Free Morgan the Orca!!!

Three years ago, a young orca was rescued off the coast of the Wadden Sea. In claims of rehabilitating the whale, an aquarium, Dolfinarium Harderwijk, brought her in. She was given the name “Morgan,” meaning inhabitant of the sea in Dutch. After a couple months in captivity it soon became apparent that the Dolfinarium had an ulterior motive for keeping Morgan. Many experts agreed that Morgan was ready to be released, but the aquarium kept her confined in the world’s smallest orca tank, a mere bathtub to a species that moves over 100km a day in the wild. She performed tricks for the public as SeaWorld officials who monitored her progress claimed she was unreleasable.

Enraged, animal activists sought legal action to free Morgan through the Orca Coalition, but the court declared the aquarium’s actions were legal, although false information was presented. An appeal to the hearing was made later in November 2011, but Morgan was sent to Loro Parque (a marine park in Spain) under the pretense and excuse of “education,” the same one SeaWorld uses to defend its corporation. Animal activists argue that there is nothing educational about unnatural behaviors performed in an unnatural environment and that it teaches the youth that it’s okay to imprison animals for entertainment – not exactly my idea of conservation.

At Loro Parque, where all of Sea World’s “excess” orcas are sent, Morgan has been attacked by the other orcas there, an unnatural behavior for female orcas in the wild (only male orcas have extensive rake marks). These rake marks on her melon show the frustration and violence orcas display in a captive environment on themselves and their trainers. In the wild, there has never been an attack on a human and orcas live in highly complex social structures, torn apart with solitary confinement and human control over all social interactions.

Last year, Morgan was unwillingly placed in a tank with Keto, an effort by the aquarium to get her pregnant at the age of 5-7. The natural age of pregnancy in the wild is an average of 14 (based on survey taken in 2005) and a range of 10-21. Activists claim that SeaWorld is using these animals as breeding machines, ejaculating sperm and artificially inseminating orcas to produce more captive animals to profit off of. It should be noted that SeaWorld legally owns Morgan and the court rulings would most likely have been different had the judges known this.

In 2012, another court hearing was made by the Orca Coalition to free Morgan, claiming that Morgan was legally releasable and that the aquariums holding her have provided false information. One such example is the claim by trainers that Morgan is deaf. But this was a complete lie, as shown on a YouTube video in which she responds to an audio signal after the report was made. Yet the judges still ruled that Morgan’s confinement was legal.

On December 3rd, an appeal of the previous ruling will take place in Den Haag of the Netherlands. The Dutch government owes it to its people to right the wrong the previous one has done and take into account all information truthful and honest. But beyond a legal sense, Morgan has become “a ward of the Dutch people to be held in public trust by the Dutch Government until she could be released back to the sea, to rejoin her real mother” (DutchNews.nl). India has declared cetaceans to be “non-human persons” and has banned dolphinariums in their country. It is time for us to raise our voices and take a stand for those that cannot speak for themselves. May Morgan finally be released and rejoin her family – which has been found!

“No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal.”
-Jacques Yves Cousteau

© Zach Affolter 12/2/2013

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Dolphin Times Issue Three – 9/27/13

dolphin_times_logo

Dolphin Times is a weekly article dedicated solely to dolphin-related issues. This issue will cover how the Japanese drive hunt is justified by culture, how environmental threats have affected dolphins and people, and the weekly run-down in Taiji since the last issue.

The goal of this article is to spread awareness and unite together upon global issues. Please join us in the fight…we need your voice!!!

United we stand, divided we fall.

Featured Media: Blood in the Water

http://vimeo.com/63491279

This week’s featured media, in correlation with the topics covered and the beginning of Operation Trident, is a video made regarding the dolphin slaughter in the Solomon Islands. For those who did not read the last issue, the slaughter occurring in these islands is the largest dolphin slaughter, beating the more infamously known massacre in Japan.

“The largest dolphin slaughter in the world occurs not in Japanese Taiji, nor the Danish Faroes, but in the Solomon Islands. Dolphins numbering in the “tens of thousands” have been hunted and killed every year for hundreds of years according to those in the know. The carnage and suffering is exacerbated by those who promote and profit from the live capture and trade industry which was introduced in 2003 by the outside world.

Our mission and hopefully yours also ultimately, is to end what truly amounts to a Dolphin Holocaust in the Solomon Islands once and for all.

This said, we have to point out that at first glance the problem seems immensely complex involving government officials and policies, corruption, bribery, foreign tuna fleets, legal and illegal, foreign traders, domestic traders, dolphin-tooth currency, dolphin-meat consumption, foreign tourists, foreign activists and their foibles, foreign animal welfare organizations and their failings, and, most of all, the age-old native culture itself.
Yet in this day and age barbaric customs based on ancient culture do not justify this slaughter due to the fact that these tribes have stated that are more than ready to give up this slaughter, but do not want to starve in the process!

What it would cost per annum is minimal in any currency other than Solomon. When we hear the local chiefs mention that $1,000 USD to $2,000 USD a year would give the life back to thousands of dolphins, it saddens many a heart to realize that with such a minimal subsidy so many lives could be saved.

This is the bottom sad line:

Two tribes doing the hunting would stop with the aid of about $2,500 USD total annually. This amount would feed members of both tribes for a year. And if there were no hunts to feed the coffers of the dark traders, they would have one hell of a time actually acquiring and hiding their terrible captures and the transport of dolphins into a life of captivity.
Accordingly, the solution when found, might still be comparably complex. There is no simple or simplistic fix without the intervention of the Royal Family.”

Japanese Dolphin Killing: Tradition or Cultural Fallacy?

Japan kills thousands of dolphins every year for profit and so called “sustenance.” Many people in the world now know this, whether they care or not. But how did this mass dolphin slaughter begin? In this section we will explore the common pro-slaughter argument that it is part of Japanese culture.

The drive hunt in Taiji, Japan (drive hunts occurred in many more cities but we will focus on just this one) began in the 1970s. Many sources, including the fishermen and ever-so-unreliable Wikipedia, claim that it has been a cultural tradition for hundreds of years. Given, whale and dolphin hunting has existed that long, but the drive hunt has only lasted a few decades. Japan, being a nation founded in cultural pride, has a clear but understandable bias towards this issue. Dolphin drive hunting (paying attention to wording is key…do not be fooled!) is not cultural because it has no sense of antiquity or national unity. Only a small percent of Japan participates in and supports the drive slaughter of dolphins, whereas nearly all of them uphold the importance of family, a tradition Japan has endeared throughout its history unlike the drive hunt.

Furthermore, even if the drive hunt was cultural that still doesn’t make it acceptable. I mean slavery was part of American history for a long time and many thought it was okay. But we all in America regard that as immoral now. It is important for cultures as diverse and wonderful as Japan’s to evolutionize and keep the things that make the nation so amazing while changing those that will in the end do the nation harm.

It is understandable that pride has been the reason for Japan’s reluctance to end whaling and the drive hunt. They are afraid the rest of the world will dominate them. That has been their fear throughout history. And that fear and pride clouds their minds. In order for a culture to stay alive, it must uphold traditional values while collaborating and taking a spin on other’s cultures. Take the Philippines for example. They have upheld their culture in working together while adapting things such as importance of family and food from Asia, technology and government structure from America, and vocabulary from China and Japan, not to mention the US. Their culture is now extremely unique and powerful.

In order for Japan to overcome its nuclear disasters, dying seas, and world problems, they must let go of their pride and broaden their minds. I would hate to lose such a unique nation filled with cultural beauty because they were too proud to let go of wrongs justified by culture. We, in a critical state of our environment, must see things as they are. The oceans are dying. Nuclear waste is seeping into the now radioactive ocean. If Japan wants their nation and the world to survive, they must set themselves free from the chain of pride and let their culture follow the course of evolution.

A Radioactive Ocean: Mercury Poisoning? Oh My!

As many are aware, our oceans are unhealthy and dying. Not only do they face an over-exploitation of resources, but severe pollution from factories and power plants. In the past two years after they were hit by a tsunami, Japan’s nuclear power plants have malfunctioned. Tons of nuclear waste has leaked into the oceans. Russian scientists tried to extend a hand of help to Japan, but they refused saying this was their problem.

What effect does this have on the oceans? 300 tons of toxic water has leaked (date September 4th, 2013) from the reactors so far. Though scientists claim that because the radiation is diluted from the currents surrounding Japan it doesn’t pose a health problem to humans, this radiation can increase from plankton to fish to large predators (such as dolphins), and then to humans in a process called biomagnification. Considering how unsafe the food supply already is from pollution of the ocean, the radiation leak only amplifies the worry, especially since Japan’s diet consists highly of ocean life and 80% of the U.S. seafood supply comes from the nation.

This just goes to show how important the dwindling ocean is to our, and all of life’s survival. Since this article focuses only on dolphin-related issues, we will apply this to mercury poisoning of individuals who consume dolphin meat. Since biomagnification was discussed earlier, we will start from the beginning of the pollution cycle. Mercury is put into the ocean in various ways. The most common is from waste emanating from industrial plants that either enters the ocean as runoff or from being dumped into the water. It may not enter as a large amount, being consumed by plankton. But as it goes up the food chain, from one trophic level to the next, the number greatly increases. When the mercury enters dolphins through the fish they consume, it is found at 2,000ppm. And that is consumed by people who eat dolphin meat (which is often mislabeled as whale meat coming from Antarctica), causing a serious health problem in mercury poisoning, a problem Japan knows all too well from the Hiroshima Bomb and Minamata.

The Minamata catastrophe is a perfect example of biomagnification and mercury poisoning. An industrial factory in the western town Japan known as the Chisso Corporation produced a chemical called acetaldehyde, which is used to produce plastic. Mercury entered as waste into the Minamata Bay as a chemical that can enter the food chain: methyl mercury chloride. And the biomagnification process began. Mercury entered the humans in the city through the mass consumption of fish and shellfish, causing untimely death and despair. Symptoms of mercury poisoning are not pleasant and essentially kill the brain, causing partial paralysis and muscle weakness. Civilians didn’t know what hit them.

And sadly these same problems are occurring again as the ocean grows more and more polluted. Killing and eating dolphins not only is a cruel process but kills those who eat it too. It was appalling to hear that it was almost made a permanent part of the school lunch in Taiji. So please, stop the slaughter and let both human and dolphin children live.

Weekly Taiji Update 9/17-9/27

Since the slaughter of Pilot Whales on the 17th, no dolphins of any kind have been killed on the 8 hunting days that have passed. Whether it be from strong weather conditions or no dolphins to be found, the cove has remained blue for over a week. But could this mean the dolphin population passing Taiji is running low? Or have the dolphins found a new migration route bypassing the slaughter? Whatever the reason, the good news is that no innocent blood has been spilled, no families torn apart for a week. Let us hope and pray this continues and the slaughter ends, leaving the sea in blue forevermore. But we cannot just wait for this to happen. We must take the initiative, get out in the field, and make some noise!!! The next issue will go in depth on ways we can help make a difference. Until then, let the world hear all our voices together pleading for this to end!

United we stand. Divided we fall.

Many thanks for reading this article and I hope you found it a good read. For suggestions regarding the next article or questions regarding what you read here please email dolphindefender@globalwildlifewarriors.org and expect a response within 48 hours.

Zach Affolter
Global Wildlife Warriors
“the dolphin man”

Sources:
http://www.seashepherd.org/cove-guardians/cetacean-kill.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin_drive_hunting#Japan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiji_dolphin_drive_hunt#History
http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/04/world/asia/japan-fukushima-nuclear-crisis-explainer/index.html
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/fukushimas-radioactive-ocean-plume-due-reach-us-waters-2014-8C11050755
http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mmckinzie/fukushima_radiation_risks_from.html
http://toxics.usgs.gov/definitions/biomagnification.html
http://www1.umn.edu/ships/ethics/minamata.htm
http://www.medicinenet.com/mercury_poisoning/article.htm

All text has been originally written by Global Wildlife Warriors and may only be reproduced if appropriate credit is given. Links to facts are provided that were used to write this article. No statements, unless otherwise stated, were copied and pasted into this piece of writing.

The Promise – Let Dolphins Live Free

Every year, thousands of dolphins are killed in the Solomon Islands and Taiji, Japan. The captive industry encourages and is fully responsible for this slaughter. Essentially what goes on is a dolphin Holocaust. The pretty, nice looking ones are selected to be displayed in “abusement” parks while their families are slaughtered for money.

How it is acceptable to imprison and slaughter in a mass scale one of the most revered and loved species on the planet is beyond my comprehension. Please speak up against this atrocity and turn blue the blood-red seas. If the oceans die, we die. And that is all we care about. Ourselves. That will be the downfall of the “superior” human race and all life on Earth if we don’t change our ways.

Do we want to live in a world without dolphins? A world where the minds in the water are enslaved and murdered? A world where children are stripped of their mothers? See the beauty and elegance they display in their home, the ocean. It is time to stand together and FIGHT for our flippered friends. Educate yourselves to the horror now becoming exposed. Watch Blackfish, the new award-winning documentary exposing the truth about SeaWorld.

United we stand, divided we fall.

Disclaimer:
This video was jointly made by Global Wildlife Warriors and Rising Sun for educational purposes only.

Audio:
The Promise (Dolphin Song) – Olivia Newton John

In Lack’ech (The Source and End is You) – An Essay on Entertainment

Gladiator GsmrdThroughout the ages of time, men have sought the means to enrich and perfect their lives. Thinking only of themselves, they laid waste to the land. They searched for slaves to do the work, animals to entertain them, and money, money, and more money from the inferior. Great palaces were built in place of trees, the natural beauty of earth was smothered. Dressed in the finest of robes, they gathered into a building that stood in Rome. A great show was in store that night, lions and bears, oh my! But first, it was man versus man in the world famous Gladiator games. They charged at each other upon slaving horses, the crowd loudly roaring. Cheering on the death of the warrior now kneeling on his knees, they clapped and merrily screamed as they motioned downwards with their thumb.

The collector of the fares was safe outside collecting the gold while the blood of the fallen warrior formed a lake on the ground. Somehow, having the power to control the life and death of another gave the most enriching experience to the audience. Every day they gathered by the thousands to watch the warriors slice each other to death. They roared and applauded, never stopping, never opening their eyes.

Then one day, it suddenly all came to an end. Rome had fallen, the city now in cinders. It seemed the pride and physical strength of the glorious civilization had blinded them; the soldiers had lost the fight. But the same lust for entertainment would survive, more money and more lakes made.

The Gladiator Games were one of the first sources of full-scale entertainment, but they were certainly not the last. Whenever one injures another for the amusement of others, greed will be their ultimate downfall. Religious as they were, the people were so fearful of not going to heaven. Yet atrocities such as this, brutal wars, and slavery still existed? It seems to me that over time religion became an excuse for those in power to oppress those who were not. This statement applies most generously with circuses. Animals were believed to be the spawn of the devil, so naturally religion provided the perfect excuse to make the suffering of, say elephants (a species nearly as intelligent as us by the most commonly misused definition), acceptable. And acceptable it was. The “religious ways” of the older generation were passed to the new, embedding in their minds that a perfect world existed, nothing needed to change; their ways were okay. But it was all just an illusion, a trick to keep those from finding the truth and speaking up against it. Those who did stand up were ridiculed, beaten, whipped, and sentenced to death under the crime of heresy to infuse a fear that would prevent rebellion. That would prevent the master from obtaining that dang dime!!!

And boy did they succeed. The ways of entertainment still live on today. Television, zoos, aquariums. We just don’t get it. We believe the excuses the greedy make: “oh it’s educational, it’s good for the economy, it’s fun.” Well, tell me this: Would you find it fun if you let your own child suffer just so you could buy a new car with a sweet ride? Would you sell yourself, would you want to be a slave just so someone can profit off you because it’s fun? Just because something is acceptable in society does not mean that it’s ok!!! Slavery was accepted, and now we see that as unethical. And abusing sentient beings for entertainment is not? Stop believing the lies of those trying to make a quick buck!!!

So now in 617 words we have come full circle from the beginnings of selfish entertainment to its manifestation in present society. Selfishly venomous, mankind takes, cheers, takes more, and cheers again, poisoning the planet. Their vicious and vile ways will come back to haunt them, and their greed will be their downfall. They must open their eyes to the world around them. It is already happening – ozone depletion, global warming, the oceans are dying while overfilling the bathtub humans call “the perfect world.” The Mayan civilization predicted the world would end. Perhaps they will be right, not in the context of 2012, but in our own destruction of it. They have a saying, and I suggest you pay attention. It means that we must make every action count towards bringing love and peace back to Earth, because what goes around comes around. Please do not be another me (In Lack’ech).

The End

Message to the Lost Ones: RIP Bottlenose 12/16/12

image
After four days of torture,
the world is looking on in dread,
as the blood stains the water
and The Cove becomes red

You looked on in agony,
letting out panicked screams,
as you watched your family
disappear like a bad dream

As the day came to an end,
and all light began to fade,
the past and future you did apprehend,
as you lay in The Cove afraid

As a new day came,
the clouds failed to go away
and there was nothing but rain,
as things continued to go astray

Mothers looked on, helpless,
as more children were taken
by the greed of the heartless,
who never seem to waken

The day slowly dragged on,
as the insatiable men could not stop;
Their forever-lasting hunger never gone,
while harvesting the crop

As the boats left for another night,
you all were still trapped,
screaming in fright,
after again being sacked

A new day began,
but there was no sun,
only rain again,
the day was not won

You lay in agony,
the recent nightmares
playing in your minds rapidly,
causing deep despair

You called out for help,
but no one heard
so much as a yelp,
not one single word

As the day darkened once more,
The horrifying images kept playing
over and over again as the rain poured,
while you awaited the horrible slaying

Sure enough, as the horror continued,
the boats came again,
signaling the slaughter ensued,
as more children were taken then

As you watched the last of your family
disappear over the horizon,
more screams erupted in the agony,
knowing that the day would never brighten

The Cove now becomes stained
from the blood of the innocent,
spilled by the men with no shame,
as the world was left dissonant

After all you’ve gone through,
and all of the pain you’ve felt,
it may seem hard to continue
into the next life with this welt

May you know that even after
all that has taken place,
your souls still live on,
shining like a star in space

I wish all those who lost
their physical bodies tonight,
to not let this chaos
darken the light

I wish all those enslaved
to remember who they are,
and hear the sound of Ocean’s waves,
that will lead them out of the dark

May all of those hurt
know that the world ignites
to bring you out of the dirt
and into the light

May those filled with sorrow
know that the sun will rise
on a new day tomorrow,
as the world is apprised

This day will come
sooner than you think,
as we march to a different drum,
in a blink

With the light of the new moon,
the shades of the sea take on a new hue,
as the world comes out of its cocoon,
leaving the ocean FOREVER BLUE!!!

Swim free ❤
~Rising Sun

Message to the Lost Ones: R.I.P. Rissos 12/8/12

As the day is now gone,
and the final bell has rung,
it seems impossible to reach dawn
without the slightest glimpse of the sun

The Cove is once again
filled with innocent blood,
all because of dark-hearted men
who have never understood

It seems as if hope has left us
without a gentle kiss,
or even a warm caress,
leading us down into the abyss

We are left in tears,
as the reality of the horrible nightmares
and our greatest fears
are too much to bear

But as the day turns to night,
the haze subsides,
and the horror is brought to light,
with the changing of the tides.

Even as your souls are stripped
from the bodies they once called home,
the scale has tipped,
and in Ocean you still roam

Know that you are now one
with the great Ocean,
reminding all what needs to be done
to set the remedy of love in motion

The one thing the dark-hearts
will never understand
is that love never departs,
no matter how dark it is at hand

Those who can see the truth
will know that in the end,
only love can see us through
this horrible dead-end

Hope for the hopeless,
and light for the blind,
only love can save us;
this must be kept in mind

Think of it always:

it is always love that prevails,
so get ready for the ride,
and raise those sails,
as we change the tide

As the rain comes down,
washing away the tragedy of today,
know that what comes around comes around,
and the day will soon be saved

I know this day will come soon:
As the shades of the sea take on a new hue,
the world comes out of its cocoon,
leaving the ocean FOREVER BLUE!!!

Swim free ❤
~ Rising Sun

Forever Blue <3

p_beautiful-dolphin

The ocean rests calm
and sings its wonderful song
all day long
,
as the waves roll merrily along

The color of blue washes away
all of the things gone astray
as the dolphins joyfully play
and Ocean dances a beautiful ballet

This is how it should forever remain,

as love and peace forever reigns,
unshackling the chains
and melting away the pain 

Let us all dream of this wonderful hue,
and let this dream come true,
as the world starts anew,
forever imbued in BLUE!!!

Swim free ❤
~Rising Sun