Saturday, August 29, 2015

Your Dolphin Outlook Weekly Update

Our Sixth Year in Taiji: Why We’re Still Fighting for Dolphins

I hate to say it everyone, but we are creeping up already to the time when the people in Taji Japana are allowed by law, to steal and kill Dolphins for captivity and for Dolphin Food/Meat. They are allowed for the next 6 months or so to lure these animals in our oceans into their territory so again, they can determine whether they should use them to sell off these Dolphins they steal to hotels and water parks and to whomever buys them (just like we did with human slavery) so they can make money for these private companies that do it. Or, they merely just kill them for the Dolphin meat that sell at again, for 100% of their profit margins (minus their man hours and that salary) in that market set up right in the town of Taji Japan.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and its team of Cove Guardians will officially launch the sixth consecutive season of Sea Shepherd’s Dolphin Defense Campaign on Sept. 1, 2015, in Taiji, Japan. Titled Operation Henkaku (Operation Metamorphosis), preparations are underway for the campaign, during which Sea Shepherd will once again have an international team of volunteer Cove Guardians stationed along the infamous cove, documenting and live streaming the brutal capture and slaughter of dolphins and pilot whales for the world to see.

In the drive hunt conducted by the Taiji Fishermen’s Union, typically spanning from September until March, more than a thousand cetaceans are driven into the cove each year – some ruthlessly killed before the eyes of their family members and others torn away from their family pods to be sold to captive facilities in Japan or overseas. As Sea Shepherd has documented time and time again, the captive selection process occurs simultaneously to the slaughter – and the lucrative international trade in live dolphins for captivity is the economic fuel that drives the hunting boats in search of pods.

Signs There is Hope for Taiji
The number of cetaceans slaughtered has decreased in recent years, but conservationists are concerned the lower captures and kills could be due to fewer migratory dolphins passing through Taiji’s waters. In other regions of Japan, dolphins have been hunted to extinction. If the killers and trainers of Taiji are allowed to continue indiscriminately taking pods from the sea, the hunt could have devastating consequences for dolphin and whale populations. Sea Shepherd believes that “gaiatsu,” or pressure from outside Japan, will be crucial in ultimately bringing an end to this hunt of wild cetaceans. These dolphins and whales who migrate past Taiji’s shores belong not to Japan, but to the world’s oceans.

In recent years, the hunt has sparked worldwide outrage and media firestorms, thanks in large part to the efforts of Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians – the only group on the ground in Taiji every day throughout the six-month hunt season annually since 2010. Ensuring that no dolphin or whale is captured or killed unseen, the Cove Guardians have served as the world’s window to Taiji and a desperately needed voice for the highly intelligent, socially complex marine mammals suffering in the cove. Global opposition to the drive hunt has brought more pressure upon Japan than ever before to end the bloodshed. As the tide changes for the dolphins, so too does Sea Shepherd’s campaign as the organization returns to Taiji.

“This year, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) insisted that the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) stop purchasing dolphins captured in Taiji or be permanently suspended as a WAZA member. The Japanese aquariums of JAZA chose to end these purchases. We see these decisions as signs that things are changing and that finally our efforts since 2003 are paying off,” said Sea Shepherd Founder and senior strategic advisor for Sea Shepherd USA, Captain Paul Watson. “In September we launch Operation Henkaku (Metamorphosis) to observe the impact of WAZA’s stand against the hunt and Sea Shepherd’s evolving efforts and tactics as we continue our opposition to the killing and capture of these dolphins.”

Leading Operation Henkaku will be Sea Shepherd Campaign Coordinator, David Hance. “An additional focus of this year’s campaign will be on conducting outreach to raise crucial awareness of the direct and inextricable link between the captive dolphin trade and the dolphin slaughter in Taiji,” said Hance. “The primary reason that the drive hunt continues is the lucrative trade in captive dolphins. These trained animals are sold to dolphinariums and marine parks around the world at a high price. It is widely believed that the demand for dolphin meat is at an all-time low, and that the dolphin hunt simply could not be sustained solely by the sale of the meat for human consumption.”

This Year’s Campaign
Sea Shepherd has unveiled a new and symbolic logo for the upcoming campaign. Captain Watson explains, “The logo reflects the wheel of change, with the rising sun. The two dolphins surrounding the Jolly Roger logo represent the traditional reverence for nature in Shintoism and the coming together once again of nature and the nation of Japan, in respect for the dolphins. The word ‘TAIJI’ on the rays of the rising sun represents the shame that Taiji has brought upon the entire nation of Japan. The Japanese characters on the left represent the Shinto Sea Goddess Susano-o. On the right, the characters reading ‘Operation Henkaku’ translate to ‘Operation Metamorphosis or Transformation.’ The placement of the Sea Shepherd logo in the middle represents Sea Shepherd being in the center of efforts to end the slaughter for the last 12 years.”

Sea Shepherd to Return to Taiji for a Sixth Season of its Dolphin Defense CampaignSea Shepherd

Though the name and look of Sea Shepherd’s Taiji Dolphin Defense Campaign have changed, key aspects will remain the same. Sea Shepherd’s dedicated Cove Guardians will continue to document and live stream from the cove, maintaining a continuous presence throughout the hunt season to bring worldwide attention to this massacre of oceanic wildlife and its connection to the captive industry.

Each year, entire families of dolphins and small whales, are driven into the shallow waters of Taiji’s killing cove, which soon turn red with blood. Once netted within the cove, their fate is sealed and the members of these doomed, frightened pods will face either imprisonment in captivity or brutal slaughter. Killers and trainers work side-by-side to select the “prettiest” dolphins and whales, those without visible scars, for captivity. The others are mercilessly stabbed with a metal spike hammered into their backs, just behind the blowhole, to sever their spine. Many will slowly and painfully bleed to death or drown in the blood of their family, while others may die as they are dragged to the butcherhouse, where the once wild and free cetaceans are processed into slabs of meat for human consumption – meat that no one should consume, as it is contaminated with mercury and other neurotoxins.

Japan refuses to sign on to many protection efforts and regulations for marine mammals, despite most of the international community recognizing the need to protect these self-aware, beloved and imperiled animals.

Until the Slaughter Ends
In 2010, Sea Shepherd established its Taiji Dolphin Defense Campaign and its volunteer Cove Guardians took up positions alongside the cove to document, report and live stream from Taiji, bringing pressure upon Japan to end the bloodshed. Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians will continue to shine a global spotlight on the cove until the slaughter ends.

The dolphins need you! Those who are interested in volunteering as a Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian in Taiji for Operation Henkaku should please email Please note that volunteer applicants must be able to commit to participating in the campaign for a minimum of one week.

Song Produced by Pat Aeby (Krokus, etc.).

All Video Footage for all Sunset Music videos was done using the GoPro Hero! 

Thanks especially to the tireless and what is endless work of the people that are trying to stop all Dolphin Hunting and Capturing in every way, and thanks to any participants who please, if you want to be credited in any way, contact us now at We will do it that minute. 

Also, this video is monetized in some way (ad shares, amounts of plays, amounts of views, etc.) and therefore any and I mean 100% of all revenues made from it, will go to the Oceanic Preservation Society (makers of the COVE). As a matter of fact, we have set up an automated monthly payment which I am matching BTW, every month. Thanks for the help and for your participation in stopping all wildlife crime. Your tax-deductible donation helps the Oceanic Preservation Society often receives requests from supporters of our organization inquiring about their ability to raise money for OPS. Past request have included charitable fundraising programs by students, individuals doing charity walks or hikes, or individuals who were moved by our work and who just want to help us raise funds. Such independent fundraising activities are possible and greatly appreciated. The following is background information on OPS and how that independent fundraising should be conducted:

• Oceanic Preservation Society is a registered 501(c)(3) Public Charity, Tax ID 38-3891081
• Donations from individuals in the form of cash or check can be tax deductible to the donor as a charitable income tax deduction;
• Donations in the form of checks is preferable to donations in cash;
• If a fundraiser is soliciting funding, then any checks should be written to Oceanic Preservation Society, rather than to the fundraiser;
• The fundraiser should provide OPS with the name and address of each donor so that OPS can provide each donor with a letter acknowledging the donation for income tax purposes; and
• The fundraiser should indicate that he or she is merely selecting OPS as his or her charity of choice for his or her fundraising activities and that the fundraiser is not officially associated with OPS. 

Become a Monthly Sustaining Donor or a One-time Donor Below.


Also, please visit this artists web site at and visit Sunset Records at anytime at

Brendan Kelly, MC of the stadium show at Marineland, left his job one day and hasn't gone back. The grinning guy who invited children to feed the dolphins couldn't take it anymore. This is a repost of an article from 2012.
By: Linda Diebel Canada, Published on Mon Aug 20 2012

Brendan Kelly left after his shift last week as MC of the stadium show at Marineland , and hasn't gone back. The grinning guy in the bright red shirt who invited children to feed the dolphins couldn't take it anymore.
"I can't go back now. I just can't face being that happy person, knowing what happens to the animals," said Kelly.

Kelly's last shift was last Tuesday. In a Star report on Wednesday , eight former Marineland employees told of recurring water problems at the park that left animals sick and suffering fur loss, skin conditions and eye problems, including blindness. The trainers blamed short-staffing for the death of Skoot , a baby beluga who died after an attack by adult male belugas over two hours on May 28, 2012.

In an interview, Kelly recounted incidents over six years (some of his time seasonal) as a marine mammal trainer, including a bad time with dolphins in October 2011. He was powerless, he said, to help five dolphins swimming in green water in the barn. After watching them breeching, chuffing (loudly exhaling) and "struggling to breathe," he went to his supervisor, only to be told nothing could be done.

Kelly said problems with Marineland animals continue behind the scenes. He said short-staffing means that Baker, a sea lion with severely damaged eye tissue, has forgotten the training that enabled him to open his eyes for drops to ease his pain.
"I tried to feed him in the aquarium and he knew I was there. He was looking for me and trying to find me but he couldn't," he said, of an episode this summer with the big sea lion. "He'd forgotten his training and was so disoriented; he couldn't go to his 'station' for feeding.

"I threw the rules out the window and went to him, held out fish to him and let him take it. It's so sad."
Kelly said on his last day, there were two full-time trainers and "about seven relatively inexperienced seasonal staff" for 35 walruses, sea lions, seals and belugas in the barn, stadium and aquarium pools. That means the animals spend long hours unattended in pens and staffers barely have time to feed them, let alone provide attention, Kelly said.

Read more about Marineland Canada here, here and watch the behind the scenes video of Marineland here by Phil Demers, another former trainer who left Marineland after 12 years witnessing the abuse of the animals.

Animal Welfare Insitute cites the following conditions in their report linked above:

Last August, The Toronto Star published an exposé on multiple animal welfare issues at Marineland. The paper interviewed eight former employees, who described animal suffering brought on by a pattern of neglect, chronic staff shortages, and poor conditions. Among the incidents alleged to have occurred:

Five female dolphins swam almost continuously in murky green water in a concrete pool over a period of eight months in 2011-12. "'Their skin fell off in chunks, their colour darkened and they refused to eat.'" Just before the show season began in May 2012, their water was changed.
Two sea lions were repeatedly confined in dry cages—once for over two months—in an attempt to limit harm to eyes already damaged by poor water conditions. Video footage reportedly shows them writhing in pain or plunging their heads into a bucket of clean water. One eventually lost the lens from one eye.

After repeated exposure to unhealthy water, one of the park's harbor seals went blind.

When the former land animal supervisor advised the owner that new bears at the park would need to be quarantined to guard against disease, the owner refused, citing a lack of space. Some of the bears turned out to have mange and lost all of their hair.

The same supervisor was ignored when he advised that newborn bear cubs be separated from older males. One day, staff discovered the cubs gone—devoured, the supervisor believes, by the adult bears.

A baby beluga died after a brutal two-hour assault by two adult male belugas, while an untrained guide radioed for help that never came.

How long will these conditions continue all depends on ticket holders and regulators of laws, or the makers of protection laws for animals who are in held captivity in Canada.

Who Needs SeaWorld? Wild Dolphin Puts on a Show for Snorkelers Just for Fun.
When it comes to encounters with wild animals, few are quite as awe-inspiring as that of a meeting with wild dolphins. There is something almost magical about witnessing these animals swimming freely in their natural environment.

The couple who uploaded the thirty-five-second video above were lucky enough to be treated to a one-on-one encounter with a wild dolphin as they took part in a dolphin snorkel tour in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. During the tour, most dolphins they saw swam alongside them in groups, but one of them apparently decided to break away from his friends for a little while and get to know these mysterious humans better!

The dolphin swam with them for a while and put on an impromptu “show” for them … not because he was forced to (we’re looking at you, Sea World and Co.), but simply for the fun of it. What an amazing privilege for this couple!

A Dolphinarium Free Europe is in Sight – Here’s How You Can Help!

Since March 2015, The Dolphinaria-Free Europe coalition (DFE) has been calling for an end to the keeping of cetaceans (dolphins, whales and porpoises) in captivity within Europe.

Currently, an estimated 306 individual cetaceans are kept in 33 captive facilities (dolphinaria) in 15 EU member states.Thirty-two of the facilities are licensed as zoos and yet do not comply with the requirements of the EC Zoos Directive 1999/22. The Directive’s requirements are to promote and protect wild fauna; ensure high standards in animal husbandry, and supply meaningful education about the species itself. Clearly, these requirements are not being served. But luckily, this could all change soon thanks to the committed members of the DFE.

For the first time ever, the issue of a dolphinaria-free Europe is being debated in the European Parliament. By engaging with UK MEP, Keith Taylor, they have received the support from Netherlands MEP and Green Coordinator, Bas Eickhout to propose a discussion in the Parliament’s Environment Committee over the issue of cetaceans being kept in captivity within Europe for entertainment purposes.

If this happens, it will be the first time this issue has been discussed in the European Parliament.

Why Does This Need to Go Ahead and What Will it Take?
Dolphins living in captivity, whether captive or wild-born, suffer a great deal as a result of restricted space, limited social interaction, and poor environmental quality, among other issues. Even the largest captive facilities are still not spacious enough to fulfill the needs of cetaceans. And this lack of space can often lead to heightened aggression and abnormal repetitive behavior. In addition, most dolphins in captivity are forced to share a pool with dolphins from different regions or even different species. In recent revelations, captive cetacean facilities have admitted that their animals are given benzodiazepines, a drug that includes the human medications Valium and Xanax, which are apparently given to their animals to stabilize their mental state. This practice has been recognized as mistreatment by Italian courts resulting in the closure ofDolphinarium Rimini in 2014.

This is why the DFE is so keen on convincing MEPs that Europe needs to be Dolphinaria-Free.

“The Dolphinaria-Free Europe coalition has produced a series of documents which provide scientific evidence that demonstrates the welfare (and for some, survival) of cetacean species is compromised in captivity,” Daniel Turner, Programs Manager at Born Free Foundation explains. “Gaining MEPs support for a Dolphinaria-Free Europe is ongoing, but so far over 30 MEPs have made the pledge.”

If the coordinators of the Parliament’s Environment Committee support the proposal, a committee-wide discussion would most likely take place. Ideally this would assess and evaluate the scientific evidence that support the claims made by the DFE that the captive facilities do not comply with the EU zoos Directive.

“If their indication is that these facilities do not comply with the Directive, they will insist on actions by the European Commission and EU Member States to ensure compliance,’ says Turner.“We believe that if the requirements of existing national zoo laws are applied effectively, then many dolphinaria will close. Our solution for the failing facilities is to relocate their animals to coastal refuges, where some could be rehabilitated for release into the wild.”

How You Can Help
Do you agree that Europe should be dolphinaria-free? If so, write to your MEP (you can find their information here) and ask them to make a pledge to support a Dolphinaria-Free Europe. Quick note: MEPS are obliged to hold the DFE pledge board for a photograph. Be honest in your letter and tell your MEP why you’re against dolphins being kept in captivity.

The next Committee meeting is on September 3rd. In order to encourage Committee member MEPs to vote in favor of the DFE, they need all the help they can get. Contact your MEP now and help make a difference for dolphins.

Are Dolphins That Different From Humans? Groundbreaking Research Aims to Find Out. Study Brought to us by Laura Bridgeman, The International Marine Mammal Project.

Despite our burgeoning knowledge of things like technology and outer space, we still know so little about the other-than-human animals we share this planet with. It is because of this lack of understanding that we allow them to be used and abused as property in our factory farms, laboratories and in households. Fortunately, pioneering organizations like Sonar are doing work that could change all of that.

Sonar aims to revolutionize human understanding of who dolphins and whales are. The organization conducts some of the world’s most groundbreaking animal cognitive and emotion research ever done. This has big implications not only for the dolphins and whales but also for all other-than-human animals.

Science for Good
This Amazing European Coalition is Fighting for a Captive Dolphin-Free EuropeJason/Flickr
This Amazing European Coalition is Fighting for a Captive Dolphin-Free Europe
A few key differences set Sonar’s work apart. Historically, animal science has been rather deranged. Horrors like vivisection, psychological torture, and other cruelties continue to be bestowed upon other-than-humans in untold numbers. By and large this science is done in order to benefit humans. Much of it is done by corporations as part of a business model. And all of it is done without considering their subjects as beings with hopes, fear, and dreams.

There has been some investigation of what animals themselves could be thinking, what they are feeling, and generally who they are as individuals. Yet most of these explorations occur within the artificial confines of a laboratory, where human researchers control the conditions, the questions and the results (with notable exceptions of field work such as Jane Goodall’s).

Sonar challenges contemporary science by conducting research with exclusively wild whales and dolphins. We work only with individuals who choose to participate, and on their terms. This includes friendly dolphins, known as “solitary sociable” dolphins, who initiate contact with humans and who appear to crave a connection with us.

Researching Dolphins in Their Natural Habitat to Help Them Stay Wild

Sonar also refutes the idea that science should be separate from ethics. And we discard assumptions that cetaceans are in any way inferior to human beings, something that is being increasingly proven as being false.

The value of meeting an other-than-human in the wild and engaging in a cooperative, cross-cultural exchange is monumental, as it yields deeper insights into who these beings are.  It also respects the individual in ways most science does not. After all, there is only so much you can learn from a captive animal, who has likely lived a life of trauma.

Sonar will be conducting their field research in September 2015. Stay tuned for a diary of their experience on their website and their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Lead image source: Alessandro Caproni/Flickr

One Week Old Baby Girl Dolphin Dies At Duisburg Dolphinarium.

Duisburg - Zoo of Duisburg is in shock: The Dolphin baby is dead!

At Sunday noon to 13:30, just one week young offspring of Dolphin mother Pepina all of a sudden stopped breathing, the Zoo said.

The message reads: "the young animal came all of a sudden rapid breathing to the surface of the water and died immediately. An immediate resuscitation and treatment by zookeeper and veterinarian on-site were unsuccessful."
Zoo Chief Achim Winkler (53) compared to picture: "it's a total mystery! We are all completely stumped!"

Winkler: "after five successful Dolphin breedings in recent years this death will be a sad event for a long time."
Nothing pointed out a disease. On the contrary, the still nameless little girl, which weighed at his birth 18.2 kg, already 3.2 kg had increased within a week. Also the daily examination including blood collection gave reason for hope.

In the communication it says further: "here a high antibody levels was striking, who pointed to a sufficient intake of the valuable first breast milk in the first hours of life. Also the multiple captured cortisol levels indicated a very relaxed calf, which was supervised at each examination of the mother in the immediate vicinity. Every day the staff at the great development enjoyed."
Winkler: "now we must first to comfort the nurses and take dead baby for pathological examination of a Veterinary College. The mother will be incorporated back into the group. Also the shows in the Dolphinarium will take place as usual." 

The Duisburg Zoo, founded on 12 May 1934, is one of the largest zoological gardens in Germany. It is especially well known for its dolphinarium and, since 1994, for breeding koalas.

The Dolphinarium is inhabited by nine bottle-nosed dolphins Ivo, Pepina, Delphi, Daisy, Dolly, Donna, Diego, Darwin, and Dörte, which live in a pool containing about 3 million liters of seawater. It is not cleaned chemically, but with special equipment using air. It is the largest dolphinarium in Germany. Depending on the season, two or three performances take place every day in the large arena. During the week, the dolphinarium is free-of-charge for visitors between performances (but not on Sundays or bank holidays). It regularly offers special treats, such as "An Evening with the Dolphins" or "Zookeeper for a Day" and weddings or children's birthday parties can be celebrated there. Dolphins have been born and bred in Duisburg several times: Duphi (1988; since died), Delphi (1992), Daisy (1996), Duke (2001; since died) and Dolly (2007, the daughter of Delphi). However, on several occasions the offspring did not reach maturity. In September 2007, Donna, the daughter of Pepina, was born, and she has been on show to visitors since 27 February 2008.

Peptone's latest offspring didn't have such "luck" to survive into a lifetime of perfoormaves, sometimes 2-3 times a day until they die, never retiring.

Experts would call this a Failure To Thrive, a typical response to captivity. The fact that a grieving mother will be forced to perform demonstrates how little zoos and aquarium comprehend the delicate and superior nature of their intelligence and the social bonding they have with their offspring, calling them by their own special name in vitro. The baby dolphin simply stopped breathing after a week of medical exams, perhaps it was intentional?