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Free Lolita Update 132

Lolita Update #132

Blackfish comes to Coupeville Aug. 8
August 2, 2013

At the center of a media storm over the blockbuster film Blackfish,
Tilikum still swims in circles or just hovers

For Immediate Release

Date: August 1, 2013
Contact: here
Howard Garrett (360) 331-3543
-OR- (360) 320-7176
-OR- Susan Berta (360) 661-3739 **Photos available upon request

Orca Capture Commemoration will show Blackfish August 8

Every August 8, Orca Network holds a Penn Cove Orca Capture Commemoration to mark the date of the infamous roundups there in 1970 and 1971. Ten young orcas were netted and hauled away from their families and pods to serve as entertainment in marine theme parks. At least five others were killed.

Since 1987 only one of those captured has survived. Against all odds she remains on display in an illegal tank in Miami. Her stage name is Lolita, but she was first named Tokitae (Toe-key-tay). Orca Network has campaigned since 1995 to retire Tokitae in her home waters and this year the prospects for her return are brighter than ever.

On August 8, 2013 Orca Network will mark the Penn Cove captures with a wreath-laying ceremony in Penn Cove aboard the iconic ketch Cutty Sark from 3 to 4:30 pm, followed by a very special screening of the blockbuster film Blackfish at 6:30 pm at the Coupeville School Performing Arts Center, 501 South Main Street, Coupeville, WA. Tickets for this Whidbey Island premier of Blackfish are $15, and are available from Orca Network HERE.

We are grateful to Magnolia Films for granting this one-time only showing of this powerful film for this event. Blackfish includes the history of the Penn Cove captures, interviews with several former SeaWorld trainers, as well as longtime orca researcher Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research and Howard Garrett of Orca Network. Howard Garrett states "we've been working on the captivity issue for several decades, and for the first time with the movie Blackfish, and David Kirby's best-selling book Death At SeaWorld, the truth is reaching a huge audience and becoming a regular item in the mainstream news media, and that gives us a lot of hope." The Blackfish trailer, the hundreds of glowing reviews, and the international screening schedule can all be found at:

Prior to the screening of Blackfish, Orca Network will provide a brief summary of current legal cases that may mandate the return of Tokitae to the Salish Sea, along with news about the new WA State ferry to be named the M/V Tokitae in her honor, plus other important news items.

For more information, contact Orca Nework here or visit

Howard Garrett
Orca Network 1-866-ORCANET

Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to help Orca Network continue this work for Lolita HERE. Thank you!

NOAA: Puget Sound killer whales to stay protected

This is good news, but on the other hand the petition to remove the So. Resident orca clan from ESA protections was a frivolous and politically driven, so there was never much chance it would succeed. But it's still nice to see:

"Killer whales that spend their summers in Puget Sound are a distinct population group and will remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday.

"NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service spent a year reviewing a petition to delist the orcas. The petition was brought by the Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of California farmers who faced water restrictions to protect salmon the orcas eat. They argued the Puget Sound orcas were part of a larger north Pacific population and didn't qualify for the 2005 endangered species listing."

This decision clears the way for another decision by NOAA, coming soon, to determine whether Lolita/Tokitae should be included with her family as a So. Resident orca and therefore eligible for protections under the ESA. If so - and there are strong legal precedents in support of that result - there will probably need to be another law suit to mandate that she must be returned to her native waters and potentially to rejoin her family. Please stay tuned.

Much is going on to help bring Lolita home and to inform and advocate for her and her family Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to help Orca Network continue this work by clicking HERE. Thank you!

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