This is a day for everyone around the world to stand up against marine mammal captivity. The abuse and exploitation of these sentient beings has no place in the 21st century.
On May 7th, 2016, protests and educational events will be held all over the world in front of marine mammal parks and aquariums. If the park is exploiting marine mammals for entertainment and profit then we want people out front creating noise and awareness. The only way to close their doors for good is to get the general public to stop buying tickets. We need your voice, your posters, and your dedication to seeing an end to the captivity industry.
There are a number of different organizations that over the years have devised rehabilitation and release plans for Lolita (TokiTae). Some of these plans from the outside look promising, but are they really?
It’s easy to create a document, call it a plan, and get everyone on board to endorse and support it. This was the case with one organization which will go unnamed. They collected donations for decades from caring and compassionate people from around the world. They also created a seemingly well thought out release plan. Many organizations and animal advocates supported and promoted this plan, that is until recently.
This aerial footage was taken on September 6, 2014 over the Miami SeaQuarium showing a trainer clearly entering the water with Lolita. The Miami SeaQuarium and its new owners (Palace Entertainment & Parques Reunidos) and old management (Andrew Hertz) are blatantly disregarding Federal OSHA regulations by putting their trainers in unprotected contact with a killer whale.
The Miami SeaQuarium was fined $7,000 in June of this year for allowing trainers in the water with Lolita. At that time SeaQuarium management stated they will continue to allow trainers in the water because they feel Lolita has not hurt anyone while in captivity. This is a blatant lie and there are documented incidents where Lolita has shown aggressive behavior towards her trainers.
We will continue to monitor and report these violations to the Federal Government, namely OSHA. No one is exempt from the Law!
This video was taken on 8-2-2014 over the Miami SeaQuarium showing Lolita (Tokitae) all alone after her first performance of the day. It’s heartbreaking knowing she has been performing stupid tricks 2 to 3 times per day for the past 44 years. She was brutally ripped from the ocean on August 8, 1970 and a month later transported to her prison called the Miami SeaQuarium. Some of her family is still alive today and with about 80 Southern Residents remaining and listed on the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Lolita is not. We are all hopeful the National Marine Fisheries Service will add her to the ESA in the beginning of next year. Until then we will keep a vigilant watch over her and continue to create awareness and educate patrons of the Miami SeaQuarium of her plight.
To the new owners of the SeaQuarium (Palace Entertainment & Parques Reunidos) and the old (Arthur & Andrew Hertz, amongst others), we are not going anywhere until she is returned to a sea pen near her native waters where you took her from in 1970!
Seaquarium Will Pay $7000 for Endangering Trainers in the Water with Captive Orca Lolita
For immediate release:
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited and fined the Miami Seaquarium for putting trainers in the water with an orca named Lolita, thereby violating worker safety laws. The national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent a formal complaint about this issue to OSHA on December 11, 2013. In a recent investigation, OSHA found trainers working with Lolita were exposed to various lethal hazards. The agency has required Seaquarium to remove its trainers from engaging in “wet work and dry work performances” in the pool. Because of the serious nature of the violation OSHA is fining the Miami Seaquarium $7,000.
Today more than 200 hundred activists and concerned citizens came out to the Miami SaeQuarium to demonstrate against marine mammal captivity. Lolita (aka Tokitae) has been confined to a small tank at the Miami SeaQuarium for almost 44 years. Lolita, along with other marine mammals like dolphins and sea lions are forced to perform tricks throughout the day and live out miserable lives of imprisonment.
Around the country and the world similar demonstrations were taking place at marine parks and aquariums as part of Empty The Tanks Worldwide. Empty the Tanks Worldwide was created when Rachel Carbary, a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Cove Guardian, who has traveled to Taiji, Japan to stand in opposition to the Taiji Dolphin Drive Hunt for the past two dolphin hunting seasons, had an idea to galvanize people into a worldwide event focused on ending marine mammal captivity.
This is the 2nd annual Empty the Tanks protest. This is a day for everyone around the world to stand up against marine mammal captivity. The abuse and exploitation of these sentient beings has no place in the 21st century.
On May 24th, protests and educational events will be held all over world in front of marine mammal parks and aquariums. If the park is exploiting marine mammals for entertainment and profit then we want people out front creating noise and awareness. The only way to close their doors for good is to get the general public to stop buying tickets. We need your voice, your posters, and your dedication to seeing an end to the captivity industry.
This is a huge step in the right direction!
The government has opened up their initial ruling to change the ESA language so that Lolita would become protected under the Endangered Species Act like the rest of her family. NMFS is asking for public comments over the next 2 months, let’s give it to them because you know the other side will be submitting their arguments why this not a good idea!
This is her last hope!! Please invite your friends to this event! https://www.facebook.com/events/1442245159341081/
1,800+ comments last time of which 13 were deemed useful by NMFS and enough for the Government to propose removing the captive restriction for Lolita! They’ve opened this up to Scientific Community, the Commercial industry (aka the Captivity Industry) and Us!
Posted on Animal Legal Defense Fund November 7, 2013
Captivity Industry on Trial as ALDF Urges Protective Barriers for All U.S. Marine Theme Parks
For immediate release:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Southern resident orca. (CC Miles Ritter)
MIAMI—Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent a formal letter to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), seeking enforcement of safety standards to protect workers from captive orcas at the Miami Seaquarium. OSHA currently relies upon the “general duty clause” of the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act (“the Act”) to protect orca trainers from injury and death, and ALDF’s letter argues that this clause should apply to every orca exhibitor in the marine display industry, from SeaWorld to the Miami Seaquarium. Today’s letter also requests greater investigation of industry safety violations as well as full enforcement of the Act’s general duty clause which OSHA interprets to require distance between employees and captive orcas on workplace premises during performances.