Action Alert: Navy’s Proposed Action Deadly To Resident Orcas


By Kirsten Massebeau

The comment period closes on April 15 for the Navy’s Proposed Actions in the Puget Sound.and the entire Northwest Training Complex.The Navy plans to add pier-side testing and maintenance, increased sonar practicing, and increased underwater charges and mines. While the Navy tries to minimize the impact of their activities Ken Balcomb senior scientist at The Center For Whale Research has actually heard, and seen the damage.

Listen to the OPB interview with Ken Balcomb senior scientist at The Center For Whale Research featured in Candace Calloway Whiting’s article: Hear Ear-splitting Navy Sonar, and Watch the Orca Whales Respond

Please follow this link and read the Navy’s Proposed Plan HERE. Once you have read the proposed action you can then comment on the three deadly and important changes they are seeking. The ability to do pier-side sonar testing and maintenance one of the worst. An increase in sonar, and mines exercises and increase in underwater charges is unacceptable!

Sample Letter:

“I am writing in opposition to the Navy’s proposed expansion of their Northwest Training Complex. I want to begin by opposing pier side sonar testing that would take place in an ESA listed habitat for resident orcas not to mention the many other cetaceans, marine mammals, and ocean life living close to the shorelines. Increasing these tests dock side is out of the question. There is no limit to the damage and deaths it will cause.

I also oppose and increase in underwater charges, increased war games using sonar, and explosion of underwater mines.
“Alternative 1 includes some activities that were not analyzed in previous documents. New activities being considered include:
“Use of new and existing unmanned vehicles and their acoustic sensors, in support of homeland security and anti-terrorism/force protection. This type of training is critical in protecting the nation’s military and civilian harbors, ports and shipping lanes.
Use of 0.50-caliber blanks in Puget Sound in support of force protection training of the Navy’s Maritime Expeditionary Security Force.
Addition of a biennial maritime homeland defense mine countermeasure training exercise in Puget Sound and analyzing the amount of time acoustic sensors are used during that event”.
All of the above expansions are unacceptable. I am supporting NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE and a slow departure of the Navy from the Puget Sound area and Pacific Northwest. It’s time to end the Navy’s war on whales”.

COMMENT HERE!!!

Please use the above information and compose your comment now opposing the Navy’s proposed action increasing their deadly activities in the Puget Sound!

PLEASE COMMENT NOW!!!

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An Era Ends as Dolphin, and BBC Wildlife Photographer-Filmmaker is Denied Entrance to Japan


By Kirsten Massebeau

On February 14, 2014 (Japan time), Martyn Stewart dolphin and BBC wildlife photographer-filmmaker was held in custody at Osaka Airport where he was grilled by Japanese authorities, and  eventually expelled from the country following a grueling interrogation. Martyn reached out to his many friends and followers from his detention cell at Osaka Airport, posting on Facebook:

“I am Locked in a cell room at Osaka airport waiting on an appeal to the high minister regarding my entry into Japan. I’m accused of being sea shepherd and an Eco terrorist, my footage is not liked in Japan apparently and have been accused of assaulting members of the public. In 4 years of being here for the dolphins I have maintained the law and abided by their rules. My words and pictures did the rest. The government of Japan will do anything to protect the rights of the fishermen of Taiji and the barbaric treatment of the animals involved.
Please share far and wide to bring awareness to this corrupt government and those that want to continue to brutally treat these amazing animals. The condition I’m in and the treatment I have received is nothing short of criminal”. — at Kansai Airport Line.

“Incredible feelings again in my stomach, I never thought i would come back here again so soon but things just happen like this in life, weird! It’s not the place you would want to keep coming back to, i mean you wouldn’t keep going back to a shitty restaurant, right! This place just has me tied up too much though, i hate the thought of abandoning these animals and i feel it every-time i leave. My promise to them was i would always come back until i knew it would stop. Whether it be because they want to stop (fishermen) or because they become extinct. We just have to be their voice”…. January 2013, in Wakayama-shi, Japan.(Martyn Stewart)

While Martyn Stewart of Nature’s Sound is known for his beautiful recordings of birds and wildlife for documentaries, his images and video documentation of the cruel dolphin drives in Taiji, Japan are legendary. His passion can be seen in his pictures and videos, of the terrible dolphin suffering he has witnessed over the years as he documented the dolphin drive in Taiji. His videos and images have compelled many activists to speak out, and take action, for the dolphins.

While many of the photographers coming to Taiji keep their lenses focused on the dolphin victims only, Martyn goes further. He took the lens of his camera beyond the dolphin suffering capturing images of the small group of people who are profiting from the sale of dolphins dead and alive. Above is an image of Mr. Myoshi owner of the Dolphin Resort, and a broker of dolphins. Each trained dolphin he sells to aquariums can bring him up to 200,000 while a dead dolphin brings the hunters the equivalent of hundreds of  dollars for the butchered meat which is sold for human consumption, dog food, and fertilizer (bottlenose dolphins). The meat is Mercury laden and toxic yet the slaughter and consumption by a few continues.

While taking portrait images is frowned upon in Japan, Martyn’s pictures of those involved in the dolphin drives have sparked the global community in a profound way leading the viewers to question how Marine Parks have become so entwined the terrible capture and slaughter of these highly intelligent beings, dolphins and small whales. The dolphin trainers, many of whom are certified by the International Marine Animals Trainer Association (IMATA), work side by side with the hunters simultaneously selecting the young beautiful dolphins for captivity, while slaughtering the older dolphins their parents, and grandparents. One might think that IMATA would vehemently oppose dolphin drive fisheries claiming they love dolphins yet the opposite is true. IMATA welcomes trainers from dolphin drive fisheries:

“Any individual who believes in IMATA’s mission and who supports its goals is welcomed into the membership. This means that if an individual works for an organization that acquires dolphins from a drive fishery, up to and including participating in the selection and collection of live animals, s/he is welcomed by IMATA”.(source)

While the Taiji ISANA “Fisherman’s” Union claims the hunt is “tradition” history tells a very different story. It is no wonder the dolphin hunters go to such great lengths to hide the bodies of their dolphins victims who suffer and die so slowly under the tarps draped so skillfully over the blood filled shallows of the killing cove. In a recent article entitled, “Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt Is Not A Tradition”, Mark Palmer of Earth Island Institute quotes star and co creator of academy award winning documentary, The Cove, Ric O’Barry who explains that in fact the Taiji, dolphin drives are not “tradition”:

“This claim of ‘Japanese tradition’ is nonsense,” stated Ric O’Barry, Director of Earth Island’s Dolphin Project.  “The dolphin drive hunts, according to the town’s own written history, says a couple of drive hunts occurred in 1936 and 1944, but the current series of hunts only began in 1969(source).

“We do not want these animals to have died in vain. They died because of ignorance. The next pod caught is partly in your hands. Talk, educate, be proactive”. November, 2013— at太地町.(Martyn Stewart)

The capture of dolphins for aquariums and marine parks  is a multi-million dollar industry that the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), and their partners the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) who sits on WAZA’s animal ethics board of directors do not want to see end. The dolphins born in captivity cannot fill the demand for display dolphins hence the need is filled with blood dolphins.

While Martyn will no longer be exposing, and reporting on the dolphin capture and slaughter in Taiji, Japan his time spent there was not in vain. Martyn Stewart showed us the faces and suffering behind the dolphin slaughter and capture. His pictures and video are timeless as is his is an example to us all practicing what he preaches. He is a strict vegan, and true animal lover, who will never be silenced in his quest to help all living creatures, and to expose animal suffering whenever and wherever it occurs.

Leaving the land that kill dolphins and small wales, leaving animals that I so much promised I would be with until this insanity stops, leaving with a sence of failure yet one of pride that I did what I could and I will never forget that. Leaving a country that so much needs our guidance and not interference, leaving Taiji in a far worse state than I found it in. Leaving behind many friends that I made and will probably never see again. Leaving a large piece of my heart on a beach in Taiji — at Kansai International Airport.(Martyn Stewart)

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TWEETSTORM ~ WAZA HAS THE POWER TO END THE DOLPHIN SLAUGHTERS, DEMAND THAT WAZA ACT NOW !!


By Kirsten Massebeau

A mega pod of dolphins that included a rare albino dolphin calf gained worldwide attention on January 17, 2014 as they were driven into the infamous cove in Taiji, Japan. Using a painful technique called oikomi, once the hunters locate a pod, in this case bottlenose dolphins, they create a semi-circle. They then drop steel pipes with fluted bottoms into the water. Together each boat bangs on the poles with hammers creating a painful wall of sound. On January 17th the bottlenose dolphins in a race for their lives were inevitably pushed into the cove section by section, and netted off for the captive process that would begin the following day.

The grueling process of selection for WAZA members facilities by SSCS Cove Guardians January

The grueling process of selection for WAZA members facilities by SSCS Cove Guardians January 20, 2014 Taiji

For four days the dolphins were pushed into the shallows of Hatakejiri Bay. Using the blast of engines and hunters in dive suits, each section of the pod was manhandled, many injured, as they were pushed onto the shore of the killing cove where dolphin trainers, many working for the one of local dolphin brokers the Taiji Whale Museum, a World Association of zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)  member, and Dolphin Base another broker, were waiting to inspect the younger dolphins for sale to aquariums, marine parks and dolphinariums worldwide.

The first taken was the rare albino baby who was literally ripped from its mothers side. For four days the mega pod remained in the cove as trainers took the young from their parents marking the unwanted with a white stripe that would later mean slaughter or a drive back out to sea. As the days of captive selection continued the dolphin suffering escalated as the dolphins became weaker, wounded, and more panicked.

The hunters ran over the dolphins again and again as they pushed the dolphins under the tarps using the blades and roar of the outboard motors to manipulate their victims.

Dolphins panicked, and began to lose the will to live as days went by. While the dolphin drives have been an annual event since 1969, and had been exposed most recently in the 2009 release of the documentary The Cove it has continued. This drive though, would draw worldwide attention.

The news of this huge bottlenose round-up coursed through media outlets worldwide sparking global outrage. US Ambassador Carolyn Kennedy came forward expressing deep concern about the Taiji dolphin hunts(source). Yoko Ono came forward publishing a letter to the ISANA “Fisherman’s” Union imploring them to end the hunt (source) While many important people came forward the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) remained silent as the bottlenose dolphins being manhandled and selected for captivity in the cove would be bought, and sold by and to their members.

“In a recent interview Ric O’Barry film star and creator of the Academy Award winning documentary The Cove that exposed the Taiji dolphin capture and slaughter had this to say: “The number of dolphins caught last year for captivity was tremendous: about 250. The season before, only 50 dolphins were captured for captivity”.(Source)

“This claim of ‘Japanese tradition’ is nonsense,” stated Ric O’Barry, Director of Earth Island’s Dolphin Project.  “The dolphin drive hunts, according to the town’s own written history, says a couple of drive hunts occurred in 1936 and 1944, but the current series of hunts only began in 1969.”(source)

What you can do to help?

Join the Tweetstorm !TWEETSTORM ~ WAZA HAS THE POWER TO END THE DOLPHIN SLAUGHTERS, DEMAND THAT WAZA ACT NOW !!

TWEETSTORM TIME ANNOUNCER: ► http://bit.ly/1cXjmsv

COUNTDOWN TO TWEETSTORM: ► http://bit.ly/1joYdjo

Friday, January 24, 2014

10:00pm in UTC

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Action Alert Tweetstorm Now!! Huge Pod of Bottlenose Dolphins In The Cove – GET THE MEDIA TO SEE THE LIVESTREAM !!


By Kirsten Massebeau

Albino baby 2A Tweetstorm by I Love Dolphins taking place now for the 350 plus bottlenose dolphins with a rare albino calf within the super pod! Please join now and begin Tweeting as the Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians Livestream as the captive dolphin selection and slaughter process begins in The Cove! The captive industry has hit the jackpot for their marine parks. It is our job to expose what they are supporting. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and The International Marine Animal Trainers Association work with drive fisheries and barter these dolphins. Calf’s, babies are ripped from their mothers sides to and their parents are slaughtered! Our voice is their only hope!

GO TO THE LIST OF PREMADE TWEETS HERE!

HUGE POD OF DOLPHINS IN THE COVE -GET THE MEDIA TO SEE THE LIVESTREAM !! JOIN HERE AND LEARN MORE

We are going to post a link with PRE-MADE tweets (incl. hashtag & livestream link) just one minute before the storm starts, the only thing you need to do is to hit all the buttons on this tweet link…. SO LET’S BE READY TO RUMBLE THE MEDIA !!

On the 17th of January a huge drive happened and 5 pods of Bottlenose dolphins were driven into the notorious Cove in Taiji, Japan. Included in this are BABIES and one rare and unique ALBINO Bottlenose dolphin. Tomorrow, the captive selection will take place. Sealing their fate to a life inside a concrete prison, sold for captivity. Enough!! The Media has ignored this for long enough. Let’s tweet for these dolphins who were unfortunate enough to swim too close to Taiji and URGE the media to stand up and take notice. Let’s get this to the papers. Let’s go!!!!

DUE TO TIME LIMIT (WE WANT THE MEDIA TO WITNESS THIS HORROR TONIGHT AS IT UNFOLDS ) WE NEED YOU TO SHARE THIS EVENT AS FAR AND WIDE AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.(source)

 

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As Blackfish Premieres on CNN Four More Orcas are Captured by “White Sphere” in Russia for the Captive Industry


By Kirsten Massebeau

Orcas captured near Sakhalin Island area  Source: Russian Orcas

Four more orcas captured near Sakhalin Island area, by “White Shpere” a company in Russia. Info provided by Russian Orca 

On October 27, 2013 the Facebook page Russian Orcas shared an image of orcas in a netted enclosure: “New confirmed information: Four more orcas have been captured somewhere in the Sakhalin Island area by the same company as before. In total, now there are eight captive orcas in Russia. Narnia captured last year, plus seven captured this year”.(source) In a short interview with Russian Orcas it was confirmed that the company capturing the orcas in Russia is called, “White Sphere”: “The company is “White Sphere” and its daughter company is “Sochinsky delphinary” (Dolphinarium in Sochi)”. Doctor Ingrid Visser Founder and Investigator at the Orca Trust commented on the image on her facebook page simply saying, “tragic that this happens right when “Blackfish” is making an impact”.

Previously on October 9, 2013 Russian Orcas had reported on another capture by “White Sphere“: “Three more captured Russian orcas join Narnia. An adult male, adult female and juvenile female killer whale were captured recently in the Sea of Okhotsk, eastern Russia, about 50 km south of the place where the young female orca Narnia was captured a year ago. They were transported in trucks for more than 1000 km to the south to the net enclosure near Nakhodka (Vladivostok area) and placed in the same net pen where Narnia was kept for the past year. The three captives were reportedly in a very bad condition after the transport. They refused to eat. The trainers could do nothing. Finally, we’ve heard, that Narnia herself tried something. She brought fish to the three captives and gave it to them. In this way she was responsible for persuading them to eat. This is not the first time one captive has helped others in the same situation. In the book Orca: The Whale Called Killer, Charlie Chin (M1) from the transient M pod encouraged a female in the pod to eat salmon—of course this is strange food for transients—after more than 2 months of refusing to eat. Regarding the four orcas now in Nakhodka, two of them are rumored to be headed for Moscow in November to be placed in the Oceanarium which is being built in the All-Russia Exhibition Centre. Two others are rumoured to have been offered for sale abroad. (Source)

 

On October 24, 2013 the heart-wrenching, fact based, eye opening film, “Blackfish” premiered on CNN. The powerful documentary exposes SeaWorld and the truth about the  death of Dawn Brancheau who was killed by killer whale,Tilikum in 2010. The movie highlights SeaWorld’s lack of concern for the safety of trainers who are working with killer whales, and explores why Tilikum has killed. Once the viewer sees the violent captures of these orca juveniles being ripped from their mothers in the wild there is no doubt what SeaWorld has to done these highly intelligent mammals, and continues to do by enslaving them is wrong. The orca is the largest of the dolphin family traveling hundreds of miles everyday. Orca families have stronger emotional family bonds than humans, staying together in pods for a lifetime. Horrific footage of the violent Puget Sound captures, and Tilikum’s capture brought viewers to tears as “Blackfish” premiered and revealed how very unsuitable orcas are for captivity yet the captures continue.

Blackfish ended up taking the number 1 spot on , “CNN Films: Blackfish #1 In Cable News Last Night In Key Demo Ratings” showing a huge interest in the compelling topic of keeping orcas in captivity. In addition CNN Polls demonstrated that people overwhelmingly believe orcas should not be in captivity yet the captures continue in Russia and Iceland, putting pods at risk of collapse, much like 43 year old captive orca Lolita whose L-Pod remains threatened in the Puget Sound today because of captures. The question looms will people get smart and realize that there is a “Better Way To See Orcas” before it’s too late?

Follow Russian Orcas on Facebook for daily updates on Russian Orcas and you can follow their website Russian Orcas Homepage

TWEETSTORM: Add SeaWorld and it Becomes the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Charade


By Kirsten Massebeau

Now more than ever SeaWorld is under scrutiny for bad behavior. They have been found negligent in the death of Dawn Brancheau, and continue to be exposed as exploiters and abusers of dolphins and small whales. Most recently, “Death at Sea World“, a book by David Kirby, “Blackfish” the recently released documentary by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, and the academy award winning film, The Cove reveal how terribly dolphins suffer at the hands of SeaWorld, making huge profits for the Blackstone Corporation.

The Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade has become a family tradition that is meant to represent all the good things in life and that includes honesty, kindness, loyalty, all components of a good character the one thing SeaWorld seems to lack as is evidenced by their treatment of people, orcas, and all the dolphins and small whales they use to put on shows for their entertainment parks worldwide. In addition, SeaWorld’s total lack of regard for human safety continues putting the lives of trainers at risk of death or injury from working closely with the many “Shamus” of the SeaWorld collection.

Join the Tweetstorm and Support Orca Freedom!

Wild and Free in the Puget Sound!  Join the Tweetstorm and Support Orca Freedom!

Join Us Worldwide for a Tweetstorm Asking Macy’s to Say No To SeaWorld!  Wednesday, October 16, 2013

8:00pm in UTC+01/ EDT it is 3pm  and 12 PM for PDT

Demonstrators Demand The Captive L Pod Orca Lolita Be Retired and Released!


By Kirsten Massebeau

Lolita has performed for 43 years at Miami Seaquarium. Read the Plan for her retirement.

Lolita has performed for 43 years at the Miami Seaquarium. Read the Plan for her retirement.

On October 3, 2013 Barbara Napoles a long time dolphin activist received a call from an Australian news channel about doing a demonstration and interview about Lolita the last L Pod member alive in captivity today. Despite her busy schedule with her popular Facebook page Save the Blood Dolphins Napoles put together and amazing event in less than a week that drew 50 activists including Ric O’Barry of the Dolphin Project/creator of the academy award-winning documentary The Cove, and the media.

Lolita is a subject close to Napoles heart as she grew up in the Miami area where Lolita has performed for 43 years at the Miami Seaquarium. Napoles has attended, and created, many demonstrations for Lolita known as Tokitae in the Puget Sound where the L pod, her family, her mother, sister and other L pod mates still live today. According to Napoles, “I am sure the L Pod is awaiting Lolita’s return. She has performed for 43 years in one of the tiniest tanks on the planet at the Miami Seaquarium doesn’t she deserve to retire?”.

Barbara Napole and Ric O'Barry brainstorming at the Free Lolita Event on October 12, 2013

Barbara Napoles and Ric O’Barry brainstorming at the Free Lolita Demonstration October 10, 2013

The L pod capture on August 8, 1970 took seven young whales for captivity one of which was Lolita. The whales were sold to marine parks around the world. During Lolita’s capture five whales, including four babies had their bellies slit, then filled with rocks, and weighted down with chains and anchors to keep their deaths from coming to the public’s attention. Of the seven whales taken for captivity Lolita is the only L pod orca from the Penn Cove captures that remains alive today. (Source)

Demonstrators pose for a picture. Their message loud and clear let Lolita go home!

Demonstrators pose for a picture. Their message loud and clear let Lolita go home!

On May 24, 2013 the government announced that they would reconsider Lolita’s status as endangered that she has previously been excluded from:

Apr. 24, 2013: We accepted a petition to include the captive killer whale known as Lolita in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of Southern Resident killer whales. We are soliciting scientific and commercial information about Lolita’s status to ensure that our ongoing status review is comprehensive. Acceptance of this petition doesn’t  presuppose any particular outcome. The comment period closes Jun. 28, 2013. See the Federal Register notice and other materials below for more information; or contact Lynne Barre, 206-526-4745. (source)

What would become of Lolita after 43 years in Miami Seaquarium? Her teeth are still good which gives her a fighting chance. There is a proposal and a good one. Many people in the Pacific Northwest and worldwide want to see Lolita released and returned to her pod. The plan can be read here. Isn’t it time that an orca taken from her family so long ago is given a chance to enjoy the rest of her life with her family? Doesn’t she deserve some kind of retribution for the life that was stolen from her all those years ago in Penn Cove.