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Dear EcoCare Maldives,
I am Mark Berman Associate Director of Earth Island Institute and the director of dolphin safe tuna monitoring worldwide. This includes the dolphin safe tuna industry of Maldives.
I can state that the claim that only captive born dolphins from outside Maldives will be imported is still what it is a slave trade in dolphins for human abuse. The traffic in live dolphins MUST end. Breeding IS NOT sustainable in a captive setting. Keeping these dolphins in pens is also going to risk non native diseases to be spread to the wild dolphins of Maldives, plus if any escape these non native dolphins can cause genetic problems with the wild population.
Earth Island is also behind The Cove movie which stars Ric Obarry of our staff. We are prepared to launch an international campaign against this Maldives govt. sponsored BAD IDEA. We have over 2 million signatures on Facebook causes against the Japan govt.
Trade and killing of dolphins. Does Maldives want to really join this club of dolphin abuse after years of enjoying dolphin safe status? The tuna industry will be at risk if the govt allows imports of dolphins. The person proposing this does not discuss the source of the dolphins.
If they are captive bred, this means nothing as the parents were brutally captured from the wild. Therefore , the proponent is just as guilty as those capturing and trading in live dolphins. Ric Obarry and I will challenge the proponent and the Govt ministers to a debate in public in Male’ to show that the Maldives does not need to go down this road.
Earth Island Institute
Mark Berman is an Associate Director at the Earth Island Institute, International Marine Mammal Project and also is the Director, Dolphin-Safe Tuna Monitoring Program.
Mark Berman joined Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project in 1991, and currently serves as Director of the International Monitoring Program for Dolphin Safe Tuna. With teams in 17 countries and the cooperation of over 370 companies, Berman works with the European Dolphin Safe Monitoring Organization to promote and license the registered dolphin-safe logo. Established to identify canned tuna processors, retailers and importers in the EU and other regions worldwide working in compliance, he campaigns to end fisheries unsafe to dolphins and stop whaling in Japan.