UPDATED: Rescue still underway of highly-endangered blue whales

(Updates with further tweets from @FemkeDenHaas)

The island of Lembata, in Indonesia, IMG_9790is a recognized area where whales and dolphins are continuously killed under the name of “adat” (culture), despite the fact that dolphins are a protected species in Indonesia. The established quota, familiar with the locals, is set at “only” two whale kills per year.

The village of Lamalera on the island of Lembata (on Flores), is known as the home of traditional whale hunting. This hunt is allowed under the IWC (International Whaling Commission) because it is conducted in a “traditional” manner. The problem is, this practice is never followed. Locals catch what they can, how they can, and do so now with outboard speedboats. Dolphins, whales and manta rays are all a part of their “take”.

IMG_9754Now, eight critically endangered blue whales have entered a bay on the north side of Lembata Island — near the village of Jontona and have become trapped due to tides. Of the original eight animals, five have been able to return to open sea, but three whales remain trapped. They have now trapped for four days.

JAAN team members have just reached the area and and joined efforts with local organizations to attempt to help the whales back to the sea. Time and patience are needed as we await the appropriate tides. Local villagers from Jontona  have helped with the rescue by using their canoes to guide the whales back to open ocean. 

Femke Den Haas with Jakarta Animal Aid Network is tweeting updates as efforts to save the whales unfold. She is calling for the Indonesian Navy to intervene. This story will update:

 

 

 

Operation #savewhales is done, whales all back to ocean now including the mum #blue #whale was was mourning for loss of infant @TukangKaceb — femke den haas (@femkedenhaas) October 30, 2014 It’s been a great week in Indonesia!

 

The amazing team at JAAN also helped rescue and release a dolphin destined for the traveling dolphin circus.  

Photo by Jakarata Animal Aid Network.

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About Lincoln O'Barry

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Born and Raised in Coconut Grove. FL, Lincoln spent much of his childhood in or around the ocean. His father Richard O’Barry was the dolphin trainer for the Flipper TV series, who now works to free captive dolphins back into the wild. The first four years of his life were spent living at the original Dolphin Project headquarters. The other 2 residents at the time were Liberty and Florida, the 2nd dolphins Ric released back into the wild. The next door neighbor at the time was President Nixon.

Lincoln’s first trip to Japan was around his 6th birthday. Ric was producing a series of Celebrate The Whale concerts in Japan. On this trip, the family made its first visit to Taiji, the birthplace of Japanese whaling and location of the drive slaughter.

Lincoln O'Barry has worked with his father on readaptions and releases of captive dolphins in Colombia, Indonesia, Nicaragua, and the United States.

In the mid 90’s, Lincoln started his own production company. As a producer, Lincoln worked with such clients as Elle, Italian Elle, Marie Claire, Mini Cooper, Coca Cola, Discover Card, Ray Ban. He worked with luminarie photographers such as Ellen Von Unwerth, Jesse Frohman, Ben Watts, Pier Paulo Ferrari, and Michele Compt. In the past few years, Lincoln expanded the company to include TV and Film. He produced up-fronts for The Travel Channel Animal Planet & Discovery Channel.

In 2009 Lincoln & Ric’s work in Japan trying to end the dolphin slaughter was featured in the Academy Award winning film “The Cove”. In 2010 Lincoln Directed & Executive Produced the award winning Animal Planet mini series “blood Dolphin$”. The series went on to air in over 30 countries. During filming of the series, Lincoln was instrumental in ending the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world, which takes place in the Solomon Islands. The series also took him to Indonesia where he built the largest dolphin rehab/release sanctuary to date. In Indonesia, Ric & Lincoln worked to shut down one of the last traveling dolphin circuses found anywhere.

When not under the water or on an airplane, Lincoln can be found in Venice Beach with his dog Charlie. His production company BayRock Media, specializes in development and production of Film and Television & Internet content.

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