Washington, D.C.- The Save Japan Dolphins Coalition denounces the proposed sale and transfer of twelve bottlenose dolphins from the secret Japanese killing coves to the Ocean World Adventure Park, a Dominican Republic amusement park. Two American aquarium specialists -- Dr. Michael Briggs and Dr. Ted Hammond -- are brokering the sale and transfer of the twelve dolphins with the park's vice-president, Stephan Meister -- a German National.
The Coalition has broadcast quality digital footage of the grossly inhumane, bloody capture of these same dolphins in Japan's waters in the port of Taiji. Japan kills over 20,000 dolphins and small whales annually, most of which wind up in meat markets. The dirty secret of the slaughter, however, is that the international aquarium industry subsidizes these massacres by paying upwards of US $45,000 for prime live specimens for aquariums, dolphin-shows and swim-with-dolphins programs. A dead dolphin sells for about US $600 on the market for meat.
"This was one of the most violent dolphin captures that I have ever witnessed in my 45 years of working with dolphins," said Richard O'Barry, former trainer of the TV star Flipper. During the 1960s, O'Barry captured more than 100 dolphins including the five that were used in the popular TV series. Today he is a marine mammal specialist with Earth Island Institute. "After being driven ashore, these twelve dolphins were manhandled out of the water and isolated from their pod mates as those same mates were butchered. I saw about 20 trainers and other representatives from the aquarium industry helping with the killing as well as the captures."
"We are appealing to the Dominican Republic's President, Mr. Leonel Fernandez Reyna, to block this import" said Cathy Liss, President of the Animal Welfare Institute. "It is shameful that the captivity industry is subsidizing the cruel dolphin slaughter." She continued: "The Dominican Republic must uphold its reputation as an eco-friendly and conservation-minded country rather than be an accomplice to this unscrupulous and barbaric practice."
From: Ocean World
We are saving the lives of these animals by buying them away from the slaughterhouse, what is this group doing for the dolphins?
Mahatma Gandhi once said : The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by how their animals are treated. Well I truly hope for all the Dominicanos that Mr. Leonel Fernandez Reyna will use his power to improve the moral progress in the Dominican Republic. Please be a positive example and do not approve nor promote dolphins in captivity.
One does not need to touch a dolphin to be touches by dolphins.
Mercedes De Windt
From: Bronx, NY
Hmmm. What to do? Shoudl we ban such imports that are necessary to maintain tourism, especially in Puerto Plata, or portray the country as eco-friendly without dolphins? I think the Save Japan Dolphins coalition should work on decreasing the consumption of dolphins rather than blocking dolphins from being transported to DR and other countries around the world.
From: San Francisco, CA USA
The Save Japan Dolphins Coalition represents millions of members
worldwide. The fact is that the capture of live dolphins in the brutal drive fishery in Japan for the billion dollar tourism and amusement park industry is fueled by this same industry. If the trade in live dolphins ceased, and the Japanese public was told the truth by their govt. of the mercury poisoning, then the incentive to kill the dolphins would end. We are working to save the dolphins despite the comments from others.
From: Miami Florida
When Stephan Meister tells us that He is "saving the dolphins" he is not telling the truth. Actually he is rewarding the Japanese dolphin hunters for their bad behavior. He is throwing jet fuel on the fire by doing buisness with them. A dead dolphin is only worth $600. A live show dolphin is worth $50,00 to $100, 000. If Ocean World and other dolphin amusement parks were not funding the Japanese dolphin hunters they would probably go out of business. See: www.SaveJapanDolphins.org
From: New York
The purchase of wild dolphins is the REASON for the slaughterhouses. The profits are in selling live dolphins to dolphin parks . The remainder of the dolphins (usually 100 for every 1 dolphin sold) are slaughtered for cheap meat. If you end the buying of dolphins, you end the the killing of dolphins. Sadly, it's all about money.
From: Honolulu, Hawai'i
Anyone who has seen the brutality of the Japanese dolphin capture and slaughter, and sees the complicity of the capticity industry, must realize that dolphinariums are prisons and the captors have blood on their hands.
Dolphins belong in the sea, not in concrete tanks or manmade lagoons. I hope that the citizens of the Dominican Republic will repudiate the plans to import the Taiji dolphins.
From: Dominican Republic
Allowing the importation of The Taiji 12 to Our Country will work adversely against our Tourism industry. As Executive Director of the Dominican Republic SPCA I can assure you that tourists visiting the D.R. won’t support this business if they know, they will be financing such an abuse against nature. DRSPCA, Receive hundreds of email complaining against the abuses against animals in the D.R.
Ocean World is taking advange of our third world nation status to achieve its selfish objectives.
From: Whidbey Island WA
S Meister pretends he doesn't know that his promotion of dolphin amusement parks is the fuel that drives the dolphin slaughter. His hypocrisy is stunning. Hire a killer, kidnap a few of the victims for enslavement, announce you are saving them, and then accuse those who try to stop the killing of not helping dolphins. Dolphins are lifetime members of complex, sophisticated societies evolved over millions of years. That's the realization that helps the dolphins
From: London, UK
Stephan Meister claims they are "saving" the animals from death when in reality they are perpetuating this practice. Do the math - the money the fishermen receive for a live animal is the incentive to continue the captures not the small amount they receive for the dead animals sold on for consumption etc., if marine parks and swim with dolphin programmes did not put up the demand this would not be profitable. Marine Connection actively supports all efforts to put an end to this atrocity.
Wy don't we start blaming the Japanease for the cruel way fo capturing these animals. Lets be honest, with all of this noise going on in the press nobody takes a deeper look into Zoos. There also are animals living in a very different environment than the natural. And How many peaople (kids and adults) enjoy, learn and get closer to nature through zoos and ...Ocean World..I blame mainly the Japanease company...there must be another way
From: Hanson Island, Canada
I truly hope your decision will be against importing these dolphins. They are the hapless victims of one of the most brutal slaughters on our planet. The sale of a "few" is the main financial incentive for the deaths of many. If the sales stop, the slaughter will end. Your participation will make you complicit. Your refusal will bring you applause, and heartfelt thanks from around the world. I beg you to make your decision FOR the dolphins. Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion.
The 'harvest' of dolphins and pilot whales is commonplace in Japanese fisheries towns like Taiji and Futo. What makes the round up of the pod from which the Taiji Twelve were selected different is that dolphin handlers were captured on film selecting dolphins to sell. Is it only coincidence that these very dolphins are "fluke-marked" for Ocean World, DR? Or did Ocean World put in a purchase order for twelve young animals, many of them females with the capacity to reproduce in captivity?
From: Key West FL
Please reconsider any decision to participate in this most inhumane, barbaric, and brutal slaughter of dolphins for profit. If the Japanese did not profit from these dolphin captures, the slaughter might end. Please help end it. Let the dolphins live freely in the wild where they belong. The Dominican Republic is an island nation. There are dolphins off your shores providing all the entertainment one needs without harming or harassing a single animal. Let us look to you for the right thing to do
From: Santo Domingo,Republicano
La Academia de Ciencias de la Republica Dominicana y lFUNDEMAR nos solidarizamos con la Coalicion Savejapandolphins opuestos a la brutal cacería de delfines mediante de la pesca por acorralamiento . Organizan una campaña de sensibilización nacional para evitar la introducción de los 12 delfines provenientes de Taijii, Japon para Ocean World, Puerto Plata.