Tag Archives: IMATA

IMATA’s mission: the continued existence of the aquarium industry

This week, the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association is holding its annual meeting in Hong Kong.  And so, while dolphins are being hunted for capture for the aquarium industry (15%) or for their death (85%), both at the hands of 50-member Taiji Fisherman’s Union and assorted marine animal trainers, the trainers get together to talk about stuff.

IMATA image

IMATA: which, in its own words, considers its role and responsibility the continued existence of the aquarium industry.

But before you get into looking at what they’re going to be talking about, let’s consider the question, who is IMATA?

But let’s have IMATA tell us, in its own words:

The International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association was founded to foster communication, professionalism, and cooperation among those who serve marine mammal science through training, public display, research, husbandry, conservation, and education.  Specifically, IMATA recognizes its role and responsibilities to the continued existence of oceanaria, aquaria, and laboratories housing marine mammals(Emphasis added)

I really have little to add to IMATA’s statement, because it really says it all, does it not?  IMATA’s mission is the preservation of the aquarium industry.

You see (by my oh-so-clever bolding) that I rather like something about that second sentence.  But let’s step through both sentences, not just the second one, and read each clause, each bullet, slowly, savoring the meaning of each.

  • The International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association
    • was founded to
      • foster communication, professionalism, and cooperation
        • among those who serve marine mammal science
          • through training, public display, research, husbandry, conservation, and education.

If you know me, you know I have words running through my brain about those clauses and the grand sum of reading them again, all together, having so savored.  But I think the words speak for themselves.  And so, today, in probably marked contrast to other days, you find me not interpreting so much.  Not adding so much of my own, in black and white.

Now, how about that second sentence.

  • Specifically,
    • IMATA
      • recognizes its role and responsibilities
        • to the continued existence
          • of oceanaria, aquaria, and laboratories housing marine mammals.

But if I may borrow a word from the first sentence, I just want you to know that you have been served something.  It has been served on a platter, backed by millions of dollars of marketing, a colored sugar-water liquid whose brand name I shall not edify by using, and profits (or non-profits) tied extensively to the marine mammal exhibits and shows.  A bloody and tainted platter.  Brought to you by the aquarium industry and those whose mission it is to perpetuate it.

What about that is difficult to get?

Okay, so I just have to observe: education is the very last word in one sentence and “marine mammals” the last in the other.  Education and dolphins don’t seem too high up on IMATA’s Mission totem pole.  Jus’ sayin’.

By the way, there’s lots going on at the IMATA conference.  Just ask Scubapro.