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To All Dolphin-Safe Companies in Indonesia

We are providing you with evidence that dolphins and whales are being actively killed in Indonesia. This, despite the Indonesian law prohibiting harming of dolphins and whales in Indonesian territory. This evidence proves our claims are fact.

The first attachment is a video interview where a local fisherman in in Flores describes how dolphins are being captured using home-made bombs to be slaughtered to use as bait for longliners which catch sharks for their fins. The interview mentions how lucrative the shark fin business is, with one kilo of fins costing One Million Rupiah. This is a total outrage and a definite image problem for Indonesia.

photo of a whale on the beach dead, people crowding around it with tools and rope

The second attachment is a picture of local peoples butchering a Killer Whale (Orcinus orca), which is also of the dolphin family. This orca was swimming with a calf which was also killed. Orcas in Indonesia are so rarely studied and yet their slaughter seems to be tolerated. The picture of the Orca being butchered was taken in Lamalera Village, Lembata Island, Flores.

Our network of international marine mammal experts were shocked that this is happening in Indonesia. Dr. Paul Spong, world-renowned Orca research specialist with 50 years of experience comments: "I am deeply saddened by the news that a female orca and her baby have been killed by dolphin hunters in Indonesia. Orcas live in small populations, and each individual has a vital role in family and community. The orca population in Indonesian waters is tiny, and sightings are rare. Without question, this loss will have a significant impact on the family and population these orcas are part of. Beyond this is the tragedy that lies in the senseless deaths of magnificent, intelligent and social beings whose lives enthrall people around the world. The incredible journey of Keiko (Free Willy) from captivity to freedom showed how deeply people care about orcas, and he remains in the hearts of millions to this day. Orcas stay in their family groups for life, they bear no malice towards humans, and deserve only to be left alone, to pursue their lives in peace. May this sad day be the last of its kind."

It is estimated that worldwide population of orcas is around 10,000 individuals only.

photo of a small whale, dead with a wound on a beach

The third and fourth picture is a marine mammal identified as a Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps), which was pregnant with a young calf. These animals were slaughtered in Lamahera, Flores.

photo of a baby whale on a wooden table, dead with abundant blood

The on-going slaughter of dolphins in Indonesia is totally unacceptable. All dolphin-safe companies in Indonesia must join Earth Island in exposing this practice and urging the Indonesian government to swiftly act to end this. Our investigation is on-going and all dolphin safe companies is not to deal in any way with fisheries associated with these dolphin kills. The Associations that deal in tuna processing, export, must demand that the Indonesian government enforce the laws protecting these species.

This issue will be elevated to the national and international media this week. More importantly, importers from the USA and Europe will be notified that this is happening in Indonesia and consumers will cease purchasing any fish products of Indonesia due to campaigns launched by other NGOs. Earth Island will be exposing this at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels next week in addition to the European Tuna Conference on May 2.

All dolphin-safe tuna companies in Indonesia must therefore cooperate and assist Earth Island in stopping this indiscriminate practice.

Your immediate reply is requested that you understand the serious problem in Indonesia.

Sincerely,
Mark Berman
Associate Director
Earth Island Institute

Trixie Concepcion
Regional Director
Earth Island Institute

International Marine Mammal Project
is a project of Earth Island Institute.

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E-mail us at marinemammal@earthisland.org