In what is antiseptically called their drive fishery, each October to April the Japanese herd more than 22,000 adult and baby dolphins and small whales into shallow lagoons and then savagely spear, slash and stab them.
The creature’s eyes are open. They are aware that they are being hacked to death.
They swim frantically to escape the hooks and knives.
The fortunate ones die quickly. Others thrash about in agony, engulfed in a suffocating mix of sea water and their own blood. Incredibly, the hearts of many others are still warm and beating when the fishermen begin to slice them up for the grocery store.
The luckiest dolphins escape the immediate horror. What they endure is, perhaps, even worse. They are shipped to aquariums or "swim with" sites and left to swim in endless, maddening, circles for years -- sometimes decades -- until they weaken, die and are forgotten.
Swimming with dolphins does nothing more than promote the despicable process that
puts money in the pockets of killers.
It might seem like fun for you but it sure ain't gonna be fun for the next group of dolphins who are rounded up because there are people willing to pay to "play" with them.
Sovereign of the Seas 2/03
Navigator of the Seas 2/04
Adventure of the Seas 2/05
Serenade of the Seas 2/06
Monarch of the Seas 7/06
Liberty of the Seas 8/07
Majesty of the Seas 5/08
This is what you might call "common uncommon" knowledge but entirely factual, in every single detail. One, among several, organizations currently pressing to change the situation is the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (www.seashepherd.org). Take a look. Also, you might pop the name "Ric O'Barry" into Google. He trained the original Flipper, was once a dolphin trainer at the Miami Sea Aquarium -- and years ago reached the inescapable conclusion that he was involved in a terrible business, driven by profit (in the name of entertainment) and oblivious to cruelty. He switched sides and now leads the charge to stop dolphin round-ups, free dolphins from captivity and to stop programs such as those described in other posts on this site. To participate in "swim with" programs is to blindly support the cruelty. As long as you have money to spend (or not to spend) and a voice, you have the ability to influence what is happeneing. Do not go to these dolphin zoos. Encourage your friends to do the same. And write to the cruise industry imploring them to share both sides of the issue. Any reasonable, caring person who has full knowledge of what is really happeneing would be hard-pressed to to do anything but speak out against it.
No, Katie, they are not being killed. What they are is "walking dead," or "swimming dead," if you will. They are highly social animals which live in family units and which are used to swimming up to a hundred miles a day. They end up in "swim with" programs after being rounded-up, as I have described, and "luckily" escaping the slaughter of their mothers, fathers and siblings. Yep, you're right, Katie, they're not being killed. You may as well enjoy their misery and, in doing so, promote the circle of cruelty and dispair. Shameful.
Some of the "luckly" dolphins could have cuts that might kill them in the wild. The vets at the Zoo help the ones that are hurt. I'm not agreeing that they should be swam with or that they should be killed. But some are saved at the zoo. Did you ever think of that?
I swam with dolphins in Cozumel, the trainers there loved their dolphins very much and were always concerned about them and always checking them. I am confused as to why it is bad to swim with dolphins who have been raised by humans and are cared for very much?
not only that...but theyre not endangered and in a way its the circle of life. Like it keeps the population of them down...if the fisherys were to stop then there would be too many of them and then there wouldnt be enough fish because they would eat it and it would screw up the food chain. i mean that sounds elementary but its true. I mean i dont agree with the cruelty of how they kill them...but having dolphins in captivity and killing them keeps everything in line.
Carnival Conquest: April 4th-11th 2004
Carnival Victory: April 20th-27th 2003
Datroid, I'm sorry that you have a problem with the simming with dolphin adventures. But, the Dolphin Swim I experienced, this past Spring Break, did not show the dolphins being hurt or punished or harmed in any way, shape or form. I know, as many people seem to agree, that the dolphins are treated very well. In my opinion, I think that dolphins, in a huge salt water pool, with easy access to as many fish as the want ,is not endangering anyone. And, who ever said that they aren't with family or friends? Also, the Dolphin Swim I went to had a very natural pool with vents to the ocean. If that is your opinion...Thanks for informing everyone!
This might sound kinda selfish but will not swimming with the dolphins save their lives? I don't think so.. Those excursions get booked like crazy because everyone loves dolphins and no one really thinks about where they came from and it doesn't ever occur to anyone because the excursion site treats the dolphins well.. Regardless of the dolphin's past people are still going to swim with them because the opportunity is there in ports like cozemel and as long as the information doesn't get across to everybody, they will continue making a ton of money off of it..
The extent to which misinformation exisits on this issue simply boggles the mind. My post was to inform and to suggest, if you actually care about doplphins, that you encourage the cruise industry not to promote "swim with" programs -- and that YOU not participate in them. By doing otherwise you are unconsiously promoting the circle of cruelty.
I don't dispute that the "trainers love the dolphins" or that they are "concerned about them." I don't dispute that they are "not endangered." I don't dispute that you won't see them "harmed or punished."
However, to suggest that taking (killing) dolphins in massive numbers is justified because it "keeps fish populations down and will stop fish from being depleted" is hardly "elementary but true." It is flat-out false. It is fisheries mismanagement on a grand scale, pollution and global warming that are the major contributors to the decline of various fisheries. Dolphin or whales or seals eating fish is simply a flase claim. It's been made and defeated scientifically, over and over and over for decades.
Of course you are not going to see the dolphins treated poorly. You won't see them starved to learn tricks. You won't see them literally drive themselves insane as their sonar bounces off the walls of the tanks. You won't see them slowly go mad swimming in circles, when they are used to swimming long distances in a straight line.
How does not going to a "swim with" facility save dolphin lives? It's all about the money. Don't buy a ticket. If enough people are weel enough informed to understand that this simple act encourages the circle of cruelty the cruelty will stop. There will no longer be enough money it it. It's simple. Or to borrow from one of the poster's own words: it's elemetary economics but true. YOU are part of the demand.
Do your part to end the demand and there will be no money in killing and/or confining an intelligent species for nothing but entertainment.
Please don't swim with captive dolphins on your cruse. If you do your money will go to support the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world. See press release below.
Thanks, Ric O'Barry
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ONE VOICE, a leading French animal rights organization, exposes the scandalous connection between the international dolphin captivity industry and the Japanese dolphin slaughter:
The so-called drive fisheries take place in several Japanese coastal fishing communities from October until April each year. The dolphin hunt -- a practice that has been going on for 400 years with little opposition -- is extremely brutal: Whalers take their boats out to deep water where the dolphins migrate. When they locate a pod of dolphins, they lower stainless steel poles into the water and beat the poles with hammers. The noise creates a wall of sound underwater and sets the dolphins into a state of total panic, which enables the whalers to drive the dolphins into a lagoon. Once trapped in the lagoon, the dolphins are doomed: The whalers force them into shallow water and, driving sharp fishermen's hooks into the dolphins' bodies and stabbing them with butcher knives, they bleed the animals to death. The dolphins take several minutes to die. As the water turns red with blood, they thrash about in pain, emitting loud whistles and cries.
"This is the largest dolphin slaughter in the world, and the cruelest thing that I have ever witnessed in my 40 years of working with dolphins" says Richard O'Barry, ONE VOICE Marine Mammal Specialist and former trainer of the TV-star Flipper. O'Barry and his Danish wife Helene, Field Correspondent for ONE VOICE, were in Taiji Japan to document the dolphin slaughter. "The public will be shocked to learn that the inhumane and brutal slaughter of dolphins in Japan is supported by the dolphin captivity industry," says Helene.
The ONE VOICE team documented the capture of more than 200 bottlenose dolphins in Taiji. Several of the dolphins were selected by dolphin trainers to be sold alive to dolphinariums. Our team reports that about 50 dolphin trainers gathered in Taiji to select the best looking of the captured dolphins, allowing the rejects to be slaughtered by the whalers. The capture and selection process was appallingly violent. Panic-stricken dolphins were dragged ashore with ropes. Beached animals accidentally beat each other up in the frenzy as they tried to get back into the water. Mothers and babies were separated by force. The dolphin trainers simply stood by and watched as some of the dolphins, in an effort to escape, got entangled in the capture nets and, unable to reach the surface to breathe, suffocated. Some of these trainers are members of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA). ONE VOICE has video footage showing two westerners at "Dolphin Base" in Taiji, the company that brokers dolphins from the drives to various dolphinariums.
Historically, the capture of dolphins has been highly secretive and rarely photographed, and for decades the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry has claimed that they are capturing and displaying dolphins so that they can educate the public to the necessity of protecting dolphins in nature. But, in reality, the Japanese dolphin slaughter and the use of dolphins for public display are strongly connected. The whalers and dolphin trainers, working side by side to exploit the dolphins in the most cruel manner imaginable, have a symbiotic relationship. The evidence obtained by ONE VOICE is compelling and irrefutable.
"If the dolphin captivity industry was not fueling the dolphin slaughter by buying dolphins from the Japanese dolphin drives, the dolphin slaughter would have a very hard time surviving," says Muriel Arnal, ONE VOICE Founder/Director.
ONE VOICE is hereby calling on captive dolphin facilities worldwide to change their policy and stop supporting and participating in the inhumane practice of the Japanese dolphin drives.
For more information and video documentation please contact:
I understand what you are trying to say, but at the same time I think that not all "dolphin Swims" are profiting Japanese slaughter. How is it any different if you do the Sting Ray City excursion? Why not go on, and on about all the things we SHOULDN'T do. Are aquarium hurting animals? Are Zoos? The list goes on. I think instead of saying things we shouldn't do to harm animals, maybe we should focus on things we should do to help endangered animals...This world needs a little bit more positive.
Mikey couldn't be more right... but have you learned anything from this exchange? You seem to sincerely care about dolphins, and animals in general. Understand that whether the dolphin in the particular "swim with" program you go to is "collected" from the Japanese slaughter or somewhere else in the wild (or even worse, born somewhere in captivity -- never, ever, having the chance to live a normal life) the simple fact is that they (quite unlike stingrays) are self-aware, highly intelligent, social mammals. They suffer a terrible misery at programs like these and at acquariums. They are fed dead fish because they can no longer catch live ones. They are driven crazy, literally, because their sonar bounces off the walls; it's like scrambled music blaring 24 hours a day. They are starved to "learn" to perform unnatural tricks. The only reason they "play" with you is because they know they're going to get a meal. They live far, far shorter than the lives than dolphins do free in the oceans. What I have been suggesting is a positive action: DON'T participate in these programs and encourage the cruise industry NOT to promote them. If you want to do something positive for dolphins and other animals -- if you want to learn about them -- a "swim with" facility, acquarium or zoo is not the place. Quite frankly, "learning" about any animal at such a place is no different than "learning" about human behavior by standing on the free side of the bars at prison.
OK. you have made a point. We now have 4 or 5 people that may or may not go on the swim with the dolphins (or eat tuna). I know that this will have a great impact on the cruiselines decision to drop this tour. What is your next soap box issue?
how do u no that dolphins are miserable--hav u talked to one recently...ur jus assuming--sry im so defensive...but a few years ago i wanted to become a marine biologist and work with dolphins--and i would never had wanted to do that job if i hadnt encountered dolphins...and what i have researched about them--not all of them are miserable
Carnival Conquest: April 4th-11th 2004
Carnival Victory: April 20th-27th 2003
I apologize, Lindsey, if I have written anything that would discourage you from still having an interest in becoming a marine biologist and someday working with dolphins. That was certainly not my intention. Most people who end up working with animals, of whatever kind and in any capacity, first fall in love with them by encountering them in captivity. That's just one of the realities of life -- most people can't afford to take a cruise and see dolphins in their natural environment. Most people can't afford to go to Africa and see elephants. They see these animals in a zoo or acquarium and are fascinated. They don't understand these animals' social structure. They are not aware of the horrors that surround their capture and transport into captivity. But, like you, they research and learn about it. Many then reach the decision to help them. Some take the position I take -- they are offended by the cruelty and the profit motive behind it and do what they can to stop the circle of cruelty. They encourage others to explore all sides of the issues and take responsible, informed positions -- and not to be "taken in" because dolphins seem to "smile" and enjoy performing tricks. Others do more or less the same but head in a bit different direction; they take the position that (and I certainly don't disagree) the horrors of capture notwithstanding, once an animal is in captivity (and certainly once it is old and infirm and no longer has any hope of survival) someone should care for and love it. Then there are others, like Cruiseguy, who don't seem to take the time to think about anything.
thanks Dartoid...but i guess i dont think its right how u were going about telling people about this. I personally havent done the dolphin encounters but i want to and this past cruise we did a different excursion instead. But for the people that have done them...u make them feel bad and guilty-i mean i definitely see what ur saying but jus think about that people that have done those excursions before
Carnival Conquest: April 4th-11th 2004
Carnival Victory: April 20th-27th 2003
Very good point, Nicholas, but the number of dolphins confined today (though huge business -- and highly profitable) is miniscule compared to the number of dolphins slaughtered in order to add to the confinement. To stop buying tickets to the places that confine them will stop the demand for them and will, eventually, stop the killing. You have the ability to be a part of doing something positive. Many dolphins in such facilities are candidates for release back into the sea and many have, in fact, been released. Others are not. In England, every single facility that once held captive dolphins has been shut down because the public finally demanded that something be done -- as individuals they recognized that, toghether, they could make a difference in the life of another living, feeling, life. Without going into a whole lot of detail let me suggest, if you are sincerely interested in understanding the issue, that you do some reading. I see that Ric O'Barry has posted on the issue. Check out any of his books. You write that "it seems like they take good care of the dolphins." Yes, it does seem that way but appearances are deceiving -- there's a world of difference between "good care" and "compassion." We're talking about extremely intelligent, self aware and highly social mammals. Starving them (which you don't see) to get them to do tricks by "rewarding" them with a dead fish (which you do see) is hardly kind. Sure, it appears that the dolphins are having fun, performing and "smiling" but they are only doing what they have figured out they have to do to get something to eat. When you're not there they are left alone to swim in endless circles as their sonor constantly bounces back at them, driving them slowly insane. They are dying. I just happen to think it's worth asking yourself: how much money is causing another living creature such misery worth?
With all due respect, Duct Tape, the tuna/dolphin issue is much different than the issue that I have raised here and, frankly (if Cruiseguy's, typically unthinking, comments are any indication) I'm not sure this group is up for an extended discussion of the topic. What's more, it isn't an issue that really connects to the prupose of this forum. The dolphin "swim with" issues does connect because cruise ships stop at ports that have such programs and then promote attendance at them. Those who cruise can have a positive impact on the issue by encouraging the cruse industry not to promote the "swim with" programs. Let me just say, as perhaps you know, in very general terms, that tuna have a tendency to swim "underneath" dolphin -- so it is easier for fishermen to just cast their nets over dolphin, causing them to drown, to catch tuna. To a very large degree this practice has been stopped.
wow that's sad and all but uhh yeah not really gonna affect me..they're animals i think we're forgetting that..sorry if i sound like an animal-hater but c'mon people lets not cry over it. the world is full of problems.