Bottlenose Dolphins Dying for SeaWorld, IMATA and WAZA in The Cove


By Kirsten Massebeau

The 2013-2014 dolphin drive and slaughter in Taiji, Japan has never been more obviously supported by the captive industry than this year and last. The bottlenose dolphin prized by SeaWorld’s and marine parks worldwide are one of the species that demonstrates the enticing golden hand of captivity as it reaches out to the dolphin hunters sponsoring and encouraging them to capture more dolphins for the ever growing industry. During the current dolphin drive hunting season the ISANA Fisherman’s Union, the dolphin hunters, have had great luck driving in several pods of bottlenose dolphins. For each trained dolphin they can get upwards 175,000 dollars while a dead dolphin will only bring about 400-700 dollars for its meat, less depending on species. The bottlenose are most often used in fertilizer. 

Bottlenose dolphins captured and killed in drive season 2013-2014:

319 bottlenose dolphins have been driven into the cove. 71 bottlenose dolphins have been taken for aquariums while 87 were slaughtered. 160 have been released. The ISANA Union must occasionally release remaining pods if they want their supply to last.(Source)

A Taiji Dolphin at the Dubai Dolphinarium 2012

A Taiji Dolphin at the Dubai Dolphinarium 2012

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) While SeaWorld would have you think they have no connection to Taiji the absolute opposite is in fact true. In the early 1980’s SeaWorld began buying dolphins from the Iki Island dolphin drives and then moved onto Taiji, drive fisheries. (source)

The captive industry keeps the dolphin drive alive. The meat is toxic for human consumption and in truth the population that eat and use dolphin in Japan is small but as long as the captive industry needs new blood to stock their aquariums the terrible abuse, and slaughter will continue.

The captive industry claims to oppose drive fisheries yet the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) rationalize and reap the benefits of the cruel dolphin drives as does the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA):

Any individual who believes in IMATA’s mission and who supports its goals is welcomed into the membership. This includes extending membership to individuals who work for organizations that acquire dolphins from a drive fishery. A caregiver is welcomed by IMATA even if s/he participates in the selection and collection of live animals on the premise that those animals will benefit as s/he is exposed to the most current best practices in animal care and training. (source)

How can you help? Don’t buy a ticket to a dolphin show or swim with dolphins. Join the ongoing event pressuring WAZA and IMATA to end their long relationship with Taiji drive fisheries HERE. It’s time to end the aquatic circus model created by SeaWorld and accept the fact that dolphins belong in the oceans with their families.

#QatarDeceit A Tweetstorm: Qatar Dolphin Discovery & Research: STOP SPONSORING THE TAIJI DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER


By Kirsten Massebeau

On September 1, 2013 the terrible dolphin drive made famous by the academy award-winning documentary “The Cove” began yet another season capturing and killing dolphins and small whales in Taiji, Japan. The Taiji Fisherman’s Union have made and agreement with the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) not to slaughter bottlenose dolphins during the month of September. Buyers of the blood dolphins can then claim no blood was spilled for their collection. The WAZA agreement does not extend to other species. Between September 1st and September 17th 181 dolphins have been driven into the cove. of these 18 were captured (bottlenose), 31 slaughtered (pilot whales and 1 bottlenose dolphin). A total of 121 were released. Once September passes the WAZA agreement no longer applies.  Bottlenose dolphins unwanted for aquariums and marine park display will again be openly slaughtered.

On September 18, 2013 following several bloody days at the cove for pilot whales, and a constant transfer of young bottlenose dolphins for aquariums Op-Ed blogger Elizabeth Batt published a shocking article:“Op-Ed: Is NatGeo sponsoring company that purchases Taiji dolphins? Qatar Dolphin Discovery Research run by,  NEMO or Nerum LLC. They  announced on their Facebook page, “Good morning people, we are back with some exciting news, Qatar Dolphin Discovery Research is a proud to be sponsored by National Geographic!

After a Tweetstorm had been planned National Geographic came forward and made it clear that Qatar Dolphin Discovery & Research had used the National Geographic logo without their permission and that they were not Dolphin Discovery & Research sponsors.

Qatar Dolphin Discovery has blocked U. S. Access to Their Facebook Page  at this time

Qatar Dolphin Discovery & Research Screen Shot Facebook U.S. Access now blocked.

Since the activities and involvement of Qatar Dolphin Discovery & Research have come to light the company has blocked U.S. access to their Facebook page. They continue to rant that they are saving the purchased dolphins from slaughter when in fact the capture and sale of bottlenose dolphins and a limited number of other species to the captive industry keeps the drive alive.“The drive hunters cannot sustain their business on dolphin meat sales – they must capture and sell dolphins to keep it thriving.  Captivity kills, and Taiji is proof of that premise”.

Documentation shows that “Given that Nero/Nerum LLC has purchased dolphins captured from the inhumane Japanese dolphin drives”.

This CITES export permit dated Sep. 30, 2010, clearly shows that Nerum imported five male and one female Pacific bottlenose dolphins from Dolphin Base in Taiji, Japan.

Even more recently, just last May in fact, Nerum acquired another 20 Pacific Bottlenose from the same facility, as this CITES permit shows. The company accepted delivery of a further 16 female and 4 male Pacific bottlenose dolphins”(source).

Qatar Dolphin Discovery Research US Access now Blocked. Screen print taken in the UK.

“Training, training, getting ready and getting closer”. Qatar Dolphin Discovery Research US Access now Blocked. Screen print taken in the UK.

TWEETSTORM on September 25th to tell Qatar Dolphin Discovery & Researchwww.facebook.com/QatarDolphinDiscovery (link is not visible in USA) that dolphin slaughter is not acceptable and we will not stop until the slaughter and taking of dolphins into captivity stops!

TWEETSTORM TIME ANNOUNCER: ► http://bit.ly/14qyH50
COUNTDOWN TO TWEETSTORM: ► http://bit.ly/16eudlu

LIST OF PRE-MADE TWEETS will be available shortly before the tweetstorm.

Please support this important event by inviting your friends to join, many thanks !!

************************************************************

What is a Tweetstorm? (translated in many languages on the bottom!)
www.globalfree.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/tweetstorms

 

Taiji’s First Drive Hunt Plunders Bottlenose Dolphins for Marine Parks: The WAZA Agreement


By Kirsten Massebeau

Hunters and trainers select bottlenose dolphins for captivity at The Cove

Hunters and trainers select bottlenose dolphins for captivity at The Cove Via Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project Livestream

Never has it been more clear that the captive industry is keeping the cruel and horrific dolphin drive alive in Taiji, Japan. On September 1st the dolphin drive season opened for a small group of men and their associate trainers from the dolphin brokering Taiji Whale Museum, and Dolphin Base in Taiji, Japan. The hunters drove a pod of approximately 60 bottlenose dolphins into the cove. After leaving the frantic dolphins overnight the captive selection process began. At the end of the day 18 young dolphins, mere children, were ripped from their families and taken to the harbor pens in preparation for a life of captivity. The remaining dolphins were then released. There was no slaughter because of an agreement with WAZA and the captive industry:

While the Ric O’Barry Dolphin Project and over 100 Japanese and foreign activists demonstrated on the shores of the Cove in support of the dolphins on September 1st, the opposing right-wing had a whale meat BBQ on the opposite shoreline broadcasting Hawaiian Luau music, and touting tradition. The Right Wingers put on a good show for this first dolphin drive but in fact it had nothing to do with eating dolphin meat but rather fulfilling the orders for display dolphins placed by aquariums and marine parks from all over the world.

Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project and the Japanese Group  Flipper Japan September 1, 2013

Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project and the Japanese Group Flipper Japan: Japan Dolphins Day September 1, 2013 at “The Cove” Via Livestream

In her recent article, Hawaii’s Captive Dolphins Are Linked to the Taiji, Japan Brutal Captures, Candace Calloway Whiting highlights the role of Jay Sweeney DMV a collector and captor of dolphins for display. The presence of the captive industry in Taiji is well documented:

“It seems gruesome that one of the founding partners of Dolphin Quest (swim-with-dolphins facilities located in Hawaii and Bermuda), Dr. Jay Sweeney DVM, now spends his days carving dolphins out of wood, as he stood by while dolphins were carved up in Taiji. His direct involvement with the removal of dolphins and small whales from Japan to amusement parks in the U.S. is irrefutable.

This is fully documented in the film A Fall From Freedom, a clip of which is below. Sweeney continues to profit from the dolphins at Hilton Waikoloa Village and Kahala Mandarin Hotel, where people fork out huge funds to swim with the dolphins” (source)

Find a list of Jay Sweeney DMV’s captures of dolphins obtained through drive fisheries in Japan here.

The dolphin hunters and dolphin brokers of Taiji claim hunting dolphins is their right and their tradition:

“The southern part of Wakayama prefecture has little arable land with many precipitous mountains. Because of this, it has been natural for the local residents to take whales and dolphins which come close to the coast, and utilize them as food. In Japan, we utilize all parts of whales for various purposes not only as food but also as materials to make craft products. Since its beginning, the substance of our whaling has been different from that of other countries which, until petroleum came into use, killed an enormous number of whales for the sole purpose of obtaining whale oil, throwing the meat away into the ocean”(source).

In looking at all the evidence it seems while slaughter, and the meat maybe the byproduct the very non traditional capture of dolphins for modern marine parks and aquariums is not tradition. The only way to end the slaughter is to stop the show, stop the real exploiters those paying $150,000 dollars for a trained disposable dolphin from Taiji drive fisheries.

Be part of the solution!

TELL IMATA (International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association) & WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) TO $TOP $UPPORTING THE $LAUGHTER IN TAIJI !!

Watch your Cove Monitors and Cove Guardians as they report from the cove daily as the drive season continues. Together we can make a difference! Be a voice for the dolphins!

Taiji Dolphin Hunters Harpoon First Pilot Whale of the Season


By Kirsten Massebeau

First pilot whale landed May 1, 2013 by International Wildlife Investigations

First pilot whale landed May 1, 2013 by International Wildlife Investigations

On May 1, 2013 the Taiji Fisherman  went back to work this time harpooning cetaceans at sea as reported by the International Wildlife Investigations:

1st landing of long finned pilot whale of the season in Taiji.

Event though the infamous dolphin drive hunt season has ended ( will resume on september 1st). On may 1st a new season of coastal whaling started for Taiji Fishermen, the next day the Masakazu Maru captained by Hoge Masashi went out and found this one about 10km offshore of Taiji.

Pay special attention to the marks next to it’s blowhole, this is how it was killed. We lack info on the technique used but “multiple stabbing/harpooning” is unlikely to provoke a quick death.

This long finned pilot whale was about 4.9 meters in length and weighted about  2 tons.

the quota for 28 whales is divided liked this :
– 8 long-finned pilot whale
– 10 Baird’s beaked whale
– 10 false killer whale
and is expected to be fulfilled. (Source)

Follow International Wildlife Investigation on Facebook for more important news on International Wildlife issues.

Letter Opposing SeaWorlds Permit Request to Import A Pacific White-Sided Dolphin from Japan


By Kirsten Massebeau

Captive Pacific White Sided Dolphin Komogawa SeaWorld Japan By Keiba Kate

Captive Pacific White Sided Dolphin Komogawa SeaWorld Japan
By Keiba Kate

SeaWorld has requested the importation of a Pacific white-sided dolphin named Kirara who was captive born. Unfortunately, many of the other dolphins at Kamogawa SeaWorld seem to have come from a different point of origin listed as “wild” and ??? (source) In an earlier article we explored: “What is Kamogawa SeaWorld’s Connection to the Taiji Dolphin Hunt? Say No to The Importation of A Pacific White-Sided Dolphin“.

Sample Letter:

Email Address: NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov

Subject line: File No. 17754 Document Citation Number 78 FR 7755

Chief Permits and Conservation Division,
I am writing in opposition to SeaWorlds proposed importation of the Pacific white-sided dolphin Kirara born in captivity at Kamogawa SeaWorld in Japan. Although Kirara may have been born in captivity many of the Pacific white-sided dolphins at Kamogawa SeaWorld were in fact taken from the “wild” or appear data deficiant as noted by Ceta-Base marine mammal inventory (source)
 “Japan alone has more than 50 dolphinariums and swim-with-dolphins programs, ranging from large aquarium facilities with huge tanks and dolphin shows to small tanks at motels or floating sea pens in harbors.  In the last ten years alone, dolphin exports from Taiji, Japan, have gone to China, Korea, Ukraine, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
 
US aquariums like SeaWorld claim they don’t import dolphins from Taiji.  This is only true since Earth Island threatened to sue the US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for allowing such imports.  NMFS examined the laws and agreed with our lawyers that imports from Taiji, Japan, were illegal because US law specifies that captures of marine mammals should be humane.  Prior to that ruling, imported Taiji dolphins and small cetaceans like false killer whales were regularly obtained by SeaWorld, the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Miami Seaquarium, and the US Navy.  Dolphin brokers from the United States are often spotted in Taiji” (source)
By allowing this permit NOAA/NMFS will be indirectly supporting Taiji drive fisheries known for their horrific, and inhumane treatment of dolphins. Please do not do business with Marine parks associated with drive fisheries. 
Other points:
* Removing Kirara from her pod and introducing her into a foreign environment may permanently effect her mental health. 
* Traveling for 20 + hours in a small coffin like container are unacceptable as it may permanently effect her health. Dolphins belong in the ocean not flying worldwide in crates. 
Again do not allow Sea World to import this dolphin. If you allow this you are again underpinning the slaughter and cruel capture of dolphins in Taiji, Japan by allowing SeaWorld to do business with the Kamogawa Aquarium. 
Sincerely, 

. March 6, 2013 the comment period will end on the requested permit. Please compose your emails and letters today!  Make your letter in your own words so it will not be seen as spam. Be a voice for the dolphins who need your help so much!

What is Kamogawa SeaWorld’s Connection to the Taiji Dolphin Hunt? Say No to The Importation of A Pacific White-Sided Dolphin


By Kirsten Massebeau

Kamogawa SeaWorld 2009 White Sided Dolphin by K.K.

Kamogawa SeaWorld 2009 Pacific white-sided Dolphin by Keiba Kate.

In what seems a bold move SeaWorld a company already on the hot seat due to the death of Dawn Branchau, David Kirby’s recent book, “Death at SeaWorld”, and the soon to be released documentary, “Blackfish” have requested a permit to import a Pacific white-sided dolphin from Kamogawa SeaWorld in Japan. Kirara was born  May 3, 2006 in captivity at Kamogawa SeaWorld. In the statement for import permit Kamogawa SeaWorld states these points about the dolphin candidates parents Spica and Hokuto:

“Sire was incidentally captured in set net located at Araisaki, Kyoto prefecture, Japan on Feb. 8, 1994 and transferred to Kinosaki Marine World on same date. He was moved to Kamogawa Sea World on Nov. 8, 1994.

Dam was incidentally captured in set net located at honjo, Kyoto prefecture, Japan on Feb. 5, 1994 and transferred to Kinosaki Marine World on same date. She was moved to Kamogawa Sea World on Nov. 8, 1994. Kinosaki Marine World is one of JAZA aquariums. Both animals were not captured by “drive fishery”.(Source)

Pacific white-sided dolphin drive capture/kill January 2013By SSCS Cove Guardians

Pacific white-sided dolphin drive capture/kill January 2013
By SSCS Cove Guardians

“In spite of NGOs’ opposition, the Japan Fisheries Agency added the Pacific white-sided dolphins to the catch-quota of the drive hunt in 2007. Since then, this species has been hunted and captured alive. — 86 dolphins were hunted until the last season (from September 1, 2010 through February 28, 2011) . It seems that about 85 percent of them were captured alive and sent to aquariums”. (Source)

According to Ceta-Base’s marine mammal inventory Kamogawa SeaWorld acquired three Pacific White-Sided dolphins from the “wild” in January of 2007 named: Great, Ku, and Sky. Leon and Span two other Pacific white-sided dolphins show no acquisition data (Source)  Ceta-Base also notes during Taiji drive fisheries, Season 2007/2008 & 2008/2009 21 Pacific white-sided dolphins were caught, 5 were killed & 16 live captured. (source) Many of the dolphins at Kamogawa SeaWorld are listed as wild caught. See the list here.

Elsa in their comments on the addition of Pacific White-Sided dolphins to drive fisheries cites aquariums as the source of motivation:

An internal communication sent by the Japan Cetacean Conference on Zoological Gardens and Aquariums (Senzo Uchida, Executive Secretary) on August 16, 2006 to the directors of zoos and aquariums which are members of the Cetacean Conference (see attachment) noted that Pacific white-sided dolphins are hard to obtain, and that not all aquarium directors who desire to obtain them have done so. The letter states, “Permission has not been granted to take Pacific white-sided dolphins at Taiji, and therefore drive fisheries for them are not allowed. But if the capture of Pacific white-sided dolphins becomes possible at Taiji, it will benefit aquariums with cetaceans, and fishers. (source)

Pacific-White Sided dolphins capture January 2013by SSCS Cove Guardians

Pacific-white sided dolphins capture cruel and brutal January 2013
by SSCS Cove Guardians

There are many other obvious reasons why Kirara should not be imported to the United States. Kirara will be removed from her family and moved across the world to live with strangers who may not be happy to have a new member in their space. She would also be forced to travel in a small coffin like container for approximately 20 hours before reaching her destination SeaWorld in Texas. (Source)

Be a voice for the dolphins imprisoned in marine parks worldwide.

Be a voice for the dolphins imprisoned in marine parks worldwide.

Speak out for the Pacific white-sided dolphins. For United States aquariums and marine parks to do business with any aquarium associated with drive fisheries is not upholding the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Asking NOAA for a hearing on this permit is imperative. The comment and request for a hearing ends on March 6, 2013 only days away so act now! Contact NOAA and politely ask them to refuse the permit and schedule a hearing. Request that Kamogawa SeaWorld prove they have no connection to drive fisheries with any of the dolphins they display. Read through the permit application and compose your objections and comments.

Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301)713-0376, or by email to NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Please include the File No. 17754 in the subject line of the email comment.Show citation box

Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jennifer Skidmore or Kristy Beard, (301)427-8401 from NOAA/NMFS. (source)

Action for Marine Mammals 海洋ほ乳類を守る会 Hold Tokyo March Protesting Research Whaling


By Kirsten Massebeau

Tokyo Whaling Protest MarchPhoto By Michael Q Todd

Tokyo Whaling Protest March
Photo By Michael Q Todd

Action for Marine Mammals  海洋ほ乳類を守る会 an independent, Japanese group supporting cetaceans in Japan has staged their second protest in Tokyo. This second protest solely focused on opposition to Japan’s controversial  research whaling program in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. In 1986 a moratorium was placed on whaling. Since that time Japan has circumvented the ban by using a clause in the moratorium that allows for research whaling. Despite the Japanese government and powerful Japan Fisheries efforts to keep whaling alive the people of Japan are  speaking out against hunting whales and with good reason. Aside from being inhumane the business of whaling is a financially a sinking ship.

Video by seawooluf1

In a recent report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) released on February 5 many substantial reasons for ending Japan’s whaling program were listed:

  • Taxpayers Subsidise Money-Losing Industry
  • Subsidies average around ¥782 million (US$9.78 million) annually.*
  • Demand for Whale Meat Falls While Stockpiles Grow
  • Earthquake Relief Funds and Additional Subsidies Diverted: While other needs went unmet, earthquake reconstruction funds to the tune of ¥2.28 billion (US$28.55 million) were diverted from tsunami relief to support “research whaling, stabilization promotion, and countermeasure expenses” for the ICR.
  • Polls: Indifference to Whaling, Opposition to Funding. 85 percent expressed opposition to the use of billions of taxpayer yen to build a new factory ship. (source)
Shibuya Protest Against  Research WhalingBy MQ Todd

Shibuya Protest Against Research Whaling
Photo by Michael Q. Todd

 Without opposition the march was able to move forward with their peaceful yet strong message asking the Japanese government to end research whaling. 48 attended and the event was declared a success. This small but brave group of pioneers now a voice for whales and dolphins have had their second historical march through the streets of Tokyo spreading awareness to 1000’s. Their’s is a message of peace and hope for whales and dolphins in Japan and worldwide.