Dolphin trainers: Help stop the Taiji dolphin slaughter!

  • by: Aaron V.
  • recipient: International Marine Animal Trainers' Association (IMATA), Michele Sousa, President, (Aquarium of the Pacific); Linda Erb, Past President, (Dolphin Research Center); Dr. Grey Stafford, President Elect, (Wildlife World Zoo)

The annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan has just gotten underway. Hundreds of marine mammals will be rounded up in a terrifying 'drive hunt' and pushed into a secluded inlet where they will be killed. The closely corralled animals are forced to listen to their family and pod members suffer through long, painful deaths.

The inhumane practice was exposed in the 2009 documentary The Cove due to the work of activist Ric O'Barry.

While the slaughtered dolphins will be eaten (often labeled as "whale meat"), the biggest financial prize for the fishermen is to sell a dolphin into captivity. A butchered dolphin is worth roughly $500, but a live dolphin can be sold for as much as $100,000 to a tourist attraction.

It is critical that dolphin trainers speak out against Taiji and all brutal drive hunts, and refuse to train any dolphins captured by this horrible practice.

The International Marine Animal Trainers' Association (IMATA) is the world's largest group of dolphin trainers. If their membership agrees to stop training Taiji and other drive-hunt captured animals, we can help shut down the financial motivations behind the slaughter.

We are making progress. Fewer people in Japan are eating dolphin meat, and fewer zoos and aquariums are willing to buy the dolphins. But unfortunately, there is currently an explosion of attractions featuring captured marine mammals in China, which means trainers remain critical to efforts to save these animals.

Add your support to this petition, and we can help convince IMATA to send a clear message to shut down Taiji and all drive hunts.

Read more about IMATA as well as their upcoming conference which will be held at SeaWorld San Diego.

Thank you for opposing the slaughter of marine mammals at drive-hunt fishing events, such as Taiji, Japan. Unfortunately, live capture plays a significant role in the dynamics supporting such fishing events. Please take a position opposing these types of captures, and further, pledge to no longer train dolphins aquired in Taiji or other drive-hunts. If these wild dolphins can not recieve training, they will no longer be as prized and financially lucrative for the fishermen.

Thank you for considering our concerns.

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