Friday 31 January 2014

Seaworld's Collaboration in the Wild Caught Industry Web, leading right back to Taiji.

Although Seaworld recently condemned the Taiji drive hunt, they still have an involvement with the hunts and Aquariums that fund the hunts.What did Seaworld spokeman Fred Jacobs have to say about their involvement?
 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
John Hall PhD., former marine biologist at SeaWorld in the documentary, Fall from Freedom 

‘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
 In 2001, SeaWorld Orlando supplied Ocean Park in Hong Kong, China with California sea lions and Harbor seals. Ocean Park HK buys dolphins from Taiji
 ''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
 The US is not alone in this; Marineland of Canada purchased Russian Belugas as recently as 2008 even though Canada stopped catching Belugas themselves in 1992 after public outrage over the methods.

 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
Dolphinarium Harderwijk is the Dutch park that refused to release the semi-stranded Orca Morgan back to the wild, but in stead trafficked her to the Canary Islands. Harderwijk and Loro Parque decided to use ULS Airlines Cargo for this purpose. ULS Airlines has a history in the dolphin slave trade. They are based in Istanbul, Turkey and have shipped wild-caught dolphins out of Taiji in 2010 and the Solomon Islands in 2009. The other Orcas at Loro Parque are owned by SeaWorld and Brad Andrews, Executive VP for Zoological Operations at SeaWorld, was present when Morgan arrived. Morgan is now listed on Seaworld's animal inventory.

Morgan arriving at Loro Parque
SeaWorld is not the only place not keeping their distance from those associating with the drive hunt.

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.


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.


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.
Katsutoshi Mihara

 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
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.

Thursday 30 January 2014

All These Parks Buy from the Taiji Drive Hunt

All these Parks Buy from the Taiji Drive Hunt

Parks That Buy Their Dolphins From The Taiji Drive Hunt
Please click the park names for buying details
as contact information is added to the Facebook page


You can help take away the market for dolphins and pilot whales caught at the Taiji Drive Hunts by not attending any of these parks.  Don't buy a ticket, don't support this awful industry.

When tweeting I simply type in the park name, click All and send this to all those who have visited

 This park buys from Taiji. PLEASE don't buy a ticket. No market - no slaughter.

It seems to be working with the Japanese visitors. 

All capture information is with the photograph, the photographs (on the Captive Cetacean FB page) are in the same order as the list. Big job to let all their visitors know where their entertainment came from but has to be done.

China, Beijing Aquarium 北京海洋馆
China, Changsha Underwater World 长沙海底世界
China, Dalian Laohutan Ocean Park
China, Dalian Sun Asia Ocean World 大连圣亚海洋世界
China, Dongguan Xiangshi Zoo
China, Fushun Royal Sea World
China, Guangzhou Ocean World 广州海洋馆
China, Haichang Polar Ocean World Chengdu 成都海昌极地海洋世界
China, Haichang Polar Ocean World Qingdao
China, Haichang Polar Ocean World Tianjin 天津海昌极地海洋世界
China, Haichang Polar Ocean World Wuhan 海昌武汉极地海洋世界
China, Hangzhou Polar Ocean Park 杭州极地海洋公园
China, Hefei Sea World 合肥海洋世界
China, Nancheng Zoo 南昌海洋公园
China, Nanjing Underwater World
China, Ningbo Ocean World 宁波神凤海洋
China, Ocean Aquarium of Penglai 蓬莱极地海洋世界
China, Quancheng Polar Ocean World 泉城极地海洋世界
China, Shanghai Changfeng Ocean World 上海长风海洋世界
China, Shanhaiguan Happy Ocean Park 山海关欢乐海洋公园
China, Suzhou Ocean Aquarium 苏州水族馆
China, Shenzhen Xiaomeisha Sea World 小梅沙海洋世界
China, Weihai Xixiakou Safari
China, Xi'an Qujiang Ocean World
China, Xiangjiang Safari Park 香江野生动物世界
China, Zhengzhou Aquarium
Egypt - Dolphina Hurghada

Egypt - Dolphina Sharm El Sheikh 
Egypt -  Dolphin World Makadi Bay
Georgia, Republic of Batumi Aquarium
Iran, Kish Dolphin Park, Kish Island
Korea, South Jangsaengpo Whale Museum
Korea South, Seoul Zoo
South Pacific Land
Mexico - Cabo Adventures.
Palau - Dolphins Pacific
Philippines, Ocean Adventure Subic Bay
Russia, Primorye Oceanarium
Saudi Arabia, Fakieh Aquarium
Taiwan, Hualien Farglory Ocean Park
Thailand, Safari World
Tunisia Friguia Park
Turkey, Sealanya
Ukraine, Dolphinarium NEMO
United Arab Emirates, Dubai Dolphinarium
United States, Hawaii Inst. of Marine Biology
Vietnam, Bao Son Paradise Park
Japan, Aqua World / Oarai Aquarium

Japan. Awashima Marine Park 淡島マリンパーク
Japan, Asamushi Aquarium
Japan, Dolphin Fantasy (Marine Road)
Japan, Dolphin Farm
Japan, Daikokou Dolphin Land
Japan, Dolphin Island (Oita)
Japan, Echizen Matsushima Aquarium
Japan, Enoshima Aquarium
Japan, Epson Shinagawa Aqua Stadium

Japan, Futami Sea Paradise  
Japan, Inubosak Marine Park
Japan, Iruka Park Iki
Japan, Ise-Shima Marine Leisure / Irukajima (Toba)
Japan, Izu-Mito Sea Paradise
Japan, Japanese Dolphin Center
Japan, Kagoshima City Aquarium
Japan, Kamogawa Sea World
Japan, Katsurahama Aquarium 桂浜水族館
Japan, Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park Aquarium
Japan, Kinosaki Marine World
Japan, Kujukushima Aquarium (Saikai Pearl Sea Resort)
Japan, Kyoto Aquarium 京都水族館
Japan, Marine World Uminonakamichi
Japan, Minamichita Beach Land / 南知多ビーチランド
Japan, Misaki Amusement Park / みさき公園
Japan, Motobu Genki Mura もとぶ元気村
Japan, Muroto Dolphin Center / 室戸ドルフィンセンター
Japan, Nanki Shirahama Adv. World
Japan, New Yashima Aquarium / 新屋島水族館
Japan, Niigata City Aquarium / マリンピア日本海
Japan. Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe
Japan, Notojima Aquarium / のとじま水族館

Japan, Oita Umitamago Aquarium 
Japan, Okinawa Marine Research Center (Onna)
Japan, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Japan, Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium
Japan, Otaru Aquarium / おたる水族館
Japan, Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium
Japan, Taiji Dolphin Resort
Japan, Taiji Whale Museum
Japan, Taiji harbour pens
Japan, Shimoda Floating Aquarium / 下田海中水族館
Japan, Shimoneseki Municpal Aquarium / 海響館
Japan, Shinagawa Aquarium
Japan, Suma Aqualife Park 

Japan, Wakayama Marina City Dolphin Park
Japan, Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

Please sign and share my petition and ask the Chinese Premier to stop China buying from the Taiji drive hunt.

ISANA is the joint publication of the Japan Fisheries Association and the Japan Whaling Association YOU CAN CONTACT THEM HERE to tell them to stop the hunt.

Yoshimasa Hayashi Please share so people can tell him their opinions on the drive hunt, whaling and dumping babies at sea to starve to death.


Japanese embassy contact details across the globe

Ask the International Whaling Commission to give small cetaceans the same protection as their larger relatives.

The petition is nearly at its target.

Airlines transporting dolphins - List is attached below and facebook and websites here

The so called "trainers" in Taiji are involved in the slaughter. Please sign the petition to get them stopped

Monday 27 January 2014


Despite Worldwide Condemnation the killers continue to hunt, killing these dolphins on 28/01/2014

Between the 17th and 21st of January 2014 a huge pod of 250 Bottlenose Dolphins were driven into the Cove at Taiji, a record of which is on the blog.

After 5 days of hunger, dehydration, injury, suffering, families being separated,  babies being stolen and death the world spoke out in condemnation of the hunt.

Inflamed by the fact that the next day the Taiji Whale Museum and the Japanese press reported the fact that The little albino calf Angel Shoujo taken from the drive was already on display the world reacted.

Ambassador Kennedy US Ambassador to Japan tweeted her concerns as did the British Ambassador Tim Hitchen saying the UK opposes all forms of drive hunting

USA Today reported on the 18th Jan 2014

Digital Journal reported on the 18th Jan 2014 regarding conservation groups contacting Waza

Japan Today reported on the 19th Jan 2014 

CNN also reported on the 19th Jan 2014

On the 20th the officials of Wakayama Prefecture started complaining about the protest in a report from CNN

National Geographic news reported on 20th Jan 2014

NBC news reported on the 21st Jan 2014

The Independent also joined in releasing their report on 20th too.

BBC also reported 

After the many reports Japan then started to release some of their own as the Japanese press seemed reluctant to print anything and ignored the situation.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga gave the government's response on Monday to a Twitter message from US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy.

Reuters filmed at the cove and did their report 

As the anger and horror of the drive hunt continued, many celebrities also joined in the protest, lending their voice to the campaign to get the hunt stopped.

Richard Branson  posted his support in his Virgin blog

Yoko Ono published an open letter to the people of Taiji

Kirstie Allie, Susan Sarandon, Ricky Gervais and many others listed here all joined in to condemn the hunt and try to bring it to an end.

People ask many questions about the drive hunt for example

Why do the fishermen leave the dolphins in the cove overnight before they kill them?
Why can't Save Japan Dolphins or Cove Guardians put out noise makers or their own boats to block the hunts?

Many questions have been answered here  and there are also many ways to help.

Despite the international press and members of state from other countries condemning the hunt, the Japanese government still allowed it to continue, doing absolutely nothing to address any of the issues raised. Shinzo Abe continued business as usual as the Japanese always seem to do.

The little white calf Angel Shoujo was last heard of on display at the Taiji Whale Museum, many of the dolphins captured are still in the harbour pens until they learn to accept dead fish and do tricks or die of starvation. 2 have already died in the week following the capture.

Captured bottlenose dolphins in Taiji Harbor Seapen,awaiting
 shipment to Aquariums or Swim with Dolphin programs
for a lifetime of captivity after losing their families.
Taiji Harbor seapens filled with dolphins to be sold for a sad lifetime of
performing for fish at Aquariums and Swim with Dolphins

The following day the fishermen went to hunt again but luckily the pod managed to escape, and on 23rd January 2014 they went out again, killing a pod of 28 striped dolphins in what seemed to be almost an act of defiance to the watching world. 24th January 2014 they caught and killed a pod of  Pantropical dolphins,  25th January 2014 All killing boats remain in port today. Taiji Fisherman's Union is closed. This was to allow movement and trucking od the first bought bottlenose dolphins who headed towards Osaka. 26th January 2014 2 of the captured bottlenose dolphins die, the trainers who had been tube feeding them now turn killers themselves. 27th January 2014 all 12 banger boats chased in 4 pacific white side dolphins who all went into captivity. 28th January 2014 a pod of Striped dolphins were brutalised in the cove.

Despite knowing the world was watching, this has to be one of the cruelest captures I have seen,
this so called fisherman grabbed the dolphin so hard, he made it bleed and laughed whilst he was doing it. The sequence of events in 4 photographs are below.
This so called Taiji fisherman grabs the dolphins beak as it was looking to the boat for help
Still squeezing the beak, this dolphin is in pain as they try to pull it up out of the water. Take note of the glove
It is tied to be dragged to its death, with its face now bleeding   
Left injured by the fisherman it floats in its own blood and that of its relatives

                                          One Japanese fishermen sent the world a message

                         It seems only fitting that the world send them one back in return.


Sign the petition here it only needs another 9000 people to get to target. HERE


Japanese embassy contact details across the globe HERE 



Mr. Yoshiki Kimura, Governor of Wakayama prefecture(issues the dolphin drive permits)
E-mail: or
Phone: 81-73-441-2034
Fax: 81-73-423-9500

Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen @ City Hall Email:
Phone: 81-73-559-2335
Fax: 81-73-559-2801

Tourism Bureau Wakayama Prefecture:

ISANA is the joint publication of the Japan Fisheries Association and the Japan Whaling Association. Tell them how tourism, dolphin trips etc would be better than what they do now. HERE


Ask the International Whaling Commission to give small cetaceans the same protection as their larger relatives.     HERE
Airlines transporting dolphins - List is attached below and facebook and websites here 

Sunday 26 January 2014

SeaWorld - You have Excuses for Tilikum, what is your Excuse for Keto?

Whilst all attention is focused on Tilikum and Blackfish, with Seaworld and their supporters picking spots off the film, the death of one of their other trainers by an orca born and bred at Seaworld seems to be going un noticed.

When defending the actions of Tilikum on the sad day that Dawn Brancheau died, Seaworld had indicated as proven in the Blackfish film that some of the psychological damage caused to Tilikum was actually whilst he was at Sealand and not of their doing. This is true but what is the excuse for Keto?

Had Seaworld reacted in the same way they did after Dawn's tragedy then she would still be here, the trainers would have been out of the water,  instead they took the trainers out of the water for one day, then put them back in.

To understand why Keto would kill his trainer, you need to understand the situation Seaworld brought about in Loro Parque, why they created such a tragic and sad mess is known only to them.

Keto aged 11 when sent to Loro Parque

Keto was one of 5 orca born to Kalina, Keet was first born in 1993, Keto in 1995, a stillborn in 1997, Tuar in 1999 and Skyla in 2004. He was full brother to Keet who's father was Kotar, and half brother to the others. He was also half brother to Takara, who's mother Kasatka also mated with Kotar.
As the gene pool  is so small at Seaworld he was also uncle to Trua, Kohana, Halyn, Kalia and Sakari.

When he was very young, he was nicknamed punk, probably because his mother was permanently pregnant or dealing with other calves. His older brother had been moved away at 18 months old to allow his mother to have Keto, Keet was very depressed but was taken in by Haida 2.

It was decided that at age 3 and a half Keto would be moved from Orlando to San Diego to help 'correct' his behaviour, so he too was taken from his mother and moved to another park.

When at aged 5 Keet was also moved to San Diego he was reunited with the brother he had never met, they both got on really well,  although Keto was a little rough with him. Sadly his stay and San Diego was short and he was moved to Ohio for a short time and then San Antonio.

Tekoa aged 6 when sent to Loro Parque

Meanwhile in 2000 in Orlando another young male was born at the park to Taima who had to almost immediately be taken from his mother who kept attacking him. Tekoa was close to Kalina and in 2004 they were both moved to San Antonio, where their friendship disintegrated as other orca claimed Kalina as their friend.

Kohana aged 4 when sent to Loro Parque

In San Diego Keto's niece Kohana was born to Takara at first she seemed very shy and the two became inseparable and at the age of 2 the two of them were moved to Orlando. This was probably as Takara's being the daughter of the dominant orca was the princess of San Diego and could do whatever she liked with her mothers protection. She was very spoiled and liked to annoy the other orca. After the move she had to adjust to a new social structure but she fitted in well.

Skyla aged 2 when sent to Loro Parque

Skyla, Keto's half sister was also separated from their mother Kalina at the early age of 2 as she was deemed independent enough.

Loro Parque

In 2006 these 4 orca were deemed excess and were sent to Loro Parque on a 25 year breeding loan on condition any calves belonged to Seaworld. Seaworld trainers were sent with them to help the trainers at Loro Parque.

Dawn Brancheau and Alix Martinez at Loro Parque

 Why Seaworld sent these particular orca is entirely known to them. Everyone including Seaworld knows that orca live in matriarchal pods, even in the false pods they create in their tanks, they know there is always an older, dominant orca who keeps order in the pool. They sent these 4 young orca, on a breeding loan knowing there was no one to breed with other than each other and knowing there was no matriarch to help keep order. They created a pod of dysfunctional youngsters taken from their mothers and families with no one to help them develop or socialize properly.

At the time the loan was announced in December 2005, Jacobs publicly said there was a “financial arrangement,” but he declined to give details. What was clear was SeaWorld would be deeply involved in managing its orca from the moment they arrived in February 2006. SeaWorld personnel oversaw their care and training at Loro Parque, and Brian Rokeach , a senior trainer from SeaWorld San Diego, supervised the training session in which Martínez died. His court statement can be seen here .

When Fred Jabobs was asked if Martínez’s death should be considered relevant to OSHA’s conclusions regarding SeaWorld and trainer safety he replied “Loro Parque is an independent and highly respected zoological institution with its own protocols. ”  “Because it is in the Canary Islands, however, it is not subject to OSHA. Because we are contesting OSHA’s citations, we are unable to discuss it further, except to reiterate that their allegations reflect a fundamental lack of understanding of the safety requirements of caring for these animals.” To make this statement knowing these were Seaworld orca's under Seaworld care is just outstanding, as soon as an incident occurs they are no longer under Seaworld's care, yet everyone knew that they were.

To help make sure Orca Ocean was successful, Seaworld had trained a group of Loro Parque trainers in their Orlando and San Antonio parks, Seaworld vet James McBain also visited regularly and had 2 weekly conference calls and Seaworld could also monitor the orca through the Loro Parque surveillance equipment. Brad Andrews also flew in at least twice yearly.  When the assigned SeaWorld supervisor was away for any reason, SeaWorld would rotate in a temporary replacement. In September 2006, Dawn Brancheau pulled a temporary rotation at Loro Parque, arriving to fill in for Mark Galan.

Orca Ocean officially opened on February 17, 2006, with a gala celebration attended by Loro Parque president Wolfgang Kiessling; August Busch III, then chairman of Anheuser-Busch InBev (which at the time owned SeaWorld); and Adán Martin, then president of the Canary Islands.

 The first show open to the general public took place on March 17, 2006, but there were problems with the new pools. They had been coated with a product called Metflex, which hadn’t adhered properly. (Metflex and Loro Parque both lay the blame on the other.) And that, in turn, led to orca problems, one week after the opening, Allee says, while a packed stadium awaited, all four whales appeared in the backstage area with strips of Metflex hanging from their mouths and pool paint smeared across their rostrums, or snouts.The park shut down and the orca's had to endure endoscopy procedures to check the metflex was not in their stomachs. As you can see from the video Keto is not too impressed.

The four young orca struggled to get along, struggled to find their place in the new falsely created pods and tensions were extremely high.

In an effort to understand and get to know the orca, Martinez kept a notepad on their behaviours which gives an indication into what life in the tank was like.
 In reference to Kohana, he noted  “Back to feeling insecure when separated, alone, both in shows & in sessions.” In late September, he noted that Kohana’s vocalizations and attitude had improved but that she “always has rises & falls in temperament.
He also noted some of the sexual tensions in the pool  “Keto is obsessed with controlling Kohana, he won’t separate from her, including shows,” he wrote. “Tekoa is very sexual when he is alone with Kohana (penis out). Keto is sexual with Tekoa.”
On September 2, 2009, he noted that “Brian [Rokeach, SeaWorld’s supervising trainer at Loro Parque at the time] had a small incident with Keto the first hour of the morning,” and that it was “a very bad day for Keto.” On September 12, he wrote, “All the animals are bad. Dry day for Kohana.”

Sometimes the tension between the whales would get a very public airing. During one show  in the summer of 2007, Tekoa was performing when Keto raced into the show pool, rammed him, and then proceeded to chase him. After the trainers regained control, they completed the performance with Tekoa, even though blood was visibly seeping from his wounds. His final display of behavior was a full-body pose on the main stage. “The last image the audience saw was the stage covered in Tekoa’s blood,”

There were many injuries in the pool as the orca tried to create a pod, without the guidance or security of their mothers.
Tekoa covered in rake marks

Skyla after attack by Kohana

Keto's attack wasn't the first in the park.  In October 2007, Loro Parque almost lost a female trainer, 29 year old Claudia Vollhardt was working a training session with Tekoa, who weighed about 3,000 pounds at the time, under the supervision of SeaWorld senior trainer Steve Aibel.  Vollhardt, who had transferred to Orca Ocean from the Loro Parque dolphinarium, was having trouble practicing a foot push, a behavior in which the killer whale presses its rostrum against the trainer’s foot and propels the trainer across the pool, either underwater or above the surface. After a few failed attempts, Tekoa grabbed Vollhardt’s arm and took her to the bottom of the pool. He then dragged her toward the steel gate between the show pool and the back pools and began banging her against it. The emergency alarm went off and Aibel shouted for the staff to get the net as the orca's had been trained to swim away from the net. This distracted Tekoa for an instant and Aibel managed to pull Claudia out of the water and begin CPR. Even as CPR was being performed Tekoa was still trying to reach her as she lay on the pool deck. Vollhardt was carried into a nearby office, where her wetsuit, covered in bite marks and blood, was cut away, and then rushed by ambulance to the intensive-care unit of the hospital in La Laguna. She eventually recovered, from a punctured lung and a forearm fractured in three places and lacerations.

Waterworks were stopped for 6 months and no one was allowed into the water with Tekoa again.

Despite this after her recovery she continued to work at Orca Ocean.

Claudia Vollhardt at Orca Ocean

Skyla also started to act out her frustrations on the trainers. In the spring of 2009, during a public show, 5-year-old female Skyla started pushing her trainer around the pool and up against the pool wall. Shortly thereafter, special protocols (limits on water work and a mandate that only senior trainers work with her) that had been standard practice for Tekoa after the incident in 2007 were enacted for Skyla as well. Now only Kohana and Keto could be used for waterworks.

In 2009, with Christmas approaching, Martínez was selected to perform in the holiday show, alongside SeaWorld San Diego’s Brian Rokeach. On the fatal day, December 24, Martínez and Rokeach, along with five other Orca Ocean trainers, ran through a morning practice session with Keto, who worked alone in the show pool while the other three killer whales were secured in the two back pools.

It was known that Keto preferred to know what was going on with the other whales rather than perform alone, in Martinez's diary it quoted an incident in the September when Keto was again working alone and after a perimeter ride, was seen vocalizing and circling the pool at high speed once the trainer had got off.

During that fatal day, Rokeach was working from the stage of the showpool and Martinez entered the water. Keto started off well, but then Martínez tried a behavior called a stand-on spy hop, in which he stood on Keto’s rostrum as Keto drove his body vertically up and out of the water. Keto was leaning slightly as he rose from the surface, and Martínez fell off. Because the stunt had not been executed cleanly, Keto was not bridged (rewarded).
A short time later, Martínez initiated another spy hop. Again, Keto came up twisting, and this time Martínez responded with an LRS. To help get Keto back on track, he was called to a shallow ledge across the pool from the main stage, and when he obeyed another trainer rewarded him with two handfuls of fish. Keto, according to the report, seemed calm. Martínez then told Rokeach and the others that he was going to ride Keto down into the pool and up onto the stage, a sequence called a haul-down into stage haul-out.
On the way down Keto went too deep, and as he approached the bottom of the 12-meter pool Martínez abandoned the haul-out and asked Keto to follow his hand with his rostrum. Together they drifted up to the surface, and again Martínez responded to Keto’s failure with an LRS. (When they don’t perform correctly, the trainer reacts with a three-second neutral response and withholds the reward. This is known as a least-reinforcing scenario, or LRS.)
This time, though, Keto responded oddly. According to the incident report, “Keto surfaced with Alexis and seemed calm, but appeared to position himself between Alexis and the stage. Alexis waited for calm from Keto and requested a stage call via underwater tone.” Keto responded and swam over to Rokeach, who was standing on the stage. But Rokeach observed that Keto appeared “not committed to remaining under control” and a little “big-eyed.” Instead of walking back to get a fish bucket, Rokeach asked another trainer to bring it to him. Like Martínez, Rokeach gave Keto a hand target to focus him, one of the simplest and first behaviors most marine-park killer whales learn. When Rokeach felt Keto was under better control, he asked Martínez, who had been waiting patiently near the center of the pool, to swim slowly toward the slide-over (a ramp connecting the show pool to the back pools) at the edge of the main stage so he could get out of the water. Notably, the incident report makes no mention of Rokeach feeding Keto any fish.
As Martínez started to paddle gently through the water, the report indicates, Keto took note and started to lean in his direction. Sensing he was about to lose control, Rokeach gave Keto another hand target. This time Keto ignored it. He went after Martínez, driving him to the bottom of the pool with his nose. (In his testimony to Canary Islands’ investigators, Orca Ocean assistant supervisor Rafael Sanchez said, “The animal in question moved towards him and hit him and violently played with his body.”)

Rokeach and the other trainers did what they could, but a powerful 6,600-pound killer whale is the master of his domain. Rokeach slapped the water and banged the bucket on the stage, both signals for Keto to return. He slapped the water again, and this time Keto responded, leaving Martínez at the bottom of the pool—Martínez had been under an estimated 30 seconds by then—and surfacing without him. Rokeach sounded the emergency alarm. Keto took a quick breath, returned to Martínez, and then came back to the surface carrying Martínez’ limp body across his rostrum. Rokeach called for the team to get a net in the water while others raced to corral the other three killer whales into one of the back pools. It took almost two minutes to get Keto out of the show pool and secure the gate between the pools (Keto slowed the process by about a minute by interfering with the gate as trainers tried to close it).
By this point, Martínez—apart from the brief moment Keto brought him to the surface—had been on the bottom of the pool for almost 3 minutes. Rokeach and another trainer dove in and resurfaced with Martínez, who was unconscious and had blood coming from his nose and mouth. A distraught Rokeach immediately initiated CPR. A defibrillator was brought out, and Loro Parque called for an ambulance. But Martínez was never revived.

 Loro Parque issued a statement saying Martínez’s death was an “unfortunate accident” and that he had likely died due to asphyxiation resulting from compression of his chest. “After completing the [exercise],” the statement said, “Alexis was knocked by the orca in an unexpected reaction of the animal,” adding that “the study of the facts shows that the animal’s behavior did not correspond to the way in which these marine mammals attack their prey in the wild, but was rather a shifting of position.”

But as with Dawn Brancheau, the autopsy report on Martínez showed a different scenario.

According to the analysis, the immediate cause of death was a “pulmonary edema”, while the fundamental cause of death was “mechanical asphyxiation due to compression and crushing of the thoracic abdomen with injuries to the vital organs”.
 The examination not only reveals multiple fractures – “the entire anterior rib cage”, sternum, ribs – and injuries – “bruised lungs with rips in the pleura”, “liver with a wide tear” — but also the bite marks of the animal: “The rounded marks of the external exam are compatible with the teeth marks of an orca. The morphology may be partially reduced due to the wetsuit worn by personnel during the work day”,cautions the report. 

On December 26, two days after the incident, the zoo distributed a written statement in which they invoked the“preliminary data”, and stated that the body “did not present signs of violence, nor hitting or biting, being the lack of oxygen which appears to be the cause of death, ruling out an attack.”

Three days later Loro Parque released another statement  which then speaks of the injuries and the violence of the event,explains that “at the conclusion of  the exercise, Alexis was pushed violently by the orca due to an unexpected reaction from the animal.” In addition, it also states that the trainer of marine mammals “suffered injuries due to compression of the thoracic area, and thus lack of oxygen is the most probable cause of death.”In this same report, Loro Parque states that “in reviewing the details it shows that the behavior of the animal did not correspond with how these marine mammals attack their prey in the wild, but rather with how they displace.”

Contradicting this, the report of the ambulance personnel of the Servicio de Urgencias Canario which transported Alexis to the hospital – part of which was included in the forensic medical report – describes a “man of 29 years old, who is in cardio respiratory arrest after suffering an attack from an orca.” Later in the report they surmise that the zoo trainer “suffered injuries from one of the orcas that affected the vital organs, grave injuries that resulted in death.”

In other words, Keto slammed so hard into Alix Martinez he caved in his chest. 

The trainers were kept out of the water for a day as they were in the Seaworld parks, then everything resumed as normal, well as normal as possible saying that now 3 out of the 4 orca at Loro Parque are  banned from waterworks with trainers.

 SeaWorld, to date, has never made a public statement regarding the death of Alexis Martinez, even though SeaWorld still owns the whale that killed him.

The pool still was dysfunctional as seems to be the planning. On October 12th 2010 a very young 8 year old Kohana gave birth to Keto's calf Adan. As you can see from the video clip she didn't rush over to help him take his first breath, and she wanted nothing to do with him from the moment he came out.

He was immediately taken into the medical pool where the trainers hand reared him, he is doing well although he is separated often from the other orca.

  SeaWorld  also never made a public statement when Kohana gave birth to her first-born at Loro Parque. SeaWorld is known to release publicly the births of their new-born Orcas in the USA parks where their Orcas reside.

On November 29th 2011 a young 'rescued' orca arrived at Loro Parque, Morgan.
Morgan's arrival at the park further upset the balance in the tank and she is mercilessly bullied. Her tank mate Tekoa is recorded as being the most bitten orca in captivity today and Morgan is not far behind him.

Her brief story is in the video below, as we will have a separate page for her very soon.

Rake marks on Morgan

Morgan being rammed by Kohana and Skyla

In the meantime despite her previous rejection of Adan, Kohana became pregnant again and she gave birth to a daughter on August 3rd 2012. As you can see from the video below, once again Kohana being only 10 years old, showed no interest in the thing that had caused her so much pain and the baby swam off on her own, to be taken to the medical pool to be hand raised.
Sadly on June 16th 2013 Vicky died, cause of death is intestinal complication.

Once again Seaworld made no announcement of the birth or death of this baby.

Morgan's supporters are currently fighting to get Morgan out of there as she should have been released, at the time of her transfer no one was aware of why she went to Loro Parque until earlier this year when she was listed on Seaworld's inventory of orca's.

There are lots of questions raised about these orcas that Seaworld need to answer.

1. What reason do you have for Keto doing what he did?  Your experienced trainer was there,  he wasn't affected by any other park as you say is the case with Tilikum, he has always been your orca, born into your tanks. What would turn him into a killer much the same as Tilikum?

2. Why did you not react to Keto killing his trainer, if you had Tilikum would not have been able to kill Dawn?

3. In the USA it is illegal to house incompatible orca's together, as these are YOUR orca why do you allow them to still live together like this when you know the damage they are doing to each other? They should still be covered under US law.

4. Why did you send 4 orca on a breeding loan, knowing the only things they could breed with is each other? Why would you deliberately create inbred calves?

5. Why would you breed Kohana so young? You cannot say Loro Parque act under their own volition as we know they don't, your trainers are there, your vets are there and you can supervise from the webcams. Why would you do that knowing she has no mother to help or learn from?

6. Where are these orca's mothers and where were they when they went to Loro Parque?

7. What do you intend to do with the state of Tekoa, who respected whale experts say is the most bitten and raked orca in captivity?

8. When you though Ike was being mishandled at Marineland you fought to get him back. Why have you not done the same with these orcas?

9. Does Morgan belong to you? You said absolutely nothing about her being part of your collection, yet list her on your financial files as part of your collection. Loro Parque think she belongs to Holland. Are you lying to them or are you lying to the financial institutions? 

10. Why are you leaving Morgan with Keto, is it an attempt to get her pregnant too? If so do you not think that is out of order seeing as a court decision is still in the balance? 

Is keeping the focus of the Seaworld fans on Blackfish a deliberate move by Seaworld's PR team in an attempt to stop them from looking into incidents like this? I personally think it is!