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ALIVE News July 14, 2001

Oppose sea otters hunt for aquaria

July 06, 2001

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Office of Management Authority
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 700
Arlington, VA 22203 USA
Facsimile: 1-703-358-2281

Re: FR Doc. 01-15092, Notice of Receipt of Applications for Permit
(PRT-020575 & RRT-043001)

To whom it may concern:

It has come to our attention that two Japanese aquaria, Aquamarine Fukushima and Oarai Aquarium, are requesting for permit to capture northern sea otters from the US territory.

On behalf of all members and supporters of ALIVE, a Japanese non-profit organization for protecting animals and environment, I respectfully urge you to reject the requests for permit to capture and export the wild northern sea otters, which have been submitted by the above-mentioned aquaria as published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Federal Register on June 15, 2001.

According to ENN News ("Aleutian otters take a nosedive" dated July 5, 2000), a survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last year revealed that the sea otter population in Alaska's Aleutian Islands had declined 70 percent since 1992 and 95 percent or more throughout much of the archipelago since the 1980s. A survey conducted in the 1980s by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimated that there were 55,000 to 100,000 sea otters in the area. This number had declined dramatically to only 6,000 otters, according to the last year's survey.

As Japanese citizens, we are all shocked and dismayed that those aquaria are even considering, not to mention actually submitting the request for, the capture of wild sea otters when their population is severely strained. This is obviously not the time to put any unnecessary pressure to this already critically endangered population and it seems to us the very act of submitting this request at this time shows their ignorance of the current situations concering sea otters or lack of concern about conservation of endangered wildlife.

The last century saw some major changes in people's attitudes toward other animals. More sea otters in aquaria would have been welcomed by a lot of people in Japan a few decades ago. But increasing number of people are beginning to realize what it really is to take wild animals, especially mammals, who have strong ties with their families, away from their natural habitat and they have stopped supporting the facilities which keep wild animals in captivity.

In fact, when one of the major Japanese newspapers reported the importation of six sea otters and consequest death of 2 individuals in 1998, a lot of people, especially school children, expressed their oppositions against taking more animals from the wild when excellent modern methods are readily available to let us learn about them without harming them.

Also, please do not be deceived by the untruthful claim made by those facilities that they are educational institutions. Japanese aquaria do nothing to teach people what marine mammals really are;they train those animals do cheap tricks to entertain people. And such people think it is entertaining to watch the animals perform precisely because they have been given false ideas about those wonderful creatures as aquaria have made those animals behave unnaturally.

Once again, please do not let those facilities steal more wildlife from the people of the United States.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to make a comment.

Sincerely yours,


people of the United States.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to make a comment.

Sincerely yours,

Fusako Nogami

All Life In a Viable Environment