11
Jun
2005

CAPTIVE DOLPHINS IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

UPDATE AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

We are fighting for the survival of the dolphins in a dolphinarium in the Dominican Republic called “Manati Park Bavaro”, a facility which is under international attack for it’s miserable dolphin treatment since it’s opening. Even worse - in August 2002 Manati Park used an illegal permit to capture another eight dolphins in national waters on the east coast of the D.R.. Besides the violation of Law 64-00 this capture was done in the specifically protected area of a national park, the Parque Nacional del Este. The illegal capture therefore violates also the regulations of the national park and conservation conventions to which the DR is signatory. A lawsuit was filed against Manati Park . Up to now no official information was provided as to where these eight dolphins are being held and if they are still alive at all.

In October 2004 - despite the fact that the lawsuit is still pending - Manati Park opened a second caged facility on the Bavaro beach called “Dolphin Island Park” which is just a swimming platform and a dolphin cage in 500 meters distance from the beach, where the dolphins are extremely exposed to low tides in shallow water and to the hot sun. The risk is high that this fragile structure is blown away completely by the next hurricane. It is most obvious that the four dolphins that are “used” in this park are the ones that have been illegally captured in the Parque Nacional des Este in 2002 and employees announced that it is planned to add more dolphins to this facility.

HOPE

With the election of a new President in the Dominican Republic and a new Government in place it seems that the Dominican Republic is now starting to pay more attention to environment and the necessity to protect it. For example last week the Ministry of Environment honoured the Hotel Association of La Romana and Bayahibe during an event held at the Presidency office for its commitment to conservation and sustainability in the Bayahibe area.

If there ever is a chance to convince the Ministry of Environment to finally take the necessary steps to stop the dolphin cruelty at Manati Park this time is NOW.

Therefore we need all of you to help !

What you can do is:

* Do not visit Manati Park or Dolphin Island Park - both are captive dolphin prisons in the Dominican Republic

* Put this alert on your websites

* Distribute this alert widely and ask all your friends and colleagues to widely distribute it

* Sign the Petition to free the Manati Park dolphins at: //www.thePetitionSite.com/takeaction/309558120

* Complain if you find a tour operator that still offers one of this disgusting parks to their tourists and report this to us

* Urgently write an email to the Ministry of Environment to urge them to finally act and stop this cruelty. Sign with your name and the country you are coming from. Simply copy the text below and paste it in an empty email or write an email with your own words (please be so kind to bcc us at freemanatidolphins@gmx.net and share with us the answers you might receive).

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT

THE SUFFERING OF THE DOLPHINS IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC MUST END !

- for further background info see:

//www.ecop.info/english/e-call-manati.htm

//www.ecop.info

Jose Miguel Moreno Nigorra, investigated in Spain concerning shady construction deals, managed to receive money even from the European Development Bank for his deals in the Dominican Republic. He is the man responsible for the continuous suffering of the captive dolphins in the DR.



Sample Email to the DR Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources:

To: areasprotegidas@medioambiente.gov.do
Bcc: freemanatidolphins@gmx.net


Lic. Daneris Santana,

Subsecretario de Areas Protegidas y Biodiversidad ,

Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales

Ref: Manati Park Bavaro/Dolphin Island Park Owner: Jose Miguel Moreno

Honourable Sir,

Since years we are supporting the efforts of Dominican Republic local environment protection societies and the international movement of protest against the disgusting swim-with-dolphins program that is offered at Manati Park Bavaro and since October 2004 now as well at a so called “Dolphin Island Park” in Bavaro - both facilities owned by Sr. Jose Miguel Moreno.

As you are aware Manati Park is under international pressure for the unacceptable holding conditions (small and barren cement captive pools, quality of water, lake of refuge or sanctuary facilities, but of particular concern is the handling of the Swim with Dolphins Program by which the dolphins have intensive hours of interactions with visitors and due to its cruel outline have shown already aggressive behaviour against some tourists) and the high death rate of dolphins in their facility already since its establishment. Many tourists have cancelled the Dominican Republic from their holiday destination list as they are not prepared to visit countries where animal mistreatment of that kind is accepted.

In spite of the international protest and due to non reaction of the responsible Authorities Manati Park was able to capture another eight dolphins in national waters in August 2002 in the National Parque Este – a special protected area of a national park - and although legal actions has been initiated (violation of the SPAW Protocol of the Cartagena Convention and the domestic environmental statute # 64-00) the whereabouts of these dolphins could not be investigated till now.

We herewith would like to express our sincere concerns about that situation and express our support for the need of all measures in order to protect these dolphins and to comply with the requirements of the various international conventions which the Dominican Republic has subscribed. The only reason why dolphins are allowed to be legally held in capitivity as stated in SPAW are “education or scientific research”, non of which are given at Manati Park and Dolphin Island park, where the dolphins are just misused for entertainment and money making, and beside that there is not one moral reason to hold any animal in captivity.

In your new responsibility in the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos we urgently ask you to inform us about the results of your inspection of the facility “Manati Park Bavaro”, provide update if inspection of “Dolphin Island Park” is as well planned and let us know about the measures that will/have been taken to end the dolphin cruelty in these amusement parks.

Sincerely

Name / Country



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