The Dark History of Killer Whale Captures

Bryan Douebleu
Clinical Cynic
January 19, 2017

You know, while watching this I was thinking to myself, “Why don’t these orcas start biting the people netting them and roping them in half?” – if I weighed 3-6 tons and had interlocking teeth that were like zippers I’d get my revenge. Yet they never do. And it’s not because they can’t be mean or violent as they will rake each other and, due to their massive lobes dealing with emotion (even of which some aspects humans lack) they are very emotional beings, and since we [I think erroneously] equate brain size to intelligence, if this is the case, the orca may be smarter than us, or possess an intelligence rivaling humans, but simply lack an opposing thumb to prove it [to naysayer self-important humans]. Then it dawned on me; their intelligence, plus their known differing cultures and unique dialects [described by people like Biggs] to be much like human language, would likely have them realizing the rock and a hard place situation they find themselves in while they are corralled and captured; they likely recognize the human capacity for technology and that capacity outweighs our physical control over them. They likely fear an unseen, but foreseen, retribution – and it’s quite possible that due to their culture they know of past experiences with humans.
Of course, for most, culture is defined solely as belonging only to humans… Just another archaic closed-minded remnant of slowly dying times.
Definition of “culture” – the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
I actually believe many animals have culture, as many animals transmit knowledge to the coming generation. A mother cheetah or lion teaches her young how to hunt, what to hunt, what to fear, and their place in the world (or food chain) and their kind. Of course self-celebrated academics would likely argue that culture is knowledge passed through language and written word… But I find that line of thought dismissive and narrow-minded. As Joaquin Phoenix stated in Earthlings, it’s a speciest perspective to think contrarily.
I find it utterly amazing that they have, not once, attacked their attackers during selection and capture. In captivity, somewhat, yes (although the damage, even to Dawn Brancheau, given their capability, is very limited)… In the wild during these events, never.
I also find it confusing and stupid that nowhere are people making noise about Russian captures which continue until now. China is currently seeking to capture orcas but, as of yet, has been purchasing them from Russia.
More orcas captured in the Okhotsk Sea, Russia—When will it stop?
Orca capture trade has moved to Russia, China, activists say
China’s Marine Park Boom Is Driving the Capture of Whales and Dolphins
Chinese Company Seeks to Capture Orcas and Hundreds of Marine Mammals in Namibia
I dislike China a little more each year. As the article stated, regarding animal trade and trafficking, too many roads lead back to China.
In my book, Ted Griffin will go down in history as an asshole. Some people would say he changed, that he advocates for captive dolphins. But, had he not done what he began doing in the mid-1960’s, there might not be any captive orca to advocate for.