Reported by Scott West, Sea Shepherd Department of Intelligence and Investigations
On May 30, 2011, six captive dolphins were taken from Taiji, Japan and shipped to China. The trucks carrying the dolphins from Taiji were waiting at the Kansai International Airport at 9:00 am when we found them, meaning they left Taiji around 5:00 am, if not earlier. Young girls from the Dolphin Resort Hotel in Taiji accompanied the dolphins.
The six dolphins were kept in the trucks until about 2:00 pm when their crates were moved into the Cathay Pacific cargo handling facility at Kansai - this means the dolphins had been in their containers at least nine hours at this point.
Approximately two hours later, the dolphin crates were moved to a waiting Donghai freight aircraft, which took off about an hour later. Shenzhen Donghai Airlines is a cargo airline based in Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China. The captive dolphins were in those crates at least 12 hours by the time the plane took off. We do not know where the plane landed in China or how far the dolphins had to be trucked to the aquarium. How many hours were they in those crates? Did any survive the trip? Unfortunately, we have no idea.
One can imagine what Cathay Pacific officials would say about their company’s participation in this activity. Perhaps they would tell us that it is only business, and moving dolphins from Japan to China is legal. Let us remember Cathay Pacific’s role in this. Let us also be informed. U.S. based American Airlines just entered into a codesharing arrangement with Cathay Pacific. British Airways and Qantas Airlines are also in that elite group. Perhaps those who care about the plight of dolphins should remember this when they make business decisions about which airline to patronize.
From oneworld’s website: In addition to its own affiliate Dragonair, Cathay Pacific codeshares with oneworld partners American Airlines, British Airways, and affiliates Comair, Finnair, Japan Airlines, LAN, Mexicana, and Qantas.