• Don Lichterman

No Bailout $ for SeaWorld, Dolphin Defenders - Discovery, Dolphin Project is 50, Dolphin Outlook!

Dolphin Defenders - Discovery

Join Dolphin Defenders, Whale and Dolphin Conservation's challenge award especially for children who love whales and dolphins. It’s fun and easy to complete so why not get started today.

Tell Congress you won't pay for SeaWorld's cruelty 

Sign now - SeaWorld is asking Congress and the White House for a bailout because of the effects of the coronavirus, but the United States Government should not give taxpayer money to a failing company that forces animals to suffer for entertainment. These bailout funds, your tax dollars, should only be given to SeaWorld if it agrees to an immediate end to its dolphin breeding program and ceases all demeaning circus-style shows.

More than 100 dolphins are forced to live in inadequate tanks inside SeaWorld's US parks. They will never be released into the wild. Instead,  they perform in exchange for their daily meals.   Dolphins at SeaWorld spend their entire lives in concrete tanks, hundreds of thousands of times smaller than their natural ranges. They are forced into artificial social groups and compelled to perform circus-style tricks such as tail-walking, beaching, 'breakdancing', and giving rides to strangers who use their limbs as surfboards. Bored and frustrated by their captivity, dolphins at SeaWorld have been known to self-mutilate or attack other dolphins. Many suffer from infectious diseases as a result of weakened immune systems or a compromised environment. These dolphins should never have been in captivity in the first place. But they continue to suffer because SeaWorld continues to breed for its greed. 

Sign our petition and tell Congress you won't pay for SeaWorld's cruelty!

Sign now - SeaWorld is operating a failing business model. Its share price has fallen by 72% since the start of the crisis. SeaWorld has had eight CEOs in just the last six years, with the latest quitting this week after only five months on the job. SeaWorld has faced lawsuits for lying to investors, lying to park visitors, and admitted to spying on animal rights groups. SeaWorld will drown unless it is forced to move away from captive maring mammal entertainment.

Sign our petition and tell Congress you won't float  SeaWorld's sinking ship!

Jessica Sotelo - World Wildlife Fund: I wanted to reach out to thank you. As a WWF supporter, you are protecting nature every day—even from your own home.

Today, more than ever, it is important to celebrate the conservation wins you make possible. That's why I'm sharing this uplifting story with you.

The Cambodian government has abandoned plans to build a hydropower dam on the Mekong River, protecting the world's most productive freshwater fishery and critically endangered Irrawaddy river dolphins.

The mighty Mekong River flows not only through Cambodia, but also China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Roughly 60 million people, many in poverty, depend on the river for food and income. The largest population of Irrawaddy river dolphins also depends on this river for survival, and they are crucial for the overall health of the Mekong.

While it can be tough being stuck at home, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep busy protecting marine life. There are many ways you can continue to help - read on to hear our top 8 ideas:

1. Sign and share a petition  Signing a petition is one of the best ways you can stay active on key issues.  The lethal shark nets in Noosa have already killed 472 innocent marine animals - including 26 dolphins. They made headlines recently after trapping a helpless baby whale.  Help keep the pressure up - please sign the petition to remove Noosa’s deadly shark nets:

Sign and share this petition

2. Cast a free vote to help dolphins 

Cast your free vote for Action for Dolphins and give us a chance to win some of the $200,000 My Giving Circle is giving away to help animals. 

The process is quick and easy, and your vote could help keep up the fight to save Taiji dolphins. Considering the latest horrific season claimed the lives of 560 dolphins, and a further 180 dolphins were stolen from the wild for captivity, they really need your help right now.

Please click here to go to the My Giving Circle website, and put ‘Action for Dolphins’ as your  #1 charity:Click here to vote for dolphins

3. Contact the Queensland Premier about shark nets

13,000 animals were killed in Queensland’s lethal shark nets and drumlines last year. And more die every day. Getting these cruel traps out of the ocean should be a matter of urgency.

Please click here to read our letter to the state Premier – and follow the directions to contact her yourself:

Please click here to contact the Premier

4. Spread awareness on social media

Paul de Gelder was attacked by a bull shark and lost a leg and a hand - now he fights to protect sharks from cruel nets that kill thousands of marine animals every year. 

Please click here to share Paul’s inspirational video, and help educate people about how important sharks are for the health of our oceans.Hear Paul's inspirational story - and share with your friends to spread the word.

Please click here to view - and click “share” on the bottom of the video

5. Support marine life by scoring some merch 

Cruelty to marine animals doesn’t stop during COVID-19 - and neither does our work to protect them. We’re pushing forward with all of our campaigns. 

Please consider supporting marine life by purchasing one of our branded tees - there’s heaps to choose from, and they all share an important message about conservation.

Click here to head to our store:

6. Reduce the impact of your products on the ocean By switching your products to ethical and environmentally friendly options, you can radically reduce your environmental footprint.  Cutting out single use plastic, using microbead-free personal and cleaning products, repurposing things rather than disposing of them, and removing fish from your diet are some of the most effective ways to make an impact.  Check out our ‘10 ways to reduce ocean plastic’ blog to learn more.

7. Teach your kids about marine animals

There are heaps of activities to keep kids engaged while learning about the incredible underwater world. It’s a great way to foster respect for animals at a young age. 

Check out this website for some fun ideas:Click here for inspiration

8. Stay home….and drink wine!

When you shop through Goodwill wine, a huge 50% of profits will go to AFD when you select us as your chosen charity. And their home delivery service means you don’t need to set foot outside your front door.

Check out their huge range of reds, whites, and gift packs available -  they’re all 100% vegan and use recycled cartons. 

Note: Goodwill wines are only available to our supporters in Australia.

Click here to grab yourself a bottle: Click to buy some ethical wine - So while you might need to stay home right now, it doesn’t mean you need to stop taking action to protect marine life.

We hope all you wonderful dolphin defenders are staying healthy and safe.

It’s hard to comprehend how our collective lives have changed in such a short period of time. And yet, here we are, hunkered down amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us are separated from our families, have had our incomes disrupted, and are attempting to adjust to altered daily routines. All the while, doing what we can to protect our health and safety in a largely uncertain environment.

Some things, however, remain constant, including our need to care for, and protect our vulnerable. If you asked me a year ago if I would have envisioned providing 24/7 care for three previously abused dolphins at our newly-built world’s first permanent dolphin sanctuary, I would have responded with a “Hell, yeah!”

Because that’s what Dolphin Project does. It’s what we’ve always done. This year marks our 50th anniversary, but it’s really no different than 1970 when I founded our grass-roots organization. Back then, there was no such thing as the dolphin captivity issue. No internet, no social media, no cell phones. Communication was done with a pen and a stamp, or a telephone call from a rotary phone. Usually these calls would involve a dolphin in need, and I made it my life’s mission then and there to protect dolphins worldwide from exploitation and slaughter.

In the mid-1960s I was the head trainer for the dolphins who played the character “Flipper” on the television series of the same name. While “Flipper” was a male dolphin, the role was actually played by five females: Susie, Kathy, Patty, Scotty and Squirt. Three years after the program ended, Kathy died a horrible death in my arms. At that moment, I knew I needed to do something, starting with a trip to the Bahamas to free a dolphin named Charlie Brown.

Ric O’Barry is arrested in Bimini after attempting to release a dolphin named Charlie Brown

On Earth Day 1970 things didn't go exactly as planned. No matter how hard I attempted to get Charlie Brown to leave his pen, the dolphin wouldn't go. My message was simple, yet revolutionary: I wanted to strike down a law that permitted the ownership of dolphins, as this went against their very nature. Dolphins are part of the sea, and should remain there. I was ultimately arrested, held in jail for one week, and then released upon paying a $5 fine.

After the Bimini trial ended, I returned to my home in Coconut Grove, Florida, unsure what to do next. Fred Neil, the American folk singer-songwriter of 1960s and early 70s dropped by with a friend. That friend was Stephen Stills, the American musician and multi-instrumentalist of Buffalo Springfield and of Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Young) fame. Out on a boat observing wild dolphins, Stills offered to help fund my research with dolphins, and the readaption program for returning dolphins to the wild.

With a new cause in hand, I needed t-shirts. When I went to have them created, I had no ideas for a logo. The shop owner asked what sort of project the shirts were for and I told him it was for a dolphin project. And Dolphin Project was officially born.

Read more about Dolphin Project’s 50 years of history.

Sporting our new t-shirts, Dolphin Project was officially born!

So, while our 50th anniversary, also shared by Earth Day, is being celebrated together, yet separately, know that it’s because of your support we have made the great progress we have. As a gift to you, any purchase made via our online shop will be discounted by 15%. It’s a great way to get some authentic Dolphin Project gear and get ready for our Empty the Tanks Event: Selfies for Cetaceans (more information to come shortly). Remember, each time you do something with the Dolphin Project, know that you are aiding the longest running anti-captivity dolphin welfare organization in the world.

Rocky, Rambo and Johnny swimming in the waters of the world’s first permanent dolphin sanctuary, Bali, Indonesia.

Ric O’Barry is the Founder/Director of Dolphin Project!

Your Help Has Never Been More Needed Your help with the Dolphin Project aids the longest-running, anti-captivity dolphin welfare organization in the world.

How to make an origami dolphin
Each year from approximately September 1 to March 1, a large-scale hunt of dolphins takes place in the small village of Taiji, Japan, as made famous by the 2010 Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove.”
Adopt a Dolphin update April 2020
"Corporations Are People My Friends."
Our companies are known for creating products that enhance people's lives.  Through Sunset Corporation of America and its companies, we’re equally dedicated to improving lives.  Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.

The Sustainable Action Network (SAN), A Don Lichterman non-profit organization dedicated to building a global community raising awareness of corruption, injustice and the need for action across a full range of issues impacting people and animal/wildlife welfare around the world, such as conservation, climate change, campaign law, lobbying, government action and rescue work. SAN’s vision is to create safer world, free from political, environmental, and social oppression, where all the inhabitants of Earth can live in harmony within their own natural environments. Our commitment extends to helping local communities, fostering better educational systems, supporting the arts and culture, helping disadvantaged youth, protecting and improving the environment, animal welfare, wildlife issues and encouraging employee volunteerism.

Activism and Sustainability:

  • Gun Safety & Gun Laws

  • Cruelty Free

  • Death Penalty

  • Demand Action

  • Sustainable Action Network

Fairness and Equality:

  • Grammy District Advocacy

  • Privatization

  • Voters Issues & Gerrymandering

  • Private Prisons & the War on Drugs

  • Finance, Housing & the Economy Corporate Responsibility:

  • Candidates, Bills, Laws & Protections

  • Wildlife & Oceania

  • Labeling & Transparency

  • Comprehensive Captivity & Hunting Results Databases