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.
Eva Marrero, October 2017
Tom and Misha are two wild-born Turkish bottlenose dolphins, and the protagonists of the Born Free Foundation's “Back to the Blue” dolphin-release project of 2010. The project was created in part by Jeff Foster, an American marine mammal specialist and one of the many conservationists who helped release Springer, a rehabilitated Southern Resident orca, to her native waters in 2002.
The International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP) has launched a groundbreaking new video aimed at revealing the lies SeaWorld tells the public and its shareholders about the lives and well-being of captive dolphins and orcas.
SeaWorld claims that retiring orcas to seaside sanctuaries would be “irresponsible”. But what is actually irresponsible is forcing dolphins and whales to perform in barren concrete tanks. In its more than 6 decades of operation, SeaWorld hasn’t retired a single dolphin or whale.
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 >