Dolphins Join Korean Activists in Protesting Wind Turbines

When you’re advocating for the rights of dolphins, there is no better validation than when the marine mammals show up to protest with you. That’s what happened last week when our friends and colleagues from Hot Pink Dolphins in South Korea said ‘no’ to a plan by the Korean government to install wind turbines in the Jeju Island area.

Fresh off a victory to prevent the importation of Taiji dolphins from Japan to Korea, Hot Pink Dolphins went straight back to work to oppose their government’s plan to build 20 offshore wind turbines in the center of Jeju dolphin habitat in the Daejung-up area.

“We have worked so hard to stop the dolphin trade from Taiji to South Korea,” said Joyakgol, an activist with Hot Pink Dolphins, “so we welcomed the decision to ban the latest import. It’s our job to closely monitor whether the Korean government is keeping its word.”

Hot Pink Dolphins with the Dolphin Project team. Taiji, Japan. Image: Dolphin Project

Hot Pink Dolphins with the Dolphin Project team. Taiji, Japan. Image: Dolphin Project Cove Monitors

Last September, three activists joined Dolphin Project Cove Monitors in Taiji, Japan. “It was a great experience in many ways,” Joyakgol explained. The visit only appears to have fueled their passion and commitment to the cause.

The group continuously monitors the habitat of the dolphins and pay particular attention to Sampal, Jedol, Chunsam, Taesan and Boksun — five bottlenose dolphins rehabilitated for release off the coast of Jeju. On April 18, a team from the Dolphin Research Group of Jeju University/Ewha Womans University confirmed that Sampal had given birth after successfully reintegrating herself into the wild. The other dolphins have also enjoyed successful releases and rejoined wild pods. In 2013, Ric O’Barry was in South Korea to assist with the rehabilitation of three of the dolphins that were captured illegally from the area around Jeju Island.

It’s fantastic that the released dolphins are doing well, but their habitat also needs help.
Joyakgol told Dolphin Project:

The Korean government is trying to build 20 sea-windmills in the center of dolphin the habitat, so we are campaigning to stop the marine windpower project.

On April 22, about 30 Hot Pink Dolphins activists along with local fishermen protested the wind turbine project. “Twenty Jeju dolphins showed up right there near us on the shore while we were picketing,” the activist explained. “It was an amazing experience. We suppose Sampal and Jedol, Chunsam, Taesan and Boksun were right there too!”

Watch the dolphins appear in the video below captured by Hot Pink Dolphins.

To learn more about these passionate, energetic and dedicated dolphin advocates, drop by their Facebook page.

Featured Image: Screenshot/HotPinkDolphins

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About Elizabeth Batt

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Elizabeth is a freelance writer, a former large animal nurse and a former certified NREMT. She is passionate about the ocean and its inhabitants and her work focuses on cetacean-related issues, including captive whales and dolphins. She graduated in psychology and sociology and lives with her family in beautiful northwestern Montana.

Author: Elizabeth Batt


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