin hunters turned their sights to the bottlenose and their cruel and inhumane treatment of dolphins continued. If that wasn’t enough on December 7th, a small pod of Risso’s dolphins was captured, the entire pod immediately slaughtered. Join the campaign asking IMATA to stop the slaughter. During the IMATA conference December 2-7, 2012  the dolphin deaths and suffering in the cove seemed endless:

  • 02-Dec-2012:  2 pods, bottlenose (16) & pilots (12) driven, held overnight
  • 03-Dec-2012:  12 pilots killed, dolphins remain held in the cove (from Dec 2nd drive)
  • 04-Dec-2012:  9 bottlenose taken as live-capture, 7 bottlenose killed (from Dec 2nd drive)
  •  07-Dec-2012: 15 Risso’s Dolphins captured and killed (source)
Screen print from Cove Guardians livestream 2012

Screen print from taiji.ezearth.tv  December 13. 2012 Taken by STBD

As discouraging as the ignorance and cruelty towards dolphins is in Taiji, and the captive industry, there is hope on the horizon. Thanks to Social Media and the ability to share information Sea Shepherds Cove Guardians and Save Japan Dolphins Cove Monitors are able to report on the drive real-time on Facebook and Twitter which allows activists to share worldwide. The real kicker for 2012 was the live stream taiji.ezearth.tv done by the Cove Guardians. From the minute a pod is spotted thru the horrific processing of their bodies the live stream is on exposing the horrors of Taiji and the captive dolphin industry.

Wild and Free! Ric O'Barry  The Dolphin Project

Wild and Free!  Ric O’Barry The Dolphin Project 2012

Ocean activist’s are growing in numbers everyday through many social media platforms. As Ric O’Barry says,”Be your own media, make your own network”. 2013 will offer new angles and ways to make a difference for dolphins as we continue to share the message captivity kills! Don’t buy a ticket! Together we can make a difference.

Join Champions for Cetaceans and our sister page Save The Blood Dolphins on Facebook for drive updates and dolphin issues daily.

Five Days of Dolphin Hell in The Cove Contiues

By Kirsten Massebeau

Bottlenose dolphin super-pod trapped in the cove. By SSCS Cove Guardians December 12, 2012

Bottlenose dolphin super-pod trapped in the cove.
By SSCS Cove Guardians December 12, 2012

December 12, 2012 the Taiji dolphin hunters hit the jackpot!”Taiji: Huge pod of Bottlenose dolphins being driven toward the cove”(source)  And so the long cruel days ahead for the super pod of bottlenose dolphins began. It took the killers two trips to push the giant pod thick with calves and juveniles into the cove. The dolphin hunters had found the very thing that has lined their pockets with gold, the most desired dolphin by the captive industry bottlenose! It took all day to secure almost two hundred dolphins many of them mothers and calves. Once the task of herding and netting off the cove was complete the hunters left their victims  and the cove for the day: “Killers have left the cove after putting up nets- the Bottlenose Dolphins will remain in the cove tonight… December 12, 2012”. (source) Later a call to action was put out by the SSCS Cove Guardians to contact IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers Association) and WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) asking them to stop supporting the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan.

Two Taiji Dolphins in a tiny pool under a stadium panicked and stressed far from the ocean at Sharm-el-Sheikh

Two Taiji Dolphins in a tiny pool under a stadium panicked and stressed far from the ocean at Sharm-el-Sheikh

Taiji is the largest exporter of captive dolphins. Taiji dolphins are sent to aquariums, Marine Parks, swim with dolphins programs and facilities that are supported by both IMATA and WAZA. The captive dolphins taken in these drives often end up in dire situations as seen above.These two Taiji dolphins were shipped to Egypt where they have been placed in a tiny chlorinated pool underneath a stadium. They appear stressed and panicked. Their families, and the ocean have been taken from them forever.

Many died in the nets as the capture process continued. By SSCS Cove Guardians December 13th, 2012

Day 2: Several dolphins entangled in the nets or were injured as the capture process continued.
By SSCS Cove Guardians December 13th, 2012

Day two was ugly as expected as families were torn apart and babies ripped from their mothers sides. Trainers and dolphin killers arrived in their skiffs early in the morning on December 13th. It would be a terrible and long day for the dolphins. Activists watched the Cove Guardians on livestream and Twitter  as they broadcast real-time directly from the cove. Sad reports of death and suffering continued to funnel in through-out the day: “Taiji: 16 dolphins captive so far. One calf died after being entangled in nets- its mother tried to save it before it disappeared”.(source)
December 13, 2012 Bottlenose captureBy SSCS Cove Guardians

Day 2: December 13, 2012 Bottlenose capture By SSCS Cove Guard

The dolphin killers wrestled and pushed dolphins around the cove . Dolphins were caught in the nets as they tried to escape, many drowning while others that resisted were roped and dragged into the killing cove where killers and trainers waited for the selection process. December 13, 2012 was a long violent day in the cove for these dolphins. At the end of the day a total of 32 bottlenose dolphins had been selected.
December 14, 2012 the capture and suffering continue.By SSCS Cove Guardians

Day 3: December 14, 2012 the capture and suffering continue.
By SSCS Cove Guardians

Day three brought more suffering and violent captures. The super pod had now been three days with no food. By 11:30 am in Japan 28 dolphins had been taken: “Taiji: 28 dolphins have been taken so far today- 60 including yesterday’s”! (Source) As always in the cove dolphin death and suffering go hand in hand with capturing these highly intelligent beings: “Taiji: two dead bodies have just been found by divers and taken out from within the cove” (source)

Day four was a day off for the dolphin trainers and hunters so the pod spent another day without food or water netted off in the cove. “As a downpour sets in around Taiji- killers take the day off and leave the Bottlenose Dolphins for another day”! Four days with without food or water”(souce)

Day 5: Frenzied Dolphins and Killers by Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians December 16, 2012

Day 5: Frenzied Dolphins and Killers by Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians December 16, 2012

Frenzied is the word that best describes the dolphin captures on day 5. The hunters continued to push the hungry and frantic dolphins from the netted area into to the killing cove where trainers waited under tarps for another day of selection. Each time the killers rushed into the netted areas with their skiffs the dolphins would dart into the nets in an attempt to gain their freedom. Sadly the killer know this game all to well. The killers dressed in diving suits dropped from the skiffs into the water with the dolphins in an attempt to keep the dolphins out of the nets and push them towards the killing cove. Dolphins that resist are roped by their fluke (tail) and dragged into the killing cove. Once under the tarps they are looked over for scars, and imperfections that deem them unsuitable for captivity. Only the most beautiful dolphins will be selected. A captive bottlenose dolphin that has been trained can bring upwards 150,000 dollars while a slaughtered dolphin only brings them around $600.00 to $700.00 per dolphin for their meat. Violent captures, usually followed by slaughter has lined the killers pockets yet the captive industry remains silence. At the end of the fifth day 31 dolphins were selected for captivity bringing the total to 93. “Nothing but greed, selfishness and profit” (Source) As the pod was left for yet another night activists could not help but tremble in thinking about all those still in the cove awaiting their fate on day 6 in the killing cove.

Please be a voice for the dolphins! There are still dolphins awaiting their fate in the cove. Take a moment and contact IMATA and WAZA. If they truly care about dolphins then they must speak up or retract their mission statements of conservation and caring.

Phone: 312-692-3193
Fax: 312-939-2216
E-mail: info@imata.org

Phone +41 (0)22 999 07 90
Fax +41 (0)22 999 07 91
Email: secretariat@waza.org

Japan Fisheries Public Content Form:https://www.contact.maff.go.jp/maff/form/114e.html

Contacts via Twitter:
US Ambassador to Japan @AmbassadorRoos
Japanese Prime Minister @JPN_PMOUS
Embassy in Tokyo @usembassytokyo
Political Minister at Japanese Embassy in London @norishikata

Japanese Embassies Worldwide:http://www.mofa.go.jp/about/emb_cons/mofaserv.html