“It will be amazing if this really happens, praying it does & that it will be the start of many more rescues of these beautiful sentient beings!”

World-renowned dolphin activist Richard O’Barry has praised Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan for agreeing to help end the dolphin trade in Indonesia

The minister met with O’Barry and the Jakarta Animal Aid Network on Tuesday following a discussion last week on dolphin protection.

Patrons interact with dolphins at Akame restaurant in Bali on Wednesday. Th Forestry Minister has called for their release. (EPA Photo)

Patrons interact with dolphins at Akame restaurant in Bali on Wednesday. Th Forestry Minister has called for their release. (EPA Photo)

 Zulkifli on Wednesday travelled to Bali to investigate dolphins being kept inside Akame restaurant, which were captured by the travel show company Wersut Seguni Indonesia.

“I think he’s a hero. He never knew about the issue and as soon as he did he moved to action,” O’Barry said. “He’s going to get lots of positive international public attention for what he’s doing.” 

O’Barry, who stars in the Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove,” first came to Indonesia after hearing about what he believed to be the last travelling dolphin circus in the world.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the minister said he was shocked to learn about travelling dolphin shows and that he wanted to work with the JAAN to protect dolphins. 

In 2010, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the JAAN and the Forest Ministry to protect, save and rehabilitate captured dolphins in Indonesia.

However, since March 2011, following a change in the director of the ministry, the discussions stalled. 

JAAN co-founder Femke den Haas alleged that local levels of the forestry agency prevented the minister being informed about the issue, as they were receiving kickbacks from the travelling dolphin shows. She added that JAAN had been trying to reach the minister for two years. 

Zulkifli said that he had not received letters sent to him about the issue and was not aware that an MoU had been signed. 

It was hidden from him because people were looking for profit, not protection,” she said.

O’Barry said he was confident the minister did not know the true depth of the issue until last week’s discussion.

“ I’m 73 and I’ve learned to be able to read people’s body language. When I gave him the MoU [at the discussion], I could tell he was reading it for the first time,” he said. 

The JAAN hopes the captive dolphins at the Bali restaurant will be the first candidates to go to a dolphin rehabilitation center in Karimunjawa, Central Java.

The center is currently empty, but is ready to admit dolphins. O’Barry said it was not common for dolphins to be rehabilitated. 

“When they get captured, they rarely get another chance at life,” he said.

Sign the petition here:-http://www.change.org/id/petisi/stop-supporting-travelling-dolphin-circuses

News Link:-http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/forestry-minister-commits-to-dolphin-protection/571538

Bali – captive dolphins 2011

Uploaded on 17 Feb 2011

30 years since campaigning to free captive dolphins i stumbled on these pathetic conditions in a new purpose built resort at LOVINA, BALI I have been offering to the owners the concept that this six year old prison where there are 3 of the original 4 dolphins performing regular circus acts several times a day – and have to put up with the invasion of humans paying for a ‘unique spiritual experience’ see for yourself it is my intention to use my expertise and social network to stage serious educational, spiritual and healing events at this resort if the owner will allow us to set the captives free as the waters around bali are swarming with free ranging dolphins
DOLPHINS DIE IN CAPTIVITY
one has already since it opened
dr estelle myers
estellejmyers@gmail.com

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