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, September 2016
Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s bill, which bans the breeding of captive orcas in the state and restricts orca “shows” to educational presentations rather than for entertainment.
Mark J. Palmer, July 2016
SeaWorld has asked the state court to dismiss their lawsuit against the California Coastal Commission over a Commission decision to ban breeding of captive orcas in California. SeaWorld earlier had requested the Commission to withdraw their permit application to expand the orca tanks at SeaWorld San Diego, a project that triggered the Commission action.
The International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute was one of hundreds of scientists, organizations, and individuals that testified in support of the Commission action. In response, SeaWorld sued the Commission.
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 >