For Immediate Release
In the US:
Courtney Vail, 480-747-5015
In the UK:
Danny Groves, +44 (0) 1249 449 534
WDC Applauds Aquaria’s Statement Opposing Capture of Whales and Dolphins from the Wild
November 6, 2012
. WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, commends the recent announcements by National Aquarium, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, and Sea Life, with centers worldwide,stating their strong opposition to collection of whales and dolphins from the wild for any purpose. Bothstatements (attached) were sent to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in response to theproposed import into the US of 18 belugas that were captured from the wild in the Sea of Okhotsk ineastern Russia and represent a strong indictment against the continuing capture of whales and dolphinsfrom the wild to supply public display facilities in the US and worldwide.
strong statement against any further capture and importation of dolphins from the wild is a huge and courageous step forward towards both a symbolic and real commitment to progressivechange for the public
industry,” stated Courtney Vail, WDC campaigns and programs manager. “
Trueconservation calls for protection of these animals and the preservation of their populations in the wild, not capturesfor captivity.
In making this bold statement, National Aquarium has just stepped out as a leader by acknowledging what science and ethics has been telling us all along, and I hope that other enlightened
aquariums will follow suit.”
These statements come just a
s the public comment period for Georgia Aquarium’s beluga permit request to
NMFS has ended. Because of the controversy surrounding this import request, NMFS held both a publicmeeting on October 12
where all interested parties could share their concerns and extended its publiccomment period until October 29th. WDC presented testimony opposing the permit as well as a statement from the NGO community against the imports, signed by 65 international conservation and animal welfareorganizations.Importing animals captured directly from the wild represents a significant departure from how US facilitieshave been acquiring whales and dolphins for public display over the past several decades, and is contrary to innovative and progressive trends within the aquarium community. Dolphin populations in US publicdisplay facilities have, in recent years, been maintained through captive breeding, imports, and theretention of stranded animals considered unsuitable for release back into the wild.