IDA: Urgent – Take Action Today to Stop Panama Dolphin Captures

May 1st, 2007 7:52 pm by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: In Defense of Animals – takeaction [at] idausa.org
Date: May 1, 2007 8:45 PM
Subject: Urgent: Take Action Today to Stop Panama Dolphin Captures

Urgent: Take Action Today to Stop Panama Dolphin Captures
Contact Panamanian Consulates and Embassies Now

The dolphin brokerage operation formally known as Wildlife International Network (WIN) is moving closer to capturing 80 dolphins in Panama.

Your help is immediately needed to stop this deal! Please contact Panamanian embassies today to protest the captures and call for a new vote by the Authority for the Aquatic Resources of Panama (AARP). Animal advocates need to flood the international Panama embassies and consulate offices with phone calls, e-mail messages, and physical protests demanding a new vote. This must be done today or tomorrow morning at the latest.

Click here for a list of embassies and consulate offices.

Some of you may be wondering why we are not addressing our letters to the President of Panama. The reason is simple: It won’t have any effect. Our messages would probably get deleted before he even reads them.

I know that everyone is busy on other important issues and with CITES work, but this may be our last chance to stop this new dolphin brokerage house. Please act now!

Background:

WIN was in the Solomon Islands, establishing a dolphin export operation with their partner Christopher Porter of Marine Export Limited (MAR). We believe that WIN and MAR are responsible for the deaths of at least 25 dolphins in the Solomon Islands and Mexico. WIN is now known as Ocean Embassy in Panama. If Ocean Embassy is successful, they will be able to supply dolphins to the USA, Europe, the Caribbean, and just about any place else that wants them. We must stop them before it’s too late.

Marine mammal expert Richard O’Barry and his team just spent a week conducting a media blitz in Panama. Most of the four million residents who read newspapers or watch TV now know the facts about Ocean Embassy. To their knowledge, the only people in Panama who support the company and their agenda to capture 80 dolphins are a handful of government officials and some seemingly desperate individuals who have been promised jobs at Ocean Embassy. Most of the nation is up in arms about the captures. Unfortunately, the government decision makers simply ignore the wishes of the people who elected them into office. It seems that they are trying to make as much money as they can before leaving office in 18 months.

Juan-Carlos Navarro, Mayor of Panama City, is on our side. He and O’Barry held a press conference at City Hall, which was well attended by media outlets. Mayor Navarro denounced the dolphin captures and promised to contact all of the mayors in Panama and ask them to do the same.

All of the NGOs in Panama are working together to stop the captures, and they need your immediate help. They have organized two protests so far. About 1,000 people turned up for the first one and about 500 for the second one last Friday. Yet another protest, which takes place in just a few days, is being organized by professors at Panama University. They expect to shut down a major highway for several hours just to get the attention of the media. A press conference will take place shortly after that. Dr. Julio Yao will call for the resignation of president Martin Torrijos. President Torrijos and the first lady are strong supporters of the dolphin captures. President Torrijos has dominated the news lately regarding a land scandal that his uncle is apparently involved in. Dr. Yao is asking the president to step down because of the latest land scandal and the dolphin capture scandal.

It is unconstitutional to capture dolphins in Panama, but they are on the fast track to capturing them anyhow. Legislation was passed in 2005 to protect the marine environment, including dolphins. AARP was established to oversee the new legislation. The committee of ten AARP members conducted a vote regarding the dolphin captures. Eight voted for capturing the dolphins and two voted against. The committee of ten would not meet with O’Barry and his team during their week in Panama. It seems as if they only want to hear from those who support Ocean Embassy. In fact, the committee imported an “objective biologist” who conducted her own research into Ocean Embassy and the proposed dolphin captures. The biologist agreed with the eight who voted in favor of capturing the dolphins. O’Barry knows this woman. He met this same “objective biologist” in Guatemala a few years ago when rescuing two dolphins from a traveling dolphin show. She is in fact a dolphin trainer working at the National Aquarium in Havana, Cuba.

After our week long media blitz in Panama, we were told that six of the ten had changed their minds and are now against the captures. However, the chairman of the committee won’t allow another vote. The committee will announce their final decision on Thursday, May 3, 2007. Time is running out. We only have two days to act!

Forwarded by Richard O’Barry of Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project.

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for In Defense of Animals Action Center.

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with more than 85,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA’s efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi and Cameroon, Africa.

In Defense of Animals 3010 Kerner Blvd., San Rafael, California 94901 – P: (415) 388-9641 F: (415) 388-0388

email: idainfo [at] idausa.org

—————–

Tagged:

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed under , , , ,

Leave a Reply