Sunday, November 27, 2016

Dolphin Outlook

Monday was a bad day for Dolphins off the coast of Taiji, Japan. Mother nature protected the dolphins last weekend. Due to heavy rain and stormy weather the boats stayed in the harbor and from Tuesday until today the hunters came up empty every day.  
Monday was a bad day for Dolphins off the coast of taiji, Japan. 
Mother nature protected the dolphins last weekend. Due to heavy rain and stormy weather the boats stayed in the harbor and from Tuesday until today the hunters came up empty every day.  

No Lives Spared: Mom and Baby Risso’s Amongst Those Slaughtered
Taiji, 11/22/16: It’s with a cautious sense of relief when Dolphin Project Cove Monitors report that no dolphins have been slaughtered, or taken for a “life” of captivity. And, after four “Blue Cove” days, we were optimistic this would also be the case today. Not so. The day started off with tsunami warnings issued for northern Japan after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the Fukushima coastline. Thankfully, while there were only reports of minor injuries and damage, everyone was on edge.

When the telltale signs of a drive began a few hours later, it soon became apparent which species was under attack yet again – Risso’s.
Risso's dolphins fleeing for their lives, Taiji, Japan

November has been a particularly bad month for these large, gentle dolphins. The last four drives have resulted in approximately 65 Rissos’s slaughtered, for a total number of approximately 100 killed out of a seasonal quota of 251. Out of these, only about 8 dolphins have been released back into open waters, most, if not all being juvenile animals.

During today’s swift drive, tiny dorsal fins were spotted in the waters of the cove, trapped alongside their mothers and the rest of the pod. With no deep diving possible for the little ones, the pod were easy prey. As the sounds of tail slapping commenced, and then ceased, our Cove Monitors waited to learn the fate of the young. Moments later, as skiffs started removing bodies, it was obvious the entire pod of about 15 dolphins had been slaughtered.
Babies and mothers huddle together, moments before slaughter, Taiji, Japan

"There were quite a few little fins. I think that’s why they drove them in so easily. There is no tradition or culture I know of that kills mothers with their children. Shameful.” ~ Cynthia Fernandez, Dolphin Project Cove Monitor
Bodies of dead Risso's dolphins float in the water, Taiji, Japan

As skiffs continued to drag the bodies of the Risso’s to the butcher house, one of the boats had a problem with transferring two of the dead animals. Our Cove Monitors documented as their bodies were exposed, tethered to the boat, floating in the water.

The juxtaposition of witnessing these beautiful mammals swimming free in the ocean to bobbing dead in a blood-stained cove is heartbreaking – and it doesn’t get any easier.

"I will never desensitize to watching another living being fight so hard for their life, knowing it’s a battle they will inevitably lose.” ~ Alexandra Johnston, Dolphin Project Cove Monitor

Dolphin Project’s inside sources tell us that whale and dolphin meat is being used as pig food, pet food and fertilizer, in addition to being used for human consumption. The internal organs, which contain the highest levels of toxins, are ground up for use in fertilizer, which in turn, is used to grow food.

"Japan is selling poison to their own people by introducing toxic contaminants into the food chain. Whether the dolphin meat is being used for human consumption, pet food, pig food or fertilizer, it’s unsafe. Where are their ethics?” ~ Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project
Hiding Taiji's brutal dolphin slaughters under tarps

WATCH a video clip below of our final visuals of this beautiful pod. While the clip is graphic and disturbing, Japan needs to know their tarps cannot hide what takes place in Taiji.
On Wednesday, 3 Bottlenose dolphins transferred to Taiji whale museum. 
Be a voice for the voiceless: TAKE - #dolphinproject #ThanksButNoTanks

Adopt a Dolphin Update November 2016

Breaking: Marineland Charged with Five Counts of Animal Cruelty. Stemming from a visit to Marineland Canada on November 10, 2016, the Ontario SPCA (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has charged the park with five counts of animal cruelty. After receiving a call of complaint, the organization, along with a veterinarian went to investigate and ultimately leveled charges on November 25.
Breaking: Marineland Charged with Five Counts of Animal Cruelty
The charges against the Niagara Falls, Ontario facility include:*
  • One count of permitting a peacock to be in distress
  • One count of failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for a peacock
  • Two counts for failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for guinea hens
  • One count for failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for about 35 American black bears, including failing to provide adequate and appropriate food and water for them

While the OSPCA has not removed any animals, they will continue to monitor the animals as the investigation continues. If convicted, Marineland Canada could face a $60,000 fine, a lifetime ban in owning animals and up to two years in jail. Further charges are said to be pending.

This isn’t the first time Marineland has faced serious backlash over its captive animal displays, which also include Kiska, a solitary female killer whale, beluga whales, bottlenose dolphins, sea lions, walruses, as well as deer, bison, elk and fish.
Dolphins' whales' year-round home was German prisoner-of-war camp
Source: Niagara Falls Review, 01/92

In 2012, as many as 15 whistleblowers from Marineland came forward to the Toronto Star to allege mistreatment of animals. Marineland responded to these allegations by launching several lawsuits against those involved. Most recently, the park sued a 19 year-old student from California who made a short film about Kiska.

On May 28, 2015, Ontario’s Bill 80 made it illegal to buy or breed a killer whale in Ontario. However, as it included a provision that allowed facilities which owned a killer whale prior to March 22, 2015 to keep them, Kiska would remain at Marineland.

On July 20, 2016, animal rights and rescue organization, In Defense of Animals released its list of the Ten Worst Tanks for Dolphins and Whales in North America. Marineland took the number two spot, with only SeaWorld surpassing it as the number one worst facility. According to IDA’s website, criteria included health and welfare problems; high mortality and premature deaths; frequent interactions with the public; unsuitable and unsafe enclosure attributes such as lack of space, shade, or unhealthy water; exhibition of particularly unnatural and stress-related behaviors; social issues, especially solitary confinement and premature removal of babies from mothers; unnecessary transfers and relocation; invasive breeding procedures; unprofessional management; questionable claims of educational or scientific value; and enclosed facilities with little to no natural sunlight.

For well over two decades, Ric O’Barry has vigorously supported local efforts in Ontario to bring awareness to the plight of captive marine mammals.

Viral Video Of Dolphins Doing The Mannequin Challenge Isn't Fun At All. People who are sharing it don't even know what's happening.

For animal people. Pass it on.
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The viral "mannequin challenge" trend might be fun for people (and the occasional dog), but the latest version to go viral has some animal lovers concerned.

Blue Lagoon Island's Dolphin Encounter, a facility catering to tourists in the Bahamas, recently posted a video online showing three dolphins holding a motionless pose along with several trainers and guests. While it's a fine example of the genre, there's more to this clip than meets the eye.

Turns out, theses dolphins aren't really in on the joke. According to Ric O'Barry, founder of the Dolphin Project and star of the 2009 film "The Cove," staying still like this is something dolphins are frequently coerced to do in captive settings, like while awaiting a command.

"The dolphins in this video are performing an unnatural trained behavior called 'stationing,'" O'Barry told The Dodo. "The dolphins do this for a food reward. All of the dolphin trainers in the video are simply participating in cheesy publicity stunt, at the dolphins' expense."

Two of the dolphins are being held by their tails — hardly a sign of willful participation.
In reality, the truth behind this harmless-seeming clip is just one of many disturbing realities behind dolphin encounter and shows. Facilities offering those experiences, and videos like the one above, often appeal to unknowing animal-lovers, but to them O'Barry offers some strong advice:

"The best thing the general public can do (if they really want to help dolphins) is to ignore the 'Captive Dolphin Mannequin Challenge' and stop buying tickets to dolphin shows."

To sign a pledge not to support dolphin shows, click here You can also make a donation to Dolphin Project to help dolphins around the world.

Shame or Glory - the great big plastic problem
Protect Gulf of Mexico Whales and Dolphins


With Trump's energy policy guaranteeing a rapid expansion of the fossil fuel industry, we must speak up to protect the Gulf of Mexico's whales and dolphins from being hurt by underwater seismic surveys, which use high-powered airguns to find oil and gas. The blasts can permanently deafen marine mammals -- and a deaf whale is a dead whale.

Seismic surveys also disturb essential animal behaviors such as communication, feeding and breeding. Take action on behalf of our marine mammals: Urge the feds to place limits on seismic oil exploration.



Dolphin Project will be on the ground in Taiji during the entire killing season, live streaming, blogging and disseminating information for the world to see. Your support has never been more crucial and is greatly appreciated.


TAKE THE PLEDGE TO NOT BUY A TICKET TO A DOLPHIN SHOW! It’s fast, it’s simple and it’s effective. Take the Pledge now and share with your friends!
Take The Pledge to Not Visit a Dolphin Show!

Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to the welfare and protection of dolphins worldwide. Founded by Richard (Ric) O’Barry on Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the mission of the Dolphin Project is to end dolphin exploitation and slaughter, as dolphins are routinely captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit.

Every year from approximately September 1 to March 1, a notoriously cruel hunt of some of the most sentient and sensitive creatures on the planet takes place in Taiji, Japan, made famous by the 2009 Academy award-winning movie “The Cove.” During this period, fisherman, or more appropriately, dolphin hunters, “drive” the mammals to their capture or deaths via means of physical violence and acoustic torture.

Dolphin Project is the only organization to have been on the ground in Taiji since 2003. We have revolutionized live streaming and broadcast throughout the entire season.

Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.  This work has been chronicled in films such as, ‘A Fall From Freedom,’ the Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Cove,’ and in the Animal Planet mini-series, ‘Blood Dolphin$.’