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.




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