New Issue of Whales Alive! Available Now
Follow this link to read the Summer 2015 edition of CSI's newsletter Whales Alive!
24 August 2015 Screening of the Film BREACH
For all who care about whales and who care about the condition of the Oceans and for all of you who think that whales are no longer hunted: Cetacean Society International in cooperation with the New Children’s Museum in West Hartford, is presenting a screening of the documentary film BREACH.
DATE: Monday August 24th, 2015
TIME: 6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: The New Children’s Museum, 950 Trout Brook Drive, West Hartford, CT.
ADMISSION is FREE
This is a Connecticut Premier, the first showing of this film in Connecticut.
We urge you to attend the screening of BREACH, the first documentary film to highlight Iceland’s commercial whaling industry. Directed by Jonny Zwick, narrated by Billy Baldwin, produced by Bow and Arrow films in association with August Road Entertainment and Viceroy Films. BREACH exposes Iceland’s defiance of international treaties as it continues to hunt whales and trade in whale products. The 2015 Icelandic whaling season has already begun.
Iceland is the only country to hunt the endangered fin whale, and his killed 551 of these majestic animals since resuming commercial whaling in 2006. Iceland has also exported more than 5,400 tons of whale products to Japan and elsewhere, some of which ended up as pet treats.
BREACH features the activities of Icelandic businessman Kristjaan Loftsson, CEO of the Hvalur fin whaling company and also chairperson of one of Iceland’s largest seafood companies, HB Grandi, which has allowed its premises to be used to cut and process whale meat, in preparation for shipment to Japan. Hvalur has chartered a cargo vessel, the Winter Bay, to export a new shipment of 1,700 tons of whale meat and blubber to Japan.
Through interviews with locals, including whalers, scientists, politicians and conservationists, BREACH provides an in-depth look at why whaling companies have been able to continue hunting the world’s largest mammals despite international bans. It also highlights a growing sense by many Icelanders that whaling is unnecessary, and that there is far more to be gained from focusing on whale watching.
BREACH will be shown Monday, August 24th, 6:00 p.m. at the New Children’s Museum in West Hartford, CT.
International Save the Vaquita Day
The International Save the Vaquita Day on July 11, 2015 was a big success. See http://www.vivavaquita.org/ for more information.
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.