While marine parks like SeaWorld insist that they are educational and all about “conservation,” marine activists have known otherwise for years. However, it wasn’t until the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan came to a more public light (thanks to the work of Sea Shepherd and the Oceanic Preservation Society’s Academy Award-winning documentary, “The Cove”) that people started to really pay attention and make the connections between cruel capture operations and the captivity industry.
With its release and subsequent screenings on CNN, “Blackfish” helped propel the movement against captivity into a new and more powerful era, with its influence now known as the “Blackfish Effect.”
Inspired by “Blackfish” and her time Taiji, Japan as a Sea Shepherd Cove Guardian, marine activist Rachel Greenhalgh has been dedicating her spare time to keeping the anti-captivity movement alive and founded Empty the Tanks Worldwide in 2012 to help her do so.
Empty the Tanks is a global awareness campaign, but it isn’t a radical one, as Greenhalgh points out on the campaign’s website. She understands that not all captive marine mammals can be released into the wild, however she believes that “those that are not should be retired into sea pens, where they can enjoy the rest of their days in natural seawater, feeling the waves of the ocean around them.”
“They should not be worked until their last breath is taken and then thrown out like trash and replaced,” said Greenhalgh.
In 2012, Empty the Tanks Worldwide held its first annual global protest which consisted of 24 locations in 12 countries. The movement’s second annual protest, to be held on May 24, 2014, is already planned to be bigger and better than ever with over 40 locations scheduled around the world.
Join other marine activists in standing up to captivity! Lend your voice to the world’s captive marine animals on May 24 and click here to find an Empty the Tanks protest near you.
Check out some photos from the 2013 Empty the Tanks Worldwide protest below!
To learn more about Empty the Tanks Worldwide, keep up with the campaign’s Facebook page.
All images: Glen Scarborough/Flickr