SeaWorld continues to be the dominant whale captivity circus park propping up the international captivity industry. Movies such as The Cove and Blackfish have pulled back the veil on the cruelty and dangers to dolphins and whales of lives in concrete tanks. However, throughout the world, dolphins, orcas and beluga whales have become more and more popular in aquariums and even swim-with-dolphins tourist programs even though science is showing us that captivity in small tanks is detrimental for these highly social, intelligent, and wide-ranging animals. They simply do not belong in captivity.
We have worked for more than thirty years in opposition to captive dolphin facilities. We have helped close or prevent the construction of dozens of dolphinariums around the world. We continue to fight against existing dolphinariums and new proposals, seeking legislation and government policies to end captivity, and educating the public about the harm to these marine species caused by captivity. We work closely with grassroots groups in other countries, such as India, which has banned captive dolphins. We are part of a lawsuit against SeaWorld’s false advertising and unfair business practices to require that industry to tell the truth about orcas in captivity. And we are in litigation against allowing the import to the US of 18 beluga whales caught in the wild in Russia. We succeeded in shutting down the capture of live dolphins for export from the Solomon Islands.
While in the US and Europe many dolphinariums have closed and few new ones are being proposed, many new ones are being built in Japan, China, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. We need to keep the pressure on to end captivity for dolphins and whales.
Laura Bridgeman, December 2016
On December 23rd, the City Council of Barcelona announced their intention to shut down their dolphinarium and exlpore retirement options for the remaining dolphins.
Organizations and individuals from around the world called on Mayor Ada Colauto close the aging dolphinarium in the Barcelona Zoo and retire the dolphins to sanctuaries. The campaign, led by the local group FAADA garnered much public support and will reportedly assist in exploring seaside sanctuary options for the four dolphins who remain at the dolphinarium.
Organizations, including the International Marine Mammal Project, have sent a letter to the Park Board Commissioners requesting that they immediately put a stop to imports of belugas, whales or dolphins destined for the Vancouver Aquarium, and to permanently ban keeping cetaceans in captivity in Vancouver.
“Stopping imports would throw a wrench into the aquarium’s cruel beluga breeding program, in which the whales endure the trauma of forced insemination and the loss of many calves,” said David Phillips, IMMP Director.
Tell the International Marine Mammal Trainers Association (IMATA) to stop supporting dolphin hunts and to phase out cetacean captivity.Sign Here >
Learn about our efforts to establish the first seaside retirement facility for captive dolphins and whales.Read More >
The captive dolphin and whale industry has been around for nearly 80 years. Here's a look at the direction it is headed.Read More >