Forestry Minister Commits to Dolphin Protection

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“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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The dolphin snatchers: Mail investigation exposes vile trade where animals are sold for up to £100,000 each to aquariums where they suffer unimaginable cruelty

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For the men wearing wetsuits wading in a shallow bay teeming with trapped wild dolphins, the decision is as simple as it is ruthless. Running their hands carefully over each dolphin’s body, they check to ensure the creature is free from scars, particularly on the dorsal and tail fins.

At first glance this human interaction with one of the few creatures said to possess an intellect close to our own appears an act of caring tenderness. But in reality, these are businessmen selecting their merchandise for a multi-million-pound trade in live dolphins. The best specimens (usually young females, or cows) are removed from their families to be sold live for between £50,000 and £100,000 each to aquariums.

The dolphins they reject — the ones with minor blemishes on their skin — are slaughtered where they are trapped in that cove at Taiji on the south coast of Japan.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT – Discretion advised when scrolling down!

The cruel sea: A dolphin selected for sale last month in Japan. Others that are 'not suitable' are killed

The cruel sea: A dolphin selected for sale last month in Japan. Others that are ‘not suitable’ are killed

In a frenzy of violence that has shocked animal lovers and marine environmentalists around the world, some are speared repeatedly by fisherman circling in motorboats whose propellers often slice the dolphins’ skin. Others are simply held underwater to drown.

Sometimes, a metal pole is rammed into their blubber in the hope of shattering the mammal’s spine. A cork stopper is then hammered into the hole where the rod was forced in, to try to reduce the blood spilt into the sea — to conceal the extent of the slaughter.

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The rejects are slaughtered for their meat. Some are speared repeatedly by fisherman circling in motorboats whose propellers often slice the dolphins’ skin

Invariably a few dolphins try to make a break for freedom and attempt to jump over the netting that seals off the bay.

However, amid the blood-red waters almost all of them eventually succumb to their fate. These barbaric scenes took place just before Christmas, during a hunting season when Japanese fishermen ‘harvest’ dolphins to supply to aquariums for human entertainment.

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Killer cove: The dolphins they reject – the ones with minor blemishes on their skin – are trapped in a cove at Taiji on the south coast of Japan

It is estimated that for every wild dolphin caught to be trained to perform tricks in captivity, around four times that number are slaughtered.

The fishermen then sell off the meat for about £10 a kilo. They see the creatures as a menace because they pose a threat to the dwindling reserves of fish in the Pacific Ocean.

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Blood red: Japanese fishermen collect the bodies of harpooned dolphins from the bloody waters of a bay in Taiji

But for those that survive the slaughter, life might as well be over.The stress a dolphin suffers as a result of being captured, transported and imprisoned in a small tank dramatically reduces its lifespan

While wild dolphins live for up to 60 or 70 years, captured ones often perish when they are as young as eight, say environmentalists.

According to marine experts, some dolphins are so distressed by their capture that they commit suicide.

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The odds: For every wild dolphin caught to be trained to perform tricks in captivity, around four times that number are slaughtered

One of the most vocal campaigners against the practice is also one of the most knowledgeable — he is the very man who helped create and promote the worldwide aquarium industry.

Ric O’Barry became famous in the Sixties as the on-screen trainer of the five dolphins that played Flipper in the popular U.S. TV series, which was also hugely successful in Britain.

For ten years he worked at Miami Seaquarium, where he trained the wild mammals after capturing them on hunting expeditions in the Pacific.

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Rounding them up: Fishermen drive bottle-nose dolphins into a net during their annual hunt off Taiji. The ‘drive hunt’ involved five or six large fishing vessels sailing out to sea to find a pod of dolphins

But when Kathy, the main dolphin that played Flipper, died in his arms after apparently losing the will to live, he says it dawned on him how cruel captivity is for such intelligent and social creatures.

For the past 40 years he has travelled the world highlighting the plight of dolphins in amusement parks, and even releasing them from those parks into the wild, often getting arrested in the process.

Three years ago, he made a documentary called The Cove, which revealed the truth about the ‘drive hunts’ that take place at Taiji in Japan. Yet since then, the practice has continued unabated — as these photographs demonstrate only too graphically.

O’Barry, 73, says live dolphins taken from the waters in Japan are shipped to aquariums and ‘swim-with-dolphin’ centres mostly in the Far East. Speaking from his home in Miami, O’Barry says: ‘Taiji is the number one location to get dolphins for the dolphinarium industry — or what I called “abusement parks”.’

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Some dolphins are so distressed by their capture that they commit suicide. the stress that they suffer as a result of being captured dramatically shortens their lifespan

Although there are no international laws banning the shipment of live dolphins to those countries prepared to accept them, O’Barry claims the dolphins undergo terrible suffering.

‘After enduring a painfully long period of transportation, they are put into often filthy and confined conditions at aquariums. ‘These are free-ranging creatures with a large brain whose primary sense is sound.

‘Some have been placed in aquariums at casinos where the noise is appalling. These environments are hell-holes to creatures used to the open seas and which often swim up to 100 miles in a day in search of food. ‘They are taken away from the two most important aspects of their life — the world of oceanic sound and their families. ‘They end up suffering depression. I believe they are also capable of trying to commit suicide.’

Two years ago at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in south-western Japan, hundreds of tourists at a marine show looked on in astonishment as a large dolphin rose up out of the water tank to balance precariously on the glass barrier of the aquarium. It then threw itself out of the water on to the ground.

Touchingly, the other dolphins in the tank swam to the glass wall to look at the plight of their companion, called Kuru (meaning ‘black’). The dolphin was eventually put into a huge tarpaulin sling and winched by a crane back into the water.

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The hunt is on: Taiji’s fishermen are licensed by the national government to catch 2,100 dolphins and pilot whales in the six-month hunting season

The incident was filmed by an appalled American tourist, who passed the footage on to O’Barry. While many thought the mammal was trying to make a break for freedom, O’Barry believes it was more likely it wanted to commit suicide.

‘It was depressed and wanted to end it,’ O’Barry says, adding that it had been in captivity for six years after being taken from the wild. ‘I have seen it many, many times. They are living in a world of sensory deprivation, then bombarded with a wall of noise from the crowd.’

After the clip was made public the aquarium managers immediately issued a statement saying the dolphin was ‘playing around’ and suffered minor scratches and bruises on its head and fin. It was, they insisted, fine and enjoyed a healthy serving of mackerel and squid once returned to the tank.

They did admit, however, that dolphins occasionally jump out of the water on to dry land, so they have now placed crash mats around the perimeter of the three tanks in their amusement park to avoid serious injury.

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A hidden practice: Due to worldwide concern, the fishermen now try to hide the slaughter. The kills take place out of sight underneath blue tarpaulins

The trade in wild dolphins to U.S. aquariums has ceased due to public outrage, and the high-profile campaigns of activists like O’Barry.

There are no captive dolphins in Britain either as a result of a public backlash against the shows. Only a few are on show in Europe, and these animals were born in captivity — although O’Barry fears even this poses a threat to the mammals’ welfare because there is now a problem with inbreeding. O’Barry exhorts the public never to attend dolphin aquariums.

‘The solution lies with the consumer,’ he says. ‘Don’t buy a ticket for a captive dolphin show. ‘This is a multi-million-dollar industry I helped create. I remember loading them onto the planes after the Flipper show became so popular. At one point there were more dolphins in the UK than in Florida.

‘But the consumer now has to bring his power to bear on this trade, which also results in the slaughter of all those other dolphins. There is more money in live dolphins than dead ones, but the one fuels the other.’

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A fisheries worker guides the carcass of dolphins at ‘killer cove’ in Taiji, Japan. The fishermen claim that any kills that take place are humane and that it takes only seconds for the dolphins to die

In Taiji, Nicole McLachlan, of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is part of a team monitoring the capture and killing of dolphins that takes place from September to March each year in the small port where whales have been hunted since the 17th century. Last month alone, she claims up to 170 cetaceans were killed, including pilot whales, risso, striped and bottlenose dolphins. More than 100 were captured for aquariums.

Such is worldwide concern over the slaughter that the fishermen try to hide it. ‘Nowadays the kills take place out of sight underneath blue and brown tarpaulins that cover the bay,’ the Australian marine environmentalist says.

The carnage lasts about half an hour. It is harrowing. ‘They are terrified. You hear the dolphins screaming; it’s a high-pitched wailing sound. ‘There is splashing as they thrash around in the water. Young dolphin calves are often among those slaughtered within the cove; some are younger than a year old.’

Yet locals are adamant it should continue. Police monitor the activists while many of the town’s 3,500 residents — most of whom are linked to the fishing industry — arrive to support the fishermen in this Japanese tradition.

The ‘drive hunt’ (‘oikomiryou’ in Japanese) involves five or six large fishing vessels sailing out to sea to find a pod of dolphins. The fishermen bang metal poles against the side of the boat to disorientate and scare them.

More boats arrive, making the same noise, to corral the confused and by now terrified pod into the cove, which is then sealed off. The next day the inspectors arrive to examine their quarry and separate the dolphins for the aquariums from those to be killed.

According to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, between 1968 and 1972, only 77 live-caught bottlenose dolphins were sent to aquariums from such hunts. But now Taiji’s 120 fishermen are licensed by the national government to catch 2,100 dolphins and pilot whales in the six-month hunting season.

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A fisherman tows away dolphins that have been tied by rope to the front of his boat. In 2011, about 15 per cent of dolphins were taken into captivity (68 were kept alive and 968 killed)

The fishermen claim any kills that take place, particularly those where the rod shatters the spine, are humane and that it takes only seconds for the dolphins to die. It is a claim vehemently refuted by marine environmentalists.

A spokesman for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society said: ‘In 2011, about 15 per cent of the dolphins were taken for captivity (68 were kept alive and 968 killed). ‘The year before that (2010-2011), nearly 20 per cent were taken into captivity (213 were sold for aquariums and 1,100 were killed)  This year, however, may be even higher due to the 100 bottlenose dolphins already taken into captivity.’

In the summer months, long after the blood has been washed away from Taiji cove, tourists arrive to swim in the bay — with dolphins. The town has a whale museum and fish tanks in which dolphins are kept — in 2011, two dolphins were filmed in a tank so small it was nicknamed ‘the fish-bowl’.

Captured dolphins also swim in the bay, which is sealed off to ensure they cannot bolt to freedom.

And as tourists marvel at the antics of these sensitive creatures and play with them, almost every one remains blissfully unaware of Taiji’s bloody secret — and of how young healthy dolphins are snatched away from their parents to amuse humans in this callous multi-million-pound trade.

News Link:– http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257426/The-dolphin-snatchers-Mail-investigation-exposes-vile-trade-animals-sold-100-000-aquariums-suffer-unimaginable-cruelty.html#ixzz2H3wYDyHM

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PARTICIPATE IN JAPAN DOLPHINS DAY 2012!

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July 18, 2012 by Ric O’Barry, Earth Island Institute

Ric O’Barry

Campaign Director

Save Japan Dolphins

Dear Friends and fellow Dolphin Lovers:

I am asking you for your help. On or around Sept. 1, please head to your local Japanese embassy or consulate to voice your concern about the dolphin slaughters!

This time of year always makes my heart heavy. September 1 marks the official beginning of the dolphin drive hunting season in Taiji, Japan, as I helped to show the world in the Oscar-winning movie The Cove. Every year, thousands of dolphins are brutally killed; some are then sold into a lifetime of slavery in captive facilities around the globe, and the rest are used for their flesh – which is highly contaminated with mercury and other toxins, rendering in dangerous for human consumption.

We absolutely must keep the international spotlight on Taiji in order to stop these senseless murders once and for all. This is why I am asking you to lend your voice to the cause and join or organize a Japan Dolphins Day event in your area.

The good news is that we already have many events in countries around the world, put together by dedicated people like you. We have created a map which allows you to find one in your area:

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=218328447128658910358.0004c363570a91076da24&hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=54.59667,-5.930203&spn=91.259621,292.160024&t=m&source=embed

If you don’t see an event in your area, I STRONGLY encourage you to organize your own! Please contact laurab@earthisland.orgfor more information on how to get started.

This year, September 1 falls on a Saturday. Organizers have the option of holding their event on August 31, but only for the purpose of attempting contact with the embassy staff. The most important thing to keep in mind is that these events should be focused around MEDIA – try to get as many newspapers, journalists, and television stations there as possible – because these are the people who will make sure our message gets heard around the world.

Please keep in mind that we are not speaking out against the Japanese people – we are opposing the handful of corrupt government officials who allow and even encourage the hunts to continue. I do not condone any racial slurs or anti-Japanese sentiments of any kind. We are also speaking out against any captive facility that keeps dolphins and small whales. These places, such as aquariums, marine parks and dolphinariums, are abusing animals purely for their profit. This should come to an end. Remember – don’t buy a ticket to a dolphin show!

Also, it is important to note that most Japanese do not eat whale or dolphin meat, and the market for such meat is drying up — so much so that dolphin hunters in Taiji last season killed fewer dolphins than ever.  Our efforts to convince the Japanese people to stop eating whale and dolphin meat are working!  Keep up the pressure by emphasizing the human rights that are being violated by the Japan government’s silence on mercury contamination of dolphin and whale meat!

Throughout last year’s hunting season, our Cove Monitors reported regularly on the hunts, to the consternation of the dolphin hunters and the Japanese government alike. See our blog postsand be sure to regularly check our Facebook page for this year’s updates.

I hope you will join me and participate in a Japan Dolphins Day event near you. Together, we can get this stopped!

Contact laurab@earthisland.org to organize an event near you.

News Link:-http://savejapandolphins.org/blog/post/participate-in-japan-dolphins-day-2012

Please sign the petition:- The Cove: Help Save Japan’s Dolphins:-

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/724/210/624/

 

Dolphin meat likely to be on menu at planned Taiji whale zoo

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Rumors continue to swirl around proposed plans for a whale and dolphin zoo in Taiji, Japan.  An April 30 article in The Japan Times described the plan to “turn part of a local bay into a huge pool where people can swim and kayak along with small whales and dolphins.”  Black whales and bottlenose dolphins are named as among the cetacean species to be held captive in the netted 70-acre facility.

Proposed whale zoo in Taiji to feature kayaking and swimming with captive cetaceans Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

Perhaps far more chilling is the notion of whale research being conducted as part of the overall plan. “The town hopes to make the area a center for whale research by inviting research institutions from outside as well.”  Japan’s whale research agency, The Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), is most widely know for its illegal whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary as seen on the Animal Planet television show “Whale Wars.”

According to reports from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, ICR killed 267 whales between December 2011 and March 2012.

The Japanese town of Taiji isn’t exactly well known for its humanitarian efforts either.  The 2010 Academy-award winning documentary The Cove, starring Ric O’Barry, exposed the bloody dolphin drive hunts that take place annually in the waters of the small fishing village from September to March.

For the past two seasons, volunteers from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins have been in the ground in Taiji to document and raise awareness about the slaughter. Reports from the 2011-12 hunt are that 818 dolphins were driven into the cove.  Of those, 719 were killed and 51 were retained for use in the captive entertainment industryincluding marine parks and “swim-with” dolphin programs.

In an article published earlier today by Fox News, a Taiji town official, who declined to be named, told an AFP reporter that the dolphin hunt will continue and that “local residents see no contradiction in both watching and eating dolphins.”

The social media campaign Save Misty the Dolphin is urging concerned citizens worldwide to call their Japanese Embassies to express their viewpoints about the planned park.

News Link:-http://www.examiner.com/article/dolphin-likely-to-be-on-the-menu-at-planned-taiji-whale-zoo

Freedom! Switzerland Bans Dolphins in Captivity

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This barbaric act—forcing dolphins to perform tricks for food—will be outlawed in Switzerland, following the country's decision to ban dolphins in captivity. (Photo: Tambako the Jaguar / Flickr)

In a major victory for dolphins and dolphin advocates, Switzerland’s House of Representatives has voted to outlaw the keeping of dolphins in aquariums or for entertainment purposes.

The Swiss Senate also banned the importation of dolphins going forward, meaning that the three dolphins currently “living” in Connyland, the country’s only dolphinarium, will not be replaced when they die, reportsSwissInfo.

 “We’re very excited about it,” says Mark Palmer, in an exclusive interview with TakePart. He is the Associate Director of Earth Island Institute’sInternational Marine Mammal Project.

“The grassroots group Ocean Care deserves a great deal of credit for working on this for many years, working with Ric [O’Barry, of The Cove] in Switzerland. We also think that Ric’s appearance last year during the Bambi Awards, which aired in Germany and Switzerland, and in which he said, ‘Don’t buy a ticket to these shows’ played a big part.”

The ban comes in the wake of two dolphin deaths last year at Connyland, an amusement park in Lipperswill.

Autopsies conducted in mid-January revealed that eight-year-old Shadow and 30-year-old Chelmers died from brain damage after overdosing on antibiotics.

Text COVE to 20222, Donate to Earth Island Institute

Their deaths, which occurred days apart last fall, ignited international outrage after it was at first suspected that they were poisoned by hallucinogens thrown into their enclosure by ravers. Shortly before their deaths, a two-day techno party was held on the grounds of the amusement park.

Switzerland joins Norway, Luxembourg, Slovenia, and Cyprus as countries that ban dolphins in captivity.

In the boundless waters of the open ocean, a free, wild dolphin can live up to 50 years. A caged dolphin, on the other hand, circles its tiny tank without purpose—often to the point of depression and suicide. Even in the largest aquarium facilities, captive dolphins have access to less than 1/10,000 of 1 percent (0.000001) of the swimming area available to them in their natural environment. Compare this to the fact that some wild dolphin pods can swim up to 100 miles a day hunting for food, and you’ll begin to grasp why holding one captive in a tank amounts to nothing more than the cruel deprivation of basic cetacean rights.

Blog: Update on Captivity Issues in Turkey | Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project

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English: Ric O'Barry in Los Angeles in June 2009.

Image via Wikipedia

By Laura Bridgeman, Program Associate, Dolphin Project, Earth Island Institute 

The Dolphin Project has been working with Freedom for Dolphins and other groups in assessing the growing issue of captivity in Turkey. The governing authorities, namely the Turkish Prime Ministry and the Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, have been ignoring the flagrant legal and ethical transgressions regarding dolphins within their borders and coastal waters. 

Despite pressure from a growing local and international movement of dolphin-welfare advocates, government officials and powerful members of the captivity industry insist on illegally exploiting dolphins for profit.

Read more….

Blog: Update on Captivity Issues in Turkey | Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project.

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