In Photos: From Sea to Stage

Thinking of visiting a marine park or aquarium over the spring break? Ever wonder where the performing dolphins come from? With over 150 orders for live dolphins from Taiji, Japan during the 2015/16 drive season, many of these “entertainers” would have been caught from wild waters. Thrashing and vocalizing in panic, separated from their decimated pod, hauled via truck and/or air, these sentient and sensitive mammals are forever imprisoned in manmade facilities, forced into their new “lives” with absolutely no regard for their unique needs – needs which have been cultivated over millions of years of evolution.

As visuals often speak louder than words, take a look at the photos we’ve assembled, from the moment of capture to the transfer of dolphins to their buyers.

It’s not about tradition or culture. It’s all about profit and greed, powered by the engine of the captivity industry. The real money is made in the trade of dolphins to aquariums and marine parks. Taiji is ground zero for the largest trafficking of dolphins in the world.” ~ Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director, Dolphin Project

Swimming tightly together, a pod of bottlenose dolphins is driven into the cove

Swimming tightly together, a exhausted pod of bottlenose dolphins is driven into the cove, Taiji, Japan
Photo credit: Dolphin Project

A pod of bottlenose dolphins awaits their fate while being held overnight in the cove

A pod of bottlenose dolphins awaits their fate while being held overnight in the cove, Taiji, Japan
Photo credit: Dolphin Project

Bottlenose dolphin attempts escape and gets caught in nets

Bottlenose dolphin attempts escape and gets caught in nets, Taiji, Japan
Photo credit: Dolphin Project

Driven in and wrangled into net for a life of captivity

Driven in and wrangled into net for a life of captivity, Taiji, Japan
Photo credit: Dolphin Project

Freshly captured dolphins receive hydration and medication, Taiji, Japan

Freshly captured dolphins receive hydration and medication, Taiji, Japan
Photo credit: Dolphin Project

Manhandled by trainers, bottlenose dolphin being prepped for life in captivity

Manhandled by trainers, bottlenose dolphin being prepped for life in captivity, Taiji, Japan
Photo credit: Dolphin Project

With the ocean just out of reach, a freshly-caught Pacific White-sided dolphin is being prepped for life in captivity, Taiji, Japan Photo credit: Dolphin Project

With the ocean just out of reach, a freshly-caught Pacific White-sided dolphin is being prepped for life in captivity, Taiji, Japan
Photo credit: Dolphin Project

Transfer of bottlenose dolphins, destination unknown

Transfer of bottlenose dolphins, destination unknown, Taiji, Japan
Photo credit: Dolphin Project

Captive dolphins transported in wooden crates

Captive dolphins, transported in wooden crates, arrive to their final destination
Photo credit: Dolphin Project

Bottlenose dolphin adjusts to new life of captivity

Bottlenose dolphin adjusts to new “life” in indoor, concrete tank, trading tricks for dead fish
Photo credit: Xinhua/Guo Chen / Hefei Aquarium, China

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

 

Take the pledge to NOT buy a ticket to a dolphin show.

 

Your help in supporting our campaign in Taiji is greatly appreciated and needed. Click here to donate.

 

Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the USA (Tax ID 47-1665067), and donations are tax-deductible.

Featured image: Family of bottlenose dolphins await their fate after being trapped overnight in The Cove, Taiji, Japan, 2-6-16
Photo credit: Heather Hill & Ivana Grubisic/Dolphin Project

 

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About Cara Sands

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It might be true that we don't recall many moments from our early years. However, Cara's first memory of a dolphin had her begging her parents to ask the trainer to let the dolphin go! The problem with captivity was evident to her, even as a 4 year-old child.

A writer by trade, Cara has researched, investigated and documented dolphins suffering in captivity. From documenting dolphins incarcerated in buildings, cut-off from fresh air, sunlight and normal socialization to researching cases of animals imprisoned in solitary confinement, Cara is a dedicated dolphin welfare advocate.

It is her belief that education equals empowerment. The more information shared, the better our choices and knowledge of how to act as a positive and respectful voice for dolphins across the world.

Cara is based out of Canada and makes time whenever possible to observe dolphins in their natural environments. She is writing her first fiction novel but knowing her, the marine world will play a prominent role in her book!

"The use of animals for entertainment is nothing more than an abuse of dominance. Some of the most sentient species on the planet have been exploited to incomprehensible levels, all due to their inherent benevolence. Ironic, considering that we turn to the abused themselves for displays of humanity."
~ Cara Sands

Author: Cara Sands
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