Monday, December 20, 2010

Keeping The Pressure On IMATA

Keeping the pressure on IMATA – by Greg and Posh

In 2006, the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association (IMATA) issued a statement condemning the practice of dolphin drives and facilities that benefit or receive marine mammals as a result of dolphin drives. Since that statement, facilities receiving dolphins from documented dolphin drives and slaughters have enjoyed full access to all the education and services IMATA offers. IMATA contends allowing these facilities, and their employees, access to education and training is key to influencing change and stopping the dolphin drives. In contrast, individuals speaking against IMATA, questioning their resolve or tactics, are restricted and their comments removed from IMATA’s discussion boards.
It seems ironic that facilities which publicly and willfully contradict IMATA’s code of ethics still receive the full benefits of membership. These facilities do not appear to share the values or mission for conservation IMATA publishes on their website ( yet with the knowledge gained from IMATA, they are able to ensure their facilities improve and profit. By allowing these facilities full IMATA membership and privileges, IMATA promotes the perception they not only condone the dolphin drives, but ensure the process continues.  

IMATA, as an organization, received a tremendous amount of attention regarding their membership and practices prior to the 2010 annual conference in December. Unfortunately, public pressure has decreased following the conference as access to their discussion boards has been restricted. IMATA isn’t just hopeful public pressure will ease, they are counting on it. At the 2009 mid-year board meeting, Michael Hunt, then President of IMATA, stated he felt questions of IMATA’s association would come but “believes they will go away with time”.

Don’t let the issue of dolphin drives fall by the wayside. IMATA is in a position to exhort  massive public and professional pressure on governments, facilities and individuals associated with dolphin drives. Don’t let the restrictions stop you, take a moment to contact IMATA and urge them to take greater action to end dolphin drives:

General Contact:                         
Dave Roberts,
Michael Osborn,
President Elect                            
Mark Xitco,
Legistaltion, Information & Policy 

Article reprinted from post by: Discovering our Route

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