Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mobashir "Moby" Solangi Part l The Facts

  The Facts.... 

According to to the IMMS website
Moby Solangi
"Dr. Moby Solangi is the President and Executive Director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.  He founded the organization in 1984 to promote marine research, conservation and education.  Dr. Solangi received his Ph.D. in marine biology from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1980.  He has conducted pioneering research on dolphins both in the wild and under human care.  His research experience includes work in pathobiology, disease diagnoses and control, aquaculture, water-quality management, marine ecology, and marine mammal behavior, husbandry and veterinary care.  In addition, Dr. Solangi serves as adjunct faculty at multiple universities and accordingly has supervised graduate students conducting research on marine mammals. His professional associations include membership in the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine, Society for Marine Mammalogy, and the International Marine Animal Trainers Association.  Dr. Solangi has an extensive list of publications ranging over multiple scientific disciplines."
 ACROSS the Gulf states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, Moby Solangi is painted as a hero. In 2005 he rescued dolphins that were washed out into the gulf during Hurricane Katrina from Marine Life, his oceanarium. His Non-profit organization The Institute for Marine Mammals Studies rescues dolphins and other marine mammals that are beached along the gulf. And since the BP oil spill IMMS, has been instrumental in rescuing animals effected by the spill in hopes to rehabilitate and release back into the wild, as well as conduct research studies on those animals who did not survive. But Moby Solangi has a dirty little secret in his past. A secret that is so dark, it is hard for many to believe anyone could ever call this man a hero, or allow him to be near any marine mammals.
 BETWEEN 1956-1989 Moby Solangi captured over 200 dolphins in the Mississippi Sound. These animals where sold to Sea Circuses, amusement parks, the US Navy, and other dolphin facilities around the country. Solangi also rented out dolphins to Zoo's around the country. Zoo's that rented out these dolphins would pay a set price every month and the package would include a dolphin and sea lion show, food, supplies, veterinarian supervision, and a trainer. If a animal got sick or died, Marine Animal Productions (MAP), the company which Moby Solangi Co-founded in 1965, would simply send a replacement animal. The Oklahoma City Zoo was one of the many zoo's that rented dolphins from MAP. The zoo closed its Dolphin Exhibit after they had many dolphins die and activist, including Ric O'Barry, confronted the zoo about the deaths and brought it to public attention, in 1991. At that point all but 2 of the dolphins MAP had been renting out (Teri and Sandi) had died. Teri and Sandi were sent back to Marine Life, Solangi's facility. (Note. I have found no record Teri and Sandi being moved to Marine Life, other then articles claiming this. I have also not found anything on where Teri or Sandi are now, or when they died. I do know that they were not at Marine Life in 2005 when Katrina hit.)
"Change is always good. We all like to go places. You keep them in the same house it gets old. By moving them around, mixing them around, changing them to where they are compatible, I think it is very healthy for them. That's what we call enrichment.'' ~Moby Solangi

 WHILE capturing these animals, there are accounts of many dolphins dying due to stress or drowning. On one occasion a former employee of Solangi claimed that about 20 dolphins died.On another capturing expedition another former employee says that a mother and calf were caught in the nets. Both were cut free but the young calf died due to stress (You can read more about this in the link below "Loving Dolphins to Death"). Lack of laws and shady record keeping makes it imposable to know just how many dolphins MAP took from the Mississippi sound, and how many died while doing so.

 "Every dolphin catcher in the business risks losing a few in accidental drownings, or to capture shock. It goes with the territory." ~ Moby Solangi

  MOBY Solangi co-owned and was the president of Marine Life Oceanarium , in Gulfport Ms.Opened in 1956, the facility housed dolphins (which were part of those Moby himself captured), Sea Lions, a harbor seal, 25 birds, and a reef tank.
 (NOTE: Eric worked for Marine Life Oceanarium from 2002 to 2003, he has personal knowledge of the going ons at the park and of Moby Solangi. He was a diver in the reef tank and also kept the dolphin tanks clean. He had no idea at the time that Solangi or Marine Life was connected to dolphin captures or trafficking. This is a very sad and personal topic for him. He will be writing his own post at a later date of his accounts of Marine Life, for now, we are sticking with proven facts.)
 THERE where 3 dolphin tanks at Marine Life. An outdoor tank in which a swim with me program was held. A tank in which a dolphin and sea lion show was held and the main tank in which the main dolphin show was preformed. There was no other holding tanks and the dolphins stayed in their respective tanks at all times. The dolphins in the show tanks, each preformed 5 shows a day in the summer. In 2005 hurricane Katrina, a Cat 5, made its way towards the Mississippi Gulf coast. The day before the storm was due to hit trainers started relocating some of its animals. 8 Sea Lions were set to a trainers home, 6 of the 14 dolphins were moved inland to saltwater pools of hotels, the birds were sent by truck to Florida. The remaining animals were left to ride the storm out. During the storm Gulfport endured 120mph winds for 6 hours.
Marine Life after Katrina
 When the storm let up, total destruction was what was left behind. On arriving to what was left of Marine Life, No animals were found. In the weeks that followed workers worked to find their missing animals. When all was said and done, 6 animals had lost there lives, a harbor seal and 5 Sea Lions. Of these deaths some were found dead and some were euthanized. Of those found dead, 1 sea lion was reported to have been shot by a local police officer. The Harbor seal was never found.  Durning this time Solangi told the media he would not stop till his dolphins were found.  12 days after the storm trainers from the facility set out to find there missing dolphins by boat and by air. To the surprise of many, the 8 dolphins were found not far from what was left of Marine Life. Amazingly all 8 dolphins were re-captured and moved to new facilities. The media went crazy over this "feel good" story. Maybe it was because with all the sadness surrounding the coast, many needed it, whatever the reason, Solangi was painted as the Hero. With Marine Life a complete loss, the animals were sent to near by facilities to stay until decisions could be made about Marine Life. In Dec of 2005 Don Jacobs, co-owner of Marine Life, fired Solangi and made arrangements to sell the 17 dolphins (Note that all the sudden Marine Life owns 17 dolphins for sell, but only 14housed at Marine Life before the storm..) to Atlantis in the Bahamas. Solangi tried to get an injunction to stop the sell of the dolphins, but failed. (See report) Through it all Solangi said he would open up another facility, but turned his attention to his work at IMMS.
  THERE is now plans to open a new Oceanairum in Mississippi. Ground breaking was scheduled to happen in Dec 2010 with the park opening in 2012, but work has not started as of yet, on the facility. Solangi  has a $10 million dollar federal grant to create the complex, which will feature dolphin shows, aquarium exhibits and bird sanctuaries. Reportedly the grant requires that the facility is to be built by the end of 2011. According to an IMMS news release, The facility is claimed to be a one-of-a-kind marine education center, which will provide both students and the general public an opportunity to learn about nature and marine mammals. The Total cost of the new facility is supposed to be around $75 Million when finished.

  Read Part 2 Moby Solangi Part ll Katrina and the dolphins
  Read Part 3 Moby Solangi Part III IMMS

To read more info on Moby Solangi please visit the following sites:
Tribes article by Ric O'Barry
Dolphins of War
Loving Dolphins To Death This is a MUST READ! A 16 page article, it starts talking about Moby Solangi on page 3, under Kelly Williams story.
History Of Risk Surrounds Captures another must read! Solangi starts on page 3
Ceta-Base- Data base of marine animals in captivity. Not a complete Data base, but a lot of info. Dolphins listed under Marine Animal Production and IMMS.


  1. “Science and the law can both help us forecast the consequences of our actions, but neither can tell us how we ought to act in a moral sense.” – Dalai Lama

  2. Good post

  3. seems their main research focus is on how to keep these animal in captivity for longer. Also, the only thing the Navy wants with a dolphin is to kill it for reserach. both are disgusting!