Page 1


November 9, 2011 Shelley Wood President, IMATA 1200 South Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60605-2490 Dear Ms. Wood, We write to you as a coalition of concerned citizens and grassroots organizations the world over regarding the drive fisheries in Taiji, Japan. In 2006, IMATA issued a position statement condemning the Japanese drive fisheries. We applaud that action. Since that date, however, thousands of dolphins have been killed in the bloody waters of Taiji - and IMATA has remained silent. Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that IMATA members have been directly involved in the drive fisheries - and IMATA has remained silent. We ask one simple question: WHY? According to the IMATA website,, in 2006, the IMATA Board approved the following position statement: IMATA The International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA) takes a strong position on the Japanese drive fisheries, which are debated frequently internationally. IMATA condemns the inhumane killing of dolphins and other cetaceans in the Japanese drive fisheries. IMATA members care deeply about dolphins and whales. Our mission and our work every day is to connect people and whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals to foster understanding, caring and respect, and to help preserve and protect their ocean environments. Given the 2006 position statement and the IMATA mission of “providing and advancing the most professional, effective, and humane care of marine animals in all habitats,� it would seem as though your organization would be on the forefront of efforts to end the Taiji drive hunts. Dolphins from Taiji are making their way into dolphinariums world-wide. Ceta-base, the online inventory of marine mammals reports the following outcomes from the Taiji drive fishery in the years since the IMATA position statement was released: 2010-2011: 2009: 2008: 2007: 2006:

1,297 captured, 849 killed and 98 sold into captivity 1,242 captured, 1,122 killed and 120 sold for captive display 1,495 captured, 1,402 killed and 93 sold for captive display 1,239 captured, 1,149 killed and 90 sold for captive display 1,624 captured, 1,499 killed and 125 sold for captive display

The Code of Ethics page on IMATA website refers to an inherent need to maintain a positive image in the eye of the public-at-large, to better prepare members to act as ambassadors of the marine mammal community in disseminating current knowledge and capability for the betterment of their profession, to promote dignity and respect for people as well as animals, and to ensure the best care possible for the animals in their charge. Furthermore, the first two points of the IMATA Code of Ethics are: 1. Exercising the highest levels of respect and humaneness for all animals; and 2. Exercising professional integrity in representing ourselves as members of the marine animal community, as representatives of the facilities we serve or as

members of this Association. It is well documented in the 2009 Academy Award winning documentary The Cove and also by volunteers on-the-ground with Save Japan Dolphins and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society that IMATA trainers are in the water of the Taiji Cove to select the dolphins for captivity, that trainers have been photographed abusing the dolphins in the Cove, and that trainers have been present during the violent slaughters. Additionally, numerous organizational members of IMATA are documented as in receipt of Taiji dolphins. How can IMATA condemn the drive fisheries and yet offer membership to those who support it? It is a complete contradiction of your own code of ethics. The International Coalition Against Cetacean Slaughter calls on IMATA to take action to bring an end the Taiji dolphin slaughter. Specifically, we ask that you stand behind the 2006 position statement and sever ties with all individuals and organizations involved in the Taiji drive fisheries including those involved in the selection, training, sale, transport or receipt of dolphins from the Taiji cove. To this end, we ask that you begin by immediately revoking the memberships and not offering new memberships to any parties involved with the drive fisheries in any way. The waters of the Taiji cove have been stained with the blood of dolphins for far too long. Please clarify IMATA’s present position on this ongoing tragedy and join with us to end it once and for all. Thank you for your time. We look forward to your prompt reply. Sincerely,

The International Coalition Against Cetacean Slaughter: Champions for Cetaceans Cyber Whale Warriors Dolphins Love Us Earthrace Conservation Organization Earthrace Conservation Organization Africa Earthrace Conservation Organization Australia Earthrace Conservation Organization Latin America Earthrace Conservation Organization New Zealand Earthrace Conservation Organization Sweden Earthrace Conservation Organization UK JFG Family Campaign to Save Whale and Dolphins Len Varley, Author, Salt Water Tears London Against Cetacean Slaughter Mark Caney, Author, Dolphin Way Ocean Bloggers Alliance Save Japan Dolphins UK Save Misty the Dolphin Taiji Dolphin Action Group The Blackfish The Orca Project

cc: Daniel Knorr, CEO, Tropical Seas, Inc. Terri Miller, Owner, Custom Tails Jewelry William Fischer, President, Emery Winslow Scale Company David Jackson, CEO, Conservation Ambassadors, Inc. Nicole Kriwinsky, Owner, Ocean Tec Wet Suits James Gorrie, CEO, Brasfield & Gorrie Kathi Davis, President, McRoberts Sales Co., Inc. Brad J. Kerbs, CEO, Mazuri - Purina Mills Dan Bauman, CFO, Swank Audio Visuals Brian Masuga, Director of Operations, Lunar Cow Wyland

Final Letter  
Final Letter  

review for approval