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May 6, 2010

‘The Cove’ director: The circus show needs to stop

Posted: 02:27 PM ET

Louie Psihoyos directed the Academy Award winning documentary “The Cove” & is executive director of The Oceanic Preservation Society.   The views and opinions expressed in his commentary are those of the author.

 By Louie Psihoyos

After the recent killings of two trainers within two months by SeaWorld orcas, a Congressional Subcommittee convened last week to bring into question the educational merit of marine mammals in captivity and the conflict of interest that exists when commercial entities (in this case, the captive dolphin industry) self-regulates.  I was honored to have been invited to testify before the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife largely because of my first-hand experience gathered during the filming of my Academy Award winning documentary “The Cove,” which exposes the largest dolphin slaughter in the world happening every year in Taiji, Japan.  In this film, you witness first-hand what the captive dolphin industry doesn’t want you to see – that the demand for marine mammals has lead to the death of more than 20,000 dolphins each year.  That we know of. 

Members on both sides of the issue provided passionate testimony regarding the “educational benefits” (or lack thereof) of keeping marine mammals in captivity. And as expected, with $8.4 billion on the table, it was a heated debate to say the least.

The legislative loophole that allows marine mammals to be held in captivity for public display came in 1994 as part of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. These regulations dictate that any program which offers “an education or conservation program based on professionally recognized standards of the public display community” could from that point on, import, breed, and take from the wild, marine mammals and use with little to no further oversight. The unfortunate reality here is that the regulations delineating the standards for such programs were never promulgated.  And because any person holding marine mammals for the purpose of public display is a member of the public display community, they are the legal entity responsible for identifying the “standard.”  The foundation of the loophole is self-regulation – a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house.

I have come to oppose the circus-like shows that take place every day at marine mammal parks and aquariums across the globe.  It is the captivity industry’s growing demand for dolphins to furnish these shows that fuels the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world.

Fueling the dolphin slaughter witnessed in my film “The Cove” is the demand for new show dolphins, young females primarily for the captive dolphin industry.  I have been to the town of Taiji, where the slaughter takes place, seven times. Every time a pod is driven ashore, frightened and disoriented, a line of dolphin trainers from all over the world, sometimes as many as 30, are waiting to cull the best looking dolphins for dolphin shows. A trained dolphin can fetch up to $200,000. The rest are taken around a corner into a secret cove, slaughtered in the most brutal way imaginable, and sold as meat for about $600 each. The trainers can see the boats leaving the secret cove the following day, with dolphin carcasses piled high in the boats.

Although the Marine Mammal Protect Act prohibits the American industry from collecting dolphins from the drives, a document uncovered by my team and presented to the Subcommittee during the hearing, shows that members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums were complicit in the Taiji capture until the law’s passage in 1994, and we have further evidence that foreign members of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, the body advising Congress, are trying to acquire animals from other similar drives in the Solomon Islands. It is hardly a bold assertion to make that it is not appropriate for members of the captive dolphin industry to now be regulating the legal provision, which allows them to capture and hold marine mammals in the first place. It is our strong view that this track record constitutes an ethical conflict of interest.

Over the last five years I traveled around the world investigating the captive dolphin industry for our movie and while I did not have an opinion going into my research – I have strong opinions now that echo the sentiments of the oceans most topside advocate, Jacques Cousteau, who once famously said, “The educational benefits of watching a dolphin in captivity would be like learning about humanity by only observing a prisoner in solitary confinement.”          

Throughout the history of mankind there is not a single reported death of a human by an orca in the wild – ever. However, one SeaWorld orca, Tilikum, taken from his mother in Iceland at the age of two has killed three people his lifetime. The industry would like the public to think that those deaths were a statistical anomaly or that Tilikum's trainers are to blame.  However, just two months before, on Christmas Eve, one of four SeaWorld rent-a-orcas crushed and killed its trainer Alexis Martinez at Loro Parque dolphinarium in the Canary Islands while he was practicing for a Christmas show.  These accidents are not just a recent phenomenon.

Of the 200 orcas now in captivity, two dozen (10%) have injured or killed people. It is irresponsible of those in the captivity industry to portray orcas as playful, highly intelligent pets when it serves to entertain an audience, and then compare them to wild predatory animals when they need an explanation for extreme and aberrant behavior.

The industry also argues that seeing orcas in a dolphin show is the only way a economically less fortunate child or family would be able to see these majestic creatures in an “authentic” experience.  Yet, how many economically disadvantaged families that you know can really afford to fly to Orlando, pay for hotels and transportation and shell out the $79 per person entrance fee to go see this ‘authentic’ experience? 

As I’ve seen many times during dozens of expeditions around the world, dolphins in the wild do not perform synchronized double flips, spit water, or moonwalk for dead fish. In fact, if you approached a dolphin in the wild and engaged in the way that do at some of these parks you could be arrested under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, fined, and could be put in jail!   We teach our children that feeding or harassing animals in the wild is unacceptable - yet at an amusement park for $79 a day, we call that an education.  It’s not merely ironic; it is poor education.  The circus shows need to stop. 

For more information on this issue and many others impacting our oceans and oceanic wildlife, and to get involved, visit www.opsociety.org.

Filed under: LKL Web Exclusive


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Smith in Oregon   May 6th, 2010 3:26 pm ET

The teacher often requested that his students take their lessons and study's out along the shorelines of the Aegean Sea, Sea of Crete, and the Mediterranean Sea so it wasn't unusual for him to call his students one day for yet another lesson by the Sea.

Six Dolphins were seen supporting another who appeared either dead or dying and as they swam closer to the shore they could be plainly heard to be wailing and crying for their lost brother/sister.

As the students watched in utter amazement and surprise, the funeral procession brought the dead or dying dolphin to the shore, paused and then swam away.

How can this be asked the students? The teacher replied there is more about Dolphins than meets the ordinary eye of those that see's them.

That ancient teachers name was Aristotle.


Judie   May 6th, 2010 5:41 pm ET

This is a heart-breaking documentary and all this needs to stop.Boycott Sea World if they have no visitors they would have to close up shop.
The slaughter of these precious creatures is a crime and these people need to be held accountable. Have they no conscience?
This makes me feel ill.


Anonymous   May 6th, 2010 5:45 pm ET

It is so arrogant for people to think that all sentient beings should not have their freedom to live out their lives naturally and not as a circus act, an educational tool or testing unit for any human enterprise. I love animals. Why do people feel the need to subjugate and not nuture these creatures.


Joe G. (Illinois)   May 6th, 2010 6:32 pm ET

It’s not enough to have abundant exposure on the subject. Nor is it good when the little of it has to do with farce propaganda.


Dodie   May 6th, 2010 7:27 pm ET

@ Smith in Oregon

Beautifully stated. One of my favorite stories. Greece was one of the first written civilizations, who realized the true intelligence of the Dolphin.

Many indigenous people all over the world from the aborigines in Australia to the Native Americans (Chumash Tribe) in California believe the dolphins are their beloved brothers.

Since the Chumash population grew until the Santa Barbara Island became too crowded, their goddess Hutash made a Wishtoyo, a Rainbow Bridge, which extended from the tallest peak of the Santa Barbara Island to the tallest inland mountain near Carpinteria, California. She told the people to cross carefully and to never look down. Some did and fell off the Rainbow Bridge into the ocean where they were turned into dolphins by Goddess Hutash to prevent them from drowning. The Chumash Indians consider the dolphins to be their beloved brothers. There is a Dolphin Fountain in Santa Barbara dedicated to the bottlenose dolphins.

John C. Lilly, a physician, biophysicist and neuroscientist specialized in the study of consciousness and intelligence. John C. Lilly argued that dolphins represent a non-human form of intelligence on this planet and has the ability to communicate with humans. This was a very controversial issue, as some of his work indicated that the bottlenose dolphin had more convolutions or folding of the cortical brain surface denoting higher level of intelligence than humans. Of course, science was appalled at his concept and disqualified any of his research findings. Lilly's claim for dolphin intelligence was also supported by the remarkable learning skills and playful, inventive behavior of these beings.

With this knowledge pertaining to Dolphin intelligence, I feel it is not only cruel but absolutely unthinkable how industry has made a meat market out of these treasured and intelligent beings. Remember, these are mammals, NOT fish! They were terrestrial and moved back into the ocean millions of years ago.


Dodie   May 6th, 2010 7:42 pm ET

The last paragraph should read....

With this knowledge pertaining to Dolphin intelligence, I feel it is not only cruel but absolutely unthinkable how industry has made a meat market out of these treasured and intelligent beings through captivity! Remember, these are mammals, NOT fish and deserve to be free! They were terrestrial and moved back into the ocean millions of years ago.


Smith in Oregon   May 6th, 2010 8:49 pm ET

@ Dodie, thank you again for your kind comments and remarkable additional history and information on the impacts which Dolphins have had on many indigenous cultures around the world.

Sadly, news from Russia is very grim regarding Dolphins. With the economic downturn, a Soviet Military Dolphin trainer was unable to continue paying for the highly aggressive dolphins that were trained in killing enemy divers and planting mines on enemy ships (like US Navy Dolphins) and were all SOLD to Iran.

Suicide dolphins seems like some of the very worst human attributes to instill in these wonderful creatures.


Jaxx_walk   May 6th, 2010 10:49 pm ET

I wont comment on the Doc. It was torture just to watch.
I think you all make excellent points and I hope one day the world can see through its heart more then just its eyes.
BTW: Suicide dolphins is like suicide dogs is no different then suicide bombers (terrorist)...except pets don't get a choice.


Theresa   May 7th, 2010 7:43 am ET

Along with keeping these sea animals in captivity is the practice of slaughtering 1000's of sharks for that d–n delicacy shark fin soup. Sharks are being slaughtered for the fins so too many wealthy people can enjoy this delicacy.When the sharks are caught in their nets many other species of fish are also caught in the nets. These other species are thrown out with the garbage.The Japanese are the worst offenders of this practice. The shark is now on the endangered list in some regions but I've read they are now getting the shark fins from Guatemala. When is this insanity going to stop...just to satisfy the wants of a few!


Jessie from Auckland, NZ   May 7th, 2010 7:54 am ET

Yes, I would consider dolphins our brothers and sisters as well. As they are mammals also and highly intelligent, gentle and loving creatures.

Humans need to respect them and to stop their mistreatment. I would agree that the circus show needs to stop.


Jessie from Auckland, NZ   May 7th, 2010 7:59 am ET

It is not education. Money is being made off these dolphins, at their expense. It would be better to show dolphins in their natural habitat, now that would be an education.


Ted   May 7th, 2010 8:14 am ET

Yes, we should not cage any living being and close those Sea World shows!
While we are at it, we should close all zoos, forbid circuses with animals, declare illegal all pets kept in cages or aquariums.
As we get going, we should let out the millions of chickens kept in cages, no more cows in stables, pigs should run free in the nature.
What is good for one should be good for all.

Then we should forbid riding on horses or oxes, because more people get killed that way than by orcas.
Now we got to those nasty cars and planes, they sure kill more people than orcas and horses together. Junk all of them.


gerald Jolly   May 7th, 2010 8:19 am ET

Any person that derives great joy, from seeing an animal being abused, or used to entertain we humans by using cattle prods and starvation, as a way to induce that animal to do tricks that are not common to them, is as mentally ill as the person using those methods.

We as the so-called dominant creature on this earth, need to bow our head in shame for the cruelty we impose on GODS creature.

DO NOT CLAIM TO BE A CHRISTIAN PERSON, IF YOU ARE WILLING TO TOLERATE THIS ABUSE ON ANIMALS.

GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!


Theresa   May 7th, 2010 10:49 am ET

@ Gerald Jolly...I agree with you wholeheartedly!!


Dodie   May 7th, 2010 11:43 am ET

@ Theresa

Our voracious appetite not to mention our enormous population will eventually consume all life on this planet! We, as a species, are slowly exterminating everything except for the insects! We are no different than the people who kill sharks. Look at all the chickens, cows, pigs we kill. At least the sharks had a normal life before their encounter with our species. The animals who base as our “food” are treated horrendously since birth, standing in their own fecal matter, beaten, injected with god know what, beaks of chickens cut with a hot knife tool, tails cut off at the bone, so we can consume as much meat as we want. I find that not only disturbing to my psyche, but absolutely horrific! We are the cruelest species on this planet. I consume NO terrestrial animal and fish once or twice a week. I have made a choice not to promote this horrific behavior, have you?


lttt   May 7th, 2010 12:47 pm ET

@Dodie, I commend your knowledge of the dire conditions in these abhorrent factory farms where animals are raised for food - thank you for pointing that out🙂 perhaps you can consider taking the next step and removing fish as well, as you so rarely consume it anyway. as you may already know, the fishing industry also leads to the deaths of marine mammals every year. while the other meat producing are inanely cruel, a fishing industry that makes its livelihood by killing and selling dead sea animals for consumption can hardly be considered 'compassionate.' besides the ethical factor, it's wrecking the balance of our beautiful oceans - a statistic coming out of europe says that since the last 100 years or so, popular fish stocks have depleted 94%!!


Dodie   May 7th, 2010 3:25 pm ET

@ lttt

I completely agree with you. I was a vegetarian for over 20 years and am on the path back to that plateau for the exact reasons you just discussed. If we stop consumption, the industry would change....and Life would go on. Thank You


gerald Jolly   May 7th, 2010 4:37 pm ET

@ Jessie from Auckland N.Z.

A liitle off the topic, but interesting "NEVER THE LESS"

What happened to the interview, promised by LKl about Bret Michaels, and/or his doctors.

HUMMMMMMMMMMMM!


Rae Wilson   May 7th, 2010 10:14 pm ET

How do you boycott Seaworld if you would never go there in the first place????

You boycott the company that owns Seaworld – The Blackstone Group, which also owns:

Michael's Crafts
Birds Eye Foods
Duncan Hines
Hungryman
Vlasic
Mrs. Butterworth's
Log Cabin
Celeste
and other Pinnacle Foods


thedolphindancer   May 7th, 2010 10:37 pm ET

Thanks for this blog. We definitely need to stop all cetacean circus acts all around the world. I recently sent in my opinion to the Congress via OPS. Thank you for providing the forum!

We need to tell our government:
1. Ban the live capture and trade of all cetaceans in the US and pursue the setting of similar regulations internationally.

2. Ban the captive breeding of cetaceans. Tilikum was kept by Blackstone/SeaWorld despite harming or killing humans because his sperm is so valuable. He has sired more orcas than any other. Being born into slavery is just as wrong as being captured and put into slavery. Most cetaceans in US marine parks are now captive bred.

3. Require marine parks currently owning cetaceans to rehabilitate them for return to the wild.

4. Allocate all government funds for cetacean research to studies performed in the field on wild dolphins. End the funding of research on captive dolphins. (The Navy does a lot of this kind of research).

Banning of the live trade should and can be done immediately. The other goals will take time, but should be near term goals.

Whales and dolphins suffer in captivity, particularly if they are kept alone. Solitary confinement is a punishment we reserve for the worst human criminals. Whales and dolphins do not deserve such treatment.

In this day of videos – much of it free on the internet – there is no need for marine parks. Videos can show the beautiful animals in their normal habitat doing normal activities. They are much more instructive about the orcas and dolphins than any aquarium show – and they don't give the false sense that it is right to dominate them by capturing them and training them to do silly tricks. Let's watch wild dolphins and whales...they are beautiful in ways they can never be in a tank.


Dodie   May 8th, 2010 1:45 pm ET

@ thedolphindancer

Thank you for your knowledgeable post.

Cetaceans are gifted with diverse abilities in which humans have never obtained or lost. Their intelligence if equal to ours. It is for this reason, captivity is criminal. I hope Congress will address your letter. We are sliding on the sands of time with the destruction of our planet, our bountiful mother Earth!


bob beltran   May 9th, 2010 2:53 pm ET

Las vegas has the oldest ,longest at the age of 66 golf ball an average
distant of today 325 yards and the longest recorded drive in the Nights senior tournament 2001 490 yards two time world long drive champion.


celeste   May 9th, 2010 5:19 pm ET

I'm sometimes ashamed to be part of the human species...


Smith in Oregon   May 10th, 2010 4:53 am ET

As I have previously mentioned and commented on, the rising amounts of man made toxic chemicals could lead to making seafood unfit for human consumption. In effect, the Republican led morass of toxic dumping could ironically end up preventing the mass round-up and slaughter of sea mammals.

Recently it was learned that hair samples of the residents depicted in 'The Cove' have extremely high levels of Mercury which appears to have directly come from eating Dolphins and Whales that were highly contaminated with Mercury.

Mercury is especially toxic to infants and women of child bearing ages. The current amount of this poison pushes the limits of eating it.

Mercury accumulates up the food chain, so large predators such as dolphins, tuna and swordfish tend to have the highest levels. The latest studies published by the Japanese government show that meat from bottlenose dolphins had about 1,000 times the mercury content of that from sardines harvested in the same area.

Fetuses and small children are particularly vulnerable to mercury, which affects the development of the nervous system. The Health Ministry recommends that pregnant women eat at most 2.8 ounces (80 grams) of bottlenose dolphin per two months.

Environmentalists have long protested Taiji's dolphin slaughter and Japan's whaling activities, and have adopted the mercury issue as part of their cause.

"If you're eating dolphin meat, you're eating poison, and if you're eating a lot of dolphin meat, you're eating a lot of poison," said Louis Psihoyos, director of "The Cove," which won an Academy Award earlier this year. Taiji had been considering adding a mercury test to its standard set of health checks for several years. The town government last year contacted the institute, which agreed to perform and pay for mercury tests as part of its research, according to Yoshio Kaino, a Taiji official who oversaw the program.

Various tests were done from June of last year through February. Individuals with the highest levels were advised to cut back on large fish and sea mammals. Although it can damage the nervous system permanently, mercury naturally fades from the body over time, halving about every 70 days. A person could flush most of it from their system by completely cutting it out for a year.


Ade Alabi   May 10th, 2010 9:35 am ET

Aliens have always been with us If the incidents of UFO's as sighted in Europe and America have since confirmed this in a general sense, it is not as if to us in Africa this is news. In my part of the world, for instance,
there has always been visits by aja or aliens who kidnap earthly beings for as long as they chose and the one so kidnapped returning after their sojourn endowed with one supernatural power or the other. Call these strange entities by whatever name, in Yorubaland they travel in whirlwinds, and not necessarily UFO's, as in Europe or America.


Richard O'Barry   May 11th, 2010 9:00 am ET

When you consider that dolphins and other whales have been around on this planet for at least 50 million years, compared with much less than a single million years for us human beings, you have to wonder how we got control so quickly over them. They have larger brains than we have. They’re bigger and stronger, faster, sleeker and altogether more perfectly formed than we are. And yet, just as we have come to dominate 30 per cent of the world (that which is above water) in the short time we’ve been around, we could say that dolphins and other whales are the dominate species in the other 70 percent, which is water.

The bottom line is that we’re both at the top in our separate worlds, cetaceans in their watery domain, we on land. When we scan the horizon for similarities, we have a moment of recognition because we’re actually very much alike. We’re both mammals, for instance, mammals of a high order for we’re both self-aware, and we’ve both adapted almost perfectly to the world we live in. As mammals we both breathe air, mothers in both worlds suckle their young in loving family groups around which is woven a way of living that fosters social rules maintaining a balance like the golden mean of ancient Greece.

At least that’s true of dolphins and other whales.

Where did we go wrong? What happened in our world to make so many of us rush with such abandon into the exploitation of our counterparts in the other 70 percent of the world? Why do we capture these beautiful fellow creatures and make them objects of fun? And oddly enough the most fun we seem to have is capturing them, pinning them up and making them pull us through the water, one after the other,. Why would anyone who understood what was actually going on enjoy this? How can we, who do understand what’s going on, tolerate it? And how can those who exploit dolphins and other whales do so without a ripple of conscience, as if they had a right to?

Well, as we all know, the short answer is that we have a history of this. You may recall that slavery was only recently put aside as an okay thing to do. Almost certainly that happened because it was no longer economically feasible. Indeed where it is feasible, as in enforced prostitution of children and things like that, it still goes on like crazy. Maybe at the heart of all this is our sophisticated world-wide economic system whose goal is to maximize profits regardless of collateral damage. But the history of slavery in general is a clue to how we can stop this travesty. If we stop it from being profitable, it will go away.

The first so-called dolphinarium began in 1938 at Marine Studios in St. Augustine, Florida, USA. Now there are scores of dolphinaria all over the world, and more all the time are being established. If you could collect all the abuse to dolphins and other whales, the pain, the horror, frustration, the dolphin suicides, the cries for help—if you were to gather all these atrocities from over the years it would be like a thousand hells.

Most countries would not permit this abuse for the real reason they exist: money. Most countries have laws against cruelty to animals, laws that began early in the 19th Century. But obviously these laws have a loophole because, despite all our efforts, displaying dolphins publicly for money is now a multi-billion dollar industry. Hunters of dolphins, suppliers and shippers, marketers, park construction workers, trainers—this list goes on and on and they all cash in. Some nations allow it because they’ve got bigger problems. Some nations see nothing wrong with it. The rest allow it for the wrong reason: that it’s educational. They say that many people would never get to see a dolphin except for the dolphinaria. But what about all the people who will never see a snow leopard? saber-toothed tiger? Or the do-do bird? On and on. Taken even at face value, their argument is a fraud, because these dolphinaria are not educational, they’re anti-educational. They show not a dolphin in his own world but a trained dolphin, a dolphin trained to act like a clown, in our world.

And then they have the unmitigated gall, the chutzpah, to tell us, “Look! See how they smile? They love doing tricks for us!”

Don’t be fooled. Those dolphins are not smiling. If one of those dolphins were to fall dead on the dock, he would still wear that look and it would still not be a smile.

It may be tempting to point out that we are not personally to blame for what is happening to dolphins and other whales. And that’s true. We don’t personally capture them and put them in what to them are tiny torture chambers, and we don’t withhold food till they perform silly little acrobatic tricks to our liking. We’re not to blame, not a single one of us, in the same way we’re not to blame for the world’s murders, arsons, kidnappings and so on. We’re not to blame because (1) we don’t personally do these things and (2) we’ve helped pass laws against them, laws with good stiff penalties that express our desire to make the world free from such abuse. We pass laws against murder, kidnapping and all the rest not because of some abstraction about society or the rule of law, but because we’re sick of it. We’ve had enough. Just like now we’re revolted by those who capture dolphins in the wild and imprison them for the rest of their lives.

They capture dolphins in the wild but claim to replace them by letting them breed in captivity. This too is a fraud. Dolphins born in captivity never learn to catch a live fish in the wild and are unequipped to live there.

A lot of misguided talk surrounds another similarity between human beings and dolphins in captivity: their committing suicide when stressed. When dolphins in captivity are greatly stressed, they sometimes obviously feel the need to escape by whatever means. This is a big problem because they don’t have guns or poison as we do in such circumstances. What can they do? Some of these dolphins batter themselves to death against the walls of their prison. Others refuse to eat until they waste away and die. Dolphins and other whales are not like any other mammal in the way they breathe. While humans and all the other mammals breathe automatically, dolphins don’t have that automatic reflex; every breath they take is deliberate. When human beings fall into deep water, we drown because we lose consciousness and then, when the automatic reflex kicks in, we breathe water. Not so the dolphin. The dolphin will kill himself by drowning if he deliberately breathes water, but, more likely, he dies for lack of oxygen in his blood caused by not breathing at all. This suicide option the dolphin takes is another proof of his self-awareness, without which suicide would never even occur to him

If words alone, if logic, reason, facts and history were enough to destroy the dolphin industry that has warped our lives, they would be long gone now. We need more than words, we need laws to stop them. We know that it cannot be done overnight. It may take many years. We may even have to compromise a little. But now is the time to start eliminating this evil or it will never happen in our lifetime.


anonymus   May 11th, 2010 3:18 pm ET

I watched the small preview of The Cove, and I couldn't watch the end of it. I can't wait till this movie gets into theatres and is on the news everywhere! These people better have to pay big time!


savleen   May 11th, 2010 5:23 pm ET

If power countries can take on terrorism and enter different countries to make such big changes, why cannot a little cove in taiji, japan be shut down. I just dont understand why this is still happening. Its true, dolphins are mammals as humans are mammals. It is unjust. Inhumane. Intolerable. Disgusting.


Jim   May 11th, 2010 7:09 pm ET

With help from producers of The Cove and their allied conservation groups can we quickly assemble the names of:

– All marine parks in the world that hold marine mammals in captivity.
– Contact details for each of the parks.
– The names of the companies that own the parks and, as Rae has done in this article, list any other consumer products sold by these companies.

Publish this information widely online and create an immediate and widespread campaign to boycott these parks, companies and their consumer products.

They exploit these animals for greed and profit. When greed and profit is affected by the boycott there is no question, they will listen.


tina   May 11th, 2010 9:18 pm ET

To Smith in Oregon: I agree with 99% of your statements. But I"m not sure where you got the stat that mercury naturally fades from the body. As someone in the medical profession who treats people with mercury poisoning, I can tell you that it is a sophisticated process which entails chelating it out of the organs in which it is sequestered. You have to try really hard to get it out...it doesn't naturally decline as your body stores it in organs trying to keep it out of circulation. Your body will deposit mercury (and other heavy metals) in the brain, kidneys (site of preference) and heart and liver.

To Richard O'Barry: Your book Behind the Dolphin smile is what inspired this then grade 9 er to pursue a life in biology, particularly marine biology. Somewhere along that path, I got steered into medicine, but my love for dolphins has never wavered. Thank you for the inspiration, but more importantly thank you for not giving up hope and having the courage and strength to continue the fight. When I feel discouraged by all this, and saddened to the point of despair to what seems like a futile fight, I look at all of the accomplishments of yourself and your team, and I see hope. And then Winston Churchill's quote on "never ever ever ever ever ever give up" comes to mind. And you epitomize that to me.
If you need people to march and protest in Taiji in the fall, I hope to find the same courage you have shown us, and add my voice to that of your team, to the dolphins and the rest of humanity that decries these despicable acts.


Laura   May 24th, 2010 12:38 pm ET

All I can do is cry right now. I am so disappointed in humanity. What is WrOng with Us?? We are nothing more then an evil presence on this earth – how can we possibly make up for all the horrible things we have done to the earth, its creatures and each other? Is this even possible??


Richard   May 28th, 2010 2:19 am ET

Just finished watching The Cove, a very disturbing film. First movie that made me cry in years.
I will never visit or support a facility with trained dolphins again.
I am also considering a boycott of Japanese goods until the slaughter is stopped.


Myrna   June 4th, 2010 5:35 pm ET

We are a arrogant species, that think we are the only species that matters. We think the others were here for us to use as we please. They don 't have feelings like us, only we can feel. And we can make money off them too. After all money is everything, isn't it ? Why do we think like this.? We know so little about other species .We don't know how they think or feel.


Vanessa   June 7th, 2010 7:17 am ET

I was crying for hours...
How can We help ??


ELLISE   September 1st, 2010 12:27 pm ET

sadly, japanese people won't stop hunting dolphins. regardless of how we all feel about it, they will throw a contradicting question defending their greed: "what about chicken/beef/pig?". this is a helpless situation regardless. they are to hunt because "they can". little do they know, this will only build bad impressions but they won't care much. you ask them. they will give millions of excuses to justify the stealing.


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