Fins and Fluke
Fins and Fluke is a 501(c)(3) public charity, all-volunteer nonprofit organization that educates and promotes issues surrounding waterways and marine life as well as helping the general public make ocean-friendly decisions in their everyday lives. The group openly campaigns against facilities that hold marine mammals captive and advocates for cetacean freedom. Fins and Fluke offers grants to scientific research organizations and marine mammal stranding networks worldwide.
Started 4 petitions
SeaWorld: End Your Dolphin Breeding Program!
SeaWorld has announced that they will be ending their captive orca breeding program. We applaud them for their decision and thank them for doing the right thing. We now urge them to end their dolphin breeding program, and keep heading in the right direction to a captive mammal-free park (with the exception of TRUE rescue)! Dolphins in captivity live in sterile crowded environments, often forced to perform several times a day for food. Some of the dolphins at SeaWorld are also forced to participate in swim-with programs. [Click here to learn more about swim-with-dolphin programs and why they are bad for dolphins AND people.] Dolphin captivity also teaches children that it is okay for us take large, intelligent mammals and force them to do what we think is best. We should be teaching our children about conservation and protection instead, as well as the many threats that all marine-life face in our dying oceans. SeaWorld claims that their breeding programs help to save dolphins from the drive-hunts in Taiji, while partially true as currently do not purchase these animals from Japan, they are still participating in holding these animals captive. SeaWorld is setting an example to other captive facilities around the world by breeding and keeping these animals in tanks. They should be showing the rest of the world that they can change their business model and be successful! We are asking SeaWorld to give the same treatment of their captive orcas to the dolphin breeding program. It's time to phase out the dolphin shows and the breeding program. They are continually making amazing drastic steps to improve the parks and the well-being of the animals in their care. We would love to see them include dolphins in any future plans. Some of the dolphins could also be released back into the wild, which would further promote their rescue and rehabilitation plans. It would truly speak volumes to see them do the right thing again! As we said in our last petition regarding the orca program, the only true way to end captivity is to end the breeding program! Please do the right thing for the dolphin in your care! Sources: Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project Animal Welfare Institute Captive Animals Protection Society
Conduct a thorough investigation & enforce the Animal Welfare Act at the Mirage dolphin habitat.
A concerned citizen recently visited the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and has reported that three dolphins at their facility have contracted a contagious disease called “pox virus”. Pox virus can be described most commonly as an infectious skin disease that appears on wild and captive dolphins in the form of skin lesions (or tattoos) and are usually a different color than the rest of the cetacean's skin. According to the Merck Manuals, the lesions could last a few short weeks to years. Pox virus is not contagious to human beings but as this is a virus there is a possibility it could mutate and affect human beings. Stranding organizations always wear gloves when a dolphin appears to have the pox virus to protect against any potential for contracting the skin disease. The seal pox virus has been known to cause lesions on trainers handling infected pinnipeds (although it is important to note this is a different strand of the virus). Scientists document that stress, as well as contaminants, can play a large part in the manifestation of dolphin pox. These dolphins already live in a highly stressful environment; one can only imagine the effect this will have on the virus. It is also important to note that The Mirage Hotel and Casino already violates the Animal Welfare Act by refusing to provide adequate shade for the dolphins. The AWA does have regulations that require marine mammals adequate protection from high and low temperatures (3.103 part (a) & 3.118 section 2 of the AWA). Las Vegas has sweltering hot summers, often with temperatures climbing well into the 100's. These dolphins not only deserve a permanent shade structure, they critically need it, especially if three of them are coping with an infectious skin virus. The Animal Welfare Act has strict regulations regarding veterinary care for marine mammals: Page 109 section 3.110 Veterinary care(c) Any holding facility used for medical purposes that has contained a marine mammal with an infectious or contagious disease must be cleaned and/or sanitized in a manner prescribed by the attending veterinarian. No healthy animals may be introduced into this holding facility prior to such cleaning and/or sanitizing procedures. Any marine mammal exposed to a contagious animal must be evaluated by the attending veterinarian and monitored and/or isolated for an appropriate period of time as determined by the attending veterinarian. Also the Animal Welfare Act once had regulations in place regarding human-interaction in the Swim-with-dolphin programs, which are now suspended: 3.111 swim-with-the-dolphin-programs (3) All cetaceans used in interactive sessions shall be in good health, including, but not limited to, not being infectious. Cetaceans undergoing veterinary treatment may be used in interactive sessions only with the approval of the attending veterinarian. Regarding the Pox Virus itself two regulations pertain to the quality of the environment the dolphins are living in: § 3.106 Water quality (a) General. The primary enclosure shall not contain water which would be detrimental to the health of the marine mammal contained therein. (d) Filtration and water flow. Water quality must be maintained by filtration, chemical treatment, or other means so as to comply with the water quality standards specified in this section (3.106) The Mirage Hotel and Casino is in direct violation of all of these regulations. This facility is required to keep their contagious dolphins in a med pool away from their healthy dolphins and the general public. We also believe it's a risk to allow the participants of the “trainer for a day” program to have direct contact with these infected and contagious cetaceans. It is extremely irresponsible for the Mirage to allow this on a regular basis. We are directly petitioning USDA/APHIS about this violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Every signature on this petition will send a copy of the letter below to the western office of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. It is our hope that the Mirage Hotel and Casino will be cited for these violations. Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1320012/ http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/exotic_and_laboratory_animals/marine_mammals/viral_diseases_of_marine_mammals.html http://www.int-res.com/articles/dao_oa/d081p081.pdf Animal Welfare Act: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2013-title9-vol1/pdf/CFR-2013-title9-vol1-chapI-subchapA.pdf
SeaWorld: End Captive Orca Breeding Program
It is time to end the orca captive breeding programs at SeaWorld Parks. This program has resulted in multiple stillbirths, miscarriages, inbreeding and maternal deaths during childbirth since its start in 1985. SeaWorld announced plans to expand overseas and plans to increase captive breeding to fill these parks and their upcoming Blue World Project. SeaWorld seems to be going backwards in these changing times as up-coming legislation is being introduced in Canada and the United States to ban breeding programs. SeaWorld’s breeding program has produced nothing less than disturbing results. One of the saddest stories is that of Gudrun, who died four days after giving birth. When Gudrun went in to labor in February 1996, a pulse could not be found on the unborn calf who was presumed dead. Since she was not delivering the calf, they needed to pull it from her. David Kirby writes in Death at SeaWorld: The pain must have been unearthly. Gudrun began to hemorrhage severely. Her dorsal fin collapsed, probably due to dehydration. She refused to eat and ignored all attempts by people to make contact with her. She remained motionless in one spot, unprotected by shade, so staff lovingly lavished her back with zinc oxide. After the bleeding stopped, Gudrun stayed that way for four days as her worried caretakers did all they could to nurse her back to health. On the fourth day, Gudrun finally moved. She slowly swam over to the gate where her disabled young calf, Nyar, was watching. Nyar had had to be separated from Gudrun after the mother began attacking her daughter. Now Gudrun gently nudged Nyar’s rostrum through the bars, as if to ask for an overdue rapprochement. Gudrun died a few hours later. Many times, mothers reject their calves either due to having them at a young age, spaced too close together, or not having the experience necessary to care for them properly. In “Keto and Tilikum Express the Stress of Orca Captivity” by Drs. John Jett and Jeff Ventre, they state: At SWF (SeaWorld Florida), Taima was a notoriously poor mother as well. She died from a prolapsed uterus while giving birth to her fourth calf on 6 June 2010, at the age of 20. Keep in mind that killer whale gestation is approximately 18 months in duration, and to reiterate, wild Northern Resident calves are “born at five-year intervals.” Gudrun rejected her first calf, Nyar, who was born with a birth defect. Kayla also rejected her calf, Halyn. Halyn was bottle-fed every two hours around the clock by staff. Taima rejected Sumar as well. With increased awareness of these incredible animals, the main thing we have learned is that they do not cope well in captivity. Increased tank size is still a tank. Animals will still be moved between parks, and perhaps continents, in order to best suit SeaWorld’s failing business plan. The only way to end captivity is to end the breeding program. Sources: Death at SeaWorld by David Kirby can be found here. “Keto and Tilikum Express the Stress of Orca Captivity” by Dr. John Jett and Dr. Jeff Ventre can be found here. SeaWorld’s 2nd quarter Report available here. Photo credit, with thanks, to Tilikum Photography
Save Aquarium Fish and Sharks in Roquetas, Spain: To prevent more than 1000 animals from dying
On Behalf of PROMAR; the aquarium in Roquetas de Mar, que town in Southern Spain where baby dolphin Marcos (www.facebook.com/MarcosTheDolphin) was rescued by PROMAR, is facing closure. If action is not taken the fish and sharks residing in the faciltiy will die if the power is turned off. Finding the marine life a new home is proving difficult and it is considerably cheaper for other aquariums to buy new specimens than obtain the ones living at this aquarium. Here is a direct translation of the letter being sent to the Mayor of Roqutas De Mar: Gabriel Amat, SR. MAYOR Roquetas de Mar SR. MAYOR Roquetas de Mar Don Gabriel Amat Ayllon I learned that the Roquetas Aquarium is about to close due to poor economic situation of their debts and, specifically concerning Endesa electricity, this company acting accordingly by removing the power supply, which would death for all animals in these facilities. You, like the rest of the town of Roquetas de Mar, has been publicly happy and has repeatedly supported this initiative that brought the town a major educational and economic resource. The survival of thousand animals from different seas and oceans, should not depend on a business transaction whether or not successful, it would not be ethical or moral. What is going concern to all people of good will, of Roquetas de Mar and out ... that is where the most important representative of the public, the Mayor, to act, setting an example of sanity and good work. It is therefore requested to intervene and resolve this issue by ensuring the lives of animals, also leading the initiative to establish governance arrangements that are operating ... as could be to establish a foundation, ushering in a variety of entities, both public and private. Studying likewise other formulas. Thanks for listening, I hope your positive response to this request. cordially Sincerely, [Your name]