Photo credit: Wikimedia
Former President of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) and current board member, Billy Hurley, discussed the Alliance’s stance against the Taiji dolphin hunts in an interview with Al Jazeera America.
Hurley confirmed that dolphins collected from the hunts have not been brought to American parks, zoos, or aquariums in the past thirty to forty years. The Marine Mammal Protection Act prevents the use of these dolphins in American facilities due to unsustainable and inhumane collection methods.
Even the activist group, Sea Shepherd, says the dolphins derived from the hunts are taken to Mexico, Turkey, China, Taiwan, and Korea.
Pretty cut and dry? We should all join the AMMPA in fighting the horrible practice.
So why do some extremists continue to claim that AMMPA and their members support and enable the Taiji dolphin drives?
Maybe they are bored? Perhaps Delusional?
Or maybe driving the agenda is more important than anything else – even saving the animals they profess to care for.
What we do know is that the four hundred dolphins in American facilities, that are accredited by AMMPA, are receiving the finest care and greatest love from the staff and trainers. Furthermore, American aquariums and the zoological community have taken a stance to try and help the facilities abroad improve their care and reproduction programs for these animals. This will lessen the desire and draw of collecting dolphins from drives like the one in Taiji.
Hurley also spoke about the importance of monitoring wild dolphin populations and stated that there is a time and place when collecting these animals is appropriate. For instance, the Chinese river dolphin, now extinct, could have been saved if some were collected and protected in marine facilities.
He emphasized that humane collection is critical to preservation.
Awesome Ocean joins the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and their members in condemning the Taiji dolphin hunts and continue to demand top of the line care for all of the animals in their facilities.
You can watch the full interview at ammpa.org.