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Judges verdict: ongoing captivity for orca Morgan

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.

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

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