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- JUNE 12, 2001

Two dolphins have been abandoned in a small tank in the mountains of Santa Lucia, Guatemala.  They were left behind by Ricardo and Ruben Roca of the infamous traveling dolphin show "Water Land" when the authorities closed in on them for not being able to provide legal documents for them.

The tank measures just 8 meters in diameter and is 4 meters deep.  It has been crudely made by digging a hole in the ground, lining the hole with a waterproof  fabric and then filling it with city water, chlorine, and salt. A three foot cement wall has been built around it.

For several months these two dolphins Turbo and Ariel have been confined in a tank that has no shade or proper filtration system.  Ruben and Ricardo Roca left them behind to perish and with no one to tend to their needs. The environmental organization MadreSelva and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) have worked to stabilize the situation, feeding the hungry dolphins fresh fish and making sure the filthy water was replaced with clean water.

Turbo and Ariel have been temporarily confiscated by CONAP (The National Council of Protected Areas) until a judge has decided what is going to happen to them.  The judge can either choose to let Turbo and Ariel return to the sea, or he can choose to send them back to Water Land or another captivity facility.

There is no time to waste.  We have received news that a decision will be made over the next couple of days.  Please send the letter written in Spanish below immediately which kindly urges the judge (who is very open to suggestions and takes public opinion seriously) not to send the dolphins back to Water Land or any other captive facility.  The letter asks that Turbo and Ariel be rehabilitated and released back into the wild as soon as possible.

Thank you.  There is no need to email me a copy of your letter.

Gwen McKenna


Licenciado Wilfredo Porres
Juez de Primera Instancia de
Narcoactividad y delitos contra el Ambiente
Sacatepéquez, Guatemala

Excelentísimo Señor Juez:

Nos dirigimos a usted, por el caso de los dos delfines que  fueron confiscados a los traficantes de animales. Estamos apelando a su sensibilidad, para que considere que -en este caso- la evidencia decomisada a los ilegales no son armas, autos o drogas.  Son seres vivos, que han estado y están sometidos a niveles altos de sufrimiento. De la decisión que usted tome, dependerá que estos dos delfines puedan recobrar su libertad, o que se les condene a vivir para siempre como esclavos e incluso que mueran pronto.Los ojos de mucha gente alrededor del mundo, que amamos a los animales, estarán puestos en usted.  Confiamos en que tendrá la sabiduría para tomar la decisión correcta. Por favor: LIBEREN A LOS DELFINES

Your name and address

- Help To STOP A Pet Porpoise Pool! -
May 31, 2000

On 3rd May 2000, the Australian Minister of Sport and Tourism, Jackie Kelly, announced in a media release that federal government funding ($545 (Australian) would be made available for the Pet Porpoise Pool at Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, to construct a pool for visitors to swim with the three dolphins currently confined there.

In June 1999 the PPP's licence was extended for the keeping and displaying of dolphins, conditional on the existing dolphin pool being used for no more than the three bottlenose dolphins currently held at the site. The extension was also conditional on the facility complying with current dolphin standards, including the need for a larger pool, according to the 1989 Dolphin Standards, under the New South Wales Exhibited Animals Act. The facility is still not up to standard but now wants to build a new pool for a swim with the dolphins program.

Please write and ask Minister Kelly to reconsider offering this funding, stating that money would be better spent on improving the welfare of the dolphins currently held at PPP and helping the facility phase out cetacean captivity. Stress your concerns for the welfare of the animals, the potential for disease transmission from human to dolphin or vice versa; the fact that dolphins may be forced into interactions with humans and have little refuge or respite from these actions and the fact that in so many interaction programmes, dolphins are captured from the wild and/or transported thousands of miles to suffer the effects of confinement in captivity.

Stress that in their report of 1995, the Australian Senate Select Committee on Animal Welfare found that cetaceans suffer stress, behavioural abnormalities, high mortalities, decreased longevity and breeding problems.

Please write to:
Jackie Kelly
Minister for Sport and Tourism
Parliament House
ACT 2600
Fax: + 61 2 6273 4571

Please send copies of your letters to the following two people and also to me.
Richard Amery
Minister for Agriculture
Level 17 Park View,
157 Liverpool Street
NSW 2000
Fax: + 61 2 9372 0199

Bob Debus
Minister for the Environment
PO Box A290
NSW 2000
Fax: + 61 2 9281 1115

Thanks for all your help in stopping yet another captive swim with facility establish!!
Cathy Williamson
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Alexander House
James Street West
Bath BA1 2BT
United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 1225 334 511
Fax: + 44 1225 480 097

- From Orcalab -

Hello everyone,

Many of you are aware of the ugly situation that has developed in Neah Bay, Washington State, over the past few days, so please excuse any duplication. The situation that has developed around Makah whalers' attempts to kill gray whales is, in our opinion, so serious that it needs to be known widely and protested vigorously. Below, we have some specific suggestions as to how you can become involved, but first want to tell you what has happened.

In two separate incidents, the US Coast Guard (USCG) has attacked and injured protesters. The first incident was on April 17th, when a vessel belonging to the World Whale Police was rammed by a hard-bottomed USCG inflatable. The unprovoked attack was so violent that the inflatable broke windows and ended up on the roof of the protest vessel. A Canadian crew member, Julie Woodyer, was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital.

Fortunately, her injuries were not serious. The second incident occurred on April 20th, when a USCG vessel ran right over a protester, Erin Abbott, on a jet ski. Her collarbone was broken in two places; she also suffered cracked ribs and has leg and hip injuries. Erin is lucky to be alive.

Thanks to the protesters, no whales have been killed yet. One was struck by a harpoon, but escaped with unknown injuries. To us, the legal situation surrounding the issue of Makah whaling is very clear. It is illegal. The only "law" applicable is that of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) which has been given the responsibility, by international agreement, for regulating whaling. THE IWC HAS NOT APPROVED MAKAH WHALING. We cannot emphasise this fact enough. It is beyond our understanding that most of the media continues to accept the lie of the US government... proving, we suppose, that a lie told often enough, if it is big enough, will be accepted as truth. The gullibility of the mainstream media over this issue is disconcerting in the extreme; the tone of coverage of the Makah whaling issue is a very bad sign for the future of freedom of expression.

Twenty-five years ago, when the first Greenpeace "Save the Whales" voyage took place, protesters who put their bodies between harpoons and whales were widely regarded as heroes. Now they are villified, assaulted, and arrested as criminals by the nation that was once the biggest defender of whales. We note that neither Russia nor Japan have used deadly force to quell protests against whaling. Today, the USA uses deadly force casually, as a matter of course, as though it is an ordinary route to resolving disputes. Our belief, as ever, remains that tyranny will fail in the end: ANY WALL CAN FALL.

Despite the feeling of futility many of you must be experiencing, there are numerous ways in which you can express your opinion about this issue, and several ways in which you can help directly:
1. Call your local media (tv, radio, & newspaper). Tell them what's happening & ask them to cover the Makah whaling story. Suggest they contact IWC Secretary Dr. Ray Gambell & ask whether the IWC has given the US/Makah permission to kill gray whales. The contact address & #s are: ; Tel +44 (0) 1223 233971; Fax +44 (0) 1223 232876.
2. Call media in the Seattle area. Ask for the News Desk or complaint line. Tell them to cover both sides of the Makah whaling story. Ask them why they do not state that the IWC has not given the Makah permission to kill whales. Tell them to contact IWC Secretary Gambell (above) to get the facts.
Here are some Seattle #s:
Komo TV: 206-443-4000
Kiro TV: 206-728-7777
NW Cable News and King TV: 206-448-5555
Seattle PI - Reader Representative Line: 206-448-8051 Seattle Times - Reader Response Line: 206-464-3310
3. If you're a US citizen, call your congressional representatives and tell them what you think. The U.S. Capitol # is: (202) 224-3121.
4. Contact Coast Guard Admiral James M. Loy by telephone at 202-267-2390. Ask him to control USCG actions at Neah Bay and launch an immediate investigation into the incidents on June 17th & 20th. For international calls, the US country code is "1".
5.   Donate money. Call Olson's Resort and Marina in Sekiu, Washington, at 1-360-963-2311. Use your credit card to make a donation towards fuel and room rental to the groups involved in the protest.
  6. Vote! Go to the following address, and cast your vote (curently 65% oppose):
Seattle Insider
7. If you're outside the US (as most of you are), call or fax the US embassy or consulate nearest you. World wide information for US representatives is at: The instructions are fairly simple to follow, but do take time. It's probably best to connect to "consular" in the main menu for a particular location. It might be faster for you to call telephone directory information & get the phone/fax numbers there. A fax addressed to the U.S. ambassador or consul will probably get the most attention.
8. Demonstrate! Even one sign outside one US government office will be noticed! If you can mount a demo outside a US embassy, consulate, trade mission or other agency, no matter how big or small, do it! Call the media & ask them to cover your protest.

We'll try to keep you informed about further developments, but you should be aware that this situation is likely to continue for some time. FIVE Makah families have stated their intention to kill whales this year! Our thoughts are with the whales, who's innocence in this sad affair cannot be questioned, and with the people who are trying to help them. Please get involved, however you can!

Paul & Helena.


Please Act Now To Stop The Capture Of Whale And Dolphins In Argentina!
March 29, 2000

After the success with legislation being implemented against orca captures in Argentine waters last year, WEF have a great chance of getting this passed, with your help. The support of as many groups and individuals as possible is needed for the following law project to be passed.

Law Project #013/00
Submitted to Chubut Province Legislature on march the 13rd 2000
ARTICLE 1: Prohibition of any possibility of capture of marine mammals using any method, in the waters of the atlantic department of the Chubut Province
ARTICLE 2: In the case of accidental stranding of any marine mammal, the animal could be assisted to save its life or recover its health after what the animal MUST be released on its natural environment. (The case of stranded cetacean will be specified on the regulation, the stranded cetacean must be assisted and it is not allowed to transfere them to a tank for rehabilitation under no circumstances).
ARTICLE 3: Those who violate the above articles will be punished with fines from one million dollars as stated in the National Law #25052
ARTICLE 4: To submit the present law to the argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, Rio Negro, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego, with the objective to invite their representatives to adopt equal measures for their coasts.
ARTICLE 5: The Law will be regulated during the 90 days following to its approval.

The word "prohibition" does not seem to have place in a democratic state. Unfortunately in this case it is essential to use this word which seems to be the only way to stop certain situations related to our marine fauna.

On 1996, this Legislature chamber submited a Declaration (23/96) which article 1 stated a strong opposition and repudiation to the orcas capture requested by Mar del Plata Aquarium. The article 2 of this Declaration denied any possibility of captures in our Province's waters. There are many laws that ban the hunt of marine fauna, and in one specific case the law #2502 ban only the orcas (Killer whales) live captures. But our marine fauna we also have sea lions, elephant seals, porpoises and dolphins, which have a wide range of different species.

That's why the objective of this project is to get a whole and definitive protection at least in our Province, trying to stop gradually the sad news as the orca Belen's who died in captivity last february. It is our wish that the rest of the argentine Provinces that we invited to adopt similar measures could count with a similar law as soon as possible to save and protect all the marine mammals that live in the Argentina atlantic coast.

We invite [everyone] to submit their opinion about the project to enhance its text and to contribute with the future regulation.

It is very important to let know the Honourable Legislature of the Argentine Chubut Province that the project of the deputee Argentina Noemi Martinez must be approved as a law to protect marine mammals from live captures for public display in captivity.

With cc: to the deputees from another groups that will have to vote for the law being approved:

Support letters applauding her work on behalf of the marine mammals to:
Deputee Argentina Noemi Martinez

Please send copies of your letters to WDCS and we will pass them on to WEF. Thank you for all your help!!

Cathy Williamson
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Alexander House
James Street West
Bath BA1 2BT
United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 1225 334 511
Fax: + 44 1225 480 097

*Please write your letter in Spanish*


March 16, 2000

Infection suspected as Bjossa not in clear yet Bjossa the killer whale is not in the clear yet.  Vancouver Aquarium director John Nightingale says. In an interview Wednesday night Nightingale said the star of one of Vancouver's tourism crown jewels may be suffering from a fungal infection related to her surroundings.

Bjossa, who appeared to be on the mend last week after being treated for a suspected respiratory infection, has shown an increase in her white blood cell count, Nightingale said, adding that something in the environment, possibly the surrounding cedar trees, may be the culprit.

An immunologist from St. Paul's Hospital who specializes ub rare blood disorders is checking on the orca.

Surrounding cedar trees the culprit??? More like surrounding sewage and concrete walls, Dr. Nightmare!

On Monday March 20, we'll be going to the Park Board to urge the commissioners to amend the 1996 bylaw to restrict all imports of whales and dolphins into the Vancouver Public Aquarium.  You must call 257-8451 by tomorrow Friday at Noon to register to speak at the meeting.

If you haven't sent the Park Board an e-mail message yet, please do so by the weekend.  A short message will do: NO NEW DOLPHINS!

Park Board E-mail Addresses:
Roslyn Cassels
Clarence Hansen
Dianne Ledingham
Laura McDiarmid
Chris Richardson , Duncan Wilson
Terri Clark

Please contact me if you need more info.

Many thanks! Annelise Sorg, Director
Tel: (604) 736-9514
Fax: (604) 731-2733


March 3, 2000

   Bjossa the killer whale, the star attraction at one of Vancouver's tourism crown jewels, is suffering from a potentially life-threatening respiratory illness and has been removed from public display.

The 23-year-old Bjossa, the only killer whale left in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium, has been battling a bacterial infection for more than a month. Her condition recently deteriorated to the point where she needed to be moved to an isolation pool and monitored regularly by aquarium staff, who are administering antibiotic medication.

"It's a real serious illness," said Dave Huff, a veterinarian who has treated Bjossa since she arrived at the aquarium in 1980. "But it's very, very difficult to focus in on." Huff said blood samples taken Wednesday could isolate the problem and indicate whether she has pneumonia.

Officials at the aquarium said they are not concerned about the survivability of the Stanley Park facility if their star attraction dies. "No matter what happens to Bjossa, this institution is very strong," said John Nightingale, executive director of the aquarium. "I'm not worried about its future." Nightingale said he has been talking to other aquariums in an effort to find a mate for Bjossa, who has been without an Orca for company since Finna, her male companion, died of pneumonia in 1997. He said the search has been put on hold while staff are tending to Bjossa, but could eventually be resumed.

"Our whole focus is on Bjossa right now," he said. "We're just not thinking about anything else. It's a very serious situation and it's being treated that way."

The aquarium's lease with the Vancouver park board sets out conditions governing whale acquisitions. It states the aquarium cannot catch any cetaceans, which includes whales and dolphins, from the wild or import into the aquarium a cetacean that was caught after October 1996. The aquarium can bring in whales that were raised in captivity or caught prior to that date.

Bjossa, who was caught off the coast of Iceland, has given birth three times while in captivity, but each time the calves have died. The longest-lived calf survived for only a few weeks. Peter Hamilton, founder of Lifeforce, an organization with 250 members that advocates the release of whales held in captivity, said he believes Bjossa's containment has negatively affected her health.

"It's about the time with captive killer whales when she would die, since they don't live past about 20 to 25 years in captivity," said Hamilton, who added that the female whales can live for 50 years in the wild.

Larry Dill, a behaviour ecologist at Simon Fraser University, confirmed that killer whales in the wild do tend to live longer than their captive counterparts.

Annelise Sorg of the Vancouver-based Coalition For No Whales In Captivity said: "We were expecting this. Bjossa is an old whale in captivity. This is how most whales in captivity die, because of living in such a confined space with their own sewage." But Nightingale said the research in this area to date is inconclusive and that because of improved treatment and research, captive whales are living much longer than they did when they were first placed in aquariums.

Bjossa weighs about 2,500 kilograms (5,500 pounds) and is 5.6 metres (just under 19 feet) in length. She is the Vancouver Aquarium's seventh whale -- including her three calves -- since the aquarium began displaying the animals in 1968.

Posted by Annelise Sorg Coalition For No Whales In Captivity



Please post this ACTION ALERT on other lists!

Dear Friends,

I have very bad news. Bjossa, the lone surviving orca whale at the Vancouver Aquarium is very ill. She has caught pneumonia and it's the same type that killed her mate Finna inside that concrete pool three years ago. Bjossa is so sick that the Aquarium has stopped the whale shows and isolated her from the tourists. The Aquarium is now desperately trying to find another whale to bring to Vancouver so they can continue profiting from this cruel practice.


We must stop the Aquarium from bringing another whale NOW! We must NOT tolerate more whales and dolphins dying in Stanley Park!

      !!!  PROTEST !!!

No New Whales! No New Whales! No New Whales!
Sunday, March 5. 2000
at Noon sharp
Please make a difference and come to the protest - and bring lots of friends and family! BUT THAT'S NOT ENOUGH!  Please phone/e-mail/fax (best to fax or phone!) the Vancouver Aquarium and the Vancouver Park Board TODAY and urge them to stop bringing new whales and start phasing out the whale exhibits in Stanley Park.

Chairman and Commissioners
Vancouver Park Board
2099 Beach Avenue
Vancouver, BC Canada V6G 1Z4
FAX: (604) 257-8427
Or contact Susan Mundick
General Manager
Tel. (604) 257-8448
Vancouver Public Aquarium Association

Board of Governors
PO Box 3232, Vancouver, BC Canada V6B 3X8
    FAX: (604)659-3515
Or contact Clint Wright
Marine Mammal Curator
Tel: (604) 659-3437
E-mail:< br>

For more information, please read the Vancouver Sun tomorrow Thursday March 2.

Thank you.
Annelise Sorg, Director
Box 461, 1755 Robson St.
Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6G 3B7
Tel: (604) 736-9514
Fax: (604) 731-2733



I'll post a list of contacts as soon as I receive them. We've got to help to free this poor guy!
After Belen's death, the orca male Kshamenk will be held alone on his tank at Mundo Marino. 1- If another orca "accidental strands" near the oceanarium, and the "rescue" ends with captivity for "rehabilitation" they will be breaking the law, as orca captures are banned in Argentina and to take a cetacean from its natural environment is in fact a capture (to rescue an animal means to return it immediately to the wild).

2- If they decided to import an orca from another place they will be forcing two different kind of orcas to share the same tank.  The behaviour of the orcas from Patagonia is very different  from the Vancouver, Iceland and Norway ones. Argentine orcas from Valdes Peninsula have a behaviour that is similar to the transient orcas from the norwest Pacific. They have a big territory and they feed on other marine mammals (sea lions, elephant seals, dolphins, and even southern right whales calves and young ones). To capture a sea lion they strand theirelves in the coast and then return back to the sea with its prey. (Please, Hugo, tell us if any of my comments are wrong) It is very little what we know from patagonian orcas behaviour and how they would react if sharing their space with another kind of orca. So we can't allow this to happen.

3- As Kshamenk is condemmed to live the rest of his life alone in his tank, and living alone is very bad for such a social mammal, don't you think it would be a good idea to start asking for Kshamenk's FREEDOM? Of course Mundo Marino will refuse to free Kshamenk, but we can start campaigning with the second step of the Orcas Libres campaign to stop orcas display and in the same time ask for the releasing of the male orca.

Gabriela M. Bellazzi
Vice President
W.E.F. Wild Earth Foundation/Tierra Salvaje
Dto. de Fauna Av. de las Ballenas s/n
U9121XAQ Puerto Pirámides, Península Valdés
Chubut, Argentina
Phone/fax: 542965 49-5008



Check this out, complete w/video of dolphins in captivity:


As of February 10, we have learned that the Virginia Marine Science Museum is planning to spend $50 million on building a new exhibit including the dolphin tank: $30 million will be funded by Virginia Beach residents, $10 million by Virginia residents, and the other $10 million from various sources, including the federal government—your tax dollars at work! The museum director, Mac Rawls, is pitching this project as an expansion of the stranding center. However when asked directly by Lisa Lange, PETA's director of policy and communications, at an informational meeting, how much of that money would be spent on the stranding center itself, Mac Rawls refused to answer. From the plans unveiled at this point, it appears that if any money is to go toward the stranding center, it will be a very minute part of this multimillion dollar atrocity. The museum wants to build a fancy dolphin prison and billing it as a humanitarian effort. The plan remains to be formally presented to the Virginia Beach City Council for approval and funding. Please tell the Virginia Beach mayor and City Council that you are not being fooled. Ask them to vote NO DOLPHIN PRISON IN VIRGINIA BEACH. Write today!

Until now, the Virginia Marine Science Museum has been known as a museum that focuses largely on conservation and education. Located only a few miles from the Virginia Beach coast, the museum has taken non-invasive, genuinely educational approaches to its relationship with marine mammals, such as offering excursions to see dolphins where they live in their ocean homes. But now the museum is taking a giant step backwards with plans to add a dolphin tank and hold at least six dolphins and several seals captive. Marine mammals suffer terribly in captivity, and public opinion is decidedly anti-captivity, but the Virginia Marine Science Museum is sorely out of touch on this issue. Dolphins have come to symbolize complete freedom in their marine environment—a far cry from the truth behind the captive whale and dolphin business. This short video exposes this violent industry. (RealPlayer required)



Another captive orca, captured for public display, has died in Argentina. Belen, a female, captured in Argentinian waters in 1985 and held at the Acuario Mundo Marino, died on Friday, 4th February. She leaves her mate, Sharmenk, captured in 1992, solitary. Belen's death adds fuel to the current controversy surrounding the Argentine captivity industry. A recent transfer of dolphins to another Argentine aquarium at Mar del Plata, also ended in tragedy. Two of the four bottlenose dolphins died on the journey of nearly 48 hours, after being transferred from Russia via Frankfurt, Dakar, and Sao Paolo to arrive in Buenos Aires on November 7th 1999. The necropsy report revealed a dead male to have blood in his lungs and an intestinal cyst. The dead female was six months pregnant. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) prohibits the transportation of heavily pregnant dolphins. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) were informed that the dolphins travelled without a veterinarian present and reports suggest that two dolphins were carried in one container. The Mar del Plata Aquarium also keeps two beluga whales. Argentina's consultant to CITES (the Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species) says recommendations to construct a chiller and a partial roof for the comfort and welfare of these arctic species have never been addressed. This problem, and the welfare of all the captive marine mammals held in Argentina is compounded by the fact that existing national regulations are not being properly enforced by the authorities. This enables the captive installations to violate these regulations and provide a very low standard of care for the confined animals.

For further information: Please contact Cathy Williamson at WDCS on telephone number: + (44) 01225 334 511

Notes for editors:
There are currently 50 orcas held captive in marine parks worldwide. At least 134 orcas have been taken into captivity from the wild since 1961. 104 of these are now dead. The average survival time in captivity for these 104 animals is under 6 years (range 1 day - 27.2 years). Of 55 known pregnancies in captivity worldwide since 1968, only 21captive-born calves (38%) have survived. In 1998, legislation was passed in Argentina to ban the hunting or capture of orcas in Argentine waters. The premature deaths of 12 dolphins imported in the early 1990s from the Black Sea led the Argentine Authorities to put legislation in place to suspend further imports of these dolphins into the country. The tragic transfer, by Lufthansa Cargo, of four Black Sea bottlenose dolphins to the Mar del Plata Aquarium in November 1999 occurred in spite of this suspension. In December 1999, Lufthansa cargo announced an end to its commerical transfer of whales and dolphins. This followed pressure from WDCS Germany and the international outcry that followed the transfer in November. Lufthansa has also put an end to any further transfer of whales and dolphins on all its flights pending an investigation into the deaths last year. How you can help.



The captivity industry's push to establish a dolphinarium in the Netherland's Antilles continues with a proposed dolphin park in St. Maarten. Reports suggest that the dolphins will be caught off the coast of St. Maarten or Saba, in the Netherland's Antilles. A company called Waterside Development is proposing this development project in St. Maarten to include a dolphinarium. Swim-with-the-dolphins has been mentioned. Dolphin Encounters is the company proposing the establishment of this facility. More details to follow but there is no time to lose in writing letters lobbying against such a facility!

Please write now to:
Executive Council of the Island Territory of Sint Maarten P.O. Box 943
St. Maarten
Netherlands Antilles
Fax: + 599 5 24884
Advise them against allowing such a project to go ahead.

Please send copies of your letters to the local newspaper:
The Editor
Daily Herald
Front Street 17
P.O. Box 82
Sint Maarten
Netherlands Antilles
Fax: + 599 5 25913

Ask the Editor to print your letters
Thank you for all your help!
Cathy Williamson
Captivity Campaigner
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Alexander House
James Street West
Bath BA1 2BT
United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 1225 334 511
Fax: + 44 1225 480 097


  • (San Francisco)  Earth Island Institute today protested new rules and a new label released by the Clinton Administration's U.S. Department of Commerce that falsely purports to protect dolphins. "You would have to look long and hard to find a more extreme example of doublespeak," charged David Phillips, Director of Earth Island Institute's International Marine Mammal Project.  "Calling a fishing method 'dolphin safe' that has killed more dolphins than any other cause in history is a complete sham." "Consumers should AVOID canned tuna with the Commerce Dept. label -- that tuna was caught by chasing, injuring, and netting of dolphins," Phillips added. The Commerce Dept. has released a new, official "dolphin safe" mark for tuna labels which will seriously weaken the current dolphin-safe standards and promises to mislead consumers.  Earth Island Institute and nine other environmental and animal welfare organizations are suing the Commerce Dept. over the deceptive label. The Commerce Dept.'s new "dolphin-safe" logo could appear on supermarket shelves within the next month. The new rules governing the bogus "dolphin safe" label and lifting of embargoes against dolphin-deadly tuna will go into effect on Feb. 2nd, 2000. Leading tuna producers and retailers, including the largest tuna companies in the world (StarKist, Bumble Bee, and Chicken of the Sea), have pledged to follow a true dolphin-safe standard in which no dolphins are encircled in the purse seine nets during the entire tuna fishing trip (See attached list). But the Commerce Dept., bowing to trade pressure from Mexican tuna millionaires and in order to avoid sanctions from the World Trade Organization (WTO), has weakened the standards for the "dolphin safe" mark. Under the Commerce Dept. regulations, dolphins may be chased, harassed, netted, and even injured and killed while catching tuna, as long as an on-board observer does not see dolphins killed or "seriously injured" while capturing the tuna.  Furthermore, dolphin-deadly tuna and this phony "dolphin safe" tuna can be mixed aboard the vessel, encouraging cheating and rendering "dolphin safe" meaningless. Consumers will not be able to tell if the tuna they are buying is truly "dolphin safe," caught WITHOUT netting and harming dolphins, or not. The lucrative U.S. tuna market will act as an incentive for the chasing and killing of tens of thousands of dolphins. More than 7 million dolphins have been killed by this fishing technique of targeting and netting dolphins to catch the tuna which swim beneath.  The government's own scientists have concluded that despite the reduced reported dolphin mortality by Mexican, Venezuelan, and Columbian tunaboats, dolphin populations are not recovering from their seriously depleted status. Consumers can ensure the protection of dolphins by looking for tuna sold by the companies that have pledged to buy only truly "dolphin safe" tuna, e.g. tuna caught without chasing and netting of dolphins.  These companies subscribe to independent monitoring of their activities to ensure that their tuna is caught without any harm or harassment to dolphins.

    VIDEO AVAILABLE:  Video of the destructive effects of chasing and netting dolphins is available on request. Earth Island Institute is a nonprofit conservation and education organization.  The International Marine Mammal Project works to protect whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals.

    For further information, contact Earth Island Institute, 300 Broadway, Suite 28, San Francisco, CA 94133; (415) 788-3666; (415) 788-7324 (fax); ; Earth Island

            If it says "Department of Commerce", It is a Dolphin Death Certificate!

    Christine Wolf, Director of Government and International Affairs The Fund for Animals World Building 8121 Georgia Ave., Suite 301 Silver Spring, MD 20910  USA PH: 301-585-2591 ext. 208 FX: 301-585-2595 e-mail: web:



    One of nine wild-caught female belugas imported from Russia's Sea of Okhotsh on October 2, 1999 by Marineland of Canada in Niagara Falls died on "boxing day." "The stress experienced by these animals through capture, transport and confinement is considerable. They don't have the mechanisms to deal with it. I'm not surprized one of the Marineland belugas has already died, and I expect more deaths will follow" said Zoocheck Canada director Rob Laidlaw. Marineland imported an additional three male belugas from Russia on May 30, 1999, shortly after their application to capture six belugas from the Churchill River region of Hudson Bay was turned down by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). The DFO is currently examining issues relating to the capture of whales in Canadian waters. Zoocheck Canada, in association with other organizations, is calling for a prohibition on captures and the import of whales from other jurisdictions for public display purposes. Please send an e-mail to the Honourable Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, urging him to end the capture of whales in Canadian waters and their import into Canada from other regions. In your e-mail, please mention the beluga death at Marineland in Niagara Falls.

    Mr. Dhaliwal: Fax 613-990-7292 e-mail: (alternate:

    For more information, please visit Zoocheck

    Zoocheck Canada Inc. 3266 Yonge Street, Suite 1729 Toronto, ON M4N 3P6 Ph (416) 285-1744   Fax (416) 285-4670 E-Mail: Zoocheck Website Registered Charity No. 0828459-54


    DECEMBER 17th 1999

    USA - NMFS extends comment period on proposal to designate the Cook Inlet, Alaska, stock of beluga whales as depleted under the MMPA On October 31, 1999, NMFS proposed to designate the Cook Inlet, Alaska, stock of beluga whales as depleted under the MMPA (64 FR 56298). Subsequently, NMFS received several requests from the public to extend the comment period for an additional 30 days to allow the public more time to review and comment on the proposed designation. NMFS agrees that an additional 30 days for public comments is warranted and extends the comment period through January 19, 2000 (64 FR 70678). Comments should be addressed to the Chief, Marine Mammal Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Payne, NOAA/NMFS, Alaska Region, (907) 586-7235, or Brad Smith, NOAA/NMFS, Alaska Region, Anchorage Field Office, (907) 271-5006.



    Until now, the Virginia Marine Science Museum has been known to focus largely on conservation and education. But now the museum is taking a giant step backwards with plans to add a dolphin tank and hold at least six dolphins and several seals captive. Marine mammals suffer terribly in captivity, and public opinion is decidedly anti-captivity, but the Marine Science Museum is sorely out of touch on this issue. Please call or write the Marine Science Museum today and ask it to abandon plans to add a captive-dolphin display to the museum. Instead, the funds should be used to expand the museum's stranding center, which helps animals in need and contributes to local conservation efforts. Real-time videos of the museum's rehabilitation efforts broadcast into the aquarium theater, on the Internet, and into classrooms would provide a unique educational experience to tourists and residents alike. Please write a polite letter to:

    Mr. Mac Rawls Executive Director Virginia Marine Science Museum 717 General Booth Blvd. Virginia Beach, VA 23451 Tel.: 757-437-4949 Fax: 757-437-4976

    Here are some points to make:
    Dolphins don't fare well in captivity. Some researchers believe that dolphins may be the most socially bonded beings on Earth. So imagine the trauma that they experience when they are torn from their lifelong families and caged alone or with strangers in the artificial world of an aquarium tank. Captive dolphins navigate and communicate by bouncing sonar waves off other objects to determine shape, density, distance, and location. In captivity, the reverberations from their own sonar bouncing back at them off tank walls drive some dolphins insane. Ulcers are so common in captive dolphins that most aquariums stock Pepto-Bismol. Life in a tank is literally a death sentence. Dolphins can live up to 50 years, but more than half of all captive dolphins die within the first two years of captivity; those remaining live an average of only six years. One of the most tragic aspects of modern-day marine mammal captivity programs is their dependency on Asian "drive fisheries," in which dolphin pods are herded into shore and bludgeoned to death so that their flesh can be eaten or used for fertilizer; baby dolphins captured in drive fisheries are sold to aquariums. While U.S. aquariums are prohibited from buying dolphins directly from drive fisheries, every time a foreign aquarium does so, a different animal is moved out of that aquarium and into another one, very often a U.S. one. Thus, all aquariums are connected to this killer industry through sales and transfers. The Marine Science Museum currently runs a topnotch stranding center. If more tanks are built, they should be used for rehabilitating sick or wounded animals, not for warehousing healthy animals for the publics amusement. The Marine Science Museum receives several million dollars every year from the city. Please write polite letters to the mayor and city manager of Virginia Beach and voice your opposition to the dolphin tank. In addition to the points above, please let the city representatives know that adding a captive dolphin display will decrease the number of tourists to the area, as environmental groups such as Earth Island Institute are already exploring boycotts of the area.

    The Honorable Meyera E. Oberndorf
    2401 Courthouse Dr.
    City Hall, Bldg. #1
    Virginia Beach, VA 23456
    Tel.: 757-427-4581
    Fax: 757-426-5699

    James Spore, City Manager
    Municipal Center, Bldg. #1
    2401 Courthouse Dr.
    Virginia Beach, VA 23456
    Tel.: 757-427-4242
    Fax: 757-427-4135

    Please check PETA's for updates to the campaign. Please send this alert far and wide.


    Sample Letter For Writing Virginia Marine Science Museum

    Dear List Members,

    Below is a copy of my fax sent to the Virginia Marine Science Museum. Please use the text in your protest if you so wish. I faxed this letter to Mr Rawls through the internet using the new FAX4Free website. As you can see it's FREE and great for me as I'm in Australia. With FAX4FREE you can send a free fax from anywhere in the world to the U.S.A., Canada and Australia. I would suggest that everyone get signed up and use this service for sending protests. Many people believe that email protests are inaffective and while I disagree faxing is now free, so why not. FAX4FREE

    Mr. Mac Rawls Executive Director Virginia Marine Science Museum 717 General Booth Blvd. Virginia Beach, VA 23451 tel: 757-437-4949 fax: 757-437-4976 7th January, 2000

    Dear Mr. Rawls,

    I ask you to reconsider building a dolphin house for dolphins and seals at the Virginia Marine Science Museum, located near Virginia Beach. This project is a far cry from the museum's high quality marine mammal stranding center and will stand in stark contrast to the valuable work the stranding center does with sick and wounded marine mammals. Captivity is cruel. Dolphins are unsuited to being taken from the wild and held in tanks or pools. They can suffer greatly, both psychologically and physically, and it is inappropriate for an educational facility to expose them to such suffering simply to entertain visitors. I have been told the museum runs a topnotch stranding center. If you choose to build more tanks, they would be more suited to rehabilitating additional sick or wounded animals not for warehousing healthy animals for the public's amusement. It is distressing that the museum would work so hard to rehabilitate and release marine mammals while considering holding other marine mammals captive for profit. Education is no longer an excuse for holding marine mammals captive. We can and should educate our children without exploiting animals. A true understanding and appreciation of marine mammals will not come from looking at animals trapped in tanks with every aspect of their existence regulated. What people really learn when they look at caged animals is how animals act in captivity and that it's acceptable to keep animals in captivity bored, cramped, lonely, and far from their natural homes. Sir, please abandon plans to add a captive-dolphin display to the museum.

    Yours Sincerely,



  • "Whale Defenders Award"
    Presented To Us On January 5, 2000
    From: Whales On The Net
    Thanks !!
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