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Animal Defenders International : Animals in entertainment : South Korean dolphin park opposed

Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

South Korean dolphin park opposed

Posted: 16 May 2013. Updated: 16 May 2013

ADI has teamed up with numerous animal protection organisations worldwide to oppose plans for a new dolphin facility at Geoje Sea World in South Korea.

According to media reports, construction on the facility will soon be underway and it is planned that four belugas will be imported from Russia and 15 dolphins from Japan.

The joint letter, addressed to both the South Korean President and also the Minister of Environment, spearheaded by Whale and Dolphin Conservation, states how “The dolphins proposed to be sent from Japan to Geoje Dolphin Park will be acquired through the dolphin drive hunts that occur annually in the coastal town of Taiji. The connection between these devastating hunts and the demand generated by the import and export of dolphins acquired through the dolphin drive hunts is well-documented.

During these hunts, dolphins and small whales are encircled by motorboats out at sea and chased into shallow coastal waters where they are trapped with nets. The dolphins are then killed or taken alive to be sold into captivity. Every aspect of this hunt is extremely cruel: from the exhausting drive from the open ocean that can separate family groups, to confinement in a netted cove where the dolphins are crudely slaughtered. During these hunts and captures, these highly sentient mammals face severe distress, suffering and pain. Many die of stress and injury during, and immediately after, capture and transport to facilities in Japan and overseas.”

The joint communication also highlights concern “about the holding conditions of beluga whales currently held captive, or destined for future captivity, around the world. These social animals are supremely adapted to pack life in near freezing conditions. Despite the compelling scientific and moral case against their captivity, a strong market for belugas exists, increasingly met by dealers who even offer them for sale on the Internet. In recent years, our groups have documented reports of belugas performing in traveling circuses (mobile shows) in the Middle East. The welfare of these animals is highly compromised by the intense heat, the stress caused by transportation, and the extremely cramped conditions typical of a traveling show or other captive environments.”

Take action!

  • Read the joint letter here
  • Oppose this dolphin park – contact the South Korean Embassy in your country and send a polite letter outlining your concerns
  • Boycott marine shows and “swim with” ventures and encourage others to do the same

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