Thursday, April 18, 2013

Connecting the Dots: Taiji + IMATA

IMATA is the Internatonal Marine Animal Trainers' Association. They're the people responsible for making sure marine animals kept in captivity are treated ethically and humanely*. According to their website, they are committed to

"Exercising the highest levels of respect and humaneness for all animals"


"strongly oppose the slaughter of whales and dolphins that occur in drive fisheries. We have long had a clear and definitive position opposing the slaughter, which is opposed by all international, accredited zoo and aquarium organizations."

But they

"oppose the unreasonable demand that IMATA blacklist trainers [involved with drive fisheries]. For IMATA to do so would, in fact, be counter-productive to the goal of ending the slaughter of animals in drive fisheries. IMATA's mission is to ensure that marine animal trainers -- regardless of the facility for which they work - have access to the most progressive, professional, and responsible animal training and management techniques."

So how do they hope to end these drive fisheries that they're so opposed to?

" IMATA believes that thoughtful dialogue on a difficult subject like commercial whaling (specifically drive fisheries) is important between people of different cultures, and a positive way to make changes that eventually benefit marine animals. Through IMATA membership, trainers have access to a network of professionals continually working to improve training and care techniques; access to educational publications; and can attend our professional meetings where the latest training information is discussed. The well being of marine mammals is the first priority of IMATA members, who are dedicated trainers at parks and aquariums around the world. These trainers care deeply about the whales, dolphins, sea lions and other marine mammals they interact with every day."

By taking people's money, then hoping they'll talk about it! That's bound to work, right?

Two professionals having a respectful dialog about the animals they care about so deeply

No, wait. This is the real world, where people only care if you hit them in the pocketbook. Otherwise, you get IMATA supporters buying marine mammals from the drive fisheries they allegedly oppose.
Taking in some rays while transport crates are assembled
This was clearly not a tourist trip. He spent plenty of time at Dolphin Base and Dolphin Resort, interacting with the animals and observing the construction of their transport crates. And in case that isn't sickening enough, there's this:

Small transport crate

That crate is absolutely tiny. Mostly likely for a juvenile dolphin. And since these dolphins come from Taji, we know this juvenile was ripped from her family during a violent, bloody slaughter. To do tricks for human entertainment or possibly for "education".

I know I'm repeating myself and I'm sorry (sort of), but if you don't eat dolphin and you want this to end, the most important thing you can do is not support any facility that profits from animal captivity and tell your friends and family to do the same.

*For a certain value of "ethical" and "humane", where that value is 0.


Anonymous said...

Do you know who those two people are?

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