Captured Dolphins in Amusement parks and 'Swim with Dolphins' programmes...
Many of these places and the companies that sponsor them have supported terrible treatment of dolphins.
Latest Information on this page appears toward the top of the page.
Dolphins have been starving in dirty, shallow pens...
1) Dolphin Update - Good News
From: Light Worker Center (Lanny and Mary Rose Sinkin,
The Australian Minister of Environment David Kemp has now called for the release of the Dolphins being held in captivity in the Solomon Islands. The international response to this situation from organizations and individuals helped to create the pressure to bring this call about.
While the matter is not yet settled, this Australian action is a good step forward.
Australians for Animals has been in almost daily contact with the Australian government and others who can affect the situation and expects further developments soon.
Thanks from the Cetaceans to all who helped.
If you would like to take further action, we can move this issue further into the international arena by sending messages to the following (thanks to Michael Geoghegan for these contacts):
Solomon Isles delegate to the UN in NYC;
URGE REVOCATION OF PERMITS GRANTED TO SOLOMON ISLANDS MARINE MAMMAL EDUCATION CENTRE LTD. and MARINE EXPORTS LTD.
UN fishery matters are also dealt with by the:
SEND LETTER URGING INTERNATIONAL ACTION TO PREVENT ANY FURTHER CAPTURES OF MARINE MAMMALS FOR DISPLAY/AMUSEMENT.
Australia Mission to the United Nations,
New Zealand Mission to the United Nations,
URGE UNITED NATIONS TO ADDRESS THE EVENTS IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS AND MEXICO TO PREVENT REPETITION.
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>2) Dolphins Dying - Very Urgent Action Alert
From: Light Worker Center (Lanny and Mary Rose Sinkin,
VERY URGENT ACTION ALERT
DESPERATE DOLPHIN SITUATION IN SOLOMON ISLANDS.
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED.
40 dolphins and a calf are slowly dying of starvation and dehydration in a primitive seapen on Gavutu Island in the Solomons. These dolphins are in dire straits, and unless the Australian or New Zealand government takes urgent steps to immediately get food and veterinarian treatment to these animals, most will die in terrible circumstances.
After weeks of intense negotiation with Christopher Porter, the Canadian businessman (principal of the "Solomon Islands Marine Mammal Education Centre" responsible for the captures) - a group of local environmental activists was able to inspect dolphins held in a primitive seapen on Gavutu Island.
An eyewitness report from the team details horrific deprivation and suffering being inflicted on captured wild dolphins. The team report that most of the dolphins have injuries from constant fighting over food or from the handling when captured - that the waters are too shallow and the current too weak to flush out rubbish and faeces adequately.
A representative on the team gave the following report to Australians for Animals (AFA)
"Dolphins are lying motionless on the surface of the water, in their pens. Basically, they have little to eat and they're struggling to survive in a polluted seapen cesspit. We were told the dolphins are being fed 8 kg. each a day. We don't believe this is true. That's almost half a tonne of fish a day that would be required by 40 adult dolphins - there's no way locals could supply this amount of fish every day.
"One of our team inspected some of the dead fish being fed to the dolphins. They were very soft and spongey, it may be that the fish had been in a refrigerator for days.
"Whilst we were there, the dolphins were fed. We could see how hungry they were watching the feeding frenzy and fighting. The buckets holding the fish were not very clean.
"One dolphin was almost upright with its tail on the sea floor, its stomach distended. Another was being held in a pen on her own, we were told she was " very aggressive ". She was motionless on the surface whilst we were there. We also noticed that many dolphins were shallow breathing, coughing and sneezing. They appeared to be very distressed."
Australians for Animals is monitoring the situation in the Solomon Islands on a daily basis, we are in constant contact and have been for weeks. We have repeatedly asked the Federal Government to arrange for a veterinary inspection, without success. Although Minister Kemp's office says that the dolphins have a high priority and that diplomatic discussions are ongoing, but the reality is that the dolphins are dying and still no help is at hand.
The most urgent and desperate need is for fish. It doesn't take a genius to work out the massive amount of fish needed to keep 40 adult dolphins fed. There's no way local villagers can net or acquire half a tonne of fish a day seven days a week.
Australian troops and the diplomat in charge of the interventionist forces can do something to relieve this situation. Someone in the Australian High Commission can be charged with the responsibility of organizing regular fish supplies until such time as the dolphins can be released.
Diplomats from all governments can make urgent representations to the SI government to intervene on humanitarian grounds.
Obviously, the dolphins need to be released. But before any release can happen they must be fed. These dolphins are facing a nightmare situation which can only be resolved by immediate Government intervention.
>ACTION: Fax Prime Minister John Howard and ask him to organize a rescue mission to Gavutu Island. His fax number is: 61 2 62 715 414 or 61 2 62 734 100.
Email Prime Minister Helen Clark in New Zealand at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia and New Zealand are in a position to give immediate relief to the dolphins. AFA urges every group, every individual to get on the fax machine and computer and DELUGE AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENTS WITH FAXES AND EMAILS.
The lives of these dolphins are in our hands. For further information, email AFA at: email@example.com
Australians for Animals, PO Box 673, Byron Bay. NSW 2481 Australia.
Please take the time to send your emails. The Australian and New Zealand governments are engaged in this issue and are responsive.
P.S. Mexico has now agreed to an Australian request not to import any more of the captured Dolphins. While that is a step in the right direction, that decision does nothing for the Dolphins dying the Solomon Islands nor to remove control of the illegally imported Dolphins in Mexico from Parque Nizuc.
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3) Death Knell for Whales: Iceland Resumes Whaling!
August 14, 2003
On August 6, 2003, Iceland announced its intention to commence whaling for "scientific" purposes, exploiting a loophole in the 1986 international ban on commercial whaling imposed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). In doing so, Iceland joins Japan in flouting the spirit of the whaling ban, with its specious claims of a scientific imperative. The killing plan is being opposed by almost all members of the IWC, which issued an official statement expressing "deep concern that the provision permitting special-permit whaling enables countries to conduct whaling for commercial purposes despite the moratorium on commercial whaling." Whaling is so terrible in part because there is no method of killing whales that can be considered "humane." Whether whales are killed with explosive harpoons or bullets, death is rarely instantaneous; a "struck and landed" whale may suffer anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. And contrary to general humane slaughter laws throughout the world, there is no present method of killing whales that renders them instantaneously insensible to the pain of their deaths.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
a.. Embassy of Iceland
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4) Iceland starts "Scientific Whaling"
From: UK-based Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS)
Iceland to resume whaling this month WDCS is today shocked and angered at the announcement made by Iceland's Fisheries Minister, Arni M. Mathiesen, who has confirmed that Icelandic whalers will resume whaling. The Minister has announced that Iceland will take 38 minke whales in August and September 2003 as part of a whaling programme that they are describing as 'scientific'.
The announcement follows much speculation about Iceland's future whaling plans and comes as a bitter blow to whale conservation. WDCS sees no scientific justification for this activity and believes this to be a major step backwards for whale conservation and welfare.
Iceland, like Japan, is exploiting a loophole in the world-wide moratorium imposed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) on commercial whaling, by claiming its hunt has a scientific basis. WDCS notes that strong concerns were expressed about the scientific validity of the 'scientific whaling proposal' presented by Iceland to the IWC in June. Thirty nine of the Scientific Committee's national delegates, from many different nations, had concluded that, not only was Iceland's research proposal poorly contrived and unlikely to yield relevant results, but that it was 'deficient in almost every respect'.
"This is a bitterly disappointing development" said Mark Simmonds WDCS's Science Director, "There is no need for any such lethal scientific investigations and this is just a cover for re-instigating a commercial whaling programme. It is being suggested that we urgent need to study the whale's diet as a fisheries conservation matter but it is all too convenient to use the whales as scapegoats for the failures of fisheries managers and the overcapacity of human fishing efforts, whilst at the same time having a reason to kill them and thereby make more profit."
WDCS believes that Iceland's scientific programme is just a cover for re-instigating a commercial whaling programme.
Environmental groups and tour operators believe that a resumption of whaling could seriously harm Iceland's fast growing whale watching industry. In 2002, from April to October, some 62,050 people (30% of all visitors to the country) went whale watching bringing much welcomed additional revenue to the country. Whilst the whale watching industry brings in millions of pounds to Iceland every year, whaling could prove to be very expensive to the country. WDCS believes that whaling will never be as important or economically beneficial to Iceland as whale watching, especially at a time when there is growing concerns over the potential toxicity of whale products around the globe. WDCS believes this appears to be a political decision to pander to local interests.
Iceland has not hunted whales since 1989, and left the IWC in 1992 in protest at the continued whaling ban. When it rejoined the IWC in October 2002 it stated that it would not resume commercial whaling (under its reservation to the moratorium) before 2006 at the earliest. Several IWC members have formally protested against Iceland's decision to rejoin the IWC with a reservation against the whaling moratorium and have condemned its plans to resume so-called 'scientific' whaling.
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From: Mark Palmer, firstname.lastname@example.org
STOP ICELAND'S WHALE KILLERS
The fisheries agency of Iceland has announced an outrageous scheme to begin killing whales in the North Atlantic this month. Ostensibly part of a so-called "scientific study" of minke whales, this scheme in fact is intended to lead to a renewal of commercial whaling by Iceland. Iceland proposes to start the massive killing with 38 minke whales in August and September.
What You Can Do:
Please IMMEDIATELY contact the Icelandic embassy in Washington DC:
Mr. Helgi Agustsson, Ambassador
Urge the government of Iceland to:
(1) Halt all plans to kill whales for scientific research and for commercial purposes, and
(2) Withdraw their formal objection to the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on commercial whaling.
* Iceland does not need to kill whales for science; scientists can learn much more about whales by nonlethal research methods, such as photo identification, tagging, DNA analysis, and observation experiments.
* Iceland's research proposal was rejected by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in July 2003. Indeed, Iceland misled the IWC by claiming the scientific whaling proposal would not be implemented until 2006.
* Iceland's research proposal is a thinly veiled attempt to renew commercial whaling. Plans for the future by Iceland include proposals to kill as many as 250 whales annually, including endangered fin and sei whales in the North Atlantic, as well as minke.
* Iceland's whaling proposal threatens its growing whale-watching industry. In 2002, more than 62,000 people went whale-watching in Iceland. Tourism in Iceland is second only to commercial fishing exports in its value to the Icelandic economy.
* The renewal of Iceland's whaling also threatens the island's two major industries -- commercial fishing and tourism. Invocation of the Pelly Amendment by the United States government could cut off fish imports from Iceland. If another global citizen boycott against Iceland's fish products is mounted, Iceland stands to lose billions of dollars in annual income.
* Just as Iceland is following the lead of Japan and Norway, the only other two countries that continue to flaunt the IWC's 1985 moratorium on commercial whaling, other nations and pirate operators will be encouraged to kill more whales.
* Whales have been seriously depleted worldwide from centuries of whaling, especially in the North Atlantic. It is time we learn to live with healthy oceans, instead of turning our oceans into seas of slaughter.
For further information, contact Earth Island Institute
From: Light Worker Center (Lanny and Mary Rose Sinkin),
Urgent Action Alert - Dolphin Slave Trade
Fact Sheet The following information is the latest available from Australians for Animals.
For further updates, please contact Sue Arnold, Australians for Animals
Hundreds of dolphins are in danger of being killed by illegal trapping and exporting for Human amusement.
The story begins in the Honiara fishing village on the island of Malaita in the Solomon Islands. There is extensive criminal and gang activity in this village. Villagers are currently involved in capturing bottlenose dolphins by chasing pods in the Guadacanal, netting the dolphins, hauling them into boats, and transporting the dolphin for two to two and a half hours to Gela Island. The dolphins are placed in three foot deep primitive and overcrowded pens to await buyers. Upwards of 400 dolphins have been captured so far with the hunt continuing. The captures have been taking place for the last five months according to local environmental activists.
The intent is to market the dolphin to international buyers wishing to create captive dolphin programs. A Mexican consortium is believed to have funded the entire operation.
Violations of numerous provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) underscore the entire process. The violators are claiming to have a permit from the Solomon Islands government and the Mexican amusement park is claiming to have a CITES permit from the CITES representative in Mexico. These "permits" are fraudulent because they are issued in violation of CITES rules. (see below)
Many islanders are angry at the treatment being received by the dolphins as the seizures took place without the required consent of the traditional land owners and harming dolphins is considered taboo based on ancient beliefs that people with magic powers can turn themselves into dolphins.
Numerous dolphins have drowned. Many have been injured and traumatized by the netting, capture and method of transport on a boat floor in the hot sun, traveling across the ocean to Gela Island, a journey of two hours. At Gela, despite attempts to weight the dead with rocks to keep them out of sight, bodies still float to the surface. At least one baby drowned while its mother tried to escape her pen. The dolphin are fed dead fish gathered by dynamiting nearby fishing areas causing immense damage to the reefs and biodiversity.
The Parque Nizuc in Cancun, Mexico has a "permit" to import 33 dolphins and scheduled 30 to be shipped from the captured group in the Solomon Islands. An effort by the Australian government to convince the Mexican government to prevent the import failed.
Dolphins were transported from Gela Island back to Honiara, kept in primitive seapens for two days before the flight and forced to undertake a 12 km journey by road to the airport. A charter plane costing $1 million US was sent by the Mexican consortium to Honiara to pick up the dolphins and deliver them to the park. The dolphins were hastily packed into blue plastic coffin-like containers under cover of darkness with security guards ensuring that the media would not be able to take photographs. Once loaded on to a DC l0 charter which emanated from Brazil, the plane took off in the middle of the night on a 20 hour plus journey to Cancun. Two dolphins died in the pens before leaving the islands and two more have died en route or in Mexico. The death toll is now about 15% per cent of the shipment.
The Parque Nizuc previously stated on its web site that the park is sponsored by Pepsi, Fuji Film, American Express, Dos Equis, and Telephonos de Mexico. After the eruption of this controversy, Parque Nizuc took down their web site. http://www.parquenizuc.com/
On the scene in Cancun, Ben White of the Animal Welfare Institute, reports that he could hear the dolphins scream 200 feet away from their pens. They arrived in small metal boxes with a sling. No water appeared to be in the boxes. The boxes were dragged across the sand.
While Associated Press reports the dolphins in Mexico are playing, on site reports are that they are lethargic, unresponsive and had not eaten for days.
Australians for Animals has new reports that a Japanese amusement park intends to purchase dolphins from the illegal capture.
The central concerns now are the welfare of the dolphins in captivity in the Solomon Islands and in Mexico. An international campaign is underway to have the dolphins in the Solomon Islands released and the dolphins in Mexico returned to their natural habitat in a safe manner after rehabilitation. This alert deals with the dolphins in the Solomons. For actions you can take, see below.
ACTIONS TO TAKE
One reason this illegal and unconscionable action is taking place is a general breakdown in the government of the Solomon Islands. In response to that breakdown, the Australian government sent troops to restore order. Those troops are now on the ground and can act to release the illegally captured dolphins and prevent further trauma, injury, and death. Please send a fax immediately to:
AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER JOHN HOWARD asking that he direct Australians troops to release the dolphins. The Australian government has tried its best to stop this horror and deserves our thanks. Now we ask that they take the one additional step that will directly protect the dolphins in the Solomons - send Australian troops to liberate the dolphins. From the U.S., the fax number is:
011 61 2 62 715414 or
Please note that faxes are the best method of communicating with Austalian Prime Minister.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species contains the following provisions, all of which are being violated:
While the Solomon Islands is not a signatory to CITES, the Mexican government is and all provisions of CITES should have been met before any export was permitted from the Solomon Islands. The provisions not met are:
Regulation of Trade in Specimens of Species Included in Appendix II.
2 (a) Scientific Authority of the State of export has advised that such export will not be detrimental to the survival of that species.
There is no scientific authority in the Solomon Islands to make such a determination and no such determination is available. The numerous deaths and injuries already suffered by the dolphin demonstrate that no such determination could be made.
2 (b) The Management Authority of the State of export is satisfied that the specimen was not obtained in contravention of the laws of that State for the protection of fauna and flora.
There is no Management Authority in the Solomon Island to make such a determination and no such determination is available. Furthermore, the chase and netting of dolphins to be hauled by boat for an hour and a half and then held in three foot deep pens could not possible satisfy this requirement.
No legislation is available in written form in the Solomon Islands, so Mexico could not have determined that the export did not contravene the laws of the Solomon Islands.
2(c) a Management Authority of the State of export is satisfied that any living specimen will be so prepared and shipped as to minimize the risk of injury, damage to health or cruel treatment.
Again, there is no Management Authority in the Solomon Islands overseeing this outrage. The methods of capture of these dolphins, the overcrowded incarceration in shallow pens, starvation and separation, transport over roads and sea and a charter flight of some 20 hours cannot minimize the risk of injury, damage to health or cruel treatment.
The terms of CITES have clearly been violated by the Mexican government and may soon be violated by the Japanese government.
Row over dolphin export becomes explosive (includes pictures of dead dolphins)
Dolphin Exports (include information on attempts to prevent media coverage and illegal nature of operation)
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From: Light Worker Center (Lanny and Mary Rose Sinkin email@example.com Date: 7/26/03
Please send a fax [As Soon As Possible].
**** **** **** ****
July 26, 2003
Mr. John Howard
Dear Prime Minister Howard:
I am writing to urge the Australian government to take appropriate actions to return the dolphins captured in the Solomon Islands safely to their natural environment. As an attorney, I have pursued numerous cases seeking to protect Cetaceans. I have been pleased to see the increasing respect given to these beings by Humans. I am, therefore, appalled at the illegal and cruel capture and sale of dolphins by people in the Solomon Islands.
I understand that the Australian government requested the Mexican government to deny importation of the first group of dolphins sold from the Solomon Islands. While that effort did not succeed, I am sure people throughout the world applaud the attempt.
I also understand that Australian troops are on the ground in the Solomon Islands to restore order in the face of a chaotic situation. These same troops could be sent to liberate the dolphins from captivity.
I believe that the situation is analogous to legitimate governments dealing with pirates. The actions taken adverse to the dolphins are a clear violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The capture, transport, holding, shipping, etc. have all the trademarks of piracy. A response by the Australian government to stop such actions would be totally appropriate.
The sooner actions are taken to remove the dolphins from the control of their captors, the more likely their survival. I urge the Australian government to act promptly in this matter.
From: Richard O'Barry, firstname.lastname@example.org
For immediate release: Friday 11th July, 2003
Hundreds of captured dolphins are being held in small pens in the Solomon Islands. A foreign syndicate is likely to sell them to overseas buyers.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is appalled to have discovered that a $400 bounty has led to the capture and confinement of up to 200 dolphins, by local fisherman in the Solomon Islands, north of Australia.
Local fishermen have been rounding up animals by the dozen, which a foreign business group is rumored to be collecting and training for shipment overseas. A spokesperson for the Solomon Islands Civil Society Group has confirmed the number now stands at around 200 - the largest ever capture and a fifth of the total number of dolphins currently kept in captivity worldwide.
"This is an animal welfare tragedy and could well have a serious impact on the environment," said Ric O'Barry, WSPA's Marine Mammal Specialist, "The taking of so many dolphins from one small area is unbelievably damaging to the local dolphins' gene pool. We call on the government to take urgent action to stop this and to set the captive dolphins free."
According to local media reports, fisherman have been taking the dolphins from the water and holding them in small sea cages on the island of Gela, off the capital, Honiara. Many of those captured must travel for hours by open boat before reaching these cages; journeys that are excruciating for a water-borne creature, as its internal organs are slowly crushed by its immense weight.
As well as the questions surrounding the legality of this hunt, one captured dolphin has already been killed by a crocodile. WSPA experts expect that the death toll will rise from stress-induced illness, improper care and malnutrition as dolphins battle for the scarce food supply.
O'Barry said, "Such a large number of animals is extremely difficult to manage, especially if there's a lack of medicine, equipment and staff. It appears that the animals are in very crowded conditions, which is also a concern because this can lead to stress and aggression. It takes thousands of pounds of fish -- per day -- to feed so many dolphins, which indicates the likelihood that they will be going hungry." O'Barry adds, "To WSPA's knowledge this has never happened in the Solomon Islands before. Given the special status of dolphins in the local culture, this is very worrying."
Dolphins have long been a cherished part of the Solomon Islands' cultural heritage. Many of the animals are being taken from waters off the island of Malaita, where dolphin teeth are part of traditional bridal dowry ceremonies. In other areas, it is taboo to harm a dolphin, based on the ancient belief that humans with mystical powers could transform themselves into sea creatures.
WSPA's network of veterinarians and marine mammal rescue experts is on stand-by to advise the government on this crisis.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT THIS CRISIS!
There is no need to cc: your letters to me. Please be sure to delete all information other than your signed letter. It is important for these government officials to see what countries we are writing from so they understand that word of these horrific captures has spread.
Honorable Nelson Kile
Honorable David Holosivi
Posted on Tue, Jul. 22, 2003 292d13.jpg, 292d52.jpg
Dolphins Arrive at Cancun Aquatic Park
CANCUN, Mexico - A cargo jet carrying 28 dolphins arrived early Tuesday in the resort city of Cancun, and local environmental groups claimed several died during the long trip from the Solomon Islands.
Customs official Jesus Medina confirmed the arrival of the 28 dolphins, but could not comment on their health. The plane arrived before dawn, and officials unloaded the large containers that held the mammals.
The dolphins were purchased by a Cancun aquatic park, Parque Nizuc, but officials there have refused to return several messages left by The Associated Press.
Officials at Mexico's environmental protection agency have said they granted the park permission to import the dolphins from the Solomon Islands. They said there was no evidence that the purchase was illegal.
But animal rights activists have said the dolphins were kept in crowded, shallow pools, then loaded onto a flight that they likely would not survive. The Australian government, concerned about the dolphins' safety, asked the Mexican government to block the importation of the dolphins. The Mexican government refused.
A Brasil Air cargo jet reportedly left Australia about midnight Monday following violent clashes between Solomons police and journalists trying to film the dolphins.
Local fishermen were paid 400 Solomon dollars (US$60) for each mammal, which Arnold and other activists claim will be sold for up to US$165,000 to overseas aquariums.
Mexican officials say the Cancun park has no authority to sell the dolphins.
An Australian-led mission was being sent to the Solomon Islands to restore law and order. The Pacific Islands state has suffered ethnic unrest since 1998, when long-simmering ethnic tensions erupted into armed conflict between inhabitants of the main island of Guadalcanal and settlers from neighboring islands.
Subject: Plane Arrives to Carry Captured Solomons Dolphins
Planet Ark : Plane Arrives to Carry Captured Solomons Dolphins
HONIARA, Solomon Islands - A cargo plane arrived in the lawless Solomon Islands Monday to pick up wild dolphins captured to order for a Mexican syndicate in what activists have blasted as an environmental crime, regional media reported.
The Australian Associated Press news agency said police in the anarchic South Pacific nation locked down the capital's airport as the Brasil Air Cargo DC-10 jet arrived, warning media their cameras would be seized if they filmed the plane.
It said the chartered aircraft arrived with a hold full of "coffin-like" containers to collect 33 of around 200 bottlenose South Pacific dolphins being held in shallow one-meter-deep pens and sold by impoverished local fishermen for A$400 ($260) a head.
They were destined for an amusement park in the Mexican resort town of Cancun, environmentalists said.
"I think it's inevitable that we're going to see a number of the dolphins dying," Nicola Beynon of the Australian branch of Humane Society International told Reuters Monday.
Australia, which this week leads 2,000 multinational troops and police to restore order and end ethnic violence in the near-bankrupt Solomons, has urged Mexico to block the import.
But Mexico, which is a signatory to an international convention banning the trade in dolphins if it harms the species, has already issued permits to the Parque Nizuc marine reserve.
"Regrettably we've got a political crisis in the Solomons and we just think that the entrepreneurs in this case, the traders, are taking advantage of that and we hope that the Mexican government will realize that," Beynon said.
The New Zealand government, which is taking part in the Australian-led peacekeeping force, also expressed deep concern Monday at the mass capture of the dolphins.
Humane Society International says it is the worst exploitation of wildlife in decades and an environmental crime. It said the dolphins could be sold abroad for up to $30,000 each.
In addition to the Mexican buyers, Australian media said potential customers from Thailand and Taiwan had also traveled to the Solomons recently to inspect the dolphins.
The trade in live dolphins is governed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which prohibits it if it is detrimental to them and not subject to proper regulation.
The Solomons, a chain of 1,000 islands 1,800 km (1,200 miles) northeast of Australia, has not signed up to the convention. Nor does it have a properly functioning public sector to efficiently oversee such things as export permits.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
URGENT MEDIA ADVISORY.
SOLOMON ISLAND DOLPHINS JOURNEY OF HORROR DUE TO TAKE PLACE THIS WEEK MEXICAN GOVERNMENT REFUSES TO PROTECT DOLPHINS.
ACTIVISTS ASK THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT HALT THE IMPENDING CHARTER FLIGHT TO CANCUN.
Latest news on the appalling plight of up to 200 dolphins held captive in shallow pens on Gela Island in the Solomons is that a pen containing 33 dolphins has been set up near Honiara . These dolphins are due to be exported to Cancun, Mexico in the next few days.
Mexican activists have told Australians for Animals, that a chartered DC l0 , believed to be from Canada, has landed in Cancun to pick up 33 crates which will be flown to Honiara on Monday. The flight from Cancun to Honiara takes 20 hours.
In Honiara, the dolphins will be hauled out of the water, lifted by cranes or forklifts into crates, packed into the DC l0 and forced to endure a horror journey. Crates are primitive, and there will be ONE only Mexican veterinarian and five trainers accompanying these already deeply traumatized animals to Cancun.
The owner of the company which has financed the captures of these dolphins is Mr Bernardo Zambrano according to Mexican activists who have obtained this information from CITES documents. He is brother or son of the owner of CEMEX, the world's largest cement company. The cost of the charter is $US l million.
Small pens confining dolphins must have a complete water change every l5 hours. Dolphins require much ice to keep them cool. It is unlikely that the DC l0 can carry the amount of water or ice needed. As the plane will have to stop to refuel and hopefully change the water, dolphins may be forced to endure a journey which could take much longer than 20 hours.
Australians for Animals together with Mexican, UK, and American activist groups believe that many dolphins will die on the flight.
Sue Arnold, Co-ordinator of AFA said today that she would be formally requesting that the Australian Government move urgently to instruct the advance party of the interventionist force to take all steps necessary to stop the flight out of Honiara and to make arrangements for the release of all dolphins captured by the Mexican consortium.
She says: ' I've seen photographs of the pen constructed for the dolphins in Cancun. It's a small shallow pen which is completely inadequate for 33 dolphins. Mexican activists have told us that the survivors will be incarcerated in the pen with l5 Cuban dolphins who are believed to have been captured in similar circumstances.
" The Mexican Government is heaping shame upon itself all over the world by allowing this appalling trade in wild dolphins.
" The import is a violation of the CITES Treaty and the Mexican Government knows it.
" We are dealing with an international slave trade in wild dolphins which is aided and abetted by the Mexican Government.
"The trade has to be stopped. It is incumbent on the Australian government as well as governments of other civilized countries to take immediate action to bring the Mexican authorities into line and to ensure that all the dolphins captured by the Mexican consortium are released.
" Australians for Animals is deeply encouraged by the growing global outrage which has become so evident in the last few days.
"Governments need to realise that people do care ; that there is a huge groundswell of concern for these dolphins. In responding to this outcry by saving these dolphins, governments and politicians will deliver some long overdue inspiration to our societies.."
For more information please contact:-
Sue Arnold, Co-ordinator, Australians for Animals Inc.
2lst July, 2003
URGENT MEDIA ADVISORY.
THE BIG GUYS BEHIND THE SOLOMONS DOLPHIN CAPTURES.
CORPORATIONS OR SLAVE TRADERS?
Australians for Animals today obtained information on the owners and sponsors of Parque Nizuc in Cancun, Mexico where 33 dolphins are due to be flown on a charter flight this week.
Roberto Zambrano, President,
1. Mr. Zambrano is involved in a number of businesses including amusement parks that display dolphins. One of these parks is in Cancun where the dolphins are being flown to.
2. Mr. Zambrano is the son of the Chairman of Cemex, Lorenzo Zambrano, www.cemex.com, (NYSE: CX) the worlds largest cement manufacturer. http://www.cemex.com/cc/cc_aw_wec.asp (Here he is winning the 2002 World Environment Center Gold Medal for International Corporate Environmental Achievement, presented by actor and conservationist Harrison Ford.) He is also on the board of IBM Corporation. http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/030624/1233000793_2.html
3. The Zambrano Family appears to own amusement parks such as Cancun's Parque Nizuc http://www.parquenizuc.com/english/ where they use the dolphins for amusement, and where these dolphins will be held. Mr. Roberto Zambrano appears to be the president of this park. Cancun's Parque Nizuc asked the Mexican government in April for permission to import 33 dolphins from the Pacific islands.
4. Mr. Roberto Zambrano is part of the Trilateral Committee
(MEX/USA/CAN) on Wildlife Conservation
5. Mr. Roberto Zambrano is also very involved with the government of
Vicente Fox, and Mr. Zambrano including participating him in the Mexico Action Summit
6.The mexican government has said they will allow the dolphin sale and
Sponsors of Parque Nizuc include:-
TelMex, Pepsi, Fuji Film, Dos Equis Beer, American Express.
Australians for Animals believes these companies need to respond immediately to the massive public outcry and explain why they support the capture, mistreatment and cruelty visited on hundreds of dolphins in the Solomon Islands.
Information just in from the Solomons indicates that between 20 30 dolphins are held in three small pens l00 metres from the Honiaria Yacht Club, guarded by security.
The charter plane is due to land in Honiara early this week. According to the source, the journey to the airport alone is l0- 12 kilometres.
There is a possibility that the charter flight will land either in Australia or possibly in Fiji if it cannot be stopped from leaving Honiara. Flight plans are being kept secret.
Australians for Animals will continue to provide up to date information to the media as soon as it comes to hand. There are poor quality JPEGS of the pens in Honiara but probably not reproduceable. We also have JPEGS of the pen in which the dolphins will be kept in Cancun, Mexico.
Contact: Sue Arnold, Co-ordinator phone: 0266843769 mobile: 0427 257491.
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