Dolphins Gain Unprecedented Protection in India

June 1, 2013 | By | 9 Replies More

DolphinsDeutsche Welle
Waking Times

India has officially recognized dolphins as non-human persons, whose rights to life and liberty must be respected. Dolphin parks that were being built across the country will instead be shut down.

India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has advised state governments to ban dolphinariums and other commercial entertainment that involves the capture and confinement of cetacean species such as orcas and bottlenose dolphins. In a statement, the government said research had clearly established cetaceans are highly intelligent and sensitive, and that dolphins “should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ and as such should have their own specific rights.”

The move comes after weeks of protest against a dolphin park in the state of Kerala and several other marine mammal entertainment facilities which were to be built this year. Animal welfare advocates welcomed the decision.

“This opens up a whole new discourse of ethics in the animal protection movement in India,” said Puja Mitra from the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO). Mitra is a leading voice in the Indian movement to end dolphin captivity.

“The scientific evidence we provided during the campaign talked about cetacean intelligence and introduced the concept of non-human persons,” she said in an interview with DW.

Indiais the fourth country in the world to ban the capture and import of cetaceans for the purpose of commercial entertainment – along with Costa Rica, Hungary, and Chile.

Dolphins are persons, not performers

The movement to recognize whale and dolphins as individuals with self-awareness and a set of rights gained momentum three years ago in Helsinki, Finland when scientists and ethicists drafted a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans. “We affirm that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and well-being,” they wrote.

The signatories included leading marine scientist Lori Marino who produced evidence that cetaceans have large, complex brains especially in areas involved in communication and cognition. Her work has shown that dolphins have a level of self-awareness similar to that of human beings. Dolphins can recognize their own reflection, use tools and understand abstract concepts. They develop unique signature whistles allowing friends and family members to recognize them, similar to the way human beings use names.

“They share intimate, close bonds with their family groups. They have their own culture, their own hunting practices – even variations in the way they communicate,” said FIAPO’s Puja Mitra.

But it is precisely this ability to learn tricks and charm audiences that have made whales and dolphins a favorite in aquatic entertainment programs around the world.

Seaworld slaughter

Disposable personal income has increased in India and there is a growing market for entertainment. Dolphin park proposals were being considered in Delhi, Kochi and Mumbai.

“There’s nothing like having a few animals on display, particularly ones that are so sensitive and intelligent as these dolphins,” said Belinda Wright from the Wildlife Protection Society of India in an interview with DW. “It’s a good money making proposition.”

But audiences are usually oblivious to the documented suffering of these marine performers.

“The majority of dolphins and whales in captivity have been sourced through wild captures in Japan, in Taiji, in the Caribbean, in the Solomon Islands and parts of Russia. These captures are very violent,” Mitra explained.

“They drive groups of dolphins into shallow bay areas where young females whose bodies are unmarked and are thought to be suitable for display are removed. The rest are often slaughtered.”

Mitra argued that the experience of captivity is tantamount to torture. She explained that orcas and other dolphins navigate by using sonar signals, but in tanks, the reverberations bounce off the walls, causing them “immense distress”. She described dolphins banging their heads on the walls and orcas wearing away their teeth as they pull at bars and bite walls.

Tanks terminated

In response to the new ban, the Greater Cochin Development Authority (CGDA) told DW that it has withdrawn licenses for a dolphin park in the city of Kochi, where there have been massive animal rights demonstrations in recent months.

“It is illegal now,” said N. Venugopal, who heads the CGDA. “It is over. We will not allow it anymore.”

He said the government hadn’t lost money on the development but declined to comment on how much the dolphin park was worth.

Boost for Ganges River dolphin

It’s possible that India’s new ban on cetacean captivity will lead to renewed interest in protecting the country’s own Ganges River dolphin.

“I hope this will put some energy into India’s Action Plan for the Gangetic Dolphin, which is supposed to run until 2020,” said Belinda Wright from the Wildlife Protection Society of India. “But there’s been very little action.

She said the ban was a good first stop, but warned against excessive optimism. “I’m very proud that India has done this,” she said. “I’m not trying to be cynical but I have been a conservationist in India for four decades. One gets thrilled with the wording, but I don’t think it’s going to turn to the tables.”

“But dolphins for now are safe from dolphinariums, and that’s a good thing,” she added.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Activism, Activism Works, Animals, Business, Community, Earth, Environment, Family, Ideas, Inspiration, Society, Uncategorized

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Dr John Freemantle says:

    This is excellent news! It’s extraordinary how far ahead India is of the US and other Western countries in this respect.

  2. Defiant says:

    I love dolphins…but that doesn’t change the fact that this sentence is absolutely asinine:

    “India has officially recognized dolphins as non-human persons, whose rights to life and liberty must be respected.”

    “Non-human persons”? LOL! Brought to you by the folks who worship cows!

    • Anonymous says:

      Your an idiot this is saying that all life is equal there is no greater or lesser only the balance of nature. Do us a favor and go feed yourself to bear so something good can come of your close minded waste of a life.

  3. Chas says:

    Dolphins are the jerks of the ocean and should be exterminated.

  4. QV says:

    Only those suffering acutely from cranial-rectal inversion would mock at India’s respect for all life. Dolphins are living creatures. Indians do not worship cows, as the asinine commenter wrote. Indians respect cows for they are living creatures. Indians regard the cow as a mother. They drink the milk, and make many nutritious products from that milk. Would you eat your mother? Perhaps , in all likelihood you would, and be proud of it. Cannibal!

    Both Hinduism and Buddhism believe in re-birth. That’s why when we meditate we give loving kindness to all sentient beings. Unfortunately, it also includes scums.

  5. The truth is out there says:

    I believe this is good news for Dolphins.

    Those who disagree should ask themselves the following questions:

    1. Why are humans being lied to about the presence of and control by reptilians over human civilisation?
    2. Why are businesses such as multinational corporations (straw figures) given the rights of persons with full human rights? Example: Monsanto has human rights status at the UN despite threatening civilisation with GMO

    Reptilians
    http://www.youtube.com/user/FrequencyFence?feature=watch

    • Desde hace muchos años se nos viene ocultando la existencia de extrate-rrestres co-existiendo entre nosotros. Las investigaciones genéticas se desarrollan SIN CONTROL, para el conocimiento del ciudadano común, y SÍ son manejados por grandes corporaciones económicas de poder. Ahora, al saberlo, sabemos que la única “protección” posible que tiene el Humano, es tener una poderosa en conciencia de paz, con un profundo dominio del conocimiento espiritual interno y de sobrevivencia, para que el planeta siga existiendo como tal. El respeto por TODO ser viviente, ES, el principal motivo de nuestra existencia de ahora en adelante. María Inés bruccolleri rennella

  6. Se alegra mi corazón, mi mente y mi espíritu, al saber que numerosos países han tomado semejante decisión. No va a ser fácil ponerla en práctica TOTAL, pero ya ha comenzado el proceso!!!. Así como se decide, que existan lugares en el Planeta que son declarados “protegidos”, de igual manera deberían existir lugares específicos de el mar, en distintas épocas del año para los Delfines y Ballenas, como también NO PERMITIR el uso de SONARES!. Lograrlo…va a propio de los países que luchan REALMENTE, por la Paz. A las palabras se las lleva el viento…,a las acciones NO.María Inés Bruccolleri Rennella.

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

Nearly a Thousand Environmental Activists Murdered Worldwide Since 2002

Nearly a Thousand Environmental Activists Murdered Worldwide Since 2002













Jeremy Hance, Mongabay
Waking Times

At least 908 people were murdered for taking a stand to defend the environment between 2002 and 2013, according to a new report today from Global Witness, which shows a dramatic uptick in the murder rate during the past four years. Notably, the report appears … More

April 19, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More
Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public

Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public













Terence Newton, Staff Writer
Waking Times

In a world of problems and solutions, few ideas spur both immediate hope and skepticism as the idea of free energy, and, on the brink of ecological disaster, nothing may be of greater importance to the human race.

The story of Nikola More

April 14, 2014 | By | 43 Replies More
Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields

Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields













Kevin Samson, Guest
Waking Times

Neuroscience has come under scrutiny for its involvement in an array of mind control initiatives and other ethically questionable research. But at least one neuroscientist from Sweden has gone on record to caution against the increasing dangers of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on human beings … More

April 14, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
On the Eve of Construction

On the Eve of Construction













Zen Gardner, Guest
Waking Times

I love the sound of construction. I always have. Not the industrial sound from the kind of massive, offensive structures made with other-worldly looking machines, but the intentional, gentle kind. Small structures going up, improvements on homes, road repairs, even tending to gardens whether … More

April 13, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Are You Inadvertently Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy?

Are You Inadvertently Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy?













Brandon Baker, Eco Watch
Waking Times

Monsanto didn’t achieve $11.8 billion in sales and 404 facilities in 66 countries all on its own.

The company is valued at $60 billion in the marketplace with 525 million shares outstanding, but the three largest mutual fund shareholders, Vanguard, Fidelity and State Street, … More

April 10, 2014 | By | Reply More

Activism Works

Ecuador Will Have Referendum on Fate of Yasuni After Activists Collect Over 700,000 Signatures

Ecuador Will Have Referendum on Fate of Yasuni After Activists Collect Over 700,000 Signatures













Jeremy Hance, Mongabay
Waking Times

In what is a major victory for environmentalists, campaigners with United for Yasuni have collected 727,947 signatures triggering a national referendum on whether or not oil drilling should proceed in three blocs of Yasuni National Park in Ecuador. The effort started last year after Ecuador’s … More

April 17, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known

The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Fluoride is a poisonous substance added to many municipal water supplies across the US, Canada, and elsewhere without the permission of the residents. Is there a model that communities can follow to remove it from their water supply? The short answer to this question is yesMore

April 1, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry

6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry













Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet
Waking Times

While many procedures on factory farms are cruel, breeding animals into mutants and violating mother/offspring bonds are truly crimes against nature.

The horrors of factory farming are multifold. Treating animals like heads of lettuce—”forget it’s an animal” says one farming magazine—has created institutionalized ruthlessness toward … More

March 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason

Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason













Michael T. Winter, Contributor
Waking Times

The Internet awakening has given birth to a worldwide multitude of people that are disengaging from the programmed paradigm created for us, and awakening to the reality of the dangers we face. The web has supplied a platform for writers to take a crack … More

March 26, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry

13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry













Heather Callaghan & Jeffrey Green, Guests
Waking Times

A major shift in the consciousness of food consumers is forcing the industry into a competitive race to become more natural.  The market is telling food producers that they no longer want so-called factory food because of its many harmful effects on … More

March 25, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More