A young orca whale, Morgan, is currently being held captive in the Netherlands. Activists are taking legal action in hopes of freeing her back into her natural habitat. Read on and get involved… – Global Animal
The Black Fish
The Orca Coalition, of which The Black Fish is one of seven organisations, now has the support of a lawyer and has initiated legal steps to move the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation to accept a “second opinion” about the future of orca Morgan. After more than seven months the young female killer whale is still being held in a small tank in the Dolphinarium Harderwijk. The Orca Coalition’s first demand is to transfer Morgan to a specially designed enclosure in Deltapark Neeltje Jans in The Netherlands as soon as possible. This is a more natural environment and she will have more space. There she will be under permanent expert supervision to begin the first steps towards her rehabilitation.
More than 40 independent international orca experts united in the Free Morgan Group, presented a rehabilitation and release plan to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation in the Netherlands last year. However, the plan was ignored while a report presented by the Dolphinarium recommending Morgan to remain in captivity, was adopted by the Ministry without any review. In the Dolphinarium’s report, seven “independent” experts advised against the release of Morgan. The Orca Coalition challenges both the independence and expertise of these so-called ‘experts’. Doubts cast on their independence and expertise are based on the fact that one of the ‘expert panel’ is made up of an orca trainer, a SeaWorld veterinarian, a seabird expert, and someone who has been working closely with the Dolphinarium for years.
The lawyer representing the Orca Coalition, Mr. Wijngaarden from the law firm Böhler in Amsterdam, has started legal proceedings on behalf of the Orca Coalition. Relevant information about the orca must no released and a second opinion in the form of the Coalition’s plan must be accepted by the Ministry for consideration. The Orca Coalition is of the opinion that adherence to international laws and regulations governing cetaceans will eventually result in the release of Morgan.
“The orca is entitled to a fair chance to regain her freedom. The Ministry should not accept the advice from the Dolphinarium without an independent review”, states Mr. Wijngaarden, lawyer for the Orca Coalition.
The Orca Coalition has received much support from around the world. Members of the public who wish to help contribute to the legal action can do so through the website: http://www.orkacoalitie.nl
The Orca Coalition is a collaboration between the animal welfare and conservation organisations: Sea First Foundation, Pink!, Dolphinmotion, Een Dier Een Vriend, Bite Back, The Black Fish and Vier Voeters.
You can advocate for Morgan’s release by signing a petition or writing a letter to the Dutch government. Just click here.