Judges verdict: ongoing captivity for orca Morgan

Thursday 13 December, 2012, 16:37, by The Black Fish

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At an emotional ruling in the Amsterdam court house this afternoon, judges delivered their final verdict in the case of orca Morgan. They concluded that the decision made by the Dutch Minister to transport Morgan to the Spanish marine park Loro Parque at Tenerife, was lawful. They further acknowledged that in the case of orca Morgan, the Dutch authorities had taken all the proper legal steps. The Black Fish, which has worked as part of the Orca Coalition for the last two years to push for the young female killer whale's freedom, is saddened by the outcome, though not surprised.

Morgan was 'rescued' from the North Sea but then kept in captivity

Morgan was rescued but then kept in captivity on the grounds of research and educational purposes

Wietse van der Werf, co-founder of The Black Fish, who has been involved in the campaign from the very start: "We are very disappointed with this verdict, to say the least. It is a tragic day for Morgan and a tragic day for marine wildlife in general, which continues to be over-exploited and threatened, often within the realms of the law. With so much of the international regulations lacking clear guidance to protect these species, it is often difficult to see where justice comes into it."

"With the campaign for the release of Morgan we have always pushed to inspire much needed political will to secure her freedom, and if taken on board, politicians could have made the momentous step in giving the green light for her release, even if success could not be guaranteed. Unfortunately we have to conclude that the authorities are just not ready for this. We will continue to push this issue so one day The Netherlands might just be one of the countries around the world to work on the forefront of marine protection and deal with stranded animals like Morgan in an adequate and morally just way."

The Black Fish will be meeting with other organisations of the Orca Coalition shortly to discuss the next possible steps. To follow the latest, please follow @OrkaCoalitie on Twitter or visit the website at http://www.orcacoalition.org

Court rules orca Morgan's removal to Spain was not unlawful

Original article by DutchNews.nl, December 13 2012

The removal of the orca Morgan to an amusement park on Tenerife was not unlawful, judges in Amsterdam said on Thursday.

An organisation of marine wildlife experts known as the Orca Coalition had gone to court in an effort to have the decision reversed. They argue Morgan, who was found in the Wadden Sea in a severely weakened state in 2010, should have been released into the wild instead.

The export licence for Morgan was granted on the grounds that the orca would be used for educational purposes. The judge in Amsterdam said this was the case, news agency Novum reported. Nor is there any reason to think Morgan's health is in danger in the amusement part, the judge said.

Morgan's supporters argue that she is constantly attacked by other orcas at the Loro Parque centre and that she is being taught to perform tricks, which breaks the terms of the export licence.