BENEFITING: Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project, Inc.
EVENT DATE: Aug 12, 2017
Christy McKee wrote -
The aim is to get as many people together as possible to ride 50 miles in the Santa Monica Mountains and raise $1,000 for Ric O'Berry and the Dolphin Project. Many people are unaware of how dolphins end up at the shows, petting pools, and entertainment venues they visit with their families and children. Since his work on the show "Flipper" Rick has dedicated his life to raising awareness that dolphins, orcas and other cetaceans do not belong in captivity. In the documentary 'The Cove' Rick and OPS highlight the dolphin slaughter that's happening today in Taiji, Japan.
The Japanese Fisheries Agency has authorized fishermen to kill or capture almost 16,000 cetaceans — just this year alone. When ‘The Cove’ documentary was being made, the number of annual permits issued at that time was more than 23,000.
Almost 2,000 dolphins may be killed in the dolphin drive hunt in Taiji, also known as the “drive fishery.” The rest are killed with hand-held harpoons from small boats at sea around the coast of Japan, especially in northern ports. While quotas are going down for the drive fishery, and less dolphins are being slaughtered, there has been a gradual increase in the numbers of dolphins captured for the display industry.
In the years between 2000-2013, when a total of 19,092 small cetaceans were taken in the drive fishery at Taiji, Japan approximately 17,686 of these were slaughtered while 1,406 were taken as live-capture for sale to the captive display industry. Why slaughter the rest of them? They are seen as pests and their carcasses are often sold as meat, sometimes erroneously labelled as highly coveted whale meat so the fisheries can make more money.
The worst part of a captive dolphin show is not only that it encourages these slaughters to continue, but that the entertainment industry profits from twisting a beautiful species into a parody of itself.
What happens when the show is over and the audience is gone? Nothing. Most dolphins languish in their cages or tanks and wait until the next show, or next feeding. Please help us raise funds to help Rick and his team stop the slaughter in Taiji and lobby for regulations around the use of cetaceans as a form of entertainment.