Members to boycott Chamber BAH over dolphins

| 17/03/2009

(CNS): The decision to host a Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours (BAH) at the Dolphin Discovery captive facility in West Bay has generated a backlash from some members, who say they intend to boycott the event. Well-known local environmentalist and leading member of Keep Dolphins Free in Cayman, Billy Adam, began an email campaign this week which he sent to number of people in the community including some Chamber members asking them not to attend and which has generated a significant amount of support.

The Chamber’s event is scheduled to take place on 19 March at the dolphinarium on North West Point Road, but what is usually a social get-together for local business people has turned into a controversial debate over conservation issues. As Adam notes, hosting the event goes against the spirit of the Chamber’s own environmental pledge.

The pledge states: “l support Government and Non-governmental organizations which are engaged in environmental conservation efforts in the Cayman Islands. As leaders in the financial industry and a prime tourist destination, we have an obligation to do our part to preserve our environment. A healthy, pro-active environmentally aware society reaps benefits for all – clean air and water, healthy lifestyles, happy residents – these all add up to less medical and social costs on us and our nation’s budget. In turn we reap the benefits of increased tourism and we attract persons who care to live and work among us. “Reckless behaviour and neglectful daily practices are contributing to the destruction and depletion of our coral reefs, marine life, mangrove swamps, ground water supplies, natural habitats and air quality. If we do not change our ways, the long term consequences to our way of life, our health and our economy could be devastating.”

Adam points out that by supporting the abusive dolphin industry the Chamber is in conflict with its own stated position and had turned the pledge into an empty statement.

“The Chamber has made a choice to go against its own environmental pledge, which is poor management,” he said. “By hosting this even and offering the facility Chamber membership the Chamber is being used as a laundry to make this business appear clean and respectable, but it is not. Both the facilities have broken local laws, and government and regulatory agencies all seem to feel obligated to them. The leader of government business, the attorney general and the director of agricultural are all fully aware that these organisations have broken the law.”

He said that this was how the captive dolphin industry worked all over the world — breaking laws and encouraging those in government to break them also. By hosting the event, Adam said the Chamber was sending a conflicting message.

“Personally I find it disgusting that the C of C will now be organizing an event at a location, Dolphin Discovery, located on government land, which by now seems to be a C of C Member, operating in violation of Cayman Islands laws. Dolphin Discovery was allowed and encouraged by government to open without all of the required licenses being issued. Is this the law-breaking business environment the ‘NEW’ C of C now endorses and encourages in the Cayman Islands?” Adam asked.

In response to the boycott, which has received support from a number of local business owners, the Chamber said that the Council had approved Dolphin Discovery as a Corporate Member in September 2008.

“Section 4 of the Chamber’s Articles of Association outlines the membership criteria. It states that membership in the Chamber of Commerce is open to any persons, firms, associations or corporations of good standing interested in the purposes of the Association. Dolphin Discovery submitted all of the required business licenses as part of their application and is a member in good standing,” the Chamber Council said.

CNS submitted questions regarding how the Chamber reconciled its support of the event at Dolphin Discovery with its own environmental pledge. Its response did not make that entirely clear and stated:

“Government’s approval to allow captive dolphin facilities in the Cayman Islands is regarded as a controversial decision by some environmental and animal welfare advocates. The Chamber of Commerce respects these positions, but we also respect the decision taken by Government to allow captive dolphin facilities to operate here. We understand that there may be some members of the Chamber of Commerce that do not support this decision and may wish not to attend the event, but we also believe that there are other members who may not share this view and we invite them to attend the event on Thursday.”

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Category: Science and Nature

Comments (21)

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  1. Nicky Watson says:

    Former CAVE member – could you just post the link to the information. if you have problems, email comments@caymannewsservice.com. Thanks.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately no one commented on the main fact that the C of C is supporting a business that is openly breaking the Cayman Islands Animals Law, and with Government’s support, on Government land.

    It is this break down of a law abiding consciousness, to accept law breaking, that has corrupted the very soul of the Cayman Islands conscience.  It has corrupted successive Governments and now the C of C misses / ignores the point of their need to ensure that the C of C should not support law breaking by businesses and Governments. 

    Is this not what their CrimeStoppers program is all about?

    To those in the C of C and many in society, that missed observing this selective consciousness to require compliance with all laws, it is to be hoped that you are never a victim of Government persecution (not prosecution) when Government applies a law to prosecute you, while allowing your neighbour or competitor to have an advantage by being allowed break the same law, now that is persecution!

    Unfortunately those of you who do not require your Government to equally enforce all laws, you are part of the problem, you contribute to the lawlessness in our society, the lawlessness that is taking by murder the lives of our young people.

    Unfortunately, you who will attend the BAH at Dolphin Discovery, look around at all who are present, you will be in the company with others who are part of the problem, destroying our Cayman Islands society and our quality of life by condoning the selective enforcement of laws by Government, and by the C of C not recognizing the consequences of condoning the law breaking of their member companies.

    You are part of the problem resulting in the violent society the Cayman Islands are becoming.

    Enjoy the Cayman Islands while you can……your grandchildren will not thank you when they cannot!

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    So sad aboutthe comments on here,

    Dolphins should never be kept in captivity. There are no scientific reports that say dolphins thrive in captivity. People boycotting a meeting are making a stand and should be congratulated for doing what is right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hats off to Billy Adam and his campaign.  As a new small business owner, this will tip the scales for me, I will NOT be joining the local Chamber of Commerce.  Let’s have integrity in business, guys!

  4. Anonymous says:

     I am very disappointed that the Chamber would hold a BAH at either of the Captive Dolphin parks.  And to think, 2 weeks later they are celebrating Earth Day with a road side clean up.  Will they be sponsoring a reef clean up to clean up after the Dolphins discharge?  Oh wait, they finally got the appropriate discharge permits after they were open for business.

    For all of you complaining that Mr. Adams needs to find a "real cause", why isn’t this a "real cause" ?  Why shouldn’t people be judged based on how they treat their fellow man and fellow creatures?  Dolphins are not domesticated animals, they are wild creatures, just because you put them in a pool and force them to enterain us doesn’t make them domesticated.  Cats, dogs, horses, cows, they are domesticated animals and have been for at least 10,000 years.

    I don’t know about you, but I appreciate lions, tigers, bears, wolves, rhinos quite well without playing with them, why do we need to swim with dolphins in order to appreciate them?  There is no logic behind that argument.

    Would love to see where the 94% of the 20 million visitors had more appreciation for nature stat came from?  Did someone poll all 20 million visitors, was it a big increase in appreciation, just a little increase?  Did it weight more if you had no appreciation before?  This is just a ridulous stat with no bearing on the current argument.

    I will not be going to the BAH, I have not gone to either captive dolphin facility and have no plans to attend.

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    who hoo!! Go Billy Go………

  6. Anonymous says:

     clearly the chamber and CITA as a whole support the dolphinariums and it is obvious that it is only a handful of people in the minority that are against it.

    A girl was murdered this week and this is your priority, Billy and the rest of you should be ashamed – this issue is over and you must accept defeat and move on with your lives.  If you do not want to attend then that is your god given right along with others who choose to attend.

    Excellent job Chamber for not bowing down to the minority and I will be there.

    One of the other posters mentioned that Dolphins were GAY and I would love to hear Billy’s response to that one.  I am sure he will be using that one also as a point to get rid of them now that we know they are GAY.

    Maybe we need to get Perez Hilton involved to defend the GAY dolphins.

    Geta grip and go hug a tree.

  7. I own a dog says:

    In response to "give gay dolphins rights" …..I am of the firm believe that when Mr. Adams owned and operated a pet store he only engaged in the selling of "straight" pets.  Hence the declilne in civilization as we know it, there is no regulations on the selling of "gay pets".

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dolphin Nonsence,

    This debate has wasted more time and effort than anything else that I can remember in recent time.

    I agree with the writers that say " get on to the BIG issues" like crime, education and jobs.

    I will waste no more time.

     

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think it is absolutely hypocritical for the Chamber to support this, i’ve always supported these events and the Chamber, however, this decision is questionable at best and further validates what many believes in the community … it is all about the almighty dollar.

  10. former CAVE member says:

    How dumb would you feel?

    If you spent some time in the dolphin industry and you learnt that 95% of the rhetoric – that is said like fact – is completely false?
     
    If you researched billy’s much quoted Humane Society of United States – to learn that they have not one cat of dog in a shelter – that they are an animal rights activist group – duping millions – with the last money raising trick of asking people to help dogs and cats of hurricane Katrina…?
     
    If you learned that the “freeing of willy” was tantamount to taking a domesticated wolf and trying to reintroduce him to the wild – can you say “slow and painful death” – did I mention US$40 Million was raised for this…
     
    Do you believe the statistic that 94% of the 20 Million visitors to zoos & aquariums last year left the facilities with a greater appreciation of nature?
     
    Check out this site…
     
     
     
    Decision makers of this country have governed Cayman well – they have done their homework – crossed every T and dotted every I – in their opinion the dolphin parks are a good thing…
     
    To learn about the dolphin industry – maybe you should sign up for the "Trainer for a Day" program at Dolphin Cove – the one near morgans harbour – its expensive US 890 per person – but it is surely going to educate you to the industry…
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  11. anonymous says:

    Give gay dolphins rights! 

    Billy Adam’s strong condemnation of both equal rights for gay people in the Cayman Islands and captive dolphins is contradictory. He rants on the radio about the horror and grave threat gay people pose for Cayman and all civilization but then says he cares so much for the dolphins. 

    Doesn’t he know that many dolphins are gay? Scientists have no doubt; many of the slippery buggers are as gay as Ted Haggard and all the other closeted preachers who dedicate their lives to thinking and talking about manly love.

    Is it Mr. Adam’s position that gay dolphins are okay but gay humans are not? Why does he want freedom for gay aquatic mammals but not for gay land mammals? What if gay people are swimming at the beach? Are they okay in Mr. Adam’s eyes so long as they are submerged? Does gayness only warrant condemnation on land? 

    Here is a National Geographic video that might cause Mr. Adam to reconsider his work on behalf of the dolphins: 

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0vGamcQIYs

     

    I know, I know, God would never make a gay dolphin. Clearly they have made a lifestyle choice and it’s on them to suffer the consequences.

    Given how common homosexual behavior is in nature (more than 450 animal species known to engage in it) Mr. Adam and other such anti-gay zealots should probably avoid zoos and the outdoors in general. 

    Mr. Adam is correct, of course, that the captive dolphin facility is cruel and an insult to the concept of ecotourism. Cayman should never have allowed this backward form of entertainment. Too bad, however, that Mr. Adam’s compassion and modern worldview falls short of applying to all humans as well.

  12. Anonymous says:

    These ‘keep dolphins free’ protests would be a bit more convincing if they were being orchestrated by vegans who didn’t own any pets, didn’t go to zoos and believed that no animals should be kept in captivity / all animals should be set free.  But they aren’t, and I’m yet to hear one logical reason why dolphins should be treated any differently to dogs, parrots, fish… hell even cows.

     

    The simple fact of the matter is that these dolphinariums would not exist if people did not want to swim with dolphins… why should the vocal minority be able to decide what the majority can or cannot do? And it surely is only a vocal minority… if enough people gave a cr@p, either the companies would go bust through a lack of business or laws would be changed to put them out of business…

  13. richard wadd says:

    There is far less Evil in a few captive dolphins (providing Morality abounds), than in the wonton slaughter of thousands in the wild annually. Perhaps by raising the level of ‘awarenes’ of these marvelous creatures in people, it will help us to exterminate the Greater evil.

    Now, as for the Chamber’s decision to hold a ‘BAH’ event at this venue, whoever made this decision should be ashamed of themselves. Which IDIOT sold us out? The chamber’s members took a ‘position’ on this whole dolphin / anti-dolphin campain, did it not? And now we are to offer support and even embrace the very industry we fought to block from these islands? And worst of all, who we KNOW are conducting business in contravention of the Laws of this land, and with questionably ‘corrupt and underhanded’ collution with our Government? 

    How easily we get side-tracked from ‘Morality’, for a few pieces of silver. What a shame.

    I for one won’t be re-newing my Membership with the Chamber of Criminals

     

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    For the person who is urging Billy Adam to choose "a cause that really matters," clearly you don’t know Billy Adam! You name it, he’s probably fought for it. Surely even you will be able to find "a cause that really matters" amongst the many  that he has championed over the years.

  15. Anonymous says:

    There are those in the Chamber of Commerce who still don’t get it, namely that many on this island do not want to see captive dolphins. Yet they continue to support the dolphin programs, why?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mr. Adam and other Business Person.

    While I understand about the dolphins and the boycott, don’t you think you effort might be put to better use as….my fight in for right of children, a new local haven of wayward teens, new job for young school leavers.

    Fight yes…but chose a cause that really matters. please.

  17. robert hamaty says:

    Time to stop this folishness . if these persons for keep dolphins free are correct then free all animals in a zoo all birds in a cage as house pets etc.  scrap the turtle farm .i was 15 years old when my dad took me to miami sea aquarium  what a great day that was i have never forgot . that was 48 years ago  miami sea aquarium is still there enjoyed  by millions . may be we should stop medical reserche with animals and allow these activist to lose there love ones or there own lives then may be they will undestand why monkeys were sent in to space before humans . chamber stand your ground and represent the bussness of the cayman islands .   Regards

  18. Ebanks the Plumber says:

    I am opposed to keeping dolphins in captivity. However, by visiting the site I am hoping that this will provide me with further evidence to support my viewpoint. 

    It has become evident recently that there are too many people who are coming to conclusions about key issues in our society based on second hand information.  How many people who are talking about the draft constitution have actually read it, and how many are simply regurgitating the opinions of the HRC or the CMA?  How many have actually expressed concern about Section 44 (1)(e) which is quite clearly discriminatory and divides the Caymanian population into two unequal parts.

    2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of "The origin of the species".  I can’t wait for the uninformed and misinformed debate on evolution to begin in the Cayman Islands.  Hopefully there will be, at least, a postage stamp.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I guess we can now call the Chamber of Commerce a new name of the Chamber of Hypocrite Commerce! 

  20. Dolphin Lover says:

    I know if they proceed with these plans I certainly won’t be attending an event that I otherwise support and attend on a regular basis.  Many people, like myself, endeavour to ensure that we have absolutely nothing to do with or any connection with the Dolphin Discovery business what-so-ever.  Chamber of Commerce, and anyone else contemplating supporting the Dolphin Discovery business in any way, I urge you to reconsider.  They need to be shut down, not supported or encouraged !!!