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Help Close Illegal Dolphinarium in the Bahamas

| Mark J. Palmer
Topics: Captivity Industry, Dolphin and Whale Trade, Dolphins

Blackbeard's Cay is a swim-with-dolphins facility that has deplorable conditions: the dolphin pens are only 7 feet deep at mid-tide, there is no shade, and there is no protection in case of hurricanes.

The Bahamas courts have repeatedly ruled against the developer of Blackbeard’s Cay.  But the owner is continuing his appeals and, even more objectionable, is planning to expand the development.

Courtesy reEarth

The nonprofit environmental organization reEarth had sued the government, winning a court decree that the approval of Blackbeard’s Cay by the Bahamas government violated the government’s own statutory permitting process.  In further legal action, reEarth obtained a ruling in 2014 that the government should shut down Blackbeard’s Cay altogether and place the dolphins in a suitable location.  In January 2016, the developer lost another court case, going as far as the court of appeals which ruled that the dolphins belong to the Honduran facility which leased the dolphins to Blackbeard’s Cay aka Blue Illusions.  In his continued desperation to keep this illegal facility opened, the developer is now going to the Privy Council to fight that decision.  In the meantime, the Bahamas government has simply refused to take such action, undercutting the rule of law and demonstrating considerable corruption.

Courtesy reEarth

Critics contend the developer, Blue Illusions, is using a series of court filings to simply delay the order to shut down the facility.

As reporter Neil Hartnell stated: “With the dolphins a major attraction for the cruise passengers and other visitors to Blackbeard’s Cay, their potential loss threatens to deal the business a severe blow - hence Blue Illusions determination to prevent their return to Honduras.”


What You Can Do:


You can help by contacting reporters in the Bahamas urging them to inform the people of the Bahamas about these abuses.  Tell the reporters how badly this issue reflects on the Bahamas.  Please send a polite but urgent email to the following media reporters:

Neil Hartnell:

Candia Dames, Editor, Nassau Guardian: 

Ivan Johnson, Editor, The Punch:

Robbin Whachell:

Wendall Jones, Editor:


Also, sign the petition by reEarth: