Please Help Save Wild Dolphin Swims in Hawaii
MORE COMMENTS ABOUT NOAA/NMFS:
COMMENT from Joan Ocean October 6, 2016
Co-founder of Dolphin Connection International, located in Hawaii.
A resident of Hawaii for 28 years.
A Master of Science degree in Psychology and Human Development.
Researching Hawaiian Spinner dolphins for the past 28 years and still continuing in that field of work now.
I am submitting my Comments in response to some erroneous statements made by agents working for NOAA and NMFS regarding the human-dolphin community on the Kona side of the Big Island..
Number 1 ) Swimmers cannot be accused of Harassing the dolphins and disobeying any law on that subject, because as of 28 years ago we developed a Protocol and put it in place to educate swimmers and protect the dolphins. All the boat captains and all the tour boats and all the spiritual retreats on the Kona side of the Big Island, require adherence to these rules ensuring that the people in the water are respectful when the dolphins arrive.
Number 2 ) A human swimmer cannot harm a dolphin who can swim at 25-35 mph, (which we cannot do !) The dolphins dive very deeply (over 600 feet - documented) and they are extremely powerful. Sharks avoid the dolphins because dolphins can kill a shark if they need to. The dolphins can sonar and locate the internal organs of sharks, and plow directly into the shark at great speed, causing instant death. However here in Hawaii we see dolphins and sharks feeding together on Fish Balls aka Bait Balls. In other words --- they are not necessarily dangerous to each other.
Number 3 ) For Your Information and we in the community here already know this. THE DOLPHINS ARE MOST PLAYFUL EARLY IN THE MORNING. They are not on a human schedule of sleeping and waking. When they arrive in the morning from time in the deep outer ocean, they want to play. Later in the morning or early afternoon they go away on their own and leave us. You must have noticed that there are few boats seeking dolphin contact in the afternoons every day. Why is that?
WHY? It's because the dolphins are doing something else and mostly, not around. The dolphins Self-Regulate their activities with us.
As Dr. Ken Norris and Randy Wells (cetacean researchers) reported accurately in their seminal book: Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins, published in 1994: Quote: “The Spinner dolphins’ rest period begins around mid-day and extends into the afternoon.” found on Page 141, paragraph 2.
And on page 117: Quote: “The pattern of rest periods occurred mainly in the mid-day hours.”
(So don’’t try to tell us they come to shore all tired and want to go to sleep. This is totally untrue.) As we know dolphins sleep patterns are not sleep patterns at all!! They can rest while they swim and while they play and while they feed. They do not need to go to bed and lay down and be quiet. Their brains are more complex than ours and in acoustic areas, more active than ours. There is no research that says the dolphins need a specific time of day or night to sleep. When talking about dolphins the word SLEEP is a misnomer. They rest parts of their brains -- at the same time that they are keeping other parts of their brain active and interactive to swim, communicate with each other, and enjoy time with swimmers.
Number 4 ) As an example of how the Hawaiian Spinner dolphins react to swimmers, I will give you my initial experience: The Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins initiated this contact with me in 1989 when I did not know how to swim. I was enjoying floating quietly on a boogie board in the Bay when they came around me, ….. not just once, but over and over again on that first day. So much so…. that on that first day, I remained floating in the bay on the boogie board for 5 hours without food or drink, fascinated by their curious behavior. And that was how it all began. From that day on I continued to float in the bay and finally I learned to swim. They were the ones who surrounded me and began teaching me about who they are. And I was a willing to be their ‘student’.
Number 5 ) If you hope to force this through, you will be in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act which mandates that the economy of the local environment must be considered and is paramount to any decision you make that would harm the local economy. If it is determined that the human-dolphin swim economy on the Big Island — benefits in dollar figures of $1,000,000.00 you must not disrupt it. These interactive and friendly behaviors of the dolphins are bringing tourists and raising the economy to well over one Million dollars a year. It is the second most popular tourist attraction on the Big Island.
It is not about the money, as far as all of us are concerned, but it is about your respecting the laws to protect the local economy.
Number 6 ) The human-dolphin interactions here that include the Spinners, the Bottlenose on occasion, and the Spotted dolphins, are something that this island is proud of. We are in communication with the highly intelligent dolphins, another sentient species, like us. We are learning from them, from their example of kindness and community living. They choose to be with us.
What has organically grown here along the Kona Coast due to the dolphins approaching us and initiating it, and due to our respectful and caring response to them, is unique in the world. I ask you to respect and honor this friendly and compassionate human-dolphin community. A benevolent community where we assist them countless times in the dangers of: floating fishing lines, non-degradable objects (plastic bags, ropes, debris weighing them down in the ocean) protecting them from sonar technology and objects twisted around their rostrums, dorsals and tails in the water (many dolphins approach swimmers for help in detaching these items) and we responsibly clean-up their environment in the bays after powerful hurricanes and tsunamis have pulled toxic structures into the water... such as the entire furnished house that capsized into Kealakekua Bay.
Number 7 ) Since the ALTERNATIVES YOU (NOAA & NMFS & DLNR) have put forward, all require No Contact, they are all insupportable. Unless you can come together with us to find a fair agreement, I must choose your Alternative # ONE.
Let’s work together. Thank you.
Joan Ocean, Hawaii, 2016
This is a statement to correct some of the mis-information being circulated by the offices of NOAA/NMFS regarding dolphin behaviors.
* * *
As a dolphin researcher living here for 28 years, I have observed that:
Dolphins’ “sleep” patterns cannot be compared to human sleep patterns.
Dolphins never sleep. If they did they would cease to breathe and they would die.
They are conscious breathers, making every breath they take by choice and therefore they are never “asleep” (See neurological research of Dr. John C. Lilly)
Dolphins can rest parts of their brain while other parts always remain awake.
For example: When the Hawaiian Spinner dolphins residing along the west coast of the Big Island find a leaf floating in the water and bring it to us, they often have their eyes closed. They play with us and the leaves for hours at a time. Catching the leaf, draping it over their tail or dorsal fin or rostrum and swim it over to us, releasing it and waiting for us to catch it. Swimmers catch the leaf, dive with it, release it in the water and watch the dolphin come to catch it again. Throughout this process, they may or may not have their eyes closed. However they are awake and playful. (we have many hours of footage of this to show you.)
Therefore to claim that dolphins require specific times to sleep in the style of humans is incorrect.
Dolphins can play, rest, travel and feed whenever they choose. They play and rest simultaneously.
Here on the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii, we have always respected the protocol to protect dolphins. It has been in place among boat captains and swimmers since 1990.
Everyone here on the west coast of the Big Island follows these rules:
1. We never feed the dolphins.
2. We never touch the dolphins.
3. We do not use our arms swimming with an overhand stroke. We keep our arms quietly at our sides.
4. We do nothing that would startle the dolphins, which means we are gentle in the ocean.
5. We are respectful of other swimmers allowing each dolphin and human pair to have their own private encounter. Because of this the dolphins choose to swim with us every day.
Erroneous NOAA Statement - “Dolphins are put at risk of shark attacks”.
For 28 years I have witnessed dolphins and sharks swimming together. Especially the bottlenose dolphins, the Pilot whales and the oceanic sharks. They are not enemies. If for some reason an aberrant shark would make an aggressive move toward a dolphin, the dolphin immediately uses it’s sonar to locate the kidney or liver of the shark and at great speed, rams the shark and kills it. This is rarely required. Sharks are not enemies of the dolphins. Note: There are countless numbers of stories of dolphins escorting and protecting swimmers in the presence of a shark. This is to alleviate the fear of the swimmers so they can continue to swim calmly and return to land safely. The dolphins are not afraid of sharks.
Thank you for this opportunity to tell you about the Hawaiian Spinner dolphins who live here.
Joan Ocean, M.S.
If you can't swim faster than a dolphin, you may be going to jail next Summer... Please Share
You've probably heard about NOAA proposing changes to guidelines which could make it illegal to swim with wild dolphins. Like me, you probably assumed that your news outlet of choice could be trusted to be giving you the whole story. Unfortunately, it turns out not to be the case, allthough they may be forgiven for assuming it's safe to cut and paste the press release when it comes from a federal agency. I wouldn't have been any the wiser unless my very personal interest in these guidelines led me to actually read all the research papers and discover that the impression I had been getting from those headlines was missing some really important facts.
5 Things you need to know about the proposed changes to guidelines on Wild Dolphin Swims in Hawaii.
1) If this proposal goes through and a dolphin swims towards you, you'd better turn your back on it and start swimming away as fast as possible, since failure to keep 50 yards away will get you a minimum $27,000 fine and a year in jail. That's right, it's going to be a felony, so you're going to find getting a job tough and you may not be able to get a passport.
2) The "compelling" research that NOAA has referred to - (you may want to start noticing the fact they haven't use the words "conclusive", "proof" or "evidence" anywhere) was funded in part by DOLPHIN QUEST - the operator of captive dolphin swim programs with an enormous vested interest in becoming the only legal way that people can interact with dolphins. This fact was mysteriously missed off the slides at the public meetings and press releases, and a NOOA official actually denied it at the first public meeting in Hawaii, before her colleague grabbed the mike to reassure everybody "it was only a little bit of money, and right at the end. " When asked if there was a minimum level at which conflict of interest policy is triggered, she replied "we are not in the business of regulating scientists". *** see NOAA code of Scientific Conduct below
3)There is no evidence that the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin population is on the decrease, not least because actually nobody can agree on a way to count the dolphins to come up with an accurate figure. Research has not shown that there is any direct let alone adverse correlation between Human Swim Activity and the health or population size of the Spinner Dolphins. To begin with, you don't need a PHD to know that research without control groups isn't good science. The study looking at this came up with their own guesstimate of how much rest dolphins need, applied that number universally to dolphins of all ages and activity levels and then calculated how much rest they were getting solely by observing the dolphins above the water. (And of course, only while they were watching them. ) All that being said, the study said that some of them were probably getting less but some of them were probably getting more than the estimated amount needed. The logic behind this proposed ban is the equivalent of the government deciding that watching tv and going out with friends is a public health risk and imposing a national curfew at sunset each night, keeping everyone inside, shutting off the power grid and the internet just to make sure people aren't socializing or entertaining themselves when they should be getting 8 hours of sleep every night. I'll hazard a guess that would certainly increase our population size.
4) NOAA has authorized military training and testing activities which include sonar testing, and the detonation of various missiles underwater which will disturb the dolphins by deafening and disorienting them, preventing them from resting, diving, evading predators. feeding or mating. The majority of this is expected to have only temporary effects, although a small number of dolphins are expected to be fatally injured. Unlike the friendly human swimmers, the dolphins will be powerless to escape or avoid this form of harassment and yet NOAA has said that all of this, which will effect 11,000 Hawaiin Spinner dolphins over a 5 year period will have "negligible effect" - yet human swim activity is something to be very concerned about?
5) NOAA's plans don't contain any checks or balances to make sure their theory was correct. At a minimum there should be a trial period for any changes, with an independent assessment of whether they have been effective in their goals. I think there is a good reason this hasn't been included. If you haven’t got a way to prove that human swim activity is doing any harm, you also won’t have a way to show that banning it has done any good.
NOAA has spent an undisclosed amount of money on research to back an action plan to target the purely speculative risk posed to the dolphins by human swim activity. There has been no mention of any of the other known threats to the dolphins that are perhaps where NOAA should really be focussing its efforts. What about coming up with guidelines to address the effect on the dolphins of climate change, military testing, decreased food stocks, the threat posed by certain types of commercial fishing, industrial waste and pesticides polluting the dolphin's resting habitats.
I believe some form of coordination and education around wild dolphins swim activity is appropriate in order to ensure that the rights of free dolphins to have free will encounters with humans is preserved for future generations of both species. The two options proposed by NOAA, do nothing or ban it altogether are woefully inadequate. Much more research should be done on the risks as well as the benefits to dolphins and humans of these free will encounters and the science exists to do it.
I support concsious and responsible encounters between humans and wild dolphins founded in an interspecies ethics perspective that sees our role as co-inhabitants and stewards of this planet but does not make the paternalistic and patronizing assumption that we have the automatic right to make decisions for sentient animals of extremely high intelligence .
*** The NOAA CODE OF SCIENTIFIC CONDUCT. 18 requires that "All NOAA employees and contractors identified in Section 2.02 and all NOAA financial assistance award recipients and other NOAA research partners and collaborators identified in Section 2.03 will, to the best of their ability, be:
a Honest in all aspects of scientific effort and:
￼▪ Clearly differentiate between facts, personal opinions, assumptions, hypotheses, and professional judgment in reporting the results of scientific activities and characterizing associated uncertainties in using those results for decision-making, and in representing those results to other scientists, decisionmakers, and the public.
￼▪ Disclose any apparent, potential, or actual financial conflicts of interest or non-financial conflicts of interest of their own and others.
￼▪ Objectively consider conflicting data and/or studies.
￼▪ Acknowledge in publications the names and roles of those who made significant contributions to the research, including writers, funders, sponsors, and others who do not meet authorship criteria."
COMMENTS SENT ON 10/23/16:
I am writing to submits my comments and voice concern regarding the content and dissemination of the proposed regulations with regard to the Section 515 OMB guidelines. (Federal Register: February 22, 2002, Volume 67, Number 36, pp. 8452‑8460) and the OMB Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (Bulletin) (Public Law 106-554).
A. The best available information does not support NMFS’s conclusion that the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin population is at risk as a result of human swim activity.
The proposal is based on a wholly unsubstantiated hypothesis that short-term behavorial response to human swim activity constitutes disturbance and may prove detrimental to the health, fitness and population of the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins. There are no data to evidence a direct correlation between human swim activity and any long term changes in behavior or health. NMFS has manipulated public perception that such a risk exists by misrepresenting speculative conclusions in a small number of studies consisting of limited short-term observation of activity as evidence of disturbance to behavior that may be qualified as “take” in order to justify regulatory activity.
The agency itself admits “Currently, long-term Hawaiian spinner dolphin residency and population monitoring data is insufficient to clearly identify whether individual dolphins are already showing long-term fitness impacts from disturbances within essential daytime habitats.”
The proposed guidelines state that “Scientific literature documents disturbance to individual spinner dolphins by swimmers and vessels (Forest 2001; Courbis and Timmel 2009), as well as changes in spinner dolphin groups’ behavioral patterns in essential daytime habitats over time (Courbis 2004, 2007; Timmel et al. 2008; Östman-Lind 2007; Danil et al. 2005; Forest 2001).”
This statement is misleading at best since reading the cited studies reveals the following findings:
“Once spinner dolphin groups have descended into rest, their behavior becomes relatively consistent and resistant to change.” (Norris et al., 1994).
“The lack of significant correlation between levels of behavior and traffic may be because there is no relationship, the relationship between them is not linear, or there are motivations for aerial behavior aside from vessels and swimmers. Given the preliminary nature of our study and the small number of observation days we were able to fund, we believe this warrants further research.” “ We cannot directly link the increases in vessel and swimmer traffic in Kealake‘akua Bay to these changes in aerial behavior, it is likely that vessel and swimmer activity is at least synergistically involved in causing these changes. Whether these changes are affecting the survival and fitness of spinner dolphins is unknown.” Courbis and Timmel 2009
"There were no statistically significant correlations between the mean number of any particular category of aerial behaviors per hour or the overall mean number of aerial behaviors per hour and the mean intensity of vessels/swimmers per hour.” Courbis 2004
Forest (2001) suggested that the reduction she found in aerial behavior might indicate diminished energy levels.vessels/swimmers per hour within 50m of the pod in any of the bay.” ibid
" because the sample size for this study was so small, i do not think it is appropriate to try to find a polynomial that describes the relationship." ibid
"a third possibility is that there are motivations for aerial behavior aside from vessel/swimmer approach (Norris et al, 1994), and aerial behaviors brought on by these alternative motivations confound the data. i think this is likely the situation." ibid
The cornerstone of the argument that dolphin are being deprived of essential rest and that the proposed regulations will enhance the health and fitness of the dolphins is entirely without substantiation.
Johnson et al. (2013) assessed the influence of human activity on the energy budget of Hawaiian spinner dolphins using a theoretical model and comparing predictions from the model to empirical data collected in Kealakekua Bay on spinner dolphin behavior. Under the model, individual dolphins needed to spend at least 60 percent of their time inshore in a resting state to be in a positive energetic balance. Given this assumption, direct observations of spinner dolphins suggest that these animals are currently spending adequate amounts of time engaged in resting behaviors to meet their energetic requirements; Johnson et al 2013
The use of aerial activity as an indicator of energy expenditure and sufficient rest cannot be interpreted without control data for dolphins during rest periods occurring without observation at other times during a 24 hour period. Furthermore, these calculations are meaningless in the absence of correlation to the variability of energy budget by species, age, sex and differing demands on energy expenditure which vary widely and are continuously in flux according to specifics of species, age, sex, reproductive life, habitat, meteorological conditions, lunar cycle, pollution, water temperature, availability of prey, presence of predators, take by fishing and military training and testing activities to name but a few.
The proposals are noticeably lacking in heeding the almost universal recommendations of the research it cites that further study is necessary to understand potential impact on the dolphins from human activity. Aside from aerial activity, there are other methodologies by which disturbance could be objectively assessed such as new field techniques that permit measurement of physiological responses from unrestrained cetaceans at sea, including measures of cardiac activity (Johnson and Tyack 2003) and body condition (Moore et al. 2001).
The proposal does not include some of the most relevant and up to date research in this field, such as the 2015 study by Hartel, Constantine and Torres which has discredits the preferred option showing that static management boundaries as ineffective in conservation efforts with dolphins.
Hartel, E. F., Constantine, R., and Torres, L. G. (2015) Changes in habitat use patterns by bottlenose dolphins over a 10-year period render static management boundaries ineffective. Aquatic Conserv: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst., 25: 701–711. doi: 10.1002/aqc.2465.
The most notable omission however, is that the document makes no reference to single most promising, scientifically valid measurement tool for biological significance of behavioral change in dolphins in response to disturbance. This break-through research describes the development of a mathematical model by which the impact from human swim activity could be objectively assessed and monitored.
“Behavioural change in response to anthropogenic activities is often assumed to indicate a biologically significant effect on a population of concern. Disturbances can affect individual health through lost foraging time or other behaviours, which will impact vital rates and thus the population dynamics. However, individuals may be able to compensate for the observed shifts in behaviour, leaving their health and thus their vital rates and population dynamics, unchanged.. Behavioural change should not automatically be correlated with biological significance when assessing the conservation and management needs of species of interest. This strengthens the argument to use population dynamics targets to manage human activities likely to disturb wildlife.”
New, L. F., Harwood, J., Thomas, L., Donovan, C., Clark, J. S., Hastie, G., Thompson, P. M., Cheney, B., Scott-Hayward, L. and Lusseau, D. (2013), Modelling the biological significance of behavioural change in coastal bottlenose dolphins in response to disturbance. Funct Ecol, 27: 314–322. doi:10.1111/1365-2435.12052
B) OBJECTIVITY AND FREEDOM FROM BIAS
“First, in order for information to be considered objective, it must be presented in an accurate, clear, complete, and unbiased manner. Id. The agency must present the information in the proper context and identify the source (to the extent possible consistent with confidentiality protections) along with the supporting data or models so that the public can assess for itself whether there may be some reason to question the objectivity of the sources. 67 F.R. at 8459. Second, the substance of information disseminated must be accurate, reliable and unbiased. Id. Agencies must identify the sources of the disseminated information, the methods used to produce it, and provide full, accurate, and transparent documentation. 67 F.R. at 8460.”
The NOAA policy on Integrity of Scientific activities
requires that it must “Communicate scientific and technological findings by including a clear explication of underlying assumptions; accurate context of uncertainties; and a description of the probabilities associated with both optimistic and pessimistic projections, including best-case and worst-case scenarios, except in extraordinary or emergency situations.”
Another area of serious concern is the bias that has been exhibited in the content and dissemination of the proposal. This proposal is clearly skewed towards worse case scenario speculations of risk and best case scenario postulations of “fitness-enhacing benefits” of the proposed regulations, entirely without evidence.
The histrionic portrayal of the Hawaiian Spinner dolphins as being harassed by swimmers “chasing” them is both biologically impossible, not factual as well as clearly biased. Linguistic qualifiers such as “may” “could” and “might” have been skillfully deployed to sway public opinion justify these premature and draconian measures.
Contrast this with the current letter of authorization to the Navy which asserts that 11,000 cases of harassment including disorientation and inability to feed, rest or reproduce caused by sonic injury, explosions and missiles amongst other unavoidable stressors will have a negligible effect on the Spinner population. Yet the benign presence of humans that are effortlessly avoided is a dire threat to the well-being and existence of the population.
C) Transparency and freedom from conflict of interest
The NOOA CODE OF SCIENTIFIC CONDUCT. 18 requires that "All NOAA employees and contractors identified in Section 2.02 and all NOAA financial assistance award recipients and other NOAA research partners and collaborators identified in Section 2.03 will, to the best of their ability, be:
a Honest in all aspects of scientific effort and:
▪ Clearly differentiate between facts, personal opinions, assumptions, hypotheses, and professional judgment in reporting the results of scientific activities and characterizing associated uncertainties in using those results for decision-making, and in representing those results to other scientists, decisionmakers, and the public.
▪ Disclose any apparent, potential, or actual financial conflicts of interest or non-financial conflicts of interest of their own and others.
▪ Objectively consider conflicting data and/or studies.
▪ Acknowledge in publications the names and roles of those who made significant contributions to the research, including writers, funders, sponsors, and others who do not meet authorship criteria."
This is an area of grave concern with regard to the fact that the Murdoch University SAPPHIRE research project which is a cornerstone of this proposal was co-funded by NOAA with Dolphin Quest, the privately held corporation that provides captive dolphin swims in the area under consideration, giving it an enormous bias and vested interest in sponsoring research that will support the enactment of regulations to prohibit wild dolphin swims. This concern was voiced at the first public meeting, NOAA representatives were asked whether the research has been verified by certified independent experts and why Dolphin Quest was omitted from the funders listed on the power point slide regarding SAPPHIRE. A member of NMFS staff initially denied that Dolphin Quest had provided funding, another employee stepped forward and contradicted her colleague by stating that ‘it was only a little bit and right a the end.’ When asked to clarify whether there is a minimum limit beneath which the NOAA conflict of interest policy does not apply, she responded “we are not in the business of regulating scientists’.
The NOAA policy states that there is a requirement for public notice of peer reviews of information subject to the OMB Bulletin. It states “NOAA will disclose the names of the reviewers and their affiliation in a report of findings and conclusions prepared by the peer reviewers. The report will be posted on the Department of Commerce Information Quality web site (http://www.osec.doc.gov/cio/oipr/info_qual.html). “ This link has been inaccessible since the day after the proposed regulations were published.
Furthermore, the Dolphin Quest website refers that the Sapphire project as a study being carried out on the Kona Coast to collect data and then measure the effectiveness of the implementation of Time/Area Closure Management Actions. The description of the study makes no mention that these are potential or proposed management actions. Has NOAA in fact, already decided upon its course of action, it the invitation for public comment merely lip-service?
D) RIR insufficiency of scope and lack of transparency
The Regulatory Impact Review is insufficient in its scope and does not fully address eceonomic impact of the proposed measures. It cites as basis for its assessment scoping done in 2007 using social science methodology of informal conversation to estimate numbers of boat tour operators that would be affected. In spite of many mentions of an increase in activity since then elsewhere in the report, there is no explanation of reproducible methodology to recreate estimates of economic impact. Notably absent from the RIR, is the impact on hotel and lodging revenue and in particular the large number of BNB establishments, and the burgeoning AirBNB market in the bays that have been targeted which would be significantly affected . A quantitative analysis of receipts from Harbor and Transient Accommodation Tax would be a logical starting point. Yet another highly significant sector missing from the RIR is the economic impact of the people who have moved to the Big Island specifically in order to be able to swim with the wild dolphins and would relocate elsewhere, if prohibited. Bias also appears to be at work in the selection of individuals chosen to represent “local public opinion” and local “community” and the characterization of these opinions as being in favor of the regulations -once again without any disclosure of how these stake holders were selected.
E) INTERSPECIES IMPERIALISM AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Finally, I wish to raise the fact that the proposal has also failed to address interspecies ethical considerations with regard to imposing restrictions on the free movement and interaction at will with humans by one of the most intelligent species on the planet. To interfere with the free agency of the dolphins in their interaction with humans is an outrageous act of paternalistic arrogance masquerading as environmental beneficence. The imposition of such authority is disturbingly akin to the outrages inflicted by colonials and missionaries in the name of knowing what is best for others.
In view of the concerns addressed above, I call for an immediate postponement to further action until the proposed guidelines are reviewed and brought into compliance with the relevant federal and agency guidelines governing the preparation and dissemination of influential information to the public, this would include disclosures around the funding by Dolphin Quest, and/or exclusion of this research from the proposal and a full review of the scientific evidence by certified independent experts.
Wild Dolphin Swims, Retreats and Ocean Photo Safaris
PLEASE READ!!! Please do NOT sign any petition about the Hawaiian dolphins disinformation campaign. You will be falling straight into the bloody hands of the Captivity Industry and US Government!!! Please read this first!!!!
Hey Guys, I think most of you saw the news articles around the world a few weeks ago about swimming with wild dolphins in Hawaii being possibly outlawed. If you had trusted the source of these articles, which you had no reason not to, it probably would have sounded like a good idea. But who exactly was behind them all? The articles state that the proposed ban springs from the National Marine Fisheries service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Try and remember those names. These are kind and loving people who consistently put whales and dolphins first…aren’t they? My suspicions were raised by one of the articles in particular which had chosen to represent the matter with a photo of a vulgar scene which to the wizened eye was clearly taken at some kind of captive facility, showing a tight circle of people in matching life jackets, standing upright in shallow water around a singular, upright dolphin having a dead fish dangled in front of him by what presumably was the trainer/facilitator. What also struck me as odd was that there wasn’t a single snorkel, mask or flipper or even the ocean in sight…all prerequisites to deep sea swimming. Why would they have chosen such an incongruent representation of wild swimming? It all seemed decidedly fishy to me so I decided to dig around and do some research into who is really behind these articles and what their agenda is….needless to say, what I found is very sinister, but sadly not that surprising.
I need to give you a bit of history first, to help join the dots. I personally know quite a few people in Hawaii, on the Big Island, people who are directly involved in this matter. Some I have known for nearly 20 years and some I met a couple of months ago when I spent a few weeks with them there, swimming with the beautiful wild dolphins and doing ocean-healing ceremonies, as part of an inter-dimensional workshop run by my dear old friend, Joan Ocean. She is the most mind-blowingly incredible person one could ever hope to meet and she is quite well known, having written books and taught around the world about her extraordinary personal experiences with the dolphins there and all they have taught her, from years ago when they taught her to swim, to the recent revelations about how they see us evolving as a species and our collective, harmonic future which they envision, on this planet and beyond. It’s all very cosmic stuff, but she is also totally down to earth with her scientific background and is instantly loveable..a combination most noted and dreaded by the US Naval presence in Hawaii.
In 1998 the US Navy conducted low-frequency active sonar (LFAS) testing off the Big Island, in the whale sanctuary, in the presence of the many migrating humpbacks and their babies. This technology had been recently developed in secret with flimsy and misleading environmental impact statements. During the testing, the whales in the area all suddenly disappeared. It was unclear if they had fled or died as they tend to sink to the bottom without a trace. A humpback calf, dolphin calf and melon-head calf, all separated from their mothers, were found shortly after. Who had granted the permit, despite knowledge of internal documents revealing the potentially fatal effects on whales at previous remote test sites? Yes, you guessed it: the NMFS (NOAA), cited earlier.
Heartbroken by the potential deaths of those whom she viewed as her family, Joan instantly rallied her local dolphin-loving friends into taking direct action. If the navy wanted to kill the whales, they would have to kill them too. Their skipper friends took groups of them out at their own expense in tiny boats, day after day to drop them in the deep water near to the colossal and intimidating military vessel. They were terrified but were willing to die if necessary, to get the world to listen. Some stayed on the surface, others went deep with scuba gear. Joan described the impact on the surface as an almighty thump of pressure in her chest. Her friends below were blasted through the water. No one died as the navy quickly stopped operations with the humans there but some had lasting health problems. Despite this they continued their direct action so many times that eventually all operations were temporarily called off and the vessel left.
Many local groups and individuals filed lawsuits against the Navy, the NMFS and other federal agencies, but these were tossed out on the basis that the Navy would no longer be conducting this research in Hawaii. However, two years later the Navy, under the guise of their surrogate, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, applied for another permit from the NMFS to conduct further LFAS research (also cheerfully called “chirping upsweeps”) on target whales in the Azores, Dominica, The Ligurian Sea and “possibly Hawaii”. A five year permit was granted by their trusty friends at NMFS. The research would apparently “enhance the survival and recovery of a stock under the Marine Mammal Protection Act”..(??) It would do this by permitting such harassment as “Interruptions of breeding, nursing, or resting activities; [interrupting] attempts by a whale to shield a calf from a vessel or human observer by tail swishing or by other protective movements; or [causing] the abandonment of a previously frequented area.” A wholehearted thumbs up from the NMFS then. Sound familiar?
In 2004, 150 melon head whales were beached in Kaua’i following sonar exercises. To quote Earthjustice, “Recognizing it will harm whales in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Navy in January 2007 exempted itself from that law. The Navy nonetheless refused to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, refused to include protective mitigation, and dismissed as insignificant the impacts to thousands of marine mammals, including humpbacks nursing calve in Hawaii’s protected nearshore waters. It also failed to comply with the Coastal Zone Management Act and National Marine Sanctuaries Act.”
In 2007 the Navy announced more plans to use 12 undersea warfare exercises, including high-intensity mid-frequency active sonar in Hawaii, during 2007 and 2008, back in their preferred site..the whale sanctuary. More lawsuits were filed by many groups, also suing the NMFS for violating the Endangered Species Act. In 2008 a federal district judge ordered the Navy to take protective steps, including a twelve mile coastal exclusion zone, gradual ramping up of sonar levels, and monitoring requirements.
However, when the biennial RIMPAC war-games are underway these measures are ignored. In the most bizarre display of small-man syndrome, RIMPAC invites 26 nations, 45 ships, over 200 aircraft, 5 submarines and 25,000 personnel for 5 weeks of camaraderie whilst bombing the crap out of Hawaii. We arrived in Hawaii this year, unwittingly, in the middle of this and found it extremely disturbing. A couple of times when we were swimming peacefully with the dolphins close to shore I heard an almighty whirring noise which seemed to bother the dolphins, causing them to dive deeper and stay down longer or even leave the area. I looked up to see military aircraft circling overhead. It was quite intimidating. When they flew away the dolphins came back to us and continued to swim amongst us.
Back to 2013, the Earthjustice legal team filed another lawsuit challenging the NMFS approval of another five year plan by the US Navy to test sonar and explosives off Hawaii and California. Both the Navy and NMFS estimated that this training would cause 9.6 million instances of harm to whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, resulting in thousands of animals suffering permanent hearing loss, lung injuries or death.
Finally in 2015 the Navy and NMFS were found by the federal court to be violating the National Environmental Policy Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act. The Navy agreed to limit underwater assaults on the dolphins and whales of Southern California and Hawaii. The agreement expires in 2018. This victory finally came after a decade of tireless efforts of the coalition of environmental groups, dedicated locals and their lawyers, but it is temporary. These groups are dedicated to continuing to protect these magnificent animals. In amongst these groups are my friends like Joan who more than once risked their lives for the dolphins and whales they love so dearly.
It seems crazy to me that merely a year later these same extraordinarily brave and loving people are facing this proposed law to ban them and their friends like me from sharing magical interactions with our dolphin friends there, many of whom Joan has personally known for decades. They clearly adore her and anyone else who mirrors the love, respect and playfulness that they themselves so beautifully emanate. There also seems to be a wonderfully relaxed cooperation between the companies offering these opportunities to visitors and, from my experience there, a respectful code of conduct that ensures that no dolphins are harassed. When the dolphins feel like moving on they do so with effortless speed and grace and no swimmer in the world would be fast enough to chase them. It is an absolute honour to be in their presence and allowed, even briefly, to share their beautiful world. Like Joan, I am an inter-species communicator and I have frequently experienced complex communications from individuals and groups of dolphins which directly relate to and continue messages or teachings which were given to me in dreams and meditations the day or night before. These are invitations to feel and experience what they somehow know I am ready to learn. It is experienced at a level beyond the cellular and is simply mind-blowing. This has happened to me in oceans around the world and I am definitely not the only one being contacted in this way! Many people who hear these callings have, like a lot of us animal-rights campaigners, dedicated our lives not just to cetaceans but to raising awareness around the world about many issues, such as whaling, Taiji and other dolphin slaughters, the horrors of the captivity industry (for all sentient beings), all types of animal abuse, environmental violations, GM, military agendas, and solutions such as alternative energy sources, veganism, neuroscience, the power of intention and so many more.
Joan herself has been approached by many ex-military and NASA whistle-blowers about her dolphin-related quantum insights and they have been confirming what the dolphins had already been teaching her about the extraordinary secret space projects which are even more “out there” than anything Hollywood could dream up. Billions of dollars are spent trying to tap into the fluid ability of cetaceans to move between dimensions, shape-shift, communicate telepathically and teleport themselves and others throughout the cosmos. Their continuing, active links to their planets of origin and their fellow beings who visit them here in the oceans are extremely valuable to our military. Sonar is not just deployed for detecting and disposing of human-built submarines.
Think about it.
We can of course learn and expand all these abilities in ourselves through respectful and open physical and telepathic communication with dolphins and whales (and other ambassador animals), and many of us are. More and more people around the globe are being gently nudged awake and called to ride the Delphic Wave. Which is why those whose hearts are still closed are so worried. They would prefer to have us believe that dolphins are just good for spinning balls and jumping through pointless hoops. And this is why the other big company behind the funding of this anti-wild-swimming campaign is Dolphin Quest who operate the captive dolphin facility at the Hiltons on the Big Island of Hawaii and neighbouring Oahu. The NMFS are obviously happy to join forces with them as well and are recommending the Hilton as the only safe place to interact with dolphins. Any petition you may be urged to sign to ban the wild interactions will be coming directly or indirectly from this merciless and mercenary collaboration. Which is exactly what they want.
But evolution can’t really be stopped. All hearts will remember how to love eventually, even those who are currently still bent on destruction and suppression of expanding consciousness. There is a growing momentum to unite, not to divide. Besides their immense teachings about the quantum realms, the very basic lessons the dolphins are sharing with ALL humans are about empathy, compassion, cooperation and unconditional love. So let’s start there!
Thank you for reading this with open hearts and minds! xxx
I have dedicated 5 years of my life swimming with the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins. I had moved Oahu Hawaii just to be able to do this. I would go religiously twice a month for 5 years consecutively. I am hoping to see my Spinner family soon again. I will be devastated not to be able to do so. I can tell you first hand the benefits of swimming with these most amazing animals. They made me feel happier and more rejuvenated. I was simply honored to be in their presence. They often came very close to me, where I could reach out and touch them if I wanted to, but of course I never did not wanting to risk breaching the profound trust between them and myself. I was able to communicate with them and they responded. Being a Science teacher, I was able to observe their actual behaviors in their natural wild habitat. I even created Dolphin and Whale characters for my marine Science teaching based on the animals I swam with. My students think this is all very cool! Certainly, I would have never been able to have this most unique experience at Sea Life Park or Sea World...
"80% of people who have had a Dolphin encounter showed that brain wave patterns shift from Alpha state to Theta state of expanded consciousness leading to feelings of peace, bliss, and expanded learning. "
" Also, both hemispheres of the brain become more synchronized."
" Dolphins' powerful sonar can alter cell structure."
(Scott Taylor Cetacean Studies Institute and Aquathought).
I then went on to swim with other wild species of Dolphins and even Humpback Whales in other countries. I had the fortune of comparing the various species with their natural behaviors. So I can now have an actual well-rounded variety and background of information and data to share with my students. Very few people have had this marvelous opportunity and for this I am truly grateful because I have been able to experience these magnificent animals up close and personal. I've come to know the Spinner Dolphins intimately, as I personally can recognize a few of them. They have also come to recognize me! I can also personally attest to the fact that they will indeed avoid certain people or certain behaviors and gravitate towards those people and/or behaviors they are familiar with. "Dolphins brains are larger than human's in mass, grams, and weight." (Dr. John Lilly). The Dolphins, as well as the Whales are very aware where they are in the water in relation to where you are in the water. They are very aware at all times what's around them, and they always choose what they want to do. I have always respected the Dolphins in the utmost in my behavior with them and have always gone with a specific group or boat who also adheres to respectful practices and procedures around the Dolphins. Throughout history dating back to the Greek Times Dolphins befriending humans and aiding fisherman was very popular. The Dolphin -human bond has always been a strong one and is documented throughout history.
Furthermore, this decision if passed, will not only affect local Hawaiian Dolphin boating tourism whose owners depend on this for their livelihood and have done so for years, but also the local tourism in Hawaii will also be greatly affected and diminished as a result of much loss of state revenue. Many of these tourists are Japanese, and come from Japan to Hawaii just to swim with the Spinner Dolphins as this is popular for them. It is imperative that they be able to continue to experience first hand and swim with the Spinner Dolphins to see how wonderful they truly are, and share these experiences back in their country, and help be stewards for the Dolphins' protection and stand up for them in their own Japanese country against the Dolphin atrocities happening there. There is a correlation between swimming with Dolphins leading to a person becoming a steward for them and the ocean environment.
In addition to this, the Japanese Taiji Dolphin drive hunts are linked to Dolphins taken into captivity as a big profit business for the fisherman and captive industries. The unwanted Dolphins are brutally, inhumanely killed, which has been documented, and the meat is sold also for less profit. (The Dolphin Project). If these Dolphins are lucky, they'll be dumped back out at sea, but then to only fend for themselves. This kind of trauma of being inflicted on these Dolphins of being herded, scared, and watching their family members die, as they family unit is ripped apart is far more atrocious and insidious than actually swimming and learning about them. If this ban is put in place, it will cause more people to want to experience Dolphins and go swim with captive Dolphins in a very generic, manufactured, and unnatural environment. This will only fuel continuation of these cruel, barbaric drive hunts in Taiji Japan creating an even bigger, further problem on your hands and this activity there must stop before certain species are decimated. So perhaps you should focus on this issue moreso. Thank you.
La Mesa, CA
THE PHENOMENON - Human - Dolphin Communication
This burgeoning phenomenon of an obviously benign activity (available to anyone open to experience it) of humans and dolphins interacting in playful ways that certainly indicates something that goes way beyond the wrongly identified, anthropomorphism.
This phenomenon may only be experienced transcendentally and shared in an atmosphere of serene peace and yes, profound love.
Those who’ve never felt this type of experience often just shine the possibility off immediately as nonsense, some reacting in non-caring ways of aggravation and even outrage at such a notion of humans communicating on actual levels of cognition between our species.
The base argument here seems to be:
EXPERIENTIAL AWARENESS vs. ASSUMED SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE
It is safe to say that such an experience is considered life-altering for the experiencers and thus becomes something easily scoffed at by the reductionist mentality of science. However, “Science” can only account for 6% of the known universe from the macro to the microscopic. The rest is simply unknown “dark” stuff.
So, it means that one’s state of mind shifts to another level of awareness where,
- It is possible to have a conversation with a non-human on a profound level, something obvious to anyone who’s ever loved a pet.
- Granting the idea that there is a “Cetacean Nation” of consciousness amongst their sentient race. If so, it’s many millions of years older than our own.
Could it be possible they know something that we don’t about keeping the delicate balance of nature sustainable? Could they know something about the “other” aspects of our physical reality that quantum physicists recognize as multi-dimensional and possible states of being that yogis, priests and shamans have been describing for thousands of years?
What if they are, as the United Nations and a number of individual countries have already proclaimed as, “non-human people”?
These and many more possibilities arise to benefit both our species on this fragile ecosphere.
We need to LISTEN more carefully.
After more than 20 years observing this phenomenon from both a critical objective eye while keen to the experiential perception of human nature related to it, I can say with certainty there is something very real going on that is not just about what the humans get out of it.
I believe this is an equal exchange of both curiosity and projected feelings that is healthy for both sides.
What do they get out it you ask? I believe they are fascinated with what they can “see” through us.
Consider this, given what we already know:
- They are 90+% fully and freely (no tech) adapted to their immediate environments - over 3/4 of Planet Ocean.
- They are all about the social aspects of living together abundantly and playing together is what they seem to do the most.
- They are tribal in nature and live in societies in balance with nature, with no immediate predators (beside humans), with abundant food supplies, and lots of down time between intense food roundups and gorging orgies.
- They have intercourse for pleasure as well as procreational heat mating. The dolphins like having intercourse and do it anywhere they like, including riding the bow of a boat or in front of your snorkel face.
- They can shut down parts of their brain at a time for relaxing and go into ‘cruise control’ (usually one eye is closed) until they choose to sink into a deeper “sleep mode” (this appears to me from floating above, a profound peace in their energy field like a gathering of praying monks in deep meditation).
- They’ve evolved mental wetware (30+ million years worth of evolving a ‘perfected’ physical form that’s remained unchanged for over 12 million years) which completely outstrips even our most sophisticated hardware systems*.
- They have highly sophisticated sonar up to 7 miles in any direction that can also direct/receive a variable beam of sound energy vibration at any time*. They are hypersensitive to a range of subtle vibrational frequencies 100Xs greater than humans.
- They’ve developed this entirely unique “6th Sense” of the world that is infinitely more defined with sound waves** and vision slightly better than humans. Ultra-sonic Awareness! They are able to see us as transparent pulsating bodies emitting an entire spectra of vibrational frequencies, including emotional magnetic waves and electrical mental particle projections, as holographic in nature. Entire books of information appear at a glance to their magnificent minds. (More and more evidence emerges of their sonar beaming us having assisted in physical and mental healing).
- They have a native intelligence that operates perhaps more than 10Xs the speed of human processing consciousness. (Because they take in and process so much more information than we can begin to imagine. Human brains filter out 97+% of the world)
- They are Self-Aware of many multiple levels of consciousness and dimensions of being (mythologic to humans)
- They are Pod-Aware of a network of consciousness that permeates Planet Ocean.
- They have access to the Ancient Wisdom of Ages if desired/chosen to open such records held in trust by the Great Whales through the Eye of Infinity. Wisdom from the beginning of All That Is. (I could never make anyone believe that, but many humans have since long before the Ancient Greeks to the Australian Aborigine culture going back over 40K years.), i.e. Connectivity to and communion with all living things; Dreamtime awareness; multi-dimensional time-travel; inter dimensional intelligences; sage wisdom from all human thoughts recorded on a specific frequency band (KTAO.FM on your dial ;-) ).
This potential horizon of awareness may well lead humanity to a true planetary consciousness and with it a renewed respect for Gaia as the homogenous force that connects all living things in our biosphere. It’s time to invite Mother Nature back into the equation of who we are as a struggling species rampantly hurtling towards our own extinction.
I believe the Cetacea can help us regain that respect for our precious Planet Ocean now in such dire need of our loving attention.
*sound energy vibrations as measured by Navy technology and used for everything to receiving and transmitting variable frequencies. Current unclassified tech is used for long range detection, transparent scoping and weaponry.
** sound waves travel more than 8Xs faster in water - with much higher degrees of scoping abilities.
Any number of personal comments supporting NO NEW REGULATIONS can be sent to:
We welcome your input and suggestions, YouTube links, personal photos and anything else relative to this important issue. Please direct emails to: Dolphinus@Dolphinville.com
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONCERN AND SUPPORT FOR HEALTHY INTER-SPECIES COMMUNION.