Killer Whale

Sea Turtle swimming with Divers | Cindy Smith


NOAA Grants SeaWorld Permit to Import Captive Dolphin Kirara from Japan

SeaWorld LLC quietly submitted an application to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in August 2012, requesting the import of captive Pacific white-sided dolphin, Kirara from Kamogawa SeaWorld in Japan. Just as quietly, in a federal register notice released Sunday night but dated for Monday June 7th, the NOAA has granted SeaWorld their permit to import this dolphin for “public display”.

As the permit is open until June 30th, 2017, SeaWorld could import Kirara at any time before that date. SeaWorld has estimated that her transport from Kamogawa Sea World to SeaWorld San Antonio in Texas will take approximately 22 hours. During this time, Kirara, like so many other whales and dolphins transported by the greedy captive industry, will be confined to a tiny, dark crate for the long and frightening trip via aircraft and truck.

Below is a graphic taken directly from SeaWorld’s permit application, depicting the method in which Kirara will be relocated. SeaWorld writes, “The animal will be transported under the direct supervision of the SeaWorld professional staff. A veterinarian will accompany the animal at all times during the move.” They then incorrectly state, “We have attached for your consideration an illustration of the transport unit which will be utilized to move this pilot whale.” The fact that the caring professionals at SeaWorld can’t even remember which species of dolphin they’re currently planning to transport for imprisonment is telling. Kirara was born in captivity at Kamogawa Sea World, but her parents were taken from the wild. SeaWorld’s application states “the sire, CO9L0047, and the dam, CO9L0046, were collected from a set net procedure in the Kyoto Prefecture on 2-8-94 and 2-9-94 and transported to the Kinosaki Aquarium. They were transferred to Kamogawa Sea World on 11-8-94.” Kamogawa Sea World stresses that they were not caught in a drive fishery such as the brutal and infamous hunt in Taiji, but this indicates that they were intentionally taken for captivity. As we have previously stated, in Taiji, Pacific white-sided dolphins are no longer driven into the Cove like other species of dolphins, as they tend to throw themselves onto the rocks in their extreme fear and desperation to escape. They are now captured in nets beyond the Cove.

“Though Kirara was captive-born, by allowing this dolphin born of wild-caught parents to be imported by SeaWorld from Japan for captivity, the NOAA is supporting Japan’s continued capture and killing of dolphins. “Sea Shepherd is outraged that this federal agency would stand behind Japan’s horrific treatment of intelligent, socially complex marine mammals, especially as the United States government has condemned Japan’s drive fisheries and illegal whale hunts,” said Sea Shepherd USA Administrative Director Susan Hartland.

CALL TO ACTION: Join Sea Shepherd in asking SeaWorld not to import Kirara for display at SeaWorld San Antonio. We must keep the pressure on and let SeaWorld know that the public stands against Japan’s cruel capture and slaughter of dolphins and the global captive industry’s ongoing financial support of these atrocities. SeaWorld and friends have enough blood on their hands.

Please use the contact information below to ask SeaWorld to halt plans to transport Kirara.

Brad F. Andrews
Chief Zoological Officer
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.
9205 South Park Circle, Suite 400
Orlando, FL 32819
Tel: (407) 226-5182

Office of Protected Resources (F/PR)
National Marine Fisheries Service
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301-427-8400
Fax: 301-713-0376


Jennifer Skidmore
Fisheries Management Specialist
Office of Protected Resources (F/PR)
National Marine Fisheries Service
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (301)427-8401
Fax: (301)713-0376

SeaWorld Twitter

SeaWorld San Antonio Facebook

SeaWorld San Antonio Twitter

(via scetaceans)

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05. Kayla
Kayla is the second oldest of all the orcas born in captivity. At age two, she was separated from her mother and shipped to different SeaWorld parks. Having never learned how to be a mother herself, Kayla violently rejected her first-born calf. Afterwards, she was moved to SeaWorld Orlando to be in the company of young orcas with their mothers. Kayla’s human trainers regard her as a master of all show behaviors, but to her spectators, Kayla is most known for her striking blue eyes.

Transient Killer Whales (by EchoBeluga)

Just the tail | Xavier Garcia

Chesapeake on Flickr.

Orcas by Abdul Aziz Md Zin on Flickr

Orca (by fascinationwildlife)

Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (by Harry Hogg)

some more happies for you guys!


Common Bottlenose Dolphin

  • The bottlenose dolphin is the most well-known of all dolphins, likely because of its frequent appearances on television and in film and its popularity with the captivity industry. They were one of the first species (and continue to be the most popular) regularly captured live for display purposes and by the US Navy for ‘research’. Bottlenose dolphins are highly intelligent, adaptable predators, capable of problem solving, tool-use and exhibiting some flexibility in terms of prey.
  • The size and appearance of the common bottlenose dolphin is highly variable both among individuals and between different populations. It is generally a large dolphin, robust and chunky, and under most lighting conditions it appears a featureless uniform grey.
  •  It has a distinctly short, stubby beak, set off from the melon by a crease, a high falcate dorsal fin, long slender pointed flippers, and pointed flukes. In areas where more than one population can be found they are often separated into inshore and offshore types, the inshore ones generally being smaller. 
  • Common bottlenose dolphins are extremely inquisitive and playful, highly sociable and highly surface active. They can often be seen lobtailing, breaching, spyhopping, bowriding on ships and large whales and playing with fish, seaweed or marine debris.
  • Common bottlenose dolphins have a wide distribution and can be found in coastal and continental shelf waters in tropical and temperate zones. Found in most enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, for example the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, they also frequent river mouths, lagoons and shallow bays.
  • Unfortunately, bottlenose dolphins have a high rate of accidental mortality through bycatch. Other threats to this species include direct hunting in Japan and other countries, chemical and noise pollution, and habitat degradation. In some countries they are still captured live and exported for public display.
  • The IUCN classify the common bottlenose dolphin as of Least Concern worldwide. However, many inshore bottlenose dolphins exist in small, relatively isolated populations and these groups may be especially vulnerable to human activities.


(via mare-vitae)

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The moment just before a shark breaks the surface tension of the water.

Photo and caption by  Isabelle Dupre 
Back flip of a wild orca (Orcinus orca) in the waters off Norway. This young female did the same breach three times close to our boat. I have never ever seen a breach like that from a wild orca. I cannot recall any picture taken of such a breach in the wild. The second time she breached, I was able to capture the reflection of the female on the still water of the sea which was like a mirror. It is one of my best memories in my photographing experience.
Location: Norway - Vesteralen Islands - Offshore


When you have them in a concrete tank, these are very acoustic animals which means that they rely very heavily on their hearing. We rely so heavily on our vision and on our sight, we can’t really understand that. They have perfectly good vision but they’re completely sonic creatures, their echo location, their passive listening is just far superior to ours. And so to put them into a concrete environment where it is very monotone and there’s simply no variety, no texture, no substance, no depth to the environment why use their echo location, they know where the four walls are, it’s an extremely limited environment.

There’s nothing in the tank, there’s no fish, there’s no algae, there’s no anything and so, it’s not that they can’t use their echo location in a concrete tank, it’s—why use it? They know exactly the limits of their environment so there’s no point to it and I think it’s a terrible thing to take away from them.- Dr. Naomi Rose

(via fuckyeahcompassion)

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