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. We successfully blocked 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. And we support efforts to create the very first permanent seaside sanctuary retirement facility for captive dolphins and whales.
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.
Mark J. Palmer and Mary Jo Rice, October 2018
Bud Bottoms died recently, a beloved fixture in Santa Barbara, California, who will be sorely missed by his many friends, admirers, our environmental community, and those who appreciated his art across the globe.
Bottoms had a tremendous late-in-life career as a sculptor and caster of amazing bronze statues, including his favorite subject -- dolphins. One of Santa Barbara’s treasures is his bronze dolphin family fountain, which dominates the streets that converge on Stearns Wharf in the downtown area. The dolphins are so popular that there are now Bud Bottoms dolphin fountains found in Santa Barbara’s sister cities: Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, Toba City in Japan, and Dingle in Ireland.
Mark J. Palmer, July 2018
A second bottlenose dolphin has died, miles from the ocean, in the controversial swim-with-dolphins Dolphinaris facility based in Scottsdale, Arizona that opened in late 2016.
The dolphin, called Alia, was only ten years old (bottlenose dolphins can live to be 40 years or more in the wild) when she died, apparently caused by an acute bacterial infection.
SeaWorld says that retiring orcas is impossible. Here's why they're wrong:Watch >
This video will convince you that no tank can ever come close to replicating the ocean.Watch >
Learn about our efforts to establish the first seaside retirement facility for captive dolphins and whales.Read More >