Sea Shepherd Brazil Launches Operation Silent Hurricane

Justice For The Murdered Dolphins In Brazil

Macapá, October 18, 2007 - Sea Shepherd Brazil, after pressuring Ibama of Amapá and the Federal Police for two months, finally obtained the name of the owner of the fishing vessel responsible for the massacre of dolphins on the coast of Macapá, Brazil. Sea Shepherd, as an international NGO engaged in protecting marine wildlife, officially brought suit for damages today against the owner of the of the vessel responsible for the massacre of 83 dolphins in the state of Amapá.

"Operation Silent Hurricane is of great importance to the organization's efforts to preserve marine wildlife, keeping in mind that the law that protects the dolphins in the Brazilian territory is the same that protects the whales. With the information gathered and handed to us by the Federal Police, it is now possible to file this lawsuit and to begin an investigation into the facts towards a decision to punish the person or persons responsible for this crime," affirms Cristiano Pacheco, Judicial Director of Sea Shepherd Brazil.

The defendant, Jonan Queiroz de Figueiredo, proprietor of the fishing vessel Grace of God IV, which was caught on film by Ibama on July of this year killing dolphins, is being sued for damages totaling of $185 thousand dollars.

"Operation Silent Hurricane makes good sense in our fight for the dolphins, because by placing a freeze on the environmental criminal's assets and collecting damages from him, we are impeding the criminal financially from repeating his crime - we needed to speak the only language that these criminals understand," says Daniel Vairo, President of the Instituto Sea Shepherd Brasil.

On July 27, 2007, Sea Shepherd Brazil entered with a public civil action against Ibama of Amapá with a preliminary request in Federal Justice of the same state, requesting information on the case. Sea Shepherd Brazil sought through Ibama of Amapá information regarding the scenes documented by them and televised on national TV, where it showed 83 dolphins being submitted to the pain and suffering, having their eyes and teeth pulled out by fishermen in bright day light. Ibama denied having any information on the case, even though they had monitors aboard.

"The name Silent Hurricane given to the operation is a homage to the silence of Ibama and the inertia of the Federal Justice that to this day has not decided on our preliminary request for information on the case. Hurricane is in reference to our intention in promoting with this lawsuit, a serious investigation on the companies that are benefiting from killing dolphins", says Vairo.

Sea Shepherd affirms that the problem of the predatory and illegal fishing and of the massacre of dolphins extends to the entire Brazilian coast in an uncontrolled way, and that the case of the dolphins of Amapá is not an isolated case. Dolphins are captured, killed and still sold by environmental criminals so that they can be used as bait in capturing sharks. Sharks are sacrificed for their fins, which are then sold illegally to Asian markets to serve as soup, and for the pharmaceutical market for the production of cartilage pills.  In Brazil, the belief that the eyes of the dolphin, when carried in the pocket, "attracts money and woman" and the use of the teeth for the production of necklaces, are also reasons the massacre of these majestic animals is encouraged.