Sea Shepherd takes it way too far

It has recently been brought to my attention that the U.S.-based extremists group Sea Shepherd has launched a new “campaign” that not only targets zoos and aquariums that house cetaceans and other marine mammals, but also, members of the zoological community, companies and schools that have partnerships with zoos and aquariums and even families who take their children to these educational and accredited facilities. Sea Shepherd claims that visiting a zoo or aquarium is “linked” to the killing of dolphins in Japan when, in fact, only less than one percent of all facilities acquire their dolphins through the drive fisheries in Taiji, and almost all of them are based in Asian countries. As for the drive fishery itself, it’s a form of coastal whaling that dates back to the early 1600s that was used as a method to kill dolphins and small whales for consumption and later, pest control. It has only been as recent as the mid-1980s that Japanese fishermen began to sell a very few dolphins to aquariums.

Of the 35 marine mammal facilities in the United States and the 33 that are in the European Union that currently houses cetaceans, not one collects, or currently houses a dolphin that was collected from the waters off of Taiji, Japan. Many of these facilities are accredited by the Alliance for Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, which bans any of its members from collecting or obtaining any animal that comes directly from the drive fisheries. In fact, about 65 percent of all marine mammals that live at facilities accredited by the AMMPA were born under their care thanks to the efforts of captive breeding programs.

Meanwhile, Sea Shepherd, which is known for its violent antics toward fishing boats and whalers, was regarded as an “embodiment of piracy” by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court in 2013. This resulted in the group having to put an end to its infamous anti-whaling campaigns in Antarctica. Now, they are targeting the one group of people who are truly making an effort in saving species from extinction and protecting the very few wild places that are left in the world. While we can all agree that the killing of cetaceans and other marine mammals do need to come to an end, the tactics that Sea Shepherd plans to inflict on zoos and aquariums is nothing more than just a danger to not just the zoological community in general, but also, to the public welfare as well.

Therefore, we are asking you to protect all marine mammal facilities, their employees, volunteers, interns, researchers and all of their patrons, from the potential harm that Sea Shepherd could inflict.

Thank you for understanding this serious issue.