Ulsan Namgu office should rescind the decision to import dolphins from Taiji, Japan

On the morning of February 6th, 2017, CARE and an alliance of animal welfare and animal rights organizations, held a press conference in the parliament building about the cessation of importing dolphins by Ulsan Namgu Office.

The protesting will continue until this practice is discontinued.

Congresswoman Lee Jeong Mi speaking to the press

The following is the press conference statement.

Ulsan Namgu is importing dolphins from Taiji, Japan, even though the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums have banned their importing. We want to raise awareness of this backward, ecologically damaging, and ethically wrong practice.

Imprisoning dolphins in small aquariums for show is, and should be considered, a type of animal abuse. Additionally, it is impossible for dolphins to reproduce in captivity. Therefore, young dolphins must be captured in the wild, which directly contributes to the decreasing of wild populations.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and the Ministry of the Environment which gave permission to import dolphins also are not free from criticism.

The government approved an aquarium size at Jangsaengpo Special Whale Culture Zone of 12.3 meters wide by 17 meters long by 5.2 meters deep. However, this is far too small for bottlenose dolphins, which range in size from 2 meters to 4 meters and who normally swim over 16o kilometers every day. This puts enormous stress on these highly intelligent marine mammals.

The center also has a history of dolphins dying at their facility; five have died since 2009.

Banning captive dolphins for display and entertainment in aquariums and water parks is a growing trend throughout the world. Korea must enact strict laws to ban dolphin, and other marine mammal shows, as have Hungary, India, Chile, and Costa Rica.

Ulsan Whale Ecology Experience Center must be used solely for marine animal rescue, treatment and rehabilitation, conservation, research, and ecological education, for which it was originally intended by the government.

Alliance members: Congresswoman Lee Jeong Mi (Jeong Eui Dang party), Noksaekdang Ulsansidang, CARE, KARA, KAWA, Busan Animal Anti-abuse Association, Ulsan Federation for Environment Movement, Hotpink Dolphins.

Featured image: CARE president Park So Youn speaking at the press conference.

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