New Issue of Whales Alive! Available Now
Follow this link to read the Summer 2015 edition of CSI's newsletter Whales Alive!
You Can Help Save The Most Endangered Marine Mammal Species!
By William Rossiter
About 80 vaquitas remain alive on Earth, having lost almost 19% of the species every year until recently, when Mexico established a ban on gillnetting in the limited habitat critical for the species’ survival. But Mexico must do more to prevent the vaquita’s extinction. Making that happen is the ultimate goal of the Third International Save the Vaquita Day, July 11, 2015!
Find out how you can help the vaquita at http://www.vivavaquita.org/, where still-developing plans for public participation in the International Save the Vaquita Day are being announced frequently. As announced by Dr. Tom Jefferson of VIVA Vaquita in early June, “the primary goal is to make as many people as possible aware of the vaquita and its plight, and spur them to act. We will have a simple message for folks about what they can do to help (either full support for the Mexican Government, or support for a boycott and embargo of Mexican seafood, depending on Mexico’s actions in the next month or so). Secondary goals are to gather signatures for our petitions to the Mexican government, and also to raise additional funds for future educational and research work on the vaquita. The event is designed to be fun, as well as educational, and kid-friendly!
"Last year, there were 18 venues, in the United States, Mexico, Australia, and Europe. In 2015, we hope to have booths at all the same venues, plus many new ones. We will also have the participation of zoos, aquaria, and museums (for example, Sea World, Long Beach Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, and SD Natural History Museum). We also hope to attract media attention, so that the vaquita is covered on national and local news, thereby greatly expanding the number of people exposed. Please check our website regularly (http://www.vivavaquita.org/international-save-the-vaquita-day.html) to learn the latest on the activities planned and venues details. We hope you will attend (or better yet, volunteer at) an event in your area.”
But wherever you are, and whenever you read this, you will have ways to help the vaquita, simply by checking the VIVA vaquita website and ACT!
Help Don Sineti - "Rolling Home" after long illnesses
Don Sineti, co-founder of CSI, is home after a long winter of terrible illnesses. Operations are over and he's finally out of rehab and at home. Many of you also know Don through his life-long musicianship - entertaining solo, with The Morgans, and as beloved chantey man at Mystic Seaport.
But there are medical expenses still to be met and Don will face many
physical challenges as he recovers. If you would like to give Don a helping hand,
please go to this web site:
The web site also lists benefit concerts that will be held on Don's behalf.
TEDx Talk Highlights Why SeaWorld Should Retire Shamu
Japanese Aquariums Vote To Stop Buying Taiji Dolphins
May 26th Update on the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) decision regarding the purchase of dolphins captured from the infamous Taiji dolphin drives.
By Bill Rossiter
On May 20th WAZA was notified, one day before the deadline in their suspension of JAZA, that “JAZA will prohibit its members to acquire wild dolphins caught by drive fishing in Taiji and to take part in their export and sale." A few days earlier JAZA’ 89 zoos and 63 aquarium members had voted not to leave WAZA, many citing uncertainties obtaining animals from other WAZA members worldwide.
The JAZA decision captured worldwide media attention but few outside of Japan followed the developing defections of dolphinariums from JAZA. The Japanese media have emphasized that the drive fishery at Taiji is legal, permitted, important to the town, and not cruel as declared by WAZA in its initial suspension of JAZA. One JAZA official was quoted as saying: “We have yet to receive any convincing explanation from WAZA about why it is cruel“. While there have been recent changes to some of the drives, limiting species and attempting to release some dolphins not chosen for display, there appears to be no concern about the ultimate survival of the released but traumatized animals.
Defections from JAZA were predictable and understandable, supported by Japan’s official and media consensus that WAZA suspension of JAZA was unjustified. By May 25th Kyodo News reported that, from their survey of the 34 JAZA member facilities that display dolphins, 16 will remain in JAZA, five may leave JAZA soon, two others said they will quit JAZA in the future, seven are undecided and four declined to answer. Twenty other dolphinariums are not JAZA members; most buy from Taiji. A May 20th survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun found that, of 33 aquariums displaying a total of 352 dolphins, 18 admitted buying 158 from the drive fishery, 68 were caught by nets, and 42 were captive bred, but no media have included the history of the drives relationship to captive display. Captive breeding hasn’t been a priority in Japan because it’s been easier and cheaper to buy from Taiji. Eight aquariums refused to answer the survey, citing negative publicity.
About 80 fishermen conduct Taiji’s drives and killing. Over several years some have said that the income from sales for display justified the drives. According to Japan’s Fishery Agency 1,239 dolphins were caught in the 2013 Taiji drives. 172 were sold for display at prices starting at US$8,200. The 1067 others were worth about $500 each when slaughtered for meat, tests of which showed the meat exceeded limits for human consumption. Some trained, display-ready Taiji dolphins are reported to have been sold for over $100,000.
CSI’s next Whales Alive! newsletter will include a more in-depth review of the history and implications of WAZA’s actions, JAZA’s response, the Japanese public’s perception of captive display, and the fundamental issue of expanding sales of display dolphins to China and other foreign markets that will make Taiji’s bay blood red again beginning in September.
Adopt a Whale!
For details see the "Whale Adoption" page above.
CSI Founding Partner in World Cetacean Alliance (WCA)
CSI is proud to announce that it is a founding partner in the newly formed World Cetacean Alliance (WCA)! The Alliance, launched on World Oceans Day, consists of 28 partners all pledging to work together to expand our individual organizations influences and reach to help save and protect cetaceans globally.
The WCA has three core deliverables that CSI has been working on for years and will continue too within the alliance:
- Map and report on the captivity industry
- Map and report on critically endangered cetaceans
- Map and report on critical habitats worldwide
Please help CSI in mapping your areas of concerns or global hotspots: In English, in Spanish or in German. Mapping your concerns will help CSI and the WCA focus on areas with the most critical needs. A short survey video tutorial can be found on youtube at: YoutTube Survey Video.