Whales and other cetaceans have been dwelling the oceans since time immemorial. These placid and peaceful beings are among the most intelligent of our planet. Their complex communication systems and their highly developed behaviour remain nowadays the great unfathomable mystery of 21st century for the human being. Unfortunately, the destructive zeal of humanity has pursued, hounded and brought these animals to the brink of extinction, considering them as another element to be used as goods and source of income.
The near extinction of great whales after decades of intensive industrial whaling prompted the creation of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1946 in order to control hunting and trade in commercial whaling. It was comprised of 77 members states, and, in 1982, it enacted an international moratorium on commercial whaling which became effective in 1985-86. Two groups of countries were differentiated with time: on the one hand, those who try to protect the whales, which consider them as a valuable resource because of their important role in biodiversity as for their economic value through nonlethal activities such as whalewatching; on the other hand, those who support the free use of these magnificent animals as simple goods through commercial whaling. Whaling countries such as Japan, Iceland and Norway have been avoiding the moratorium for years making use of a legal loophole and of Article VIII, which defends whaling by stating that it has scientific purposes.
Ocean Sentry believes that protection of great whales as well as other cetaceans is a binding act of mankind after years of indiscriminate slaughter. No exception, no excuse.
For this reason, Ocean Sentry, with its Campaign for the Whales, seeks to strengthen its presence as a IWC observer in order to put pressure on eradicating permanently any whaling activity in the planet. In 2008, Ocean Sentry attended in an unofficial way the annual IWC meeting in Madeira, Portugal. There, Ocean Sentry protested against the hypocrisy of the governments taking part in the meeting, which were more interested in maintaining diplomatic and commercial relations with whaling countries than in protecting and preserving whales, whatever the banal consequences between countries are.
In 2010, Dr. Sidney Holt will be in the prior meetings held before the IWC annual meeting which will take place in June 2010 in Agadir, Morocco. Two other observers will attend that annual meeting. Dr. Holt is also observer for Global Ocean and ASOC (Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition).
Apart from the aforementioned presence at IWC, Ocean Sentry has other lines of action in favour of cetaceans which try to keep up public attention to issues such as:
Ocean Sentry is absolutely against any sort of cetaceans” captivity (killer whales, sea lions, seals and small cetaceans such as dolphins and pilot whales). This mainly includes the multibillion-dollar business of theme parks and dolphinarium, the use of cetaceans for alleged therapeutic purposes, military purposes or any other kind of conduct which implies exploitation of marine mammals.
We appeal, from Ocean Sentry, for a utter boycott of any sort of installations which have cetaceans in their shows. These shows cause an enormous suffering in these incredible animals, in which they are shut in small “bathtubs” and forced to accomplish over and over circus acts for the entertainment of those present (as did the Romans in Ancient Rome”s circus using Christians and other slaves). In the same way, they are deprived of food until the show for the audience is done.
This industry also conceals the fact that many of these cetaceans, condemned to death penalty, often have to be treated with Maalox and Tagamet for ulcers caused by stress, anguish, the precarious conditions they live in, the environment and artificial water in which they are forced to spend the rest of their short life.
Captivity industry (theme parks, dolphinarium and swim-with-the-dolphin programs) is the main activity responsible for carrying out the violent captures and slaughter of thousand of dolphins and other cetaceans in Taiji and Solomon Islands. There, dolphin trainers and dolphinarium staff hand-pick those specimens which will be exploited in their theme parks, while these animals writhe in pain and with the cries of their mutilated relatives.
This industry is a multibillion-dollar criminal business apart from any ethics or morals and nobody who really loves a dolphin or any other marine mammal should be present at such kind of show. The only certainty behind these theme parks is the money that is yielded by the deceit that these animals enjoy doing what they do or that it is something educational. All of this is nothing but a great farce.
It constitutes an intolerable practise which Ocean Sentry is totally opposed with no exception.
We recommend seeing and promoting the award-winner documentary “The Cove”, in which the ex-trainer of TV series Flipper, Rick O”Barry, secretly raids in Taiji, Japan, with the aim of reporting captivity industry, responsible for fostering the annual slaughter of thousand of dolphins.
Protection of environment
Finally, Ocean Sentry does not leave behind that, for protecting whales and other cetaceans, conservation and protection of oceans, their habitat, is of vital importance. For this reason, we will never stop condemning the lack of protection of these gentle giants. These animals are exposed to human actions of degradation of their habitat such as large vessel traffic which cause thousand of fatal collisions every year; sonic navigation systems and military training systems which disorient whales and cause the stranding of thousand of them; abandoned fishing gear and current practices of fishing industry; poisoning with methylmercury and lead; persistence of PCB and many other products derived from human industrial activity; as well as overfishing, responsible for decimate marine resources which are vital for the feeding and survival of cetaceans.
For all these reasons, Ocean Sentry asks everybodys help in its Campaign for the Whales. Because by saving the whales, we are not only saving them but also saving ourselves and future human generations.
Help Ocean Sentry so that we can maintain our presence at IWC. Make a donation in the amount as you can. Whales need us, whales need you!
Campaign for the Whales
Ocean Sentry (More information)