Update On La Paz Dolphins

A recent Washington Post article (03/20/01) reports that Mexican officials

have placed a temporary ban on the capture of wild dolphins. This step

comes in response to a flood of public concern over the shoddy living

conditions reported for eight dolphins captured for display in a tourist

facility in La Paz, Mexico (FINS: Dolphin Learning Center).

After one of

the dolphins died just weeks after its capture, Mexico’s Secretary of the

Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) conducted an investigation of

FINS and found that the La Paz facility violated the conditions of its

capture permit-especially regarding veterinary care, food, the quality of

the installations (pool and quarantine holdings), and the emergency plan.

Furthermore, the dolphins were at imminent risk of physical harm as a

result of the unsafe condition of the enclosure’s fencing, inadequate

maintenance of the facility, and shallow water.

The temporary moratorium

on dolphin capture permits is meant to give the SEMARNAT time to establish

a set of regulations for capture, management, and confinement of marine


To read the Washington Post story online, go to:



Tell the Mexican government that you would like to see

the moratorium on dolphin capture made permanent. You should also ask them

to establish strict regulations for care and maintenance (rather than

establishing standards by permit on a case-by-case basis) and ask them to

establish strict regulations for the import and export of captive


Send correspondence to:

Dr. Victor Lichtinger, Secretaria del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT)

Periferico Sur 4209

Col. Jardines en la Montana

Tlalpan 14210 Mexico DF Mexico

Fax: 01152-56-28-06-43

email: vlichtinger@semarnat.gob.mx

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