Free our last 6 dolphins in Belgium.

Europe

June 27th : International action for the closure of dolphinaria in Europe

europe-demo-2015
PRESS RELEASE

International action at the Atomium in Brussels for the closure of dolphinaria in Europe

For a few hours on June 27th the field under the Atomium in Brussels will be the scene of an impressive protest. Five different animal rights groups will work together that day, to express their displeasure through visual figures like the word FREEDOM and a huge dolphin. Their message will be addressed to the governments of EU Member States that still allow exploitation of dolphinariums.

The European legislation prohibits the commercial use of marine mammals, but makes an exception for scientific or educational purposes. However, campaigners believe that the trapping and conditioning of dolphins affects their behaviour and suppresses their natural instincts, so that they can not contribute to educational purposes anymore. In the wild these animals roam hundreds of kilometres every day and live and hunt in complex close social and family relationships. They are taken away from their natural environment, ripped apart from their family and placed in chlorinated concrete tanks. The hunting instinct is reduced to begging for a dead fish thrown to them after they perform senseless tricks.

In a dolphinarium, the animals are not able to use their echolocation. This unique orientation and hunting system consists of emitting sonar, allowing them to determine the location, distance, shape and density of prey and objects. In a concrete tank their sonar is bounced against the walls like an echo that reverberates in their heads. This leads to serious confusion of the sensory apparatus. Therefore, several dolphinariums use antidepressants to keep the dolphins quiet and active for shows. The protesters believe that it is not possible to study the natural behaviour of dolphins in aquariums, since that behaviour is destroyed.

Europe also requires that the enclosures in zoos are as close as possible to the natural environment of the captive animal. However, recent scientific research has shown that it is impossible to mimic a living environment of the ocean. Nothing can beat the wind, waves, algae and live fish found in the ocean. Nothing can mimic the immense space, movement and pressure of the ocean depths.

Nothing can replace the Dolphins natural instinct to hunt as a team and the distance all marine mammals travel whilst migrating.  The infrastructure of the Bruges Boudewijnpark (where four of the seven dolphins were born in the ocean) is totally inadequate to meet the needs of the animals. Their situation is even worse than those in neighbouring countries. Since the pool is indoors, the Dolphins never see daylight and they never breathe fresh air. This lack of essential necessary care is reflected in poor health and laborious reproduction. Since 2003, only one pregnancy has been successfully completed in the Boudewijnpark, and Origi a baby born in 2014 died after only a week. Origi is the 22nd dolphin that has died in Boudewijnpark.

10 European Member States (Austria, Cyprus, Ireland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Poland and Luxembourg) have already banned dolphinariums. These states find that keeping marine mammals in captivity is no longer ethical in this century.

The protest in Brussels was organised for the first time two years ago by Yvon Godefroid of Dauphins Libres and Annelies Mullens, a doctor in the endocrine medicine, assisted by La Dolphin Connection France. In 2014 both Yvon & Annelies were assisted by the animal rights organization BiteBack and La Dolphin Connection, 400 participants from nine different European countries joined them.

This year, with the cooperation of Bite Back, Sea Shepherd Belgium, Blue Shark Conservation, the Dutch Dolphin Motion and animal lover actor Pol Goossen they have the ambition for an even larger number. The initiators of the action welcome anyone with a heart for animals on Saturday, June 27th at 14:00 in the area under the Atomium in Brussels.

For more information about cetaceans in captivity:

A Fall From Freedom trailer:

A Fall From Freedom film (with French subtitles): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7kQYj2MgAY

________________________________________

Contacts Dutch press:

Annelies Mullens
Bite Back Limburg
0474 / 52.73.61 – annelies.mullens@jessazh.be

Katrien Vandevelde
Media Responsible Sea Shepherd Belgium / Founder Blue Shark Conservation
0473 / 39.51.30 – katrien.vandevelde@blueshark.be

Contacts French press:
Yvon Godefroid
Dauphin Libres
0473 28 22 98 – dauphinlibre@gmail.com


Dauphins Libres is fighting for an end to dolphinaria in Belgium and all over the world since 1995.
In 1988 Dauphins Libres organised the first demo for the closure of the dolphinarium in Antwerp (Zoo). The organisation investigated the living circumstances of the dolphins in the dolphinarium and published how many dolphins died there. In 1999 the dolphinarium was closed thanks to the efforts of Dauphins Libres and Ric O’Barry.
Dauphins Libres inquires also the living conditions of the dolphins in Boudewijn Seapark, Marineland, Parc Astérix and Planète Sauvage. Dauphins Libres publishes a succesfull website and is member of the French association « La Dolphin Connection”.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is an independent organization with the aim of protecting the world’s oceans and marine life. Oceans are being emptied of fish species and these species are threatened with extinction. There are international treaties and agreements to protect nature and the oceans but the plunder continues unabated because no agency monitors compliance with the laws and treaties. Sea Shepherd carries out direct action to enforce the existing regulations.

Bite Back provides information to businesses and consumers and asks them to consume animal friendly products. In addition, they actively promote veganism, animal-free products, animal friendly clothing and entertainment where animals are not being exploited. Because animals have a value, irrespective of their possible usefulness to man.

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Morgan at Loro Parque

Blue Shark Conservation is a Belgian unincorporated association dedicated to the protection of the oceans and its inhabitants, through the initiation of specific targeted projects. Depending on its mission Blue Shark often works with national and international non-profit organizations and NGOs, providing agencies with support services during their campaigns, for a sustainable use of marine ecosystem services. In addition, Blue Shark also provides information through publishing articles, giving lectures on the overfishing of sharks and donating photographic material about the underwater world.

Dolphin Motion actively works against the exploitation of cetaceans and was the coordinator of the actions and lawsuits around the struggle for Morgan the orca.

Text : Katrien Vandevelde. Media Responsible Sea Shepherd Belgium/Founder Blue Shark Conservation


Internationale actie voor de sluiting van dolfinaria in Europa

europe-demo-2015
PERSBERICHT

Internationale actie aan het Brusselse Atomium voor de sluiting van dolfinaria in Europa

Op 27 juni wordt het terrein onder het Atomium te Brussel voor een paar uur het toneel van een een indrukwekkende protestactie. Vijf verschillende dierenrechtenorganisaties werken die dag samen om hun gemeenschappelijke ongenoegen via visuele figuren kenbaar te maken. Hun boodschap is gericht aan de regeringen van Europese lidstaten die het uitbaten van dolfinaria nog steeds toelaten.

De Europese wetgeving verbiedt het commerciële gebruik van zeezoogdieren, maar maakt een uitzondering voor wetenschappelijke of educatieve doeleinden. De actievoerders zijn echter van mening dat het opsluiten en conditioneren van dolfijnen hun gedrag en natuurlijke instincten zodanig beïnvloedt dat ze geen bijdrage meer kunnen leveren in die zin. In de vrije natuur zwerven deze dieren tot honderd kilometer per dag en leven en jagen ze in complexe en hechte sociale familieverbanden. Ze worden van deze natuurlijke leefwereld en hun familie weggerukt en geplaatst in gechloreerde betonnen bassins. Het jachtinstinct wordt gereduceerd tot een bedelen voor dode vis, die ze toegegooid krijgen na het verplicht uitvoeren van zinloze kunstjes.

In een dolfinarium kunnen de dieren bovendien geen gebruik maken van hun echolocatie. Dit unieke oriëntatie- en jachtsysteem bestaat uit het uitstoten van sonargolven. Het laat hen toe de locatie, afstand, vorm en dichtheid van prooien en voorwerpen te bepalen. In een betonnen tank stuitert die sonar echter tegen de muren, als een echo die in hun hoofd blijft nagalmen. Dat leidt tot ernstige verwarring van het zintuigelijke apparaat. Verschillende dolfinaria grijpen daarom naar antidepressiva om hun dolfijnen welwillend en actief te houden voor shows. De actievoerders zijn ervan overtuigd dat het niet mogelijk is om in dolfinaria de essentie van dolfijnen te bestuderen, vermits die essentie er wordt vernietigd.

Europa eist ook dat de verblijven in dierentuinen zoveel mogelijk de natuurlijke omgeving benaderen. Recent wetenschappelijk onderzoek heeft echter aangetoond dat het onmogelijk is om een leefomgeving als de oceaan na te bootsen. Niets kan de wind, de golven, de algen, de vissen, de immense ruimte en de druk van de dieptes nabootsen. Niets kan de jacht in teamverband en de verre reizen die migrerende zeezoogdieren maken, vervangen.

Ook de infrastructuur van het Brugse Boudewijn Seapark – waar vier van de zeven dolfijnen die er huizen in de vrije natuur werden geboren – is volstrekt ontoereikend om in de noden van de dieren te voorzien. Hun situatie is zo mogelijk zelfs nog driester dan die van lotgenoten in de omringende landen. Vermits het bassin overdekt is zien deze dieren immers nooit direct daglicht en ademen ze nooit buitenlucht. Dit gebrek aan noodzakelijke zorg uit zich in een zwakke gezondheid en een moeizame voortplanting. Sinds 2003 werd er slechts één zwangerschap succesvol volbracht in het Boudewijn Seapark en de in 2014 geboren baby Origi bezweek reeds na een week. Origi was de 22ste dolfijn die in het Boudewijnpark overleed.

10 Europese lidstaten (Oostenrijk, Cyprus, Ireland, Tsjechië, Slovakije, Estland, Letland, Hongarije, Polen en Luxemburg) hebben dolfinaria reeds verbannen. Ze vinden dat het houden van zeezoogdieren in gevangenschap niet meer ethisch te verantwoorden is in deze tijd.

Het protest in Brussel werd twee jaar geleden voor het eerst georganiseerd door Yvon Godefroid van Dauphins Libres en Annelies Mullens, een arts in de endocriene geneeskunde. In 2014 brachten ze bijgestaan door de dierenrechtenorganisatie Bite Back, 400 deelnemers uit negen verschillende Europese landen op de been. Dit jaar gaan ze aangesterkt met Sea Shepherd Belgium, BlueShark Conservation, de Nederlandse Dolphinmotion en dierenvriend acteur Pol Goossen voor een nog groter aantal.
De initiatiefnemers van de actie verwelkomen iedereen met een hart voor dieren, op zaterdag 27 juni om 14:00 op het terrein onder het Atomium te Brussel.

Meer informatie rond dolfijnachtigen in gevangenschap:
A Fall From Freedom trailer:

A Fall From Freedom film (met Franstalige ondertiteling): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7kQYj2MgAY

Contactpersoon Nederlandstalig:
Annelies Mullens
Coördinator Bite Back Limburg en initiatiefneemster van de actie voor sluiting van Europese aquaria
0474/52.73.61 – annelies.mullens@jessazh.be
Contactpersoon Franstalig:
Yvon Godefroid
Oprichter Dauphins Libres en initiatiefnemer van de actie voor sluiting van Europese aquaria
0473/28.22.98 – dauphinlibre@gmail.com


Dauphins Libres strijdt voor de vrijlating van alle walvisachtigen internationaal en voor een dolfinariumvrij België sinds 1995. Dauphins Libres organiseerde in 1998 de allereerste Belgische actie voor de sluiting van het toenmalige dolfinarium in de Antwerpse Zoo. De organisatie onderzocht de omstandigheden in het aquarium en bracht aan het licht hoeveel dolfijnen er reeds gestorven waren. Met de hulp van Ric O’Barry (The Cove) en andere organisaties werd het dolfinarium uiteindelijk verplicht te sluiten. Sindsdien inventariseert en volgt Dauphins Libres de levens en levensomstandigheden van alle dolfijnen in Boudewijn Seapark, Marineland, Parc Astérix en Planète Sauvage. De vereniging voerde ook succesvolle campagnes in Quebec en Mauritius. Daarnaast is ze nog lid van de Franse ‘La Dolphin Connection’ en schrijft artikels voor hen.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is een onafhankelijke organisatie met als doel: wereldwijd beschermen van oceanen en zeeleven. Oceanen worden leeggevist, soorten zijn met uitsterven bedreigd. Er bestaan internationale verdragen en afspraken om natuur en oceanen te beschermen maar de plundering gaat onverminderd door omdat geen enkele instantie het naleven van de wetten en verdragen controleert. Sea Shepherd voert directe actie om de bestaande regelgeving te doen naleven.

Bite Back geeft voorlichting aan bedrijven en consumenten en vraagt hen om diervriendelijk te consumeren. Bovendien promoten wij actief veganisme, diervrije producten, diervriendelijke kleding en amusement waar geen dieren voor worden uitgebuit. Want dieren hebben een waarde op zich, ongeacht hun eventuele nut voor de mens.

BlueShark Conservation is een Belgische feitelijke vereniging die zich inzet voor de bescherming van de oceanen en zijn bewoners via het initiëren van specifiek gerichte projecten. In functie van haar missie werkt BlueShark vaak samen met nationale en internationale non-profitorganisaties en NGO’s en ze verleent deze instanties ondersteunende diensten tijdens hun campagnes voor een duurzaam gebruik van mariene ecosysteemdiensten. Daarnaast geeft BlueShark ook voorlichting via het publiceren van artikels, het verzorgen van lezingen betreffende de overbevissing van haaien en het doneren van fotografisch materiaal over de onderwaterwereld.

Dolphinmotion werkt actief tegen de uitbuiting van dolfijnachtigen en was de coördinator van de acties en rechtzaken rond de strijd om orka Morgan.

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Morgan


Action internationale pour la fermeture des delphinariums en Europe

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En mémoire de Freya, capturée en Islande et morte au Marineland d’Antibes le 20 juin 2015 à l’âge de 33 ans.

Communiqué de presse

Action internationale pour la fermeture des delphinariums en Europe

Ce samedi 27 Juin, les pelouses de l’Atomium de Bruxelles seront une nouvelle fois le théâtre d’une manifestation impressionnante. 5 groupes de défense des droits des animaux s’uniront pour exprimer leur mécontentement en formant avec leurs corps le mot LIBERTÉ et l’image d’un énorme dauphin.
Leur message s’adresse aux gouvernements des États membres de l’UE qui autorisent encore l’exploitation des delphinariums sur leur territoire.
La législation européenne interdit en principe l’utilisation commerciale des mammifères marins, mais prévoit une exception à des fins scientifiques ou éducatives. Les défenseurs des animaux considèrent cette clause comme un piège, estimant que le confinement des dauphins a une telle incidence sur leur comportement et détruisent à ce point leurs instincts naturels qu’ils ne peuvent contribuer valablement à des fins éducatives ou scientifiques.
En milieu naturel, les dauphins peuvent parcourir plus de 150 km par jour. Ils vivent et chassent au sein de réseaux sociaux complexes et intenses.

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Le delphinarium de Bruges

Lorsqu’ils sont capturés ou qu’ils naissent dans des cuves en béton remplies d’eau chlorée, leur instinct de chasse se réduit à mendier des poissons morts qu’on leur jette après qu’ils aient exécuté des tours insensés. Cette vie monotone dans un espace clos affecte la santé mentale et physique des cétacés captifs.
Plusieurs delphinariums (à Nuremberg, notamment) ont donc recours à des tranquillisants et à des antidépresseurs pour garder leurs dauphins calmes et actifs pendant les spectacles.

L’Europe exige que les installations des zoos reproduisent aussi étroitement que possible l’environnement naturel des animaux captifs. Mais il est impossible de reproduire, même de loin, un milieu de vie tel que l’océan. Rien ne peut remplacer le vent, les vagues, les algues, les poissons ou imiter l’espace immense et la pression des profondeurs. Rien ne peut remplacer la chasse en groupe ni les lointains voyages que ces mammifères marins migrateurs effectuent.

L’infrastructure du Boudewijn Seapark à Bruges – dont 4 dauphins sur 7 sont nés en mer – est totalement insuffisante pour répondre aux besoins de ces animaux. Leur situation est encore pire que dans les pays voisins. Dans leur piscine sous dôme, ils ne voient jamais la lumière du jour et ils ne peuvent respirer l’air frais. Ce manque de soins essentiels se manifeste par une mauvaise santé et une reproduction laborieuse. Depuis 2003, une seule grossesse a été menée avec succès au Boudewijn SeaPark. Né en 2014, Origi est mort après seulement une semaine. C’était le 22ième dauphin à mourir au delphinarium de Bruges.

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Origi et Roxanne.

En France, où le Marineland d’Antibes dispose pourtant de bassins à ciel ouvert bien plus vastes que ceux de Bruges, l’orque Freya vient de mourir d’une longue maladie à l’âge de 33 ans, après 4 fausses-couches et un seul enfant viable.
A l’inverse, en Colombie britannique, l’orque Granny (J2) est âgée de 104 ans. Elle guide toujours ses enfants et ses petits-enfants à travers l’océan, de la Californie jusqu’au Canada, et peut encore couvrir 1.300 kilomètres en une semaine.

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Granny (J2) et son amie Ruffles (J1) de la Communauté des Orques Résidentes du Sud

10 Etats membres de l’Union Européenne (Autriche, Chypre, l’Irlande, la République tchèque, la Slovaquie, l’Estonie, la Lettonie, la Hongrie, la Pologne et le Luxembourg) ont déjà interdit les delphinariums. Ces pays estiment que le maintien de mammifères marins en captivité est désormais contraire à l’éthique du XXième siècle.

La première manifestation pour une Europe sans delphinariums a été organisée à Bruxelles en 2013 par Annelies Mullens, médecin endocrinologue et par Yvon Godefroid (Dauphins Libres), avec l’aide de La Dolphin Connection.
En 2014, ils ont également été aidés par l’organisation de défense des droits des animaux Bite Back. 400 participants venus de 9 pays européens se sont alors joints à cette manifestation.
Cette année, avec la coopération de Bite Back, Sea Shepherd Belgique, Blue Shark Conservation, Dolphin Motion (Pays-Bas) et l’acteur Pol Goossen, un grand ami des animaux, un nombre encore plus important de manifestants est attendu.

Les initiateurs de cette action accueillent toute personne ayant un coeur pour les animaux, le samedi 27 Juin à 14h00 sous l’Atomium à Bruxelles.
Plus d’informations sur les cétacés en captivité:
A Fall from Freedom (sous-titres : La Dolphin Connection)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7kQYj2MgAY


Contacts presse néerlandaise:

Annelies Mullens
Bite Back Limburg
0474 / 52.73.61 – annelies.mullens@jessazh.be

Katrien Vandevelde
Responsable média pour Sea Shepherd Belgique / Fondateur de Blue Shark
0473 / 39.51.30 – katrien.vandevelde@blueshark.be

Contacts presse francophone :
Yvon Godefroid
Dauphin Libres
0473 28 22 98 – dauphinlibre@gmail.com
Lire aussi : Il faut fermer tous les delphinariums d’Europe


Dauphins Libres lutte pour une Belgique sans delphinarium et contre la captivité des cétacés dans le monde depuis 1995. Il a notamment contribué à la fermeture du delphinarium du Zoo d’Anvers en 1999.

Bite Back fournit des informations aux entreprises et aux consommateurs et leur demande de consommer respectueusement les animaux. En outre, Bite Back encourage activement le végétalisme ainsi que l’usage de produits sans animaux, les vêtements et les divertissements conviviaux où les animaux ne sont pas exploités. Parce que les animaux ont une valeur en soi, indépendamment de leur utilité possible pour l’homme.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society est une organisation indépendante dont le but est de protéger les océans de la planète et la vie marine. Les océans sont vidés de leurs poissons et les espèces marines sont menacées d’extinction. Il existe des traités et accords internationaux pour protéger la nature et les océans, mais le pillage se poursuit sans relâche, car aucune agence ne surveille l’application des lois et traités. Sea Shepherd mène une action directe pour faire respecter les règlements existants.

Blue Shark Conservation est une association non constituée en société belge dédié à la protection des océans et de ses habitants à travers le lancement de projets spécifiques ciblés. En fonction de ses missions, Blue Shark travaille souvent avec des organisations et des ONG à but non lucratif nationaux et internationaux, et leur fournit les services pour une utilisation durable de l’écosystème marin. En outre Blue Shark fournit également des informations par le biais de publication d’articles, de conférences sur la surpêche des requins et de don de matériel photographique sur le monde sous-marin.

Dolphin Motion travaille activement contre l’exploitation des cétacés et a été le coordinateur des actions et des poursuites judiciaires lors de la lutte pour l’orque Morgan.


Lire aussi :
27 juin 2015 : Fermons tous les delphinariums en Europe !

 

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Morgan à Loro Parque

 D’après le texte de Katrien Vandevelde. Media Responsible Sea Shepherd Belgium/Founder Blue Shark Conservation


Coupe du Monde : des dauphins jouent au foot tous les jours !

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A l’heure où le Mundial sature tous les médias, rappelons que les humains ne sont pas les seuls à jouer au ballon.
Des dauphins le font aussi, 2 ou 3 fois par jour, sous la contrainte de la faim et du dressage, lors de shows de cirque obscènes.

Rien qu’en Europe, dans 15 pays de l’Union, 34 delphinariums enferment plus de 300 petits cétacés, orques, dauphins, bélugas et marsouins. Ces mammifères marins nés pour l’océan libre alimentent une industrie du loisir formidablement lucrative.

dauphin-ballon
Il suffirait pourtant de modifier deux Directives européennes pour interdire à jamais ce marché criminel, qui se développe aujourd’hui dans le monde entier au prix de grandes souffrances.

Afin d’exiger de l’Union Européenne qu’elle mette fin aux delphinariums, une manifestation spectaculaire se tiendra au pied de l’Atomium le 28 juin 2014 à 14heures.

Ric O’Barry, ex-dresseur de dauphin Flipper et acteur principal du film «The Cove» sera présent en Belgique à cette occasion.

 

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Infos complémentaires :
https://freedolphinsbelgium.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/pour-une-europe-sans-delphinariums-manifestation-a-bruxelles/

 

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Photo 1 :
En mer, aucun dauphin ne joue au ballon. Pourquoi montrer cela aux enfants ?
Ici, à Duisburg. Ivo, le joueur de foot, a été capturé en mer. Il a survécu à l’enfer du delphinarium d’Anvers avant d’échouer en Allemagne.

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Photo 2 :
Le delphinarium de Bruges est contraint par un avis de la Commission du Bien-être Animal d’élargir ses installations et de renforcer l’enrichissement environnemental de ses captifs. Au lieu de quoi, il acquiert aussitôt deux nouveaux dauphins et laisse mourir le vieux Beachie, malade des poumons et à moitié fou.
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Photo 3 :
Cette orque du Marineland d’Antibes a les dents brisées à force de ronger les barreaux de sa cage. Il s’agit de Wikie, la mère de Moana (née par insémination artificielle) et de Keijo (né de l’inceste).

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Photo Hellen


A propos de la manifestation de 2013 :

http://rue89.nouvelobs.com/rue89-planete/2013/06/15/dauphins-orques-belugas-liberons-les-cetaces-captifs-243203

 

foot


For a dolphinaria-free Europe : demonstration in Brussels 2014

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On the 28th of June 2014, an important demonstration will take place in Brussels to demand the closure of all the dolphinaria in Europe.
This event will bring together hundreds of dolphin defenders from all around the world. They will meet at the Atomium around Ric O’Barry, the former trainer of Flipper and main actor of « The Cove », and they will demand – like last year – to urgently stop the slavery of cetaceans in Europe.

 

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Currently, 15 countries within the EU are housing 34 dolphinaria, places that exhibit more than 300 small cetaceans, orcas, belugas, dolphins and porpoises. These places are selling circus shows to children, photo or contact sessions, therapies or «swimming with dolphins» sessions.

Annex A of the Directive No.338/97 of the European Council normally prohibits any commercial use of these marine mammals. But an exception exists in the text, an exception which allows their importation for scientific, educational or conservation purposes. This article should be suppressed, as dolphinaria do not contribute at all to science, education or protection of the species. EC Directive 1999/22 also requires – for all the animals in zoos – an environment that is as close as possible to the conditions of life in their natural environment.

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The most recent scientific research tells us that it is strictly impossible to give those cetaceans the exact same life than the one they have in the ocean. Nothing can imitate the wind, the waves, the algae, the fish, the space or the pressure in the depths. Nothing can replace the joy to be hunting together and to travel far.

Nothing can replace the complex and friendly societies of these marine creatures, with such a high intelligence and a deep sensitivity.
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To keep these lucrative attractions in Europe these days encourages the emerging countries (China, Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand) to open hundreds of new aquatic prisons and to increase the catches in Japan, Russia, Cuba, Mexico or the Solomon Islands.

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In the US, the film «Blackfish» is shaking SeaWorld and, with it, all the captivity industry. Certain schools refuse to send their kids to the delphinarium, rock stars boycott the shows, members of parliament suggest laws to ban captivity.

It is time for Europe to follow the same path and to put an end, once and for all, to this degrading industry, that inseminates dolphins like cattle, imprisons them in bare tanks and misinforms the public about the real life of cetaceans.

 

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Informations :
https://www.facebook.com/events/754282354598398/

Petition
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/All_dolphinaria_must_be_closed_in_Europe/

 

morgan-12-05Morgan in Loro Parque

 


Beachie in Bruges : just an “old” and sick dolphin ?

An article of the Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad tells us that Beachie, the 31-year-old male dolphin at the Boudewijn Seapark in Bruges, had to undergo a CT-scan in October.

The medical exam took place at the Causus Clinic in Oudenburg. It seems the vet in charge, Piet De Laender, wanted to find out more about the age-related diseases amongst dolphins.

For some time now, the trainers had noticed that Beachie was behaving differently. They contacted Piet De Laender (Assebroek), a veterinarian specialized in exotic pets in who regularly checks on the inmates of the dolphinarium. The dolphin was sleeping half of the time and was no longer able to perform jumps during the shows.

“Beachie is already 30”, says insidiously De Laender, “and he suffers from age-related diseases”, implying that the death of this “old” dolphin could be a predictable and normal thing. He adds : “But he is not the oldest resident of the dolphinarium”. “Puck is already 47. I wanted to carry out these tests to detect the diseases that could be associated with Beachie’s age.”

beachie-dolphin-scanBeachie scan

Piet de Laender has asked the University of Ghent to do a scan. But Beachie, who has become obese because of captivity, was too heavy to move. “That’s why I had to find an alternative solution”, explains the vet. “Finally I found a closer solution, at the Causus Clinic in Oudenburg. The doctor Koen Vandendriessche has warmly welcomed us. The CT-scan went very well.

According to the vet, Beachie is also the 1st dolphin that has ever experienced this type of exam. He’s now waiting for the images before making a judgment about the health of his patient. As far as we can see on above video,  CT Scan mainly focused on lunges and respiratory system.

beachie-dolphin-scan1

De Laender doesn’t mention this point. “We have been able to lift him out of the water using a sort of elevator”. “The dolphin has been wrapped during the transport to avoid injuries and the trainers have kept his skin constantly moist. For a long-distance transport, dolphins are often kept one or two days out of the water.”

Waching with attention images of the video, it seems Beachie is completley stonned. He seems under tanquillizer. Not a move, not a thrill. But he is awake.

“The success of this operation and this transport will be a model in the future to conduct health exams for all the dolphins”, concludes the vet, delighted. As for Beachie, he regained his pool and joined again the 5 other dolphins of the Boudewijn Seapark.

pieter-veto

This is, anyway, the well-oiled official discourse of Captivity Industry. It is clearly about transmitting to the public quite a few solid untruths. Starting with the classical staging of good vets and wonderful trainers, who are so concerned about the health of their protégé, Beachie.  Just another old dolphin near to death.

Beachie was born in the Gulf of Mexico around 1982. He beached and was “saved” by SeaWorld in April 1984, but he was never put back to sea. After staying in Orlando, he was deported to the Harderwijk dolphinarium in 1997 and then shipped towards Belgium on the 18th of September 2009, at the Boudewijn Seapark. His “mission” was to replace the previous reproductive male, Tex, who died tragically at the Marineland (Antibes – France), because of the EEP Programs.

Beachie’s health was excellent until he arrived in Bruges. And Beachie was also a great stallion. In SeaWorld and in Harderwijk, he had given birth to Marbel, Sal’ka, T’lisala, Amtan, Palawas, Spetter and Kite, his last viable child, in 2005. Once he was moved to Bruges, he became the dad of only one stillborn child, removed from Yotta’s uterus in 2010, of stillborn twins from “old” Roxanne in 2011, and of one other child of Roxanne, a little boy who died 4 days after his birth in 2012.

bruges-roxanne-enfantRoxanne baby. 4 days.

These deaths occurred in one of the 5 contiguous pools of Bruges, where you can hear, see and feel everything.  And it is not funny to watch the agony of kids or teenagers, like poor Flo for example on the 6th of January 2012, who died alone one night of a strange tooth infection, an infection that seems to affect also Morgan and a lot of captive cetaceans…

morgan-dents

Since his transfer from Harderwijk to Bruges, Beachie was feeling lonely and sad. It was a shock for him. He suddenly found himself in a small, limited and dark environment. He was living in a sea pen under the sun and the wind in the Netherlands with several other males, and the poor Beachie had to learn new tricks, new ways to obey and to survive alone, isolated, along with aggressive dominant females and fearful juveniles, under the sinister dome of the Boudewijn Seapark.

The air he was breathing was not the same either: the sea wind blowing on Harderwijk was replaced by a chlorine-loaded atmosphere, that takes you by the throat as soon as you enter the dark dome of the dolphinarium. Bad for your lungs when you are not used to it.

BSPdolphin_world_until_death_mai2012
Beachie world

The trainers all think he is a little crazy. He is difficult and only does what he wants. He is even called “the Mongolian”, because of his strange look, right in the orbits. Until recently, Beachie was receiving before each show up to 10 pills of Ciprofloxacin. Ten pills before the show, then 5 pills after and 5 more pills again for the second show. That is 20 doses of antibiotics a day.

Ciprofloxacin (INN) is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic (second generation). Its spectrum of activity covers most of the pathogenic bacteria responsible for respiratory, urinary, gastrointestinal and stomach infections. In this case, the lungs seem to be the cause of the problem: Beachie’s breathing had been erratic and difficult for several months.

medicaments dauphins

Beachie: old ? At 31 years old ?
In the wild, dolphins do not need any vet, pills or food additives. Their life is more dangerous: sharks, pollution, drifting nets…
However, according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the average age for wild dolphins is between 40 and 45 for males and more than 50 for females. It’s an average, because, in Sarasota’s bay, Nicklo has celebrated his 63rd birthday in 2013, and BlackDipDoubleDip his 60th.

The fact that Puck is 47 is only exceptional because captive dolphins rarely reach that age. In Bruges, most of them died before 20.
We’ll remember that, the same way, the death of Iris (aged 34) at the Duisburg Zoo had been explained by Dr Manuel Hartmann as a result of her “old age”. Iris had been living for almost 12 years in the wild before being plunged into the hell of the Antwerp Zoo for more than 18 years, alongside with her son Ivo.
The Antwerp dolphinarium was closed in 1999, under the pressure of various associations, including Dolphin Project, and the two survivors were sent to Germany. The decline and the death of Iris in 2003 were atrocious but ignored and wrongly attributed by the dolphinarium and by a certain press to leukemia due to age.

irisgrilleIris in Antwerp. Already sick. 31 y.o

What they forgot to mention is that several factors drastically reduce the quality of life and the life even of the captives. They know it. But the show must go on. The federal commission for the welfare of the dolphins in Bruges, which has been now working for 3 years, will probably not say anything else when its findings will be made public and approved by the State.

Beachie’s death will not change anything. He will be replaced, like he himself replaced Tex. Others will die again, others will be deported. Children will be taken away from their mothers, separated from them forever. A terrible pain, as dolphins are tied together with an intensity that we cannot even conceive. They suffer from boredom, and of course from the lack of space and occupations, but their body also suffers from the inadequate environment in which they are forced to live: frozen food, food additives, hydrating gels, meds, drugs, vitamins… Chemically salted water enriched with all sorts of substances and filtered by pumps day and night. At last, they suffer also from a nagging hunger that makes them obey and repeat 1000 times the same silly tricks in front of a misinformed public.

noel_bruges_aquashowBeachie will perform Christmas show 2013 when sick

As the head of the “Planète Vie” association, Dr Yvan Beck, veterinarian and co-author, with Y.Godefroid and Gauthier Chapelle, of the book « Freedom for dolphins ! » (to be re-edited) :
“Beachie is only 30. And whatever the leaders of Bruges say, he is a young adult, as wild dolphins in natural conditions reach 50 years. So how can you explain that dolphins protected from their predators and from the pollution systematically die (with rare exceptions) before the age of 30 ? And, if Beachie is a “very” old dolphin… this is only true for captive dolphins…”

brugsky
Beachie sky


Who cares?

The Boudewijn Seapark is a business indispensable to employment in the region. It benefits also from political supports. The whole case is tricky. Bruges is a Flemish town, and Christian, while Ms Laurette Onkelinx, the Minister in charge, is French speaking and socialist. So the leaders of the park seem to still have a bright future ahead of them, at least as long as this ultra-capitalist logic will prevail.

6th of November 2013: one anonymous person who just talked with someone at the dolphinarium has declared that Beachie was still sick but still had to take part to the shows, under very strong medication. If everything goes according to plan, he should also be joining the big Christmas show. And, according to another trainer in Bruges: “Anyway we still have enough dolphins”.

beachie-bruges2

Life of Beachie

La vie de Beachie, reproducteur

Il faut fermer le delphinarium de Bruges

step-food
One of the things that Beachie had the greatest difficult to « learn » in Bruges when he arrived of Harderwijk (and before that of SeaWorld, and before that of the sea) it is to stand « at the foot » his trainer, stationary, while the other performed and were receiving fish for their work. A technique of training specific to the Boudewijn Seapark which lack of space and must manage 6 dolphins in front in a single basin during the show. See the Dolphin on the right, open mouth, begging: hunger is a constant in all the dolphinariums.
(YG/Annelies Mullens)

French article translated by Christelle Bornauw

Life of Beachie

La vie de Beachie, reproducteur

Il faut fermer le delphinarium de Bruges

Bite Back et le delphinarium

Pétitions FR/NL

bruges-demo-2012-aquatic-jailBeachie home


NO DOLPHINARIA IN EUROPE : DEMO REPORT

demo28-annelies-ric
Ric O’Barry Report
Save Japan Dolphins Report
WDC Report
La Dolphin Connection Report

European demonstration against dolphinaria occured in Brussels on June 28th 2013
The event is historic. About 350 friends of the dolphins gathered this Friday 28th of June in Brussels, in front of the federal public service of Public Health, to demand the total ban of dolphinaria all across Europe.

Lead by the artist Maria Heidemann (on stilts), they demanded in several languages a radical change in the EC Directive 1999/22 (Council of Europe), for it to ban permanently dolphinaria – just like India did, but also Chile, Brazil, Slovenia, Cyprus and Croatia.

demo28-anneliesAnnelies….
demo28-ric-yvon3… Ric and Yvon
demo28-hester Hester Bartels (Orka Coalitie)
demo28-dolphin-connectionLa Dolphin Connection (France)

While demonstrators continued to chant their slogans in front of the building, Ric O’Barry, former trainer of Flipper and lead actor of the documentary « The Cove,« , Annelies Mullens, co-organizer of the demonstration (who came with her youngest son), and Yvon Godefroid, activist responsible for the event, met Dr Eric Dr Van Tilburgh, Head of the Animal Welfare division of the federal public service.

demo28-yvon-ric-filsRic is joking inside the Ministry. Yvon tries not to laugh.
Willem, the youngest son of Annelies, is quite proud to be there !

The dialogue was cordial, though firm and uncompromising, and lasted about an hour. The focus was put almost straight away on several illegal practices of the Boudewijn Seapark. These practices are mentioned in 2 reports of the highest scientific rigor, namely the « Born Free » report on Belgian zoos and the WDCS Europe Dolphinaria Report.  You can also find a summary of those in French with pictures on this page.

demo28-greece-valiaValia from Greece ! 

Dr Van Tilburgh was also strongly reminded that the Boudewijn Seapark operates currently without any license.
The license hasn’t been renewed. Why does the government not react to this situation? Will this license eventually be renewed? Is there no risk in terms of insurance? Many people living near the park have been complaining about the noise during the Sunday shows. We can then easily imagine the dolphins’ suffering, especially knowing their hearing is extremely sensitive.

dolphin-bay-dolphin-rideBruges

Amongst the park’s attractions that are causing problems on a strictly legal point of view, let’s talk about the direct contact with the animals, which is forbidden in every Belgian zoo. However, Boudewijn Seapark allows you, for quite a substantial amount of money, to « meet » dolphins. During these activities, people are allowed to go into the water and touch the dolphins. That might be entertaining, but it is also quite risky : brucellosis and herpes can occur, and there is also a risk of aggression. It happened recently in the United States, where a little girl got savagely bitten by a dolphin…

bruges-touch-dolphin
swim-with-dolphin-Bites-Girl

Even more dangerous and illegal are the (paying) photo sessions with sea lions of Patagonia, whose enormous mouth could tear off a child’s face in one bite. Vultures and other birds of prey landing on kids’ nape were also mentioned, birds that are here attached by a leash and subject to unacceptable conditions of life. Conditions that some zoos, for example in the United Kingdom, do not tolerate anymore…

bruges-vautourVultur’s baby let in the sun without water

We then reminded Mr Van Tilburgh the park’s numerous breaches on its European obligations.
These breaches include the lack of relevant information about the social life of free dolphins ; the anthropomorphic nature of the shows ; the predictable failure of breeding programs in captivity ; the very low viability of captive cetaceans ; the numerous foolish attempts to have a self-sufficient herd of « pet dolphins » (so fresh blood coming from the ocean wouldn’t be needed) ; the unability to put back into the wild young dolphins born in captivity, even though one of the zoo’s missions is to repopulate the endangered habitats ; and the obsolete and repetitive nature of researches that do not care at all about the species (studying the pregnancy of captive dolphins for example, or studying the so-called healing power of the dolphins)…

In short, as highlighted in the 2011 report of the WDCS, keeping dolphins in captivity already violates the EC Directive 1999/22 and the national laws that are linked to it.
° Captivity is supposed to encourage the conservation of endangered species. However, the survival rate of cetaceans in captivity is lower, and so is the birth rate.
° It is supposed to promote education about cetaceans, but very little information is given during those shows about the complex social life of dolphins.
° It is supposed to prevent cruelty towards animals and support their welfare, but stress and abnormal behaviors have been observed amongst the captive dolphins of 15 countries of the EU – countries that have proven to be unable to enforce the existing legislation.

zoo-anvers-reptile
Ric O’Barry also reminded Mr Van Tilburgh that, if reptiles in zoos could at least enjoy a branch to climb, or a shelter, basically something that remind them of their natural environment, the situation is totally different for the dolphins. They are forced to live in an empty concrete pool. Can we imagine a chimpanzee or a gorilla in an empty cell ?

DSCN0152Bruges dolphin Beachie, captured in the wild


To conclude, we have asked the government to make an ethically courageous decision, and to prohibit from now on all breeding programs in captivity, all import of new dolphins, all opening of new dolphinaria, and that, gradually, an end can be put to all the activities of the Boudewijn Seapark.

More globally, Ric O’Barry insisted that Belgium, seat of most of the European institutions, had the chance now to lead by example in front of the 15 countries that still have aquatic circuses in the EU.
.

Mr Van Tilburgh has committed to convey our requests to the Minister in charge, Ms Laurette Onkelinx, reminding us also that a special commission would soon communicate its conclusions about the standards of the Boudewijn Seapark dolphinarium. Our answer to that was that, no matter what the conclusions are, the voice of the Belgian citizens would prevail. No prison can be improved to the point of making it better for the cetaceans to be captive than to be free.

demo28-dauphins3
It is obvious that, in the wake of this first European event, other actions will take place in Belgium, but also in other European cities. And, concerning the petition « All dolphinaria must be closed in Europe« , even if its value is symbolic, it has to keep being shared and signed !

It is a tough fight, because we are dealing with a huge leisure industry, that has important financial resources, and that is able to influence anyone. But it is a fair fight, not only for dolphins, but also for the future of our children, for the future of humanity. Our dignity as human beings is at stake in this fight. And we will win it !

demo28-sacha2My grand-son Sacha Godefroid and his Daddy
probably the youngest demonstrator…


We wish to thank (knowing that it’s impossible to thank everyone) :
First, Ric O’Barry of course, and Annelies Mullens
The Dolphin Connection
Hester Bartels (Orka Coalitie)
Mylou for her pictures of Bruges and her unwavering support
Denis and the others for the security aspects
The local police for their efficiency & their kindness
All of you, who helped from their own countries, sending messages and tweet-stream, or came from far just, full of love for dolphins !
See you next year !! 

 

demo28-morgan2


References :

http://www.wdcs.org/submissions_bin/Eu_Dolphinaria_Report.pdf
http://www.bornfree.org.uk/zooreports/Belgium-en/pages/BELGIUM_Zoo_Report_ENGLISH.pdf
http://www.dauphinlibre.be/legbelg.htm
http://www.health.belgium.be/eportal/AnimalsandPlants/keepingandbreedinganimals/zoos/index.htm?fodnlang=nl#.Uc_yEr5V3IU
http://www.health.belgium.be/filestore/823592/AR%2010-08-1998_0_823592_nl.pdf
http://reflex.raadvst-consetat.be/reflex/pdf/Mbbs/1999/08/19/63330.pdf
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GYtIH3t_XcWDmDx5uDHxXynxQUDupzWcRDpZ1AxpsU4/edit
http://www.stadsomroep.com/Detail.asp?NUM=35937&fb_comment_id=fbc_203782826412155_486443_203849333072171#f1cbc996e6d3393

demo28-children-ric  New generation around Ric

Images and videos
« June 28th Brussels : the Movie » !
http://deburgerjournalist.nl/march-against-dolphin-captivity/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nqzZ0T5Kl6Q,

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x11efk2_closing-dolphinariums-partie-10_webcam#.UdALwsXiBag
http://touch.dailymotion.com/video/x11eezn_closing-dolphinariums-partie-9_webcam

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/freedolphinseurope
http://www.informarexresistere.fr/2013/06/29/video-500-attivisti-in-piazza-per-chiudere-34-delfinari-europei-bruxelles/theater
http://www.informarexresistere.fr/2013/06/29/video-500-attivisti-in-piazza-per-chiudere-34-delfinari-europei-bruxelles/
Etc…

demo28-ric-Y

demo28-UK
demo28-valia-1

demo28-dog
demo28-Y

demo28-Maria

demo28-italy

demo28-inflatable

demo28-hester

demo28-japan

demo28-1EUROPE MUST BAN DOLPHINARIA