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.
Mark J. Palmer, July 2017
SeaWorld’s stock took another hit when the company revealed on Friday, June 23rd, that both the federal Department of Justice and Security and Exchange Commission are investigating the company and had subpoenaed records. Value of SeaWorld shares dropped 6% on the following Monday.
The announcement revealed that the investigations are aimed at statements by SeaWorld leadership, especially in relation to the documentary “Blackfish.” “Blackfish” focused on the inhumane conditions in which SeaWorld keeps captive orcas. Several former trainers of orcas at SeaWorld provided commentary for the documentary, condemning SeaWorld’s keeping orcas in small tanks doing repetitive tricks for public performances.
Laura Bridgeman, June 2017
The International Marine Mammal Project signed onto a letter aimed at stopping the construction of a new captive dolphin facility in the city of Gulfport, Mississippi.
Gulfport is already host to one notorious facility: the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, run by Moby Solangi, a person famous for his unacceptable treatment of cetaceans over the years. The last thing the city needs is yet another dolphin prison, but this is exactly what city planners are hoping to get as they aim to include dolphin tanks within the Mississippi Aquarium, which broke ground recently.
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 >