Marna’s Mission

Oftentimes, unexpected things happen when you volunteer as a Cove Monitor for Dolphin Project. Sometimes, the surprises are not pleasant. In this case, something happened that dolphin and whale advocates had tried for years to accomplish but without success: an activist was going to be interviewed on national television in one of the “target countries,” whether it be Japan, or the European archipelago of the Faroe Islands, where locals still hunt large numbers of cetaceans, including pilot whales and other dolphins.

The call came last week to Marna Frida Olsen, my Co-Cove Monitor from the Faroe Islands who is spending three weeks with me here in Taiji, Japan. A journalist from Kringvarp Føroya, the national Faroese TV channel, asked her if she would be willing to do a broadcast. It seemed they found it interesting to do a piece on the first Faroese dolphin lover to ever be on the ground in Taiji.

Marna Frida Olsen being interviewed by Faroese Primetime News

Marna Frida Olsen being interviewed by Faroese Primetime News

We got to work and filmed as much footage as possible, so we could upload a number of pertinent video sequences for the Faroese evening news. And it happened: the piece that the Faroese TV editor had put together, complete with our footage as well as some sequences from the documentary “The Cove” was aired on Faroese TV.

Dolphins don’t belong to any country. The ocean is one ocean” ~ Marna Frida Olsen

Marna and I were happy beyond words. The news piece was fair and, for the very, first time, the people of the Faroe Islands learned of a fellow Faroese who was in Taiji because of her love of dolphins and whales. Marna had just the right platform to convey important messages to the people of her country.

What a great day for dolphins and whales!

By: Hans Peter Roth

Watch the broadcast here (from 15:14)

Summary of the Faroese News Broadcast 

Introduction by news host: “Whales and dolphins should be protected, not killed, eaten or used for industrial purposes.”

That is the message from several environmental protection organizations that try to stop the grindadráp on the Faroe Islands. These organizations are also present in Japan where they attempt to stop the dolphinarium industry. Amongst them is the Faroese Marna Olsen.

Pilot whale hunts (grindadráp) are not unusual on the Faroe Islands, but they are unpopular amongst environmental organizations. To kill dolphins is not unusual in Japan either, but this is unpopular with environmental organizations.

Marna explains she is in Japan to volunteer for Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project and how the primary motivation behind the dolphin drive hunts in Taiji is the sale of dolphins to the dolphinarium industry. The reason why the dolphin hunt is so profitable is not because of the food industry, but because of the dolphinarium industry.

Why does Marna go all the way to Japan to save dolphins when she could be on the Faroes to fight against the grindadráp?

Marna responds she is not the type of activist who will get between the hunters and the dolphins, and the law is followed at all times. For instance, one is not allowed near the killing cove itself. Her approach is more to educate how wonderful dolphins truly are, and show people how important it is to protect animals and the environment.

Are you inspired to be a Dolphin Project Cove Monitor?

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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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