A Guide to the Victims of the International Slave Trade
ORCAPEDIA: A Guide to the Victims of the International Orca Slave Trade by Captain Paul Watson and marine wildlife expert Tiffany Humphrey provides a sobering look at the current imprisonment of orcas––a highly intelligent, socially complex, nonthreatening species––by a for-profit industry.
Readers are introduced to the largest member of the Cetacea order of marine mammals, the orca (aka killer whales). Decades following the movement to release Keiko, the orca who appeared in the family drama Free Willy, into the wild still finds dozens of orcas in captivity. Fascinating details on their size, eating and mating habits, and pod dialects and structures are shown to work against them when they are imprisoned. The names and color photos of over sixty orcas, together with personal history and notable incidents, such as injuries and behavioral issues, convey a realistic account of the injustices being perpetrated. To further illustrate the point are five pages of “headstones” in recognition of orcas that have died at marine park facilities.
While many would not survive if they were suddenly released into the wild, the authors recommend the use of sea pens, which present a viable compromise by allowing the orcas greater freedom, providing them with the opportunity to learn how to catch fish, and having trainers on hand to assess their health, Visitors would be offered a view of whales living in more natural surroundings.
ORCAPEDIA mandates change and inspires us to follow through.
About the authors: Captain Paul Watson is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and has worked on the front line for decades trying to protect the ocean’s wildlife. Tiffany Humphrey has been working with marine wildlife since 2003. From 2009 to 2013 she worked as Paul’s executive assistant at Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.