September 6, 2004
Taffy Lee Williams
Fourteen dedicated activists shook the boardwalk yesterday as hundreds of passers-by encouraged and praised our efforts to remove the beluga whales from the New York Aquarium.
The picture-perfect weather and large turnout made this an exceptional event. Police and Aquarium security were on hand to witness the tremendous public support. Hundreds of pieces of anti-captivity literature were distributed.
Many people stated that though they had not thought about the situation before, after learning about the issue believed that keeping whales, dolphins or sea lions in concrete tanks was simply wrong.
"It's terrible!" a Brooklyn resident remarked, as she joined in the strong, determined chants led by protestor, Greg Novara.
"One-Two-Three-Four! Open Up The Tank Doors!
Five-Six-Seven-Eight! Educate and Liberate!"
"One Struggle! One Fight!
Human Freedom! Animal Rights!"
These were the sounds of the protestors, heard from a distance on the beach and up and down the boardwalk, as Labor Day vacationers stopped and signed letters, read our signs, and joined in the singing. This was a day of victory for the belugas inside, endlessly circling three small holding tanks, filled with chemical and chlorine-treated water.
Some of the signs read:
BELUGAS IN CHLORINATED TANKS =
WHALES IN CONCRETE TANKS:
Inside the Aquarium, three Arctic Beluga Whales endure a chillingly disturbing confinement. Life in these unnatural concrete tanks is shortened, maddeningly monotonous, and may even lead to chlorine-induced blindness. In the wild, belugas are known as the "CANARIES OF THE SEA," because of their constant chatter, song and incredible vocal dexterity. The beluga "CANARIES OF THE SEA" in the New York Aquarium are silent.
After one blind beluga whale died in April, two more whales were brought in, originally on loan to the Mystic Aquarium. One of the whales is wild caught, from one of the notoriously violent wild whale roundups, another's origin is reported as "unknown" by NOAA/NMFS, which activists believe means it is probably wild-caught as well. The third beluga whale was captive born.
These large, silent, often-blinded belugas are kept in concrete tanks at an enormous expense to the City of New York. Last year, the city proposed a 50% cut in funding for the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages and operates the NY Aquarium. The cuts were expected to finally close the beluga exhibit.
Although aquarium security guards were present during the event, there was no response from the NY Aquarium to the activities.
"When Innocent Whales Are Under Attack, What Do We Do?
Stand up! Fight Back!"
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League is organizing a "Wildlife and Environmental Action Day," on Sunday, September 26, 2004, in White Plains, NY. Please see the flyer below for more information.
Click on this image for a larger printable flyer (Requires the free Adobe Reader or equivalent.)
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League
PO Box 273, Yonkers, NY 10707 USA
To subscribe send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
A Project of Cetacean Society International
URL for this page: http://ny4whales.org/pressrel20040906.html