Dolphins illegally in the EU? Dolphinarium owners refusing DNA analyses

Radolfzell/Bucarest – The animal protection organization ProWal and the Whale-and Dolphinprotection-Forum (WDSF) are looking for evidence in the dolphinarium in Constanta, town in the EU country Rumania, of their illegal import of dolphins from Taiji/Japan. None of the 30 dolphinariums in the EU answered when asked about the DNA analysis of the dolphins held in captivity in zoos and pleasure parks, which would have no doubt given insight into the origin of the dolphins. The Washington Species Protection Act (CITES) forbids the import of dolphins for commercial use. Last September ProWal inspected the dolphinarium in Constanta, Rumania, after the organization was told that dolphins were held there, which came from the brutal drive-hunts in Taiji. ProWal found only two of the original three dolphins, which were bought for Euros 500.000 from a zoo in Peking under the pretense that these were captivity-bred dolphins. He was told that one dolphin had died. The Rumanian dolphinarium owner, furthermore, maintained that these dolphins were second generation. This, however, could time wise not be possible, the dolphin-protection organization replied, since the only successful breeding of a dolphin happened as proven in 2003 and this dolphin calf did not survive. The dolphin protectors, furthermore, pointed out that there was no documentation of any successful breeding in the second generation ever in Peking. To the contrary, China, Russia and the Ukraine belong to the group of the largest buyers of dolphins caught in the wild from Japan. The Rumanian government in Bucarest also refused to hand over documentation regarding DNA analysis and so did the dolphinarium owner in Constanta. Juergen Ortmueller, CEO of the WDSF: “We are missing here transparency from all the dolphinariums in Europe, which are hiding behind their own creation the EEP, so that nobody from the outside can find out what is going on.” A financial investor from Suceava in Rumania by the name of Popescu, contacted ProWal last fall asking for support to construct a new private dolphin pool, because he stumbled onto our website by searching the internet and was under the impression the ProWal is an organization supporting dolphinariums. After the dolphins had been imported from China, Russia or the Ukraine, the private dolphin tank was going to be opened to the public and bring a nice income. The procuring of import documents would not be a problem he explains. Since none of the named countries has any success in breeding to show, WSDF and ProWal assume that all the dolphins will come from Japan via the other countries into Rumania. Furthermore, ProWal and WDSF found through their research that the EU is supporting the construction of a dolphinarium in Rumania by dipping into a building fund to the tune of 900.000 Euros and has also footed a major part of the construction cost of 11.5 million Euros of a dolphinarium in the Lithuanian town of Kleipeda. ProWal and the WDSF demand from the EU to immediately stop the support for the construction of the dolphinariums in Rumania and Lithuania. Furthermore, a ban without exception should be implemented in the EU since there is a great lack of transparency regarding the origin of the animals in the existing dolphinariums and there is no control