Reports of dead dolphins washing ashore with gunshot wounds in the Gulf region have been scattered throughout the media since 2012, suggesting that a more recent and disturbing trend of targeted vandalism might be surfacing.
WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) is continuing to work with Merlin Entertainments to identify a permanent solution to secure a better future for three belugas currently housed at Shanghai Oceanworld in China, including their possible release back into the sea.
On Friday, 7th November, dedicated WDC volunteer, John Faulkes, attended a protest outside the Embassy of Japan in London, calling on Japan to end its cruel dolphin hunts. Here, in words and pictures, he recounts the experience.
WDC will be launching a new campaign soon – stay tuned for more on that! – and I’d like to offer a little background information so that our supporters have all the knowledge they need to help us out with our new endeavor.
Who are the Southern Residents?
The first bottlenose dolphins to be driven into the killing cove this season met an all-too-familiar tragic fate over this past weekend in Taiji, Japan. A pod of 20-25 individuals were driven and held over the course of several days before a reported 11 were slaughtered, and five were taken alive into captivity. The remaining individuals were released back to the sea.
When you go to an animal park where they hold animals like lions or bears, there are signs that say “Don’t open the windows of your car!” or “Don’t get out of the car!” or “Don’t try to stroke the animals!” or “Do not reach through the bars!” And people generally follow these instructions because they know that despite the fact that the animals might have been in captivity most of their lives, they are still wild animals which means that their actions and reactions are somewhat hard to foresee.
Earlier this year we were back in North Wales, at Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli), undertaking our fieldwork into the Risso’s dolphins that make Bardsey their home during the summer and autumn months.
Technology is second-nature to most of us and is applied, relied upon, and integrated into most aspects of our daily life from a very early age. Technological advances have changed the face of practically every industry and hold promise for confronting some of the world’s most intractable problems, including hunger, disease, drought, and energy shortages. Technology may also provide a possible source of hope in our efforts to see an end to captive whale and dolphin displays.
WDC-NA intern Stephanie Wrobel just completed her internship, and we are as sad to see her go as she is to leave!
Who knew three months could be over so quickly! 89 days seems like such a long time but looking back it feels like it has really only been one month since I started my internship.