SeaWorld did not stop purchasing dolphins from Drives in Japan on moral or ethical grounds. Spokesman Fred Jacobs: ‘We stopped [buying] and have not resumed, not because we are ashamed, but it was not something that we cared to be involved with any more.’
And the reason they say they cannot condemn other parks
“We do not want to be accused of being disingenuous,” Jacobs explained. “If we go to an aquarium in China and say ‘You guys should not be involved,’ the first thing out of their mouths will be, ‘Well, you did it,’ and we cannot argue that point.” See full interview here
Further evidence is below
On August 27, 2012, SeaWorld LLC quietly applied for a permit to import the 6-year-old Pacific White-sided dolphin named Kirara for public display at SeaWorld San Antonio. Kirara was born on May 3rd, 2006 in Kamogawa Seaworld in Japan. HERE
|Kirara the dolphin Seaworld wants to import
Kamogawa is just another slavery facility of which Japan alone has more than 50, mostly filled with drive hunt cetaceans.
This particular place for instance houses the Orcas Bingo and Stella captured in Iceland, three Belugas captured in Canada and Russia, and Bottlenose, Common, Risso’s and Pacific White-sided dolphins originating from the 'wild'.
This is also the place where the wild-caught False Killer whale, renamed Sirius, was exported from and into the US in 1990. Sirius later died in Sea Life Park Hawaii in 1996.
Last year SeaWorld San Diego took a Pilot whale named Argo from the same park. The animal stranded itself in January 2004 he was however not a drive hunt cetacean.
Argo was, according to local news agencies, transported by a FedEx plane. The Pilot whale transport took a horrendous 20 hours from pool to pool. The estimated time for Kirara is 22 hours.
|Argo in that blue container for 20 hours
‘Starting in the early 80s SeaWorld, which had developed a business relationship, and a professional relationship with the Kamogawa Seaworld in Japan, had learned that it might be possible to enter into a business arrangement with the Iki Island fishermen who had largely phased out the drive fisheries because of the negative worldwide publicity in the late 70s, to start selectively driving dolphins including False killer whales into shallow water where SeaWorld, and other oceanaria including Marine World, could select the beautiful few…and then allow the fishermen to slaughter the remaining whales.
SeaWorld obtained permits from the fishery service to import 6 False Killer whales in the late 1980s. They sent a capture team to Iki Island, Japan and caught 12 False Killer whales.’
SeaWorld is an example for the greedy everywhere showing that money can be made from exploiting marine mammals.
Through business relations and strategic investments, they encourage and help fund foreign parks to do the same.
In the summer of 2011 for instance, SeaWorld bought sperm from Kshamenk, prisoner in the Argentinean theme park Mundo Marino. The money SeaWorld paid Mundo Marino will no doubt help keep that park afloat, ensuring Kshamenk’s continuous illegal enslavement.
|Kshamenk at Mundo Marino
''Fourteen sea lions, eight harbor seals and one grey seal will make their new home at Pacific Pier. Most of the California sea lions and all of the harbor seals arrived from Sea World in Florida in the United States last summer, while four of the sea lions were born at Ocean Park. The Florida-born animals were transported to Hong Kong by Cathay Pacific.'' Full announcement here
The US Marine Mammal Inventory Report (MMIR) records the Miami Seaquarium, Sea Life Park Hawaii, Indianapolis Zoo, Sea World Inc. and the US Navy as having imported live cetaceans from Japan in the past.
In 1993, Six Flags (then Marine World Africa USA) applied for a permit to import 4 False Killer whales from the slaughter on Iki Island. The park justified their application by saying that the purchase of the dolphins was a ‘humane act that saved four animals from certain death,’ an excuse used by SeaWorld in the past and recently by Ocean Adventure Park in the Philippines. Some came from the drive fishery in Japan where they were literally hours away from being slaughtered.’ The Marine World Africa USA permit was denied because of the link to the slaughter and no new permit for wild captured animals was filed until 2012’s Georgia Aquarium application for 18 Russian Belugas.
Georgia Aquarium made clear that there is still no objection on the part of US marine parks to rob the wild of cetaceans, when they requested permission to import 18 Belugas from Russia. The cetaceans were captured from Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk between 2006 and 2011 and are currently living in pens at the Utrish Marine Mammal Research Station on Russia’s Black Sea Coast.
Some of the belugas were destined for display at Georgia Aquarium’s partner facilities on breeding loans, including SeaWorld of Florida, SeaWorld of Texas, SeaWorld of California and Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. The permit was denied, but Georgia Aquarium is fighting the decision in court.
The Belugas remain in floating cages.
|Beluga Whales waiting to see if Georgia Aquarium win their appeal
As if more proof is needed of the interconnectedness of the slave trade in dolphins and other cetaceans, two Russian Belugas suddenly showed up in Taiji in February this year. They were part of an exchange with four Taiji-caught Bottlenose dolphins.
|Vladimir Putin welcomes the Taiji Dolphins
|Beluga whale at Taiji Dolphin Base
|Morgan arriving at Loro Parque
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (WAZA) very own statement reads: ‘WAZA has worked with the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) and the Port of Nagoya Aquarium, to establish a new, transitional approach to the capture of dolphins as part of a tradition of Japanese inshore fishery. At this time it has been officially confirmed that during September dolphins will be collected for aquaria, the only species taken will be the Bottlenose dolphin, and the method employed will be ‘herding’. No dolphins will be taken for human consumption during September, and all surplus animals will be released.’
No matter what their rationalization is, WAZA is supporting the wild capture of dolphins in Taiji.
The International Marine Animal Trainer's Association (IMATA) cozied up further with Taiji in its latest drive ‘fisheries’ statement: ‘While some oppose the collection of animals from drive fisheries for live sale, the practice is lawful in countries where some IMATA members live and work. 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.
It shall come as no surprise that IMATA held its 2012 annual conference at Ocean Park HK, a buyer of Taiji dolphins.
As if more proof is needed of the interconnectedness of the slave trade in dolphins and other cetaceans, two Russian Belugas suddenly showed up in Taiji in February this year. Reportedly they were part of an exchange with four Taiji caught Bottlenose dolphins.
PROOF FROM TAIJI ITSELF - ITS ALL ABOUT THE AQUARIUM BUSINESS!!
An admission came from Seiji Ohsumi, director of the Institute of Cetacean Research, who said in a Japan Times opinion piece ‘Whales and dolphins are kept healthy in Japanese aquariums, as they receive great care from trainers and veterinarians. The reason these undertakings have been successful is the dolphin drive fishery, which supplies living whales and dolphins to aquariums internationally as well as domestically. The fishery has thus contributed to the welfare of people in countries where whales and dolphins are kept in aquariums.’
The Japan Fisheries Agency included the Pacific White-sided dolphins in the catch-quota of the drive hunt in 2007 and this still stands today.
As a reason for adding this species, the notification cites “a strong request from fishers in recent years to allow their capture.” With the generalization ‘fishers,’ they are referring to the small group of dolphin killers of the Isana Union in Taiji.
The true request for capturing Pacific White-sided dolphins came from the Japan Cetacean Conference on Zoological Gardens and Aquariums.
An internal communication unearthed by Elsa Nature Conservancy, sent on August 16, 2006 by this ‘Conference’ to the directors of zoos and aquariums, noted that Pacific White-sided dolphins were hard to obtain, and that not all aquarium directors who desired to obtain these were able to do 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.
This was a successful attempt by the organized aquariums that desired Pacific White-sided dolphins, to influence Taiji Town officials and the Fisheries Agency to add this species to the drive hunts.
The memo was from 2006. The drive hunt for Pacific White-sided dolphins got the green light in 2007.
The resulting known captures are:
- 2008: 21 total animals caught, 5 killed & 16 live captured.
- 2009: 14 total animals caught, 1 killed & 13 live captured.
- 2010/11: 26 total animals caught, 2 killed, 21 sold to aquariums & 3 released.
- 2011/12: 2 caught as live-capture.
- 2012/13: 32 caught, 8 killed, 24 live-capture.
- 2013/14: none yet, but there is a quota for 134 animals.
LASTLY TO PROVE THIS IS NEITHER TRADITION NOR CULTURE
On September 29, 2005, a 13-person delegation from Taiji Town, including its mayor Kazutaka Sangen, Mr Mihara, Chairman of the Council of Taiji Town and Mr Lin Keji curator of the Taiji Whale Museum visited the Beijing Aquarium.
In an October press release, the Beijing Aquarium proudly announced their friendship with Taiji and ‘the two sides plan to build a platform to archive the imported marine mammals in the aquariums all over China’ and to ‘have negotiations on the import of killer whales’.
Also stating 'the Taiji Whale Museum formerly became a friendly sister of the Beijing Aquarium'
Almost all Cetaceans in Beijing come from the wild and the Beijing Aquarium also serves as a holding facility for dolphins entering China on their way to other parks.
China is the biggest importer of dolphins from Taiji with a staggering 117 dolphins purchased in just the 3 years of 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Mr Mihara also cast his opinion on the Cove despite the Taiji town liking the film.
Mr Mihara is an avid whaling fan, which is probably one of the reason the hunt continues in defiance. His IWC statement can be seen here
One of the other collaborators in the mix in Mayor Kazutaka Sangen
Mayor Kazutaka Sangen of Taiji, Japan could care less about the effects of mercury and methyl-mercury on the brain. Sangen-sama is building a specially designed slaughterhouse just for dolphins. He wants to kill more of them, he needs a market for the flesh, and the government seems to be quite willing to buy his dolphin meat for the school lunch programs as a very cheap source of protein for growing children. Yes, protein for strong muscles, with mercury thrown in for a weakened brain. Maybe that is what the government wants-weak brained labourers and future dolphin killers. Who knows? What we do know for certain is that deliberately feeding poisoned meat to children in Japan is seemingly okay with the government. They are doing nothing and do not wish to know anything about it.
Mayor Sangen is stifling dissent with threats of violence. When two courageous Japanese Councilmen, Junichiro Yamashita and Hisato Ryono, spoke out publicly against the feeding of mercury-contaminated dolphin meat to children. Sangen-sama's threats quickly shut up Ryono-sama, who now refuses to mention the issue. Only Yamashita-sama remains with the courage to continue to condemn the dark schemes of Mayor Sangen, the dolphin butcher of Taiji. The dolphin meat WAS taken off the school lunch menu.
Sangen also wants to start a marine park with black whales, bottlenose dolphins and larger whales - see here
In response to Caroline Kennedy's condemnation of the hunt he said '"There always are the people who say it's wrong and it's right, but what we have to see is if fishermen are hunting endangered species or not. They don't. We are fishing under the permission just like the US does." The rest of the report is here
Lastly there is Miyato Sugimori, administrative chief of the Taiji Town Fisheries Association who said ''We have no intention to stop hunting dolphins,” “Westerners eat cows, Australians eat kangaroos,” Sugimori said. “Japan, including Taiji, is surrounded by ocean, so we eat things from the sea which include fish, whales and dolphins. There’s nothing wrong with that.” Report here
The statement that stood out to me though was this one - Sugimori said if dolphin hunting was banned, young people may choose office jobs that pay more rather than join his association, which has an average age of 68. The association filed for bankruptcy and was restructured in February 2007.
Nothing like lining your own pocket, keep them fishing so they stay in your union.
In my opinion these parks and men collaborate purely for money, with no regard for the lives they destroy, the families they rip apart and the dolphins they sentence to a life of slavery.
Selfish marine park visitors provide the want for these dolphin and whale captives, by waving their ticket monies at the parks.
Marine Parks across the globe, see the likes of SeaWorld making money and they want some of the same.
Underhanded dealing are the norm, Morgan, Kirara as examples.
The Associations supposedly governing the parks and trainers make money from members, what is in it for them to ban people who pay into the Association?
As for the officials of Taiji, Mayor Sangen wanted to build a new meat factory, Mihara is building a dolphin broker platform with China, and Sogimori doesn't want anyone to not be fishing as then they won't be paying into his bankrupt union.
It has nothing to do with Tradition, Culture, or even the Japanese people, it is a few bullies who try to keep people quiet to line their own pockets, from the top to the bottom.
In the meantime, the dolphins can't speak out but we can and do, and will continue until the injustice stops once and for all.