September 26, 1997

Amazon River Dolphin Victory

Victory for Endangered Amazon River Dolphins

Due to widespread and international pressure from environmentalists, scientists, and animal welfare goups worldwide, The Dallas World Aquarium (DWA) withdrew it's permit application to capture and import four Amazon River Dolphins, inia geoffrenses. "Thankfully this irresponsible DWA project is now DOA" states Earth Island's Mark Berman. "This is a victory for dolphins and the Marine Mammal Protection Act over big money interests and dolphin exploiters.

Scientific data clearly show that this species is vulnerable in the wild and fares poorly in captivity." Dallas World Aquarium had applied to capture and import the dolphins from the Venezuelan Amazon for a commercial venture. Scientists and conservationists claimed that the plan served no educational or conservation purpose. Out of more than 100 Amazon dolphins captured in the past 35 years, only three are alive today, one in the US and two in Germany.

In the United States, the campaign to stop the project was spearheaded by Mr. Berman and visiting Columbian dolphin researcher Salome Dusson. In addition, the Dallas based Animal Liberation of Texas and the CFN contributed significantly to the projects demise.

The international coalition preventing the capture of the four inia is now stressing the need for greater conservation measures, further scientifc studies and greater inter-American co-operation to preserve this highly endangered species. Earth Island Institute is a nonprofit conservation and education organization working to preserve the biological and cultural diversity of the Earth. The Int ernational Marine Mammal Project protects dolphins, whales, and other marine mammals around the world.

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