Friday, September 2, 2016

Your Weekly Dolphin Outlook!

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Barcelona dolphinarium will be illegal from 2018. The facility lacks the conditions required by international organizations
Barcelona dolphinarium will be illegal from 2018
Barcelona City Council considers that the construction of a new dolphinarium in the zoo of Barcelona " is not a priority , " as Janet Sanz, Deputy Mayor of Ecology, Urban and Mobility says. The council has manifested itself in these terms in response to the concern expressed by the committee, who have asked the Consistory clarity and definition on the model of Barcelona Zoo and the future of its dolphinarium .

The council has proposed a reform to naturalize and modernize the facility, which eliminated the shows to the public in November 2015. The workers accept that the traditional show with dolphins deletion (music, games with hoops, balls ...) but they demand a new facility that allows visualizing the normal behavior of the animals, their movements or when they receive veterinary care.

After the suppression of the shows, cetaceans are shown to the public as other animal species. With its reform proposal, workers seek the blockade suffered by the dolphinarium, which does not meet the conditions of the European Association of Aquatic Mammals (or the number of pools or on the depth of water) desencalle. The facilities should be adapted to these rules before 2018, in the hypothetical case that reform is addressed.

At the stage of the former mayor, Xavier Trias, the City Council decided to build a new dolphinarium, in order to adapt the system to the legal requirements and make it compatible with animal welfare. But when the new government team arrived Ada Colau, the project was stopped (for which CiU had already booked an economic investment of ten million euros) when it was not considered a priority. Zoo workers criticize the lack of specificity of the government team and fear the worst. "The dolphinarium will be out of control in 2018. Therefore, no act or lack project involves extending the current uncertainty, so we do not know what the future holds, and increases the risk that, in the end, is closed. Perhaps that is what is sought because adaptation can not be done overnight, "he says with alarm the committee.

The Deputy Mayor Janet Sanz says this newspaper that the definition of the future zoo now a working group formed by various social sectors (including the council) and public representatives depends whose reflection should serve to establish a new strategy because "when we got the zoo was aimless".

Sanz said that "the current dolphinarium can not continue in its current condition, which violates the requirements of international organizations." If the redefinition of a zoo to be educational and is designed for Janet Sanz- He raises welfare is addressed, the relevant question is: "a dolphinarium needed?".

The City Council has stopped the construction of a new dolphinarium because its cost of 10 million euros is "disproportionate", taking into account the multiple needs of the city and the zoo itself. Also doubt that there can be a balance or a positive return when the purpose of these facilities are usually the show, something away so the objective pursued to the zoo.

For the Barcelona council, the priority is to define a new zoo, "and then decide whether Barcelona must have a facility of this kind." Their responses suggest not. "Those who have seen so far encouraged many stereotypes," said the mayor to question the pedagogical or educational function of traditional show. "And although the new dolphinarium is larger, that does not mean that is sufficient to ensure animal welfare."

On the table is a proposal to create a haven for dolphins, which will be located at a site to be decided. In fact, the issues on the table are many more. Workers are shown restive and criticize blur model and its "erratic" course. "There is no clear idea," says Jesus Cabanas, chairman of the committee. "We have written many big plans-he adds that have come to nothing and have only served to incorporate staff who have no idea what should be this".

For workers, the zoo was well run as was directed by Antoni Jonch (1956-1984), while after his mandate "have made many master plans that ultimately come to nothing: Jonch already provided in the early seventies a urgent adaptation to new times. "

The different municipal managers have planned to focus very different future solutions; They studied the idea of ​​moving to marine animals at the Forum and reserves the Ciutadella park for terrestrial fauna. In 2011, forced by the crisis, Xavier Trias decided to maintain the existing facilities. However, workers have been very critical of the various plans that have gravitated to the zoo and generally have been closing in on this appetizing urban enclave and clawing space (they stopped the plan Parlament to build a parking lot for Members and the project to build a gateway access Wellington street).

"It has been replaced by qualified managers who do not know the animal technicians. Has given excessive priority to marketing, "says Esteve Grau, also a member of the committee. They do not like the current working model. "Jonch walked the premises every morning; He saw every day what happened to the animals. And working from 8 to 3 p.m. The new managers are all day, but do not know or where the facilities are. Spend hours does not mean that you work, "says the committee. Further evidence of abandonment is the decline of the library, which has seen the number of copies dwindle. "Even books have been thrown into the container. There was a librarian; not now".

Workers estimate that the lack of model impairs their professional activity and leaving them defenseless against attacks from animal rights groups who question the premises without municipal spokespeople provide credible answers.

The council says agree with much of the approaches of advocacy groups of animals, claiming reforms. Also they agree that "society wants captive animals live in the best possible conditions." "The zoo 2016 may not be the same as in 1965, they conclude. Today is the professionals who can embrace change. We agree with the great principles of oenegés as Libera ". But the council is convinced that the zoo can play a prominent role in the conservation of endangered species, and contribute to public environmental education with a different approach to offering documentaries and serve as a place of shelter for animals they have been seized in smuggling operations. These and other activities can be used to redefine an installation of the XXI century. "The animals not only to see them; you also have to touch them, smell them. The zoo is a direct experience. This contact can only give here, "says Damia Gibernet, another member of the committee.

However, there are differences between the positions of workers and groups of animal rights advocates. The latter argue that the copies of the park would be better off in shelters in larger spaces where animals would live something like a golden retirement waiting for the end of his days but not procreate.

Employees defend the zoo. "The animals who have lived in beguiles can not return to nature. The best shelter for these animals is the zoo itself. Take them to a shelter does not mean renaturalizarlos. It is not possible ", they say. Janet Sanz accept some criticism, and above all, stresses that the future of the facility is no longer in the hands of a company (BCN Serveis Municipals), but a municipal council of animal welfare, which has the mission to change the current conditions.

A zoo Redefined

The Deputy Mayor Janet Sanz stresses that the zoo now undergoing a process to define its role and rethink the old concept of the general collections of animals in the old style, to bet on a specialization. His claims point to a new zoo focused on animal welfare, which, even if they have no place exotic animals, is more designed to house the indigenous species and very overturned in the education of schoolchildren and dissemination of values ​​of conserving nature. Highlights at this point (developer of intent) the planned shipment dolphins at Oceanogràfic of Valencia. And on caregivers and trainers who care for the dolphins, he says they can perform other tasks. In September it is expected that the working group (led by Carme Manté) offers its findings.

New Oceana animated maps show dolphins and whales threatened by seismic airgun blasting in Atlantic Ocean

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Press Release Date
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Location: Washington, D.C.
Contact: Dustin Cranor: dcranor@Oceana.org 954.348.1314 

Today, Oceana released new animated maps showing dolphins and whales threatened by proposed seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean. The maps, which are based on groundbreaking research from Duke University’s Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, draw from 23 years of data to show us the density of bottlenose dolphins, and endangered fin, humpback and sperm whales overlaid with the current seismic airgun permit application area, over the course of a year. 

Despite the recent decision to protect the Atlantic Ocean from offshore drilling, seismic airgun blasting, an extremely loud and dangerous process used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean floor, is still being pursued in an area twice the size of California, stretching from Delaware to Florida. According to government estimates, seismic airgun blasting could injure as many as 138,000 whales and dolphins, while disturbing millions more.

“These maps confirm what we’ve long feared, that dolphins and whales along the East Coast are at risk from dangerous seismic airgun blasting for oil and gas,” said Claire Douglass, campaign director at Oceana. “Hearing that whales and dolphins could be injured is one thing, but seeing the scale of the threat is another. President Obama should stop seismic airgun blasting and protect our coast.”

In recent months, opposition to seismic airgun blasting has continued to grow. New bipartisan letters from more than 150 state representatives in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia were recently sent to President Obama urging him to oppose these activities in the Atlantic Ocean. In early July, 15 coastal mayors in South Carolina made headlines when they sent a similar letter to the Obama administration. New legislation has also been introduced in Congress aimed at protecting the Atlantic from such activities. The Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection (ASAP) Act, which is led by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) in the Senate and Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) in the House, would establish a moratorium on geological and geophysical activities related to dangerous oil and gas exploration along the East Coast.

“We already know that the noise from seismic airguns is especially concerning for marine life, including fish, turtles, whales and dolphins, which depend on sound for communication and survival,” said Dr. Ingrid Biedron, marine scientist at Oceana. “The noise from these blasts is so loud that it can be heard up to 2,500 miles from the source, which is approximately the distance from Washington, DC to Las Vegas. These animated maps clearly show that marine life, including dolphins and whales, would be profoundly impacted by the proposed seismic blasting.”

Last year, 75 leading marine scientists sent a letter to President Obama on the impacts of seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean, stating that “the magnitude of the proposed seismic activity is likely to have significant, long-lasting, and widespread impacts on the reproduction and survival of fish and marine mammal populations in the region, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, of which approximately only 500 remain.” 

To date, more than 115 East Coast municipalities, over 1,100 elected officials, roughly 1,100 business interests, including 25 business associations and chambers of commerce, and fishing interests such as the Mid- and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, The Billfish Foundation, The International Game Fish Association, the Southern Shrimp Alliance and the Southeastern Fisheries Association, have all publically opposed offshore drilling and/or seismic airgun use. Each has cited threats to marine life, coastal communities and local economies. Along the Atlantic coast, nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion in gross domestic product rely on healthy ocean ecosystems, mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation.

To access the animated maps and more information about proposed seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic, please visit www.oceana.org/BlastZone. 


Breaking: SeaWorld’s Deep Decline in 2nd Quarter 2016 Results
BREAKING: SEAWORLD’S DEEP DECLINE IN 2ND QUARTER 2016

Half a million people can’t be wrong…


…494,000 (to be exact) fewer people attended SeaWorld’s park locations in the second quarter of 2016 as compared to last year, according to a press release issued this morning by SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. That’s a 7.6 percent decline in attendance. Total revenues are down by $20.5 million, compared to the second quarter of 2015.


This report follows on the heels of the company’s first quarter 2016 results, where SeaWorld reported a staggering net loss of $84 million compared to a net loss of $43.6 million in the first quarter of 2015.


What do all these numbers mean?


People like you are making a difference. It’s NOT okay to keep dolphins and other whales in captivity. 

Free World not SeaWorld!
Free World not SeaWorld!

In an age where it’s mainstream knowledge that keeping dolphins and other whales in captivity was a failed experiment, with the National Aquarium in Baltimore leading the pack with plans to retire their dolphins to a seaside sanctuary, it’s no wonder SeaWorld is tanking.


Too big to fail? We think, not.

SeaWorld stock 8-4-16
SeaWorld’s refusal to acknowledge the real reasons behind their deep profit loss could result in a collapse of their present business model. Their refusal to allow for the retirement of dolphins and other whales has not gone unnoticed by the paying public.

"Our focus remains on implementing and delivering on our strategic plan of creating experiences that matter, providing distinct guest experiences that are fun and meaningful…” ~ Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.


Experiences that don’t matter to the animals, and are clearly not mattering to people, either.


How to Help

Take The Pledge to Not Visit a Dolphin Show!
SeaWorld went public on April 19, 2013 at $27 per share, rising 24 percent on its debut. From its all-time high of $39.65 hit on May 20, 2013, the stock is down over 50 percent. In the last 12 months alone, the stock has declined 4.5 percent.