Πέμπτη, 17 Ιουλίου 2014

Getting to know dolphins

 If you feel the same way about dolphins that I do, then this booklet is for you!

If you feel the same way about dolphins that I do, then this booklet is for you.

by Richard O'Barry

PART 1: Getting to know them

The word cetacean is used to describe all whales, dolphins and porpoises in the order Cetacea. This word comes from the Latin cetus meaning "a large sea animal," and the Greek word ketos, meaning "sea monster". There are many types of cetaceans, which are divided, according to how they feed, into two sub-orders, the Mysticetes (baleen whales) and the Odontocetes (toothed whales). Mysticetes feed by gulping large amounts of water containing hundreds or thousands of fish or plankton (like small crustaceans and krill), then forcing the water out in between the baleen plates, a strong, yet flexible material made out of keratin, used by whales to filter their prey from the sea water, leaving the prey inside to be swallowed whole. 

Odontocetes have teeth and feed mostly on fish and squid, although some orcas prey on other marine mammals. They use these teeth not for chewing, incidentally, but for grasping. One of their families, the Delphinidae, includes the Orca (killer whale) and the Bottlenose Dolphin, (Tursiops truncatus), the one like Flipper.

Dolphins in general are considered whales. The majority of dolphins held in captivity are Bottlenose dolphins. Τheir lives as a species going back 60 million years. They have wonderfully rich lives of their own until we yank them out of the sea. In the wild, they don't wear funny hats. Nor do they jump through hoops, dance on their tails, applaud themselves with their pectoral fins, or make squeaky sounds like Flipper the TV star. They live in temperate and tropical waters worldwide, weigh from 300 to 600 pounds (about 150 to 300 kilos) and grow to more than eight feet (about 2.5 meters) in length. They live in groups called "pods", made up of from several individuals to several hundred - males usually hanging out with males, females with females and their calves - and they swim up to 40 miles a day, navigating, socializing, mating, and foraging for schools of fish.

But when we see them at a dolphin show, what do we see? I'll tell you what I see. I see a dolphin eager to please and ready to do whatever the trainer wants him to. And why? Because he's hungry. Yes, dolphins perform tricks because that's when they're fed. One of the first things a trainer learns about dolphins is that they do not perform immediately unless they're hungry. This is why dolphins are fed during the show. You see the trainer blow a whistle and toss them a fish every time they do something right. And they know what they're supposed to do because they've been trained to expect a fish when they get it right. In fact they often start the show themselves when they get hungry. The trainers call their training method "positive reward". From the dolphins’perspective, however, it's food deprivation. If the dolphins get it wrong and the whistle is NOT blown, that means they won't be getting any fish reward.

If you understand the life of captive dolphins, you also begin to see the dolphin show with all its clowning around in another way. It's not clever anymore. It's abusive. When we understand that the dolphins are doing this because it's their only way of staying alive, we see it clearly for what it is: dominance. We're making dolphins do silly things, they would never do in nature, because we're amused by dominating helpless members of another species. The worst part is that it teaches children that it's okay to mock and disrespect one of nature's most fabulous of beings. The law permits this only because it's supposed to be educational. What a joke! But the joke is on us. These pathetic dolphins in captivity, wearing funny hats and leaping through hoops, are in no way like dolphins are in the wild. The saddest part is that we've allowed the entertainment industry not only to twist a beautiful species into a parody of itself but also allowed them to profit from it.

What happens to dolphins when the show is over and everybody is gone? Most of the dolphins do nothing at all. They languish in their tank or cage and wait for the next show, the next feeding. 

Posted also here

Relative links: 

Cetaceans - Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

- Whale, Dolphin or Porpoise - Characteristics of Different Types of Cetaceans 

All about whales and dolphins

- Dolphin Facts 

- Amazing Dolphin Facts 

- Dolphins 

Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

- Orca (Killer Whale) Orcinus orca  

- Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas)

- Life for captive whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals 

Για σωστές μεταφράσεις στα Ελληνικά, προσέξτε:
* Οι σωστοί όροι και ονόματα των διαφόρων ειδών κητωδών: http://www.pelagosinstitute.gr/gr/eidi_kitodon/sostoi_oroi.htm *

Κυριακή, 13 Ιουλίου 2014


Dolphins don't belong in captivity
In spite of Cyprus being a popular holiday spot, you will not see any so-called dolphinariums here. ARC’s (Animal Responsibility Cyprus) successful campaign resulted in the banning of the importation of cetaceans to this country. 

Cyprus used to have a dolphinarium, the Ayia Napa Marine Park, located in the main tourist resort. In 1994, the Park imported four Black Sea bottlenose dolphins and two sea lions supplied from the Russian Academy of Science *

In 1997, a Ministerial decree was passed prohibiting cetacean shows and the use of cetaceans for commercial purposes. Finally, after the decree came into force in 1999, the Ayia Napa Marine Park closed down and subsequent applications to open captive dolphin shows were refused by the authorities. Unfortunately the closure of the marine park came too late for the four Black Sea bottlenose dolphins who all met their deaths by 1998, four years after being imported into Cyprus. The marine park never published any form of scientific papers on the research it claimed it was undertaking and it seemed the attraction’s sole purpose was the entertainment of tourists.

This month (July 2014) Animal Party Cyprus - APC (Fb) has expressed concern over apparent plans for a dolphin park. In an announcement, the party said Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis had in recent statements to the media "more or less said foreign investor applications for the licensing of a dolphin park in Cyprus are being seriously considered." Animal Party Cyprus said this was a negative development since the country has already rejected these activities in the past, with a Cabinet decision completely disallowing these types of entertainment activities and forbidding the import of any dolphins or cetaceans in general. 

According to Whale and Dolphin Conservation (Fb) concerns over potential plans continue to grow and no educational reasons can justify a new dolphinarium, as most of the knowledge gained from carrying out research in the captive environment may not be applicable to the conservation of these animals in the wild. Whales and dolphins are ordinarily intelligent, social animals that live in groups in the wild and carry out a myriad of tasks throughout daily life that are simply impossible in captivity. 

 Please, sign up this petition and tell the president of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Anastasiadis, to abandon all plans for this tourist attraction. To follow the new Fb page No Captive Dolphins in Cyprus go at https://www.facebook.com/NoCaptiveDolphinsInCyprus.

*THE DOLPHIN TRADERS: An Investigation into the World-wide Trade and Export of Black Sea bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the Ukraine and Russia, 1990 - 1997 -- A Report for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society -- May 1998: http://www.eurocbc.org/dolphintraders.pdfhttp://www.wdcs.org/submissions_bin/thedolphintraders.pdf
 Εμπόριο δελφινιών στην Μαύρη Θάλασσα:  http://atticaparkdolphinarium.blogspot.gr/p/blog-page.html / Dolphins of the Black Sea: on.fb.me/1mymQLyhttp://on.fb.me/Mcozkc /  on.fb.me/U8Elqu

Σάββατο, 12 Ιουλίου 2014

The Truth Is in the Facts

Τα κείμενα που συνδιάζουν λογικά επιχειρήματα και πάθος είναι ιδιαιτέρως γοητευτικά γιατί είναι γραμμένα και με τα δύο εγκεφαλικά ημισφαίρια, το δεξί του συναισθήματος και το αριστερό της λογικής. Και δεν υπάρχει πιο δύσκολη ισορροπία από την αρμονική συνεργασία αυτών των δυό, πόσο μάλλον όταν την επιστρατεύεις για να υπερασπιστείς κάτι που αγαπάς. Στην επιστολή με τίτλο "Ένα ανοικτό γράμμα από το πληροφορημένο Αμερικανικό κοινό", η Oceanin Preservation Society απαντά στα επιχειρήματα της SeaWorld (της μεγαλύτερης αλυσσίδας θαλασσίων πάρκων αναψυχής που υπάρχει στον κόσμο) που υπερασπίζεται την ύπαρξή της, υποστηρίζοντας ότι συμβάλλει στην διατήρηση των θαλασσών και στην εκπαίδευση του κοινού, μετά τις αντιδράσεις που προκάλεσε η προβολή από το CNN  του νέου ντοκιμαντέρ Blackfish. Παρακολουθώντας τις παγκόσμιες αντιδράσεις εναντίον των θαλασσίων πάρκων που εντείνονται συνεχώς, βρήκα στα αρχεία μου την επιστολή και την αναδημοσιεύω αυτούσια. Απολαύστε την. 

[written in December 2013]

Inaccurate reports from SeaWorld recently placed in full-page advertisements in major newspapers included a series of mistruths about the quality of life of the animals in its care. The truth is in the facts about its parks and management, and it’s time to set the record straight. The men and women that we represent are true animal advocates. We are the Oceanic Preservation Society, creators of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, and we represent millions of American citizens including scientists, researchers, veterinarians, ex-trainers, marine biologists, educators, conservationists, mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, students, veterans, and many other compassionate and intelligent people. This growing sector of the public sees through the narrative that SeaWorld has crafted about its operations - they know that ultimately SeaWorld is a business with a bottom line. SeaWorld is afraid that the truth about captivity is spreading, especially since the release of the film Blackfish (1, 2). The open letter advertisement placed by SeaWorld is in response to Blackfish, but steers clear of the title for fear of bringing the film further attention. Blackfish has already been seen by over 20 million people, has been shortlisted for an Oscar, and is negatively impacting SeaWorld’s public image and bottom line. Its stock price has dropped as much as 30% since the release of Blackfish, its CEO and institutional investors have dumped tens of millions of shares, eight internationally renowned musical acts have cancelled performances at the park, and the company has resorted to recruiting visitors with Groupon deals to boost failing attendance.

Here are some important facts about SeaWorld and its work: 

1. SeaWorld no longer captures killer whales in the wild - it now has other people capture animals for them.

The genetic diversity of orcas in captivity is low, often resulting in inbreeding. Since the Marine Mammal Protection Act prevents SeaWorld from capturing wild animals directly without federal permits, which would be open to public review and highly controversial, it resorts to creative ways of introducing new animals and fresh DNA into the system. One recent example of this involves an orca named Morgan. Documents filed by SeaWorld, in April 2013, establish that it claims ownership of Morgan, who was rescued as an emaciated young animal off the Netherlands in 2010. Morgan should have been returned to the wild after rehabilitation, but was instead sent to Loro Parque, a marine mammal park in the Canary Islands where SeaWorld holds several young animals in its corporate collection. Morgan is the subject of ongoing litigation to return her to her family.

Earlier this year, SeaWorld helped orchestrate the capture of 18 Beluga whales in Russia from a population that its own research shows may be threatened with extinction - a permit the United States ultimately denied. SeaWorld is actively appealing the ruling.

In 2009, SeaWorld made an unsuccessful attempt to buy a dolphin that was stranded from the infamous dolphin drive fishery in Taiji, Japan. The demand for captive dolphins is the driving force behind the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world in Taiji. The only reason SeaWorld hasn’t been importing dolphins from the Taiji dolphin drive is because conservation organizations have successfully prevented them - not because of the "groundbreaking succes" of its breeding research.


2. SeaWorld routinely separates mothers, babies, sisters, brothers and all other forms of family bonds to accommodate its performances.

There are many instances of orca babies and children being removed from their mothers at SeaWorld parks. These families are broken up purely for business purposes, despite the strong and enduring bonds shared by pod members. In nature, males may stay by their mother's side for an entire lifetime. Orcas have deeply complex social structures - the part of their brain that processes emotions may be even more developed than in humans - that a manufactured "family" and can in no way reproduce.


3. No amount of money can recreate an orca's natural environment.

SeaWorld’s barren concrete tanks are an appalling substitute for nature. Orcas, one of the ocean's fastest mammals, can travel 60 miles a day or more in a straight line. In a tank they are forced to swim in tight circles. The multimillion-gallon artificial habitats that SeaWorld boasts are less than one-millionth of the animals' potential daily range in the wild. In captivity, every male orca suffers dorsal fin collapse while only 1-5% of males display this deformity in the wild. As highly acoustic animals, orcas would normally rely on a complex array of clicks and whistles to build relationships with each other, communicate over vast distances, and hunt prey. No amount of human interaction and "restaurant-quality" fish can adequately reproduce an orcas natural interaction with their wild habitat. In fact, animals in captivity are often prescribed daily medications to treat or mask the symptoms of chronic stress associated with confinement, training, and performing for screaming crowds.


4. Orcas die prematurely at SeaWorld.

More orcas have died under SeaWorld’s care than are currently alive in all at its parks. Its orcas live, on average, as little as a third of the life span of wild orcas. Despite the veterinary care provided at SeaWorld, it has not improved the animals' 50% infant mortality rate. A growing body of scientific evidence shows that orcas die an early death in captivity, with an annual mortality rate at least three times higher than in the wild. Most orcas at SeaWorld have died in their teens and 20's (if they survived infancy in the first place), compared with an average life expectancy of 30-50 years in the wild (and an estimated maximum life span of 60-90 years). The few animals in SeaWorld's collection who have lived closer to their natural average life expectancy are highlighted as poster children for the captivity industry. Instead they should be seen as extraordinary survivors.


5. Orca captivity is not a prerequisite to conducting scientific research; in fact, the captive environment often yields artificial results.

There are hundreds of scientists and research institutions that have contributed meaningful knowledge about whales in the wild - without confining them to captivity. As pointed out by Jacques Cousteau, there is as much educational benefit in studying dolphins and whales in captivity as there is in studying humans by observing prisoners in solitary confinement. SeaWorld has published very few scientific papers on the species and what it has contributed to our understanding of their biology was learned some time ago. SeaWorld contributes almost no information today that addresses the protection of wild orcas.

6. The exploitation of sentient, self-aware, highly intelligent creatures is not necessary for rescuing and rehabilitating sick wildlife.

SeaWorld’s rescue and rehabilitation efforts have been struggling to keep up with the incredible efforts of dozens of highly qualified organizations across the country for many years. SeaWorld Entertainment claims $1.5 billion a year in revenue, yet they have spent only $9 million on conservation in the last decade. This translates to only 0.0006 of the company’s net revenue being funneled back into research and conservation annually. For every hundred dollars made by the park, less than 1 cent is given back to research benefiting wildlife. Furthermore, most of its rescue work is with animals that are not profitable as performers in its shows. SeaWorld has never released an orca back into the wild. 

7. Captivity can drive orcas to behave violently, leading to unsafe working conditions for trainers.

A lifetime of confinement routinely causes orcas to behave in an unnaturally violent manner toward each other and their trainers. There is not a single known instance of an orca killing a person in the wild. There are dozens of documented cases of orcas attacking humans in captive environments. One animal in particular, Tilikum, has killed three people. An orca on loan from SeaWorld at Loro Parque rammed trainer Alexis Martinez to death just two months before SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was dismembered at its Orlando park. In both cases, the parks downplayed the cause of death, saying Martinez had merely drowned, and Brancheau, who was rag-dolled and dismembered by Tilikum, was responsible because she dangled her ponytail too close to him. OSHA ruled that SeaWorld could no longer place trainers in the water with orcas, and yet the company is fighting the decision, stating that putting animals and their trainers together is an important part of its business of putting on shows.

"Killer Whale" Tilikum watches...
Baba Dioum was right when he said, "In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught". We have been taught that captivity gravely harms the animals that we love; we understand that SeaWorld has a vested interest in keeping the public uninformed; and we can best carry out orca conservation by keeping them in the wild. 

Cartoon by Steve Breen at the San Diego Union-Tribune
The truth about SeaWorld is in the facts. Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Blackfish and our film The Cove give viewers a deep and meaningful connection with the remarkable animals in our oceans. But this is just the beginning of a growing shift in public awareness about the impoverished lives of animals at SeaWorld. As Cowperthwaite says, young people today are becoming the "I can’t believe we used to do that" generation. No amount of advertising will counter the Blackfish Effect. SeaWorld, your job is to now adapt to an informed public.

Reposted  here, here and here

Relative links

 - Schoolchildren and Musicians Boycott SeaWorld in "Blackfish" Flap: news.nationalgeographic.com

-  SeaWorld takes out ads to defend itself against whale mistreatment accusations: edition.cnn.com

- "The Cove" and "Blackfish" Challenge SeaWorld To Debate: opsociety.org

- SeaWorld Ripped by Filmmakers in Open Letter: browardpalmbeach.com 

- Filmmakers of 'The Cove' respond to SeaWorld's ads: digitaljournal.com 

- Oceanic Preservation Society Slams SeaWorld in Open Letter: onegreenplanet.org 

- A Reply to Sea World’s Open Letter and an Invitation to Make a Meaningful New Year’s Resolution: seashepherd.org (Fb


More about SeaWord and Blackfish - Useful links - Notes

- In response to the film, New York State Senator Greg Ball proposed legislation in New York that ban keeping orcas in captivity (1). In March 2014, California State Assemblyman Richard Bloom introduced the Orca Welfare and Safety Act, a bill in California that would ban entertainment driven killer whale captivity and retire all current whales (CNN). 

- How Documentaries are Changing Our Perception of Marine Animals and Effecting Change: onegreenplanet.org

- Blackfish took the world by storm. Celebrities, musical artists and big business leaders are cutting affiliations with parks and attractions that choose to keep animals in captivity. Anti-captivity campaigns, demonstrations and protests have spread beyond borders and are happening all over the world. It’s not just a U.S. battle, a U.K. battle or an “insert any country name here” battle anymore - it’s a global battle. The travel industry, which relies so heavily on tourist attractions for its survival, is beginning to put its conscience before its bottom line by saying “no” to attractions which exploit animals. Captive Institutions Are Considering Retiring Their Animals. Public outcry over the killing of healthy animals in zoos have left people scratching their heads as to whether or not captive institutions really have animals’ best interests at heart. Read more at 6 Signs That the Animal Captivity Industry Is Dying (Fb)

-   10 Things Wrong With The New SeaWorld-Funded Propaganda "Blog":  thedodo.com

Παρασκευή, 11 Ιουλίου 2014

Did you know my mother? Part 2

PART 2: Just a poem



Did you know my mother? I’m told her name was Belle. 
I don’t know what she looked like but have memories of her smell.

Did you ever hear my mother? Did her cries pull at your heart?
I remember them quite clearly, when the men pulled us apart.

Did you drink from my mother? Did you ever taste her milk?
Did you feel her face against yours? Was her skin as soft as silk?

I’ve been told I had two brothers, and my sisters numbered four,
then my mother went to slaughter, of no value anymore.

Were you there with my mother? Did you look into her eyes?
Did you see the fear within them? Did you listen to her cries?

And now MY end is coming, I am waiting with my friends,
we are huddled close together, in this place where life ends.

Will you be there at our slaughter? For the flesh you want to eat.
Will you ever think about us? When you buy that piece of meat.

It’s my turn now, I’m moving, I am going to my end.
I am urged with shouts and kicking, and with sticks that never bend.

I am thinking of my mother, and remembering her smell.
And I know we’ll meet in heaven, and forget this life in Hell.

(By Mary Lynn)

- To find out more on why cows milk is bad for humans visit:


- Learn more about the reality of the dairy industry:   http://youtu.be/GzS8p727gvM / http://youtu.be/1oTGe41A8Vo / http://youtu.be/mGGZhrCsL0U  / http://youtu.be/Q4qQNi3WZdQ  / http://youtu.be/fn1GmYHpjiw  / http://youtu.be/kH2mAJTY3X8

 - For Vegan sources of calcium visit:

For Vegan dairy replacements: http://www.veganoutreach.org/guide/substitutes.html

To read Part 1, go here

Do you love animals? Are you considered to a hero? 
Find out here

Relative link: Humanimal / Greek Activists For Animal Rights ΓΙΑ ΤΟ ΓΑΛΑ (Fb

Το γάλα προέρχεται από μια μητέρα που πενθεί

Got the facts on Milk? (also known as "The Milk Documentary") is an entertaining, award winning feature documentary that dares to question the conventional wisdom of the much publicized health benefits of milk and dairy products.


Did you know my mother? Part 1


PART 1: Facts

Vial (1) is the meat of young cattle (calves), in contrast to the beef from older cattle. Though veal can be produced from a calf of either sex and any breed, most veal comes from male calves (bull calves) of dairy cattle breeds. The veal industry is a direct byproduct of the dairy industry and depends on it for survival, as all veal calves are the male offspring of dairy cows. People often ask vegans why they abstain from dairy products, seeing as the animal isn't killed without thinking that dairy cows must be re-impregnated annually to continue producing milk. Half of the new born calves are male. And despite almost universal public opposition, hundreds of thousands of calves raised for veal are intensively confined in individual crates too narrow for them even to turn around. Even the American Veterinary Medical Association says that calves should be able to turn around and the American Veal Association - the veal industry's trade group - "recommends that the entire veal industry convert to the group housing methodology." Even Randy Strauss, CEO of Strauss Veal (US's largest veal producer) calls veal crates "inhumane and archaic" and says they "do nothing more than subject a calf to stress, fear, physical harm and pain". 

A veal crate is a wooden, plastic or metal cage in which a calf is confined for his entire life, which is typically eight to sixteen weeks. The crate is barely larger than the calf's body, and too small for the animal to turn around. Calves are also sometimes tethered so that they don't move around too much, which keeps the flesh tender. Tethered by their necks to further restrict their movement, they're virtually immobilized for their entire 16-week long lives. Unfortunately, this confinement is common in the veal industry, despite overwhelming scientific evidence that it's inhumane and at odds with public opinion. Veal crates are now illegal in the UK and the EU – but are still in use in other parts of the world, including the US. In Great Britain very few calves are reared for veal due to low demand for this meat. As a result, a large number are killed shortly after birth or maybe exported to the continent. Within the EU, thousands of calves are transported on long journeys to veal farms in countries such as the Netherlands from countries as far away as Poland and Ireland. 

Over the past 50 years, animal agriculture has evolved from small, family farms to large corporate factory farming systems. Before the industrialization of agriculture, husbandry was a respectable profession that did not involve thousands of tons of synthetic chemicals, antibiotics, or growth hormones. What this form of agriculture has evolved into would be virtually unrecognizable to the farmers of a time long past. Today, being a farmer does not mean carefully tending to a diverse mix of animals and crops or require any special knowledge of natural cycles. Modern agribusiness corporations are built upon the cutthroat attitude of increasing profit margins at all costs. Factory farming is one of the most deplorable inventions by humankind. Today, a factory farmer can only be described as a glorified prison guard.


Read more at:  

search more
 Photo at: 

Earthlings -- elephantjournal.com -- animalliberationfront.com -- rense.com -- lunaticoutpost.com -- pinterest.com -- alexaomame.tumblr.com -- Inhabitat -- Animal Freedom Fighter -- flickr.com




   To read Part 2, go here

Relative link: Humanimal / Greek Activists For Animal Rights ΓΙΑ ΤΟ ΓΑΛΑ (Fb


More relative links: 

- Welfare issues for dairy cows: ciwf.comawionline.orgfao.orgefsa.europa.eu1efsa.europa.eu2

Separation of mothers & new-born calf – time for an ethical alternative: In order to produce more milk for consumers, cows are kept regularly pregnant and their calves are taken away from them within minutes to several hours after birth. The calves then spend several weeks all alone in individual boxes. The scientific research project run by the Louis Bolk Institute “Calf with the Mother” (1) is following an alternative management system that provides significant ethical advantages. A number of Dutch dairy farmers have decided to keep the calves with their mothers for several months after birth. They believe that it is traumatic for the mother and calf to be separated from each other so quickly, and remaining together is necessary for the healthy social development of all the animals in the herd. On these farms, the calves begin their weaning process from their mothers at 2.5 months of age and complete it at 3.5 months. Read more at animal-welfare-2Archive scientific by Eyes on Animals, at http://www.eyesonanimals.com/resources/archive-scientific/

 - κλειστή συζήτηση στο facebook.com/groups/e.ktiniatroi  

10 Dairy Facts the Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

Παρασκευή, 4 Ιουλίου 2014


 Born Free Foundation Fb
 posted also here

Since the last dolphin show in the UK  closed its doors 1993, July 4th has been marked as "World day for captive dolphins". 

The same photo here

posted also here

Τετάρτη, 2 Ιουλίου 2014



Saturday June 28 saw the second 'Close Dolphinaria in Europe' demonstration, which was held at the striking structure of the Atomium in the capital of Belgium, the heart of the EU. The demonstration was again organised by Annelies Mullens and Yvon Godefroid (1), with the expert help of the Belgian organisation, Bite Back. It attracted around 400 people, almost double that of last year, and was attended by Ric O'Barry, the well known and respected dolphin advocate from the United States. O'Barry, who travels the world supporting efforts to free dolphins, said that he was very happy to support this event again, and is much encouraged by the growing movement against the captivity industry.

VM at Atomium
Annelies Mullens said: "These photos say it all: alone we are small, but together we will make the difference - FREE dolphins! Every single person who came to the demo today helped to make this happen. We made a huge and powerful statement to the dolphinaria industry. Working together in a team with people from so many countries will help to end dolphin captivity. "
Alone we are small, but together we will make the difference! FREE the dolphins!

Many of the protestors had travelled long distances from other European countries to bring their message - France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Slovenia, Czech Republic and even Russia, were all represented. The warmth and friendliness of like-minded people coming together in the cause of dolphins created a wonderful positive energy.

Protestors stood silently in two formations for over an hour creating an impressive scene and attracting widespread interest from the media. The silence symbolised a 'wake' in remembrance of the suffering of all captive dolphins in Europe, past and present, and an image of advocates forming the word 'FREE', blazed across social media.

Ric O'Barry wrote: "A huge crowd of 400 showed up to protest Japan’s dolphin hunts and urge the European Union, based in Brussels, to ban the import of dolphins and end captivity. We’ve made some progress in shutting down some of Europe’s dolphinariums, but we are now hopeful that the EU will act to protect dolphins in all European nations.

A big thanks to Annelies Mullens and Yvon Godefroid, organizers of the demo, and also to La Dolphin Connection and BITE BACK, the organizations that made this event possible. Thanks also to Maria Heidemann (1, 2, 3), Μidori Takahashi, Astrid Dickopf, Sasha Alazy and all the wonderful people who worked hard in order to make this demo the success it was.
If the dolphin abusement parks in the European Union close it will be the result of the hard work and determination of European activists. Outsiders like me can only support their effort".

Bite Back wrote: "Last Saturday, an international group of 400 dolphin friends gathered near the Atomium in Brussels to demand a European ban on dolphinaria. The word FREE was formed to symbolize our desire for the freedom of all captive dolphins. It was a powerful symbol that was picked up by several media. Just like last year, the demo was joined by former dolphin trainer Ric O’ Barry who gave an inspiring speech. At the request of the organisers, Bite Back formed a triangle formation with our activists holding signs that called for the closure of all dolphinaria.

We want to thank the organisers of the event, Annelies Mullens and Yvon Godefroid, for their months long preparation with their team of Bryan, Vince, and Lindsay. A great thank you also goes to all the participants from Belgium and abroad who on the 28th were a voice for the voiceless, the dolphins and other sea mammals in captivity".

We are not alone!
The most recent scientific research tells us that it is strictly impossible to give those cetaceans the exact same life than the one they have in the ocean. Nothing can imitate the wind, the waves, the algae, the fish, the space or the pressure in the depths. Nothing can replace the joy to be hunting together and to travel far. Nothing can replace the complex and friendly societies of these marine creatures, with such a high intelligence and a deep sensitivity. 

Annex A of the Directive No.338/97 of the European Council (1, 2) normally prohibits any commercial use of these marine mammals. But an exception exists in the text which allows their importation for scientific, educational or conservation purposes. This article should be revoked, as dolphinaria do not contribute at all to science, education or protection of the species. EC Directive 1999/22 (1, 2) also requires - for all the animals in zoos - an environment that is as close as possible to the conditions of life in their natural environment. Clearly, dolphins and other cetaceans are the losers in this situation. 

 Keeping dolphins in captivity violates EC Directive 1999/22, relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos that is supposed to protect these animals.

* It is supposed to encourage conservation, yet dolphin survival rates are lower in captivity than in the wild.

* It is supposed to promote education about animals, yet little information is given at dolphin shows in the EU about their lives in the wild.

* It is supposed to prevent cruelty to animals and look after their welfare, yet stress and disturbing behaviour is common amongst dolphins displayed. In addition, keeping these lucrative attractions in Europe these days encourages the emerging countries (China, Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand) to open hundreds of new aquatic prisons and to increase the catches in Japan, Russia, Cuba, Mexico or the Solomon Islands.

Dolphins suffer in captivity. These highly intelligent and self-aware creatures cannot be humanely kept in captivity. Therefore, a change in thinking in dealing with them is urgently required. Brazil, India, Croatia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Switzerland and other countries understood the cruelty of cetacean captivity and have prohibited it in their territory. In contrast, 15 European countries still exhibit dolphins, killer whales, orcas, porpoises and one river dolphin. 15 EU governments support the economic development of these entertainment parks under the guise of wildlife parks, where children are taught that whales are our slaves. As conscious human beings, respectful of Earth and all its inhabitants, we cannot allow such aquatic circuses to exist in the 21st century. 

Read more at:

- Protest for Europe’s dolphins attracts hundreds  (by Sasha Abdolmajid -- ceta-journal.net):
- 400 At Brussels Dolphin Demo (by Ric O'Barry, Earth Island Institute): dolphinproject.org
- We have no right to keep whales and dolphins in captivity!

- EU Dolphinaria, A review of the keeping of whales and dolphins in captivity in the European Union and EC Directive 1999/22, relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos: http://endcap.eu/eu-dolphinaria/

Sources:  1, 2, 3 (PROTESTS ALL OVER THE WORLD), 45, 6

The event in Facebook, here

Petition to sign and share, here

Petition translated in Greek, here  

For a complete selection of the pictures from the demo, click here.

Sasha Alazy's video of the demo here

More photos from Fb pages:
Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project 
- Sasha Alazy 
- Bite Back
The Dolphin's Voice
Vincent Bozzolan
- Dolphin Embassy 
Valeria Machado
- La Dolphin Connection1 
- La Dolphin Connection2 
- pifotto 



La Dolphin Connection

Les dauphins et les baleines sont des êtres conscients d’eux-mêmes, dotés d’une haute intelligence et d’une immense sensibilité. Leur place n’est pas dans un bassin. Les delphinariums ne sont que des cirques obscènes, qui inondent les médias de leur propagande mensongère. Ils ne sont que des entreprises commerciales qui se développent plus que jamais dans le monde entier au prix de nouvelles captures. Leur puissance est grande. Mais aujourd’hui, nous aussi, nous sommes forts. Aujourd’hui, nous sommes nombreux. Aujourd’hui, nous avons les médias sociaux. Et nous pouvons vaincre! Rassemblons nos forces tous ensemble et crions aux oreilles de l’Union Européenne et devant les portes de chacun des 34 delphinariums qu déshonorent l’Europe que cette farce criminelle a assez duré. Nous ne voulons plus de dauphins en esclavage. Nous voulons une Europe sans delphinariums. Et nous l’aurons MAINTENANT !

The Dodo
  CURRENTLY, 15 countries within the EU are housing 34 dolphinaria, places that exhibit more than 300 small cetacean, orcas, belugas, dolphins and porpoises. These places are selling circus shows to children, photo sessions, therapies or “swimming with dolphins” sessions. It is expected that next year's protest will be bigger again, as the cruelty of dolphin captivity becomes more widely recognized by the general public.

More about Annelies Mullens and Yvon Godefroid, the two organizers of this demo, you can read at the last year's article "Cetacean advocates look to make Europe a dolphinarium-free zone".

Ric O'Barry is heading to Stockholm* for a big demonstration there at the Kolmården Zoo on Saturday, July 5th. For more information, go to their Facebook page.



Update in Greek: Νέα εκδήλωση διαμαρτυρίας στις Βρυξέλλες, στις 27 Ιουλίου, με αφορμή τον θάνατο ενός νεογέννητου δελφινιού...  

Stop Attica Zoological Park Dolphinarium (Athens - Greece) wrote: Νέα εκδήλωση διαμαρτυρίας στις Βρυξέλλες, στις 27 Ιουλίου, διοργανώνει η οργάνωση Bite Back με αφορμή τον θάνατο ενός νεογέννητου δελφινιού στο δελφινάριο Boudewijn Seapark (http://www.boudewijnpark.be/) - το μοναδικό που υπάρχει στο Βέλγιο. Το δελφινάκι γεννήθηκε στις 23 Ιουνίου, και πέθανε πριν καλά καλά συμπληρώσει 10 μέρες ζωής. Η σχεδόν τριαντάχρονη Ρωξάνη, που χαρακτηρίζεται από την επιχείρηση σαν "έμπειρη μητέρα", έχει χάσει όλα τα παιδιά της που γεννήθηκαν στην αιχμαλωσία, από το 1995 μέχρι σήμερα, εκτός από ένα, το οποίο όμως φημολογείται ότι έχει πλέον μεταφερθεί σε άλλο θαλάσσιο πάρκο (ως υπεράριθμο) και δεν πρόκειται να το ξαναδεί. Η ταλαιπωρία αυτού του άγριου θηλυκού δελφινιού, που αιχμαλωτίστηκε από την θάλασσα (δείτε εδώ: http://www.ceta-base.com/phinventory/ph_bsp.html), σε ηλικία περίπου 3 ετών, για να χρησιμοποιηθεί σαν αναπαραγωγική μηχανή, είναι μεγάλη: Το 2011 γέννησε νεκρά δίδυμα, και το 2012 ένα ζωντανό μωρό που πέθανε μετά από 3 ημέρες. Η Ρωξάνη είναι μικρόσωμη και πολύ όμορφη. Η BITE BACK ζητά να σταματήσει το πρόγραμμα αναπαραγωγής και να κλείσει το δελφινάριο. 

Bite Back wrote: Following the announcement of the death of baby dolphin Origi, Bite Back demands the immediate termination of the breeding program of the Boudewijn Seapark in Bruges.Just a week ago we expressed concern with the birth of the calf that was named Origi
after a soccer player who scored a goal at the world cup. Instead of Origi, we named the baby dolphin Alcatraz as she would receive a life sentence in a too small and overpopulated dolphin prison. Inexcusable is the agony and traumatic experiences that the dolphinarium is responsible for. Roxanne, dubbed an 'experienced mother' by the park in the media, has lost too many children already. Simo born and passed away in 1995, Iggy born in 2002, the stillborn twins in 2011, a male baby dolphin that died after only three days in 2012, and now Origi/Alcatraz. Her two other children, Luna and Marco, were deported to other dolphin prisons in Italy and Portugal. Gorki, born in 1993, died in Portugal in 2003. Her only son with whom she still had contact until recently was Ocean, and he too has been transferred and not a word from the park on any of this. What kind of a monster does one need to be to cause a highly intelligent and social mother so much suffering, time and again? The government stood by and waited. There are no issues legally, no problems. There's only one way to stop this hell for dolphins and that is by closing down this place. Everyone who buys a ticket, is partly responsible for their suffering. 

Yvon Godefroid wrote: The curse of the dolphins: the Boudewijn Seapark in Bruges had been thought smart to choose the name of the Origi football player for a baby dolphin. The small Origi died after one week, Belgium lost to Argentina. Free dolphins do not play football. Origi, Boudewijn Seapark baby dolphin, died at the age of one week. He put a spell on Belgian team. No dolphin is playing football in the wild. 



*Update about the demo in Sweden here and here.

More photos here

On July 8, 2014, Helen O'Barry wrote: Since 1993, Daniel Rolke, who is founder of The Animal Rights Alliance in Sweden, has worked tirelessly to expose the plight of the dolphins at Kolmården (Fb). The dolphins are trapped in indoor chlorinated tanks all year round, and at least 56 dolphins have died here since the dolphin exhibit, named Marine World, opened in 1969. Among the causes of death are pneumonia, fungus infection, severe anemia, emaciation and collision with pool. Today, just ten surviving dolphins remain at the park. Three of them were captured from the wild. Seven were born in captivity, and even though they have never chased a live fish or seen the real ocean, Kolmården continues to promote them as "ambassadors" for their wild co-species. 


FRANCE (JULY 6 and 13))

Manifestations contre le delphinarium du parc Astérix

France is one of fifteen EU Member States keeping cetaceans in captivity. The three dolphinaria in France reportedly have a total of 29 bottlenose dolphins and 5 orcas in captivity. Parc Astérix is located in the tourist area of Paris and holds 9 bottlenose dolphins: 3 of which are wild-caught, the other 6 born in captivity. There have been 9 bottlenose dolphin deaths at Parc Astérix, 5 were wild-caught and 2 of those where reportedly pregnant at the time of death.