Dolphin Slaughters in Japan Bring More Negative Attention on SeaWorld
The documentary movie Blackfish has brought a world of negative attention to SeaWorld. The film, which shines a light on the horrors of orcas in captivity, was aired to huge audiences on CNN and provoked protests around the country.
In response, SeaWorld execs have alternately refused comment or blathered about all the research and conservation they do. This week, they're being challenged on that point as an annual dolphin slaughter is underway in Japan --- documented by people behind another marine-mammal documentary, The Cove.
Activists like Leilani Munter have pointed out that marine parks like SeaWorld create a market for dolphins that are separated from their families in the cove and then sold. Though SeaWorld claims to no longer get its animals from this particular hunt, the company is being criticized for doing nothing to intercede and for spending just a minuscule fraction of its revenue on conservation. (Not to mention, perpetuating the idea that sentient animals exist for human entertainment.)
Hey @SeaWorld 250 dolphins need saving, send your rescue team! That's what u do right? It's not about profits it's about CONservaton right?!— Leilani Munter (@LeilaniMunter) January 20, 2014
Dear SeaWorld, spending .0006 of your revenue on wildlife is CONservation indeed. http://t.co/bGfNfMEnru— Leilani Munter (@LeilaniMunter) January 20, 2014
This year, there is a remarkable baby albino dolphin caught in the middle of the hunt, bringing even more attention to the killings. The blog at Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project , which monitors the hunts, explains: "Angel was torn from her or his mother, which she still depends on. And her mother will be slaughtered and sold for meat, while Angel will sit in a tank to be a freak on display."
If SeaWorld's not listening, others are. The dolphin hunt and SeaWorld controversy will be the subject of Piers Morgan's show tonight, and Caroline Kennedy, ambassador to Japan, has spoken out:
Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing. USG opposes drive hunt fisheries.— キャロライン・ケネディ駐日米国大使 (@CarolineKennedy) January 18, 2014
The Dolphin Project has more info on how people can contact world leaders who may be able to exert pressure to stop the hunting.
Send story tips to Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.