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. 

. 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.


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