Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Marineland Closes for Season - Deadmau5 Takes Aim

Marineland wrapped up its 53rd season this past Sunday, the day marked by another public demonstration outside the facility. Though more subdued than previous years, several hundred people still attended and held signs on public property while Marineland staff videotaped the demonstration. Several ex employees who came forward detailing alleged animal neglect at the park were also in attendance among the crowd.

Proper government intervention and tighter regulations have failed to materialize allowing Marineland to survive yet another season with few changes for the animals.  It is evident though, continued public pressure and a wider shift in attitudes regarding animal captivity have been taking its toll. Some sources close to the park say attendance is down nearly 20% over last year and a steady stream of negative press and public commentary towards the facility shows no sign of abating.

Monday night influential EDM artist and former Niagara Falls native Joel Zimmerman aka Deadmau5 posted a profanity laced tirade to his blog imploring Marineland to get rid of its animals and build more rides. Continuing the rant on Twitter, Zimmerman went so far as to allude to considering buying the park or at least crowdfunding the purchase.  Since Monday his rant has been picked up by numerous international media outlets and hit the front page of his hometown newspaper.

You know what i would do if i were you? just get rid of the animals… (not that kinda chainsaw and plastic tarp “get rid of”) but like, you know, find an amicable solution to getting rid of the animals so that PETA and all the niagara falls crusaders will get off your lawn with their fuckin signs n shit. I’m sure they wont give up anytime soon, because they don’t realize that signs and shit and “awareness” doesnt really do fuck all… which is why youre still able to pen these animals up…. whatever.

Just speaking from a spectator point of view, if im driving by on my way to my own personal crusades, im not likely going to pull over, get mad and kick heads in. Ill just say “oh look, protestors” and carry about my business.

But heres me just looking in at your shitty situation from my end… like i said, i’d just lose the fucking animals… and even if it pissed you off because you lost an asset or whatever, or potential profit from “tourists” n shit… look at what you have to gain? Youd win the entire EVERYTHING if you released a statement promising the closure of your animal pens and aquariums. That “good guy” PR would reach worldwide fuckin acclaim…. shit, even SeaWrold (who arent any fucking better by a longshot) would be like… ‘OH SNAP’ and probably forcing them into action. You’d be a fuckin world hero… and it would probably cost you the x million dollars of investments you had to spring out on fucking whales n shit and upkeep (cant imagine it would be cheap)

but hey fucknut, heres what you do… just take a fucking hit, and do it. Because, stupid, youre STILL sitting on a fucking shitload of acreage thats a theme park…. with rides and shit. WHO THE FUCK DOESNT GO TO THEMEPARKS DUMBASS? Magic mountain doesnt have 1/2 dead wales n half dead deer… do i spend a buck or 300 every year to go there? FUCK YES.

Like i said, i dont know how much it costs to keep a huge fuckin fish in a huge fucking tank, but i kinda have a good idea how much a rollercoaster costs and im sure its pretty compareable….

so from a moral and business standpoint, in my opinion, stop being a fucking bunch of morons and just do the right thing. what are you fucking broke? no. It’s a brilliant idea / long game and a hell of an investment…. but youll make youre return… receive worldwide attention for your acts of valor… even tho you needed to be pressured into it anyway, and my personal facebook timeline wont be full of shit about how shitty you are.

thats it.

believe me, if i had the kind of money you’d want to buy your shit operation out, i’d do it myself in a heartbeat… and im probably not far off, so you might wanna hop on this shit.

- Joel Zimmerman

Zimmerman is no friend of activists but his rant rang true for a lot of people who believe Marineland could simply win the PR war by ending its animal program and shifting its business model to a more ride focused attraction. As more influential people like Zimmerman continue to speak out against the animal program at Marineland it is anyone's guess as to how many more years the park can survive the tide of turning public opinion.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Follow the money...

With a municipal election coming next month in Niagara Falls its important to know where the candidates stand on issues such as the leasing of public land to Marineland to block demonstrators.  If past financial contributions is any indicator on how these candidates will vote in the future, its a good bet they won't be supporting the public.  If you're a Niagara Falls resident, vote accordingly.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Another Beluga Death at Marineland Highlights Media Failures

Ceta-Base is a website that tracks the worldwide inventory of captive marine mammals. In some countries, including Canada facilities are not required to release or even keep complete inventory records of their 'collection' or make them available to the public. Typically, most marine parks operate in secrecy and arrivals, births and especially deaths are often not made public. Ceta-Base uses various sources of information such as import/export permits, news articles and eyewitness accounts and photos to piece together complete inventory lists for aquariums from around the world, including Marineland.

This past week Ceta-Base broke the news that a male Beluga whale named Beyli had died at Marineland on August 24th. No announcement was made from Marineland about the death. Three days later the local media picked up the story of the Beluga's death and Marineland was forced to issue a statement:

"We are sad to confirm that Beyli, a beluga whale, passed away recently. Beyli was close to 40 years of age and died of natural causes as a result of old age. Throughout his life with us, Beyli was in excellent health until his passing. Beyli was one of the first beluga whales to join us in 1999. He arrived at Marineland from a military facility in Russia. Since that time Marineland has built the most successful beluga breeding facilities in the world offering scientists and the public unique opportunities to learn about this incredible species."

Marineland's statement was published in the local QMI Agency owned newspapers in Niagara as well as the Toronto Sun and syndicated online at which are both QMI properties. The local newspaper published a response to the Beluga's death from activist Mike Garrett which was edited out of the Toronto Sun and Canoe stories. Local talk radio station CKTB also reported on the death providing nothing more than Marineland's statement.

Marineland's Beluga program got off to a rocky start when they petitioned the Federal government for permits to capture wild Beluga whales off the coast of Manitoba in the late 90's. Marineland had requested to capture four females and two males, juveniles between the ages of 2 and 4. Public protest erupted over the captures and the Federal government refused to grant Marineland the permits to capture whales within Canadian waters.

Marineland turned to Russia where there are virtually nonexistent regulations for capturing wild marine mammals and no import permits required by Canada. According to Russian activists Marineland's original Belugas were captured from the Sea of Okhotsk by a Russian hunter also responsible for butchering Belugas for the Japanese whale meat market. The first Belugas were captured in 1994, including Beyli and were shipped to Marineland in mid 1999.

Marineland's claim that Beyli is close to 40 yrs old at the time of his death would put his age at capture around 20 years old in 1994. This goes against Marineland's own original mission to capture juvenile whales. All aquariums capture juvenile cetaceans to ensure they can breed and exploit them for years before their premature deaths in captivity. Marineland expects the public to believe they went all the way to Russia to capture a middle aged Beluga whale. The media doesn't question this logic.

All media outlets who reported on the story failed to question the validity of Marineland's statement or ask why Marineland did not announce the death at all until it was made public by Ceta-Base. They did not question Marineland's claims that Beyli was close to 40 years old nor did they ask how many other Belugas have died at the Niagara Falls facility and why they hold the world's largest collection of captive Belugas in the first place. In fact, no questions were asked at all. If any of the media outlets who reported on the story had bothered to do any research at all they would have discovered Marineland's statement that Beyli was close to 40 years old and died of 'old age' is an outright lie. Simply regurgitating a press release seems to be what passes for reporting these days and failing to ask even sensible questions highlights the problem with the media when reporting on Marineland.

Friday, August 29, 2014

10,000 Reasons

Statement by Mike Garrett

On Thursday Aug 28th I received notice of Justice Lococo's cost award ruling stemming from a hearing held in June of this year.  In that hearing I sought to have Marineland's injunction order against me set aside, an injunction they received in 2013 designed to silence public protest on public property outside of the captive animal facility.  In that hearing I was unsuccessful in having the order set aside however I did succeed in opposing Marineland's request the order be expanded in scope with further restrictions to myself and include other demonstrators.   For the costs of this litigation Marineland  indicated to the court they were seeking $30,000 and I submitted legal costs of $10,000.  Ultimately Justice Lococo ruled I shall pay Marineland the cost of $10,000.  The injunction order will remain in place until the outcome is determined of  Marineland's separate $1.5 million dollar lawsuit against me.

The outcome of this is not surprising in a system that is setup to allow the abuse of process against individuals like myself by a large corporation such as Marineland.  From day one I have been very aware of the consequences of opposing a company whose very business model is based on abuse and whose actions and behavior within the community could best be described as corrupt.   The abuse of animals, people, the political and legal systems, the environment  -  I have always had many reasons why I oppose Marineland and now I have 10,000 more.  The cost award changes nothing.  I will be back on the streets tomorrow opposing this facility and industry as I've always done.  I will continue to use creative and effective tactics against them at every opportunity and I will not lose a minutes sleep over it.  I will also not back down upon facing further litigation by Marineland designed to intimidate and silence free speech.  I will pay Marineland their $10,000 confident in knowing which side of history I'm on and how history is about to play out for them. I am very satisfied in knowing that I am costing them much more than they could ever derive out of me.

I want to thank every single person who continues to stand beside me in this fight.  Friends and strangers from the activist community and beyond, from all over the world.  Thank you to those that have offered financial and emotional support, who understand what this picture below represents and that the only way to battle an enemy like this is to work together.   We won't be silenced.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Walrus chases down Marineland owner John Holer

Marineland owner John Holer found himself being chased off his own stage by one of his own captive walrus recently. The incident was captured on video shot by user What2du and posted online. It shows Apollo a large male pacific walrus locking eyes with the animal slavemaster and charging towards him. Holer was forced to make a hasty retreat and exit stage left.