SeaWorld spearheads this meeting of the “I need a dolphin or whale” club

First go round, it was the Georgia Aquarium (on behalf of not only itself but also SeaWorld, the Shedd Aquarium and Mystic Aquarium) that said that it needed to import beluga whales from outside the United States.  Now SeaWorld is spearheading the effort, having set its sights on obtaining dolphins, more specifically, on an unnamed female Pacific Whitesided Dolphin, now being held captive at an aquarium in Japan.  The proposal is to tear her from her captive surroundings, from the dolphins that she has come to know, and to “ship” her as so much cargo halfway around the world to be put into another tank with strangers.

When is the welfare of the dolphin ever considered?  But I digress.

Pacific Whitesided dolphins where and with whom they belong: in the Pacific Ocean with their family

Pacific Whitesided dolphins where and with whom they belong: in the Pacific Ocean with their family. Photo Credit: Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

And we, the public, have an opportunity to give our input, to submit our comments, objections and questions on the permit application.  Comments must be submitted by March 6 to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on the SeaWorld San Antonio application to import a female Japanese Pacific Whitesided dolphin.

At least based upon the readily-accessible information, there appear to be many unknowns. Without more information, it appears that this import permit application is either

  • not giving the public a meaningful opportunity to review and provide input; or
  • >is, itself, incomplete.

So, first, request all the additional information that NOAA is relying upon in its evaluation of the permit application.  Then raise meaningful questions in your comments, such as:

  • Who is the specific dolphin that SeaWorld intends to import? While there may be others who believe that they can piece it together to make a reasoned guess as to her identity, that burden in not on the public.  SeaWorld and NOAA share that one, with the ultimate burden falling on SeaWorld for the content of its application and the conclusions drawn from evaluating that application on NOAA.
  • Where is the birth record and the names of those to interview to verify that she (assuming they already have an individual in mind) is, in fact, captive-bred, as asserted in the application, and a record of the interviews conducted and by whom?
  • Failing the availability of a record that includes those interviews, on what basis will NOAA evaluate whether and agree that the unnamed female dolphin was captive-bred.  NOAA  must, via this record, eliminate the real potential (given the holding aquarium’s current ownership of wild-caught dolphins) for a wild-caught dolphin to be unlawfully imported into the United States without making all the necessary threshold determinations.
  • Failing a substantiation that the dolphin is not wild-caught, if it may then be presumed to be wild-caught (or they would surely have the records and interviews in the record), demonstrate that the dolphin was not caught in a hunt that has been recognized as inhumane, opposed by even by the International Marine Animal Trainers Association.

This should get you started.  In your comments, request a public hearing, or there won’t be one.

Shine as much sunlight on this as possible.

TO SUBMIT COMMENTS/QUESTIONS:
Via Email: NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov
Via Fax: (301) 713-0376

TO REQUEST ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: CONTACT: Jennifer Skidmore or Kristy Beard: (301)427-8401.

Captive Pacific Whitesided dolphin

Captive Pacific Whitesided dolphin

8 responses to “SeaWorld spearheads this meeting of the “I need a dolphin or whale” club

  1. Animals do not belong in captivity for any reason other than attempting to save a species. Stop trying to capture dolphins and whales to act in a circus environment. They were not made for entertainment. If you continue along this path it encourages those who capture these wonderful creatures. We should do everything we can to ensure the safety of our underwater friends. Thank you.

  2. If this dolphin is captive bred, wich is deplorable, but either dam or sire is wild caught, likely Taiji, I maintain that Seaworld’s contention they have nothing to do with the hunt is no longer valid. They have droned that mantra for many years now.

  3. That is right, Michele. I haven’t read SeaWorld’s statements themselves to see what they specifically deny, but having seen a copy of the application today, the female dolphin has been identified as Kirara, who was captive-born to two wild-caught dolphins, both caught on November 8, 1994. And now SeaWorld wants to take her away from Japan and bring her halfway around the globe to America. FAIL!

  4. Pingback: SeaWorld spearheads this meeting of the “I need a dolphin or whale” club | Cove Blue for Jiyu | SunnyRomy

  5. Please stop enslaving these free spirited beautiful intelligent mammals…. do not allow any from Japan.

  6. AGREED. MASSIVE FAIL! I hope everyone who sees this and cares for cetacea will oppose formally on NOAA’s site! Nevermind all the “laundering” and “hidden animals” that are at best difficult to track…this is so very wrong.

  7. Ruth Rojas Hernandez

    Que derecho tiene el ser humano de coger lo que se le antoje, por capricho, o por dinero, estamos en una época, para romper con eso, como dijo alguien una vez la tierra no pertenece al hombre, si no, nosotros a la tierra. No a las urnas de cristal y cemento!

  8. esclavisar animales marinos o de cualquier otra especie es hoy duramente condenado por todo el mundo ,,lucharemos para conseguir que ningun animal sea esclavo de ninguna empresa o persona .

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