Sunday, October 21, 2012

October a Productive Month for Champions of Whale Freedom

UPDATE TWO / Click -->   Andy Heil's  New Beluga Article at Radio Free Europe

UPDATE ONE / Click -->     National Geographic New Beluga Article by Virginia Morell

--  original article below  --

From The Cove, in Taiji, where brave SeaShepherd Cove Guardians are live streaming the annual dolphin slaughter, to a new short film from the Pacific Northwest, to the U.S. Government's Beluga importation hearings in Silver Spring, Maryland, October of 2012 has proven to be a productive one for the rapidly growing group of concerned humans, in all countries, who oppose the confinement and slaughter of whales and dolphins for profit. The anti-captivity community is leveraging the power of technology and social media to spread the word that >>click<< #CaptivityKills cetaceans, usually at a young age. Unfortunately, despite these efforts and shifting public opinion, countries such as India, China, Russia, Dubai and others are ramping up efforts to collect and display whales and dolphins that are forced to perform tricks for food, often from within deplorable facilities, and certainly nothing that can match the freedom of the sea. This captivity expansion is escalating demand for the brutal practice of extracting whales & dolphins from the ocean and from their families. It's keeping places like The Cove, in Taiji, as busy as ever. 

One day captivity will be a thing of the past. Until then, education is the key. 

In the first of two videos we'd like for you to view & share, the Humane Society's marine mammal scientist Dr. Naomi Rose, author David Kirby of Death at SeaWorld, and three former SeaWorld trainers, all part of Voice of the Orcas, visit Puget Sound and observe resident orcas, to compare their lives with those of captive orcas. Learn how places like SeaWorld & the Georgia Aquarium use the guise of "education" to justify their need for wild caught animals.

In our second (and exclusive) video, former SeaWorld trainer Samantha Berg provides some solid facts and intel regarding the recent NOAA hearings in Silver Spring, Maryland. Samantha traveled  from Palmer, Alaska, to testify. This was the first time, historically, that a former SeaWorld trainer spoke against the industry and against captivity in such a forum. So, it was a novel experience and she has a lot to say about it in the video below. But first, Journalist Brandon Keim, at Wired Online, described the situation like this:

Controversy is brewing over the Georgia Aquarium’s plan to import 18 beluga whales captured off the coast of Russia. If the U.S. government approves the plan, it will mark the first time in nearly two decades that wild-caught cetaceans have been imported into an aquarium in the United States.
According to the aquarium, the whales are needed for research and education. According to animal welfare advocates, that doesn’t justify the trauma inflicted on intelligent, emotional creatures that suffer in captivity.

From the NOAA Fisheries Website, here is where these 18 wild caught belugas will spend the rest of their lives, pending approval:

U.S. Facility*Number of Belugas Currently Maintained
Georgia Aquarium4
Sea World of Florida4
Sea World of Texas8
Sea World of California5
Shedd Aquarium6
Mystic Aquarium**4
You can make a comment directly to the U.S. Government through October 29, 2012. Please urge it to deny this permit as requested by the above marine circuses. If you need some facts to write a superior letter, check this out: 

Please watch this interview of VOTO's Samantha Berg, who testified at the hearings in Silver Springs, Maryland, USA, on Friday 12 October 2012. This interview was filmed Sunday 14 October 2012 in Seattle, WA, USA, and Sam is being interviewed by Ellensburg, WA, resident, Karen Bicchieri.  You can follow Sam via Twitter @Sam10k