There are 50 marine parks in Japan, housing about FIVE HUNDRED dolphins, almost all captured during violent and deadly drive hunts. Many of these Japanese dolphinariums are members of JAZA, the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The infamous Taiji Whale Museum, which has become the Japanese brokering facility for dolphins captured during the drive hunt, is a member of JAZA. So are numerous other Japanese dolphinariums that take advantage of the dolphin massacres to obtain dolphins.Thus, JAZA members keep the brutal dolphin hunt alive by doing business with the dolphin killers, This should not come as any surprise to you, since zoos and aquariums rarely act FOR animals, but it may surprise you that already in 2005, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) issued a statement entitled “WAZA Members not to Purchase Dolphins from Drive Fisheries”. It opposed the Japanese dolphin hunt in no uncertain terms, instructing its members to “adhere to the WAZA Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare [ha!] and to ensure that they do not accept animals obtained by the use of methods which are inherently cruel.” The statement continues: “In a resolution adopted at the WAZA …it was clearly stated that the catching of dolphins by the use of a method known as “drive fishing” is considered an example of such a non acceptable capture method.”
On its website, WAZA says: “All members of the WAZA Network are obliged to comply with WAZA’s Code of Ethics and Animal Welfare.” And: “Failure to satisfy or adhere to the Bylaws, Code of Ethics and all other rules and regulations shall be sufficient cause for suspension or denial of membership.”
And yet, WAZA welcomes JAZA, its Japanese counterpart, as an association member.
So…WAZA has the power to document, expose and stop the world’s largest dolphin slaughter. More than 600 million people walk through the gates of the WAZA Network each year; ALL of them could be reached with a message to stop the dolphin slaughter. After all, the world’s dolphinariums claim that they capture and confine dolphins in order to educate the public to the various threats that dolphins face in nature. If the world’s largest network of zoos and aquariums is not going to educate the public to the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world – then W T F ARE they doing??
(This entire issue does not even take into account that the conditions for dolphins in many of the ‘accredited’ marine parks are so dreadful as to be a living death.)
So while WAZA’s actions — or lack of action — may not surprise you, it WILL surprise them to get a flood of letters from angry and disgusted people who know what is going on. Please, be one of them.
Dr. Gerald Dick, Executive Director
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
IUCN Conservation Centre
Rue Mauverney 28
fax: +41 (0)22 999 07 91
online contact form
I am asking you to take action against those member aquariums of WAZA that continue to purchase dolphins and small whales that are caught in dolphin drive hunts such as the one in Taiji, Japan. According to your own statements, these aquariums should be expelled from WAZA, including member groups of JAZA, the regional association member of WAZA.
As you very well know but choose to overlook, hundreds, if not thousands, of dolphins are ruthlessly slaughtered each year in these barbaric hunts. Despite their grandiose claims, aquariums and dolphin brokers actually HELP the dolphin killers in their work, paying the fishermen high prices for a few live dolphins, and condemning the rest to horrific deaths. Thus WAZA and the world aquarium industry subsidizes the killing of dolphins in Taiji. Please take steps now to end the hunts. Because you can.