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Friends Of Marine Education, Oppose This Extremist Bill Relating to Dolphins in Hawaii NOW

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I support Sea Life Park, Dolphin Quest and oppose SB3055!

Dear Friends, Family and Supporters of ocean conservation education and Sea Life Park Hawaii/Dolphin Quest,
 
Your immediate help is needed to stop a proposed Bill that will unnecessarily limit and prohibit the transfer of dolphins in the state of Hawaii.
The Bill is not based in science. It is an attempt by animal extremists to remove dolphins from marine life parks.  
It would take away the opportunity for future generations to be inspired and educated with dolphins in Hawaii’s zoological institutions.

It exempts those held solely for research or education, but there are none like that now since the laboratory at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology was recently closed due to constraints on funding.  Hawaii once had two of the best dolphin laboratories in the world at the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology but both have closed. Hawaii has been known as the world leader in the study of cetacean behavior, echolocation and hearing.

Why is there a regulation requiring approval by the Department of Agriculture to approve the movement of animals? This issue of animal movement between facilities is fully covered by the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act because all cetaceans must have stringent permits and direct permission to be moved by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The proposed law is therefore duplicative and redundant of Federal Laws and Regulations.

This is an attempt to shut down public display facilities in the State.  The law requiring the State Department of Agriculture to block the movement of animals will also further damage basic scientific research on dolphins and whales. The only opportunity scientists have to do work on hearing, echolocation and the effects of sound on animals is in facilities that keep the animals like Sea Life Park and Dolphin Quest.  If the facilities are restricted and closed the science will stop.  There is work going on at both places. 

The bill, if it passes would also be most unfortunate for both children and the wild dolphins around Hawaii.  Kids should be able to see dolphins.  Few of the State’s children will have the opportunity to go out on expensive tours to see wild dolphins and if they do they will be upsetting the wild animals.  Excellent published research demonstrates that swimming with the wild animals is very disruptive to the populations. 

The verbiage in this bill has many inaccuracies and hidden agendas. It states to stop the transfer of cetaceans from the wild to captured facilities for the purpose of breeding and entertainment. Most transfers in the state of Hawaii are for the purpose of education and protection of this wildlife. The institutions on Oahu (i.e, Sea Life Park, Dolphin Quest) are providing a valuable service by educating the public on how to conserve our resources and how to safely address our wildlife. The public is allowed to view and learn up close from these precious animals instead of trying to abuse them in the wild. Please DO NOT PASS this bill. It will only lead to more destruction of our natural wildlife. As a friend of ocean conservation education, we are kindly asking for your help TODAY in opposing SB 3055. 
 
How can you help?

Sign and share this petition. Also, we need your voice added to the opposition list.  Please submit a few words in support of Sea Life Park’s and Dolphin Quest’s education, research and conservation efforts, opposing the ban.  
  
Please click the link below to visit Hawaii State Legislature website and register your email address by clicking the “Register” link at the top.
Confirmation and instructions will be sent to your email. 

Click https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/login/register.aspx 
Enter the bill number “SB3055”  and select “Get Hearing.”
Next, you will select the “Oppose” button and then provide comments on why you oppose.
Not sure what to write?  Here’s a sample:
 
I oppose SB3055. Dolphins should continue to be shared with future generations for a better understanding of wildlife conservation.  Without educational experiences such as Sea Life Park and Dolphin Quest’s programs, the children of tomorrow will not learn to respect our oceans and the creatures living there.  Sea Life Park and Dolphin Quest provide hands-on meaningful encounters to connect with marine life.
 
Please indicate in your testimony if you are a resident of Hawaii.  Please ask your friends and family, who believe in what we do to add their voice to this issue.  
 
You can also call or write your Agriculture and Environment committee member at AENTestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov stating "Opposition for SB3055 Relating to Cetaceans"
 
ALL PUBLIC TESTIMONY needs to be received no later than 2:30pm HST, WEDNESDAY, January 31.

Education and community is at the heart of Sea Life Park Hawaii -- through local school outreach programs, family events designed to inspire a love of the marine environment in keiki, our support of local organizations and more. A portion of all purchases made at the Park goes directly to marine animal conservations efforts including the Park's seabird rehabilitation center, honu breed and release programs, and important marine mammal research. 

What memories do you have of Sea Life Park, what does it mean to you and your keiki? What has your keiki learned about from Sea Life Park? Tell us why you love the Park!

 Additional Outreach:

This is being heard first in the “Agriculture and Environment Committee”. The following are committee members in case you may know them or live in their district, and wish to additionally send them a personal email or call as a voter in their area:

Chair: Mike Gabbard (Kapolei-Makakilo) 808-586-6830 sengabbard@capitol.hawaii.gov

Vice Chair: Gil Riviere (Haula, Lai, Wailua) 808-586-7330 senriviere@capitol.hawaii.gov

Members: Karl Rhoads (downtown, Nu‘uanu, Liliha) 808-586-6130 senrhoads@capitol.hawaii.gov

       Clarence Nishihara (Waipahu, Pearl City) 808-586-6970 sennishihara@capitol.hawaii.gov

       Russell Ruderman (Puna) 808-586-6890 senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov

 Please consider including the any of the following key points that resonate with you:

 Please do not support SB 3055. Reflect on the importance of access to Sea Life Park Hawaii and Dolphin Quest for local Hawaiian and school age children. Local people can go and learn about dolphins. Add your personal experience and observations.  
 SLP/DQ provide a wonderful environment for the dolphins, safe from the increasing dangers in the ocean. We should be more concerned about the welfare of hundreds of thousands of dolphins and whales drowning in discarded fishing nets and impacted from overfishing, pollution and Marine debris. 
The educational impact of experiencing dolphins in an accredited marine life park like SLP/DQ and controlled environment is safer for the dolphins and people. This is much better than dozens of boats harassing our wild spinner dolphins when they’re trying to rest. 
 The Marine Mammal Specialists at SLP/DQ are the experts. They love the dolphins and know the animals’ behavior physiology and mental needs better than anyone.  
 There are no marine mammal facilities solely for research and education that house dolphins in Hawaii or anywhere in the US. SLP/ DQ provide critical support for scientists, research, conservation and education to our community. SLP/DQ brings top scientists to Hawaii who then give free talks to the public and share their knowledge with locals. 
 Accredited marine mammal facilities like SLP/DQ need to be able to transport animals in order to prevent inbreeding and to best manage and care for the animals.  
 Transport of cetaceans is already closely regulated by the USDA and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. If you ban the transport of dolphins what’s next?  
 To discontinue cetacean transportation and breeding would ultimately phase out marine life parks and rob future generations of the opportunity to see, experience, and learn about these animals up close.  

Link to read the Bill: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2018/bills/SB3055_.HTM

Mahalo.



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