Tell WAZA to Take Action Against Dolphin Hunts -UPDATE

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) professes to be against the Japanese drive slaughter of dolphins.  And they claim to care about dolphins around the world.  But the facts tell a different story.  WAZA has members like JAZA (the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums) with participating members like the Taiji Whale Museum.  The Taiji Whale Museum sponsors the drive capture and killing of dolphins, and even serves dolphin meat to patrons of the museum.  And WAZA has done nothing to police its own member organizations.

Gerald Dick, in an open letter to Sakae Hemmi of the Elsa Nature Conservancy, stated that WAZA would not take action against the hunts: “As you know, in some Japanese communities these drives have been part of the culture for centuries.”

Tell Gerald Dick that the hunts are NOT tradition:

Dr. Gerald Dick, Executive Director
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
IUCN Conservation Centre
Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland

Fax:  +41 (0)22 999 07 91


Dear Dr. Dick:

I am asking you to take action against those member aquariums of WAZA that continue to purchase dolphins and small whales that are caught by the dolphin-killing fishermen of Taiji, Japan. These hunts are not a part of Japanese or Taiji tradition. In these barbaric hunts, hundreds of dolphins are ruthlessly slaughtered each year.  Yes, aquariums and dolphin brokers actually HELP the dolphin killers in their work, picking only a few for captivity.  The rest of the dolphins’ families are killed for meat that is poisonous and should not be consumed by anyone, yet the aquariums pay the fishermen high prices for the live dolphins, far more than the dolphins are worth for meat.  The result is WAZA and the world aquarium industry subsidizes the killing of dolphins in Taiji.  Please take steps now to end the hunts.

View Ric O’Barry’s latest Op Ed in the Huffington Post for more information.

Our colleagues at the Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan and other organizations have posted a new petition urging WAZA and Dr. Dick to take action against JAZA and the aquariums, like the Taiji Whale Museum, that continue to subsidize the dolphin slaughter by paying top dollar to pick out the few show-quality dolphins while the rest of the family is slaughtered in a welter of blood for meat.
Photo and video by Karla Sanjur/

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About Ric O'Barry

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Ric O’Barry, Dolphin Project Founder & Director has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.

In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.

From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.

Over the past 40 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.

O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphin$.

Author: Ric O'Barry


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