The war against the Cape Verde dolphins

Dolphins on the beach at Cape Verde

Today I am going to tell you a modern fairy tale, in the words of a girl from Cape Verde.
The wolf is long gone, only to be replaced by the American naval bases with their nuclear-powered submarines. And now, the part of Little Red Riding Hood is not being played by Putin but, in this case, by the dolphins and those unfortunate ones that are obliged to host the armaments of the American Dream.
They take the medicines out of their mouths and have no public health system, all in order to be able to give us arms.

"Hello Beppe,
My girlfriend was born in Cape Verde, a beautiful archipelago of islands, which was still completely uncontaminated, that is until just a few years ago. Now read what has happened there:

- Terrible news. I was phoned on Sunday morning at about 4 am and informed about what was happening. During the night, perhaps around 1am, first 10, then 100 and then 300 dolphins landed up beached about 9 km away from my home, at Morro de Areia near Chave.
At 6 am, together with a large group made up of Cape Verde locals and foreigners, we went along in order to try to save them. However, after having pushed about forty of them back into the water and kept them at bay for some time, they came back to shore. We continued in our attempts for no less than 9 hours, but to no avail, because they continued coming back to shore, apparently wanting to die. I don’t know if this is in fact so, but this is most certainly the impression we got.
What a tragedy it was, seeing these dolphins, with tears in their eyes, simply asking to be left alone to die. They all died, notwithstanding all of our efforts, and there was little else left to do but to bury them.
Again on Monday, another 70 beached dolphins, this time near Ribeira, between our house and Chave, right in front of where they are busy building the Riu. The dolphins were returned to the water with the help of some of the workers and, after numerous attempts, they proceeded to return to deeper waters, and only five of them died.
The theories put forward on Sunday tended to lay the blame for this tragedy on the presence of ships or submarines in the area, whose sonar signals either caused the dolphins to become disoriented, frightened or drove them insane.
We now know that, once again, man is the responsible party. This is, in fact, confirmed by the presence of an American nuclear-powered submarine, which docked at Sao Vincente after having navigated between the islands.
It was shown on the television, in the roadstead where the future American naval base is due to be built. The submarine was navigating in the area, sometime between the Saturday and Sunday on which the phenomenon occurred. During the night, between the Saturday and the Sunday, a group of no less than 265 dolphins beached themselves.
The worst part is that there are another 400 dolphins on their way here, whose fate seems to be sealed, something that we sincerely hope can be avoided. We are told by the Cape Verde radio service and thereafter by the Harbour Authority that these dolphins are currently zigzagging toward us.
Herewith a hug and a hope that the desert and the sea will be with us! "A girl from Cape Verde”.

Ps: MicroMega, sponsored by the Catanzaro Province and scheduled to take place in Catanzaro tomorrow, 1st December 2007, at the Provincial Council Building (Luigi Rossi square). There will be a debate on the subject of: "The law and the power of the powerless ". Speakers will include: Luigi De Magistris, Marco Travaglio, Carlo Vulpio, Antonio Massari, Raffaello Magi, Marco Del Gaudio, Melania Salazar and Domenico Ciruzzi. Moderator: Emilio Carnevali.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:34 PM in | Comments (5)
Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | TrackBack (0) |
View blog opinions


In 1987, I published a 101-page booklet dedicated to the US Marine Mammal Commission entitled "Auditory Trauma as the Major Factor in Whale and Dolphin Strandings."

This was the first time the words "deafness", "auditory trauma", and "barotrauma" were ever used in any publication discussing whales and dolphins.

I fought the US Navy and the Marine Mammal Commission all by my lonesome in those days. The Navy even sent a team of special investigators to my house to warn me to be careful. The true stories I could tell about how the US Government killed whales and dolphins in the 1970s and 1980s will shock whale lovers to tears.

Anyway, my fight with the Navy took a terrible toll on my health and I had to give up. I decided to leave them out of my conservation efforts to see if I could attract some help from interested marine mammal scientists. It didn't work. The navy knew I was trying a different tactic so they blacklisted my name to all the marine mammal scientists on their payroll (95% of the current bunch). The navy controls and influences marine mammal research with an iron fist simply because they control/influence 95% of all the grant money available world-wide. In other words, if you are a marine mammal scientists you get ZERO grants if you buck naval interest. On top of this, defense contractors the world over spend billions of dollars with various universities. If whale research from one of these schools is not approved by the navy, defense funds for other projects dry up. They control the money and they control the greedy whale scientists who are willing to sell their mother into prostitution in order to get a grant. In fact, all the cochlea studies done world-wide are done either by or under the supervision of only one scientist who is totally owned by the US Navy.

Anyway, I did not stop fighting. Rather, I started writing a docudrama about the Navy and how and why they insist on using high powered sonar regardless that they know these devices kill whales. The story builds around a man who lost his family in a freak boating accident. This guy become obsessed to find out what happened and to raise the sunken boat on which his wife and daughter died. Slowly, he unravels a shocking story of what the Navy is really up to and why they refuse to give-up on their powerful sonars. You can count on one thing--the ultimate use of these devices is not passive and has little to do with scanning the oceans for enemy submarines. The poor whales think they got troubles now--just wait a few more years and the Navy will completely wipe these animals off the face of earth--count on it! My docudrama will reveal the shocking truth. Maybe then the public will wake up.

Now, to my point in writing this note: I need a good cover on my book. After years of thinking about it, I decided that a picture of dead dolphins on the beach shortly after a navy submarine passed by would make the ideal cover. The picture at the head of this blog page is perfect!!!!!

I have to pay to publish my book and don't have any money to buy pictures. I was hoping that if I could get in touch with the person who took this shot (or someone who might have other pics of these whales) that maybe I could talk them into donating the rights to use the photo for the first copy off the press and any other favor I could do in return.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Captain Dave Williams
Deafwhale Society, Inc.

Posted by: Captain David Williams | December 4, 2007 12:02 AM

Dear All,

The dolphins are appealing to us...
us..The only ones who can save the whole world ,ourselves and all the life on earth, as we are the ones authourizing it. the bad things done are done in OUR names.....
We should take the dolphins example...Every day our actions sustain these false and bad activities that only serve to keep the rest of humanity in the same trap. Through fear of our own poverty and suffering we are prepared to give our authourity to war-mongerers and savages who ration out the poverty as best to the whole world...

STOP......Stop what you are's not as important as Not doing it..These webs are sustained by the power we give them by our daily activities... STOP EVERY THING NOW:::
We alone know what's best for us and we No longer need this control...... WE MUST TAKE BACK OUR Individual souvrenty. TRUST YOURSELVES... WE DON'T NEED TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO ::: WE DON'T NEED THIS bad control as we don't need ANY ....

Posted by: Robert Goodey | December 2, 2007 02:02 PM

The Soviet Union has collapsed?

The name has collapsed. Everything else is right here, coming back. Just wait--and you need not wait very long.

China is emerging.

Other areas of the world, hostile to the West, are also arming and threatening. It would be very naive and even suicidal to ignore this.

No good thing that dolphins die, of course. But giving up the navy and the military is not a solution.

So, this problem is not going away anytime soon, however much you complain and cry and stump your feet.

It is also probably not the biggest one for dolphins. Pollution is not a laughable matter. And tuna fishing ends up trapping and killing a lot more dolphins than the ones you´ve seen beached here.

So, fight the tuna fishers. You´re much more likely to get some results than babbling against the US navy (again, why only the US navy is not clear, since sonar is used by everyone) and you are likely to save a lot more dolphins.

Posted by: V. I. Rasputin | December 2, 2007 12:03 PM

Vladimir Ilich Rasputin aka George W. Bush, being a "paatriotic 'Merican", is quick to dismiss the beaching of the Cape Verde dolphins as "... may as well have been poisoned by pollution or sewage waste coming from the islands.", when a simple Google search "beaching of dolphins and sonar" will have provided him with 184,000 hits of newspaper articles relating to the US Navy and the use of sonar to the detriment of marine mammals. Including this blog quote from a former US submarine sonar operator :
"5/04/2006 3:57 PM
Trickish Knave said...
As a bubblehead sonarman these stories are near and dear to my heart.

I can sense the condescenion in the tone of the anon poster, because hey, what else could possibly kill marine mammals other than 200+ dB active sonar?

Admittedly, I can remember underways when we were actually given permission by he Officer of the Deck to go active for "training" because there were so many biologic traces showing up on our sonar screens that is was hard to see (hear) anything else.

Yep, a few well placed pings of active down the bearing of these aural nuisances did wonders for the background noise later on, after the 30 minutes of reverberation subsided.

There are more and more marine mammal protection messages that come out when the US Navy does an exercise putting hefty restrictions on us if marine mammals are in the area, to include turning our ship away form them, limiting our output level, etc. so that Flipper and Willy won't get a headache and decide to lay on the breach for a while.

I give all of you "Save the Whales" activists a thumb to my nose- we do whatever the hell we want during our exercise.


5/09/2006 2:18 PM"

and the last sentance reflects the current typical American arrogance with repect to American foreign policy.

Since the capitulation of the Soviet regime and the end of the cold war, the arm race should have ended and the US having emerged as the dominant world power, should have become the global big brother instead of the global bully. But the US armament industry is still on overdrive, and the reason ? To support the global bully image that has developed since the end of the cold war. And specifically to maintain the American war industry which is the largest contributor to the American economy.

So to Rasputin/Bush, you can patriotically defend the expending American empire and its armament industry with tired DDT cliches all you want, the rest of the world have come to know better.

Posted by: Marino De Menech | December 2, 2007 09:35 AM

Americans are not the only ones operating nuclear submarines.

Since others have them, it is not wise to do away with them--dolphins or no dolphins.

So, if you want a world with no nuclear submarines, you need to convince everyone else in the world to eliminate their armed forces, be on friendly terms with the Americans as well as with every other country and be persuaded only by means of argument.

Unless you can do that--and, believe me, it is very unlikely that you can--armed forces will continue to play a role in the relationship between nations. And nuclear vessels, such as ships and aircraft carriers are essential to that end.

Just to add a note: the fact that they are American or nuclear powered has nothing to do with the fact that they use sonar--which is the likely (not even sure!) cause of the dolphins getting beached.

In fact, the dolphins may as well have been poisoned by pollution or sewage waste coming from the islands, for all you tell and all you know.

Posted by: Vladimir Ilich Rasputin | December 2, 2007 12:21 AM

Post a comment

Beppe Grillo's Blog is an open space for you to use so that we can come face to face directly. As your comment is published immediately, there's no time for filters to check it out. Thus the Blog's usefulness depends on your cooperation and it makes you the only ones responsible for the content and the resulting outcomes.

Information to be read before using Beppe Grillo's Blog

The following are not allowed:
1. messages without the email address of the sender
2. anonymous messages
3. advertising messages
4. messages containing offensive language
5. messages containing obscene language
6. messages with racist or sexist content
7. messages with content that constitutes a violation of Italian Law (incitement to commit a crime, to violence, libel etc.)

However, the owner of the Blog can delete messages at any moment and for any reason.
The owner of the Blog cannot be held responsible for any messages that may damage the rights of third parties Maximum comment length is 2,000 characters.
If you have any doubts read "How to use the blog".

Post a comment (English please!)

First name and Surname*:

Email Address*:
We remind you that anonymous messages (without real first name and surname) will be cancelled.

* Compulsory fields

Send to a friend

Send this message to *

Your Email Address *

Message (optional)

* Compulsory fields