Aquarium In Turkey Buys Into Dolphin Slaughter
WDCS is very concerned to learn about the export of at least ten bottlenose dolphins captured in Taiji, Japan, in the infamous drive hunts, to Turkey, for display in an aquarium due to open to the public later this year. In a press release issued today, SAD-DEMAG, Turkey’s Underwater Research Society's Marine Mammal Research Group expressed its disappointment that their government had allowed an import of dolphins captured in cruel drive hunts and warned the public against visiting dolphinariums holding these animals in captivity.
Özgür Keşaplı Didrickson, the group’s coordinator, said: “Unfortunately this export means a support from our government for these hunts to go on. Turkish society, especially media have been expressing their horror about drive hunts for a while now. Therefore we believe the more people learn about the link between these disturbing hunts and dolphins in aquariums, the less will want to visit these facilities.”
The group’s concerns are supported by WDCS, which has been campaigning against the drive hunts and exposing the involvement of the aquarium industry in keeping the hunts alive. In drive hunts, whole pods of dolphins may be rounded up out at sea and driven to shore where some individual animals are selected by the captivity industry and the rest are slaughtered. The captivity industry has become embroiled in the international controversy surrounding these hunts as it uses them to select live animals for aquaria and dolphinaria in Japan and elsewhere, paying higher premiums for individual animals than they are sold for meat and helping to make the drive hunts an ongoing reality. The welfare of the dolphins surviving the brutal slaughter to be taken alive for display in aquariums and zoos is severely compromised by the drive hunt process, which can take place over several days while the animals are trapped and frightened and then severely stressed by the selection process which sees their pod mates killed and them lifted from the water to undergo difficult transportation, sometimes over long distances, as is the case with the export to Turkey.
WDCS has been calling on the Government of Turkey to cease captures of dolphins in its own waters of the Mediterranean, following an approval by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs to allow the capture of 30 dolphins for dolphin assisted therapy or shows. At a meeting of the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, which prohibits the capture of dolphins and to which Turkey is a Party, its representative reported the capture of 23 dolphins, saying no further captures would take place. WDCS is therefore very concerned at the news that the aquarium industry in Turkey continues to exploit wild dolphin populations with this recent import of wild caught dolphins from the world’s bloodiest live dolphin capture, the Japanese drive hunt.
Further details about the aquarium industry’s involvement in the drive hunts can be found at http://www.drivenbydemand.org
Information about Dolphin Assisted Therapy can be found at http://www.wdcs.org/dat Source: SAD-DEMAG