Sunday, August 28, 2011

Help save South Korea's only natural dolphin habitat in Jeju Island

Every summer, hundreds of dolphins, traveling from Alaska, visit the sea off the village of Gangjeong, Jeju Island. Video courtesy of Yang Dong-Kyu, a filmmaker who took this hauntingly beautiful footage of the dolphins responding to his calls during summer 2009. 

Jeju Island, a World Heritage Site, is a jewel of biodiversity. The southern coast of Jeju Island is home to soft coral habitat. In 2001, the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration designated it a national monument protection area. The Gangjeong coast is a seasonal habitat for hundreds of dolphins that live there from June until September. They migrate from Alaska through the North Pacific Ocean to Jeju Island, the only dolphin habitat in South Korea.

And now the South Korean government wants to destroy the dolphin habitat and the traditional farming and fishing village of Gangjeong to build a naval base to house warships. Jeju activist Sung-Hee Choi asks "Where will the sea creatures go?" Let's hope not into Jeju Island's dolphin aquariums.

Tragically, the South Korean government, which has one of the worst environmental protection ratings in the world, does not realize a need protect the nation's only natural dolphin habitat.  Supporting (wild) dolphin-friendly tourism at Jeju, one of the world's most beautiful tourist havens would bring visionary shift to its environmentally destructive track record.

Please help stop Seoul's planned destruction of this beautiful coast. To learn how, visit Save jeju Island.

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