Ask the EU to Protect Rescued Whales and Dolphins

  • by: Judith B.
  • recipient: Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

The successful rescue of a whale sounds like good news. Not so in the case of Morgan the orca, rescued when she was found lost and starving in the Wadden Sea. Rehabilitation and release was the agreement, and the ending should have been happy. Morgan's family had been found, experts agreed that release was possible, a donor was on hand to fund the operation and everything was set.

Unfortunately, a Dutch court later ruled that the Loro Parque aquarium in Spain was allowed to keep the whale, where she is on show to the public. The captive whale and dolphin industry has clout and orcas are worth big bucks. The EU does not allow their exploitation for commercial purposes and the park had found a loophole. Morgan is now sentenced to a bleak, lonely and short life in a concrete tank.

It is time for the EU to crack down on such behavior. Ask the European Union to regulate that rescued cetaceans are rescued animals, not strokes of good fortune for aquariums, and if an animal is to be held temporarily that does not mean permanent confinement.
We the undersigned ask that the European Union tighten up existing regulations on the exploitation of cetaceans to stop aquariums taking advantage of rescued whales and dolphins. The case of Morgan the orca, currently held in Loro Parque in Spain shows an obvious loophole allowing the retention of rescued cetaceans. A loophole, it appears, that commercial interests are only too happy to exploit. If an aquarium holds a cetacean on a "temporary"� basis, that should be adhered to and the organisation not allowed to retain and exhibit the animal for commercial purposes.
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