Conservation or cruelty? Education or entertainment?
Our analysis found that dolphinaria in the EU are making little to no contribution to conservation and that in fact they may be detrimental to the conservation of wild whales and dolphins.
- Studies show dolphins to have a lower survival rate in captivity than in the wild.
- The captive population is unsustainable.
- Our investigation also revealed that no dolphinarium in the EU is involved in a programme of release of whales or dolphins into the wild and that only seven facilities out of the 34 in the EU that were reviewed for our study actually make any reference to being involved in conservation of wild dolphins on their websites.
- Dolphinaria are commercial enterprises that charge entrance fees to visitors who are entertained by elaborate dolphin shows
- Our investigation also revealed that no dolphinarium in the EU is involved in a programme of release of whales or dolphins into the wild and that only seven facilities out of the 34 in the EU actually make any reference to being involved in conservation of wild dolphins on their websites.
Captivity is NOT conservation.
- Analysis of footage taken at 18 dolphins shows in the EU clearly demonstrates that they are geared to entertainment.
- Dolphinaria fail to provide audiences with even the most basic details on the species who perform tricks and stunts for the amusement of visitors.
- An average of only 12.3% of the commentaries at the shows analysed included any information about the animals on display that could be considered to be educational (what dolphins eat, the parts of their bodies, even that they are mammals).
- Despite the death and injury of experienced trainers, some facilities still put animals and visitors at risk by allowing people to swim with them, leading the public to think that this is healthy and normal behaviour.
Captivity is NOT education.
- Our report states, a dolphin in captivity does not have the freedom he or she would have in the wild.
- Small, sterile tanks that can’t support the plant or food life or social stimulus that the animals need, causing severe detriment to the health and welfare of captive dolphins.
Captivity is NOT about animal welfare
We are taking our campaign to Brussels where we will urge the EU Commission and Member States to address the fact that dolphinaria are failing to meet the requirements of the EU Zoos Directive and that action needs to be taken to protect the whales and dolphins held in captivity.