Early birds can listen live online Tuesday at 4 AM in Hawaii (10AM EDT) to the most significant congressional hearing in decades on captive marine mammal displays.
Top scientists including Dr. Naomi Rose, Senior Scientist, Humane Society International and celebrity film director Louie Psihoyos (Oscar winning The Cove) and others will attend the Committee on Natural Resources Oversight Hearing: Marine Mammals in Captivity: What Constitutes Meaningful Public Education?
A broad spectrum of witnesses will report during the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife in Washington, DC, scheduled as a result of the furor and aftermath of the February death of Sea World killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau. Brancheau died as a result of drowning and multiple traumas after she was dragged into the pool by Tilikum, a 30 year-old, six ton killer whale, the largest and oldest in captivity. Brancheau’s death, the third linked to Tilikum, ignited the already - volatile disputes about cetaceans (whale, dolphin, porpoise) in captivity.
Scientists, cetacean experts, governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) will be well represented at the hearing which will include a report from Dr. Lori Marino, an expert on cetacean brains and cognition who has a strong critique of any science from the display side of the captivity issue.
Panel 1 witnesses include Eric Schwaab, Assistant Administrator for NOAA's Fisheries Service
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Lori Marino, Ph.D. Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program, Emory University; Peter Corkeron, Ph.D. Visiting Fellow, Bioacoustics Research Program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Paul Boyle, Ph.D. Senior Vice President for Conservation and Education, Association of Zoos and Aquaria.
Panel II witnesses are Julie Scardina, Curator SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment; Naomi A. Rose, Ph.D. Senior Scientist, HSI-Wildlife, Humane Society International; Louie Psihoyos Executive Director, Oceanic Preservation Society & Director, "The Cove" and Rae Stone, D.V.M. Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.
Listen to the hearing live here beginning at 4AM Tuesday, April 27, 2010.