Romania is one of fifteen EU Member States keepind dolphins in captivity. There is currently one dolphinarium in Romania holding a reported 3 bottlenose dolphins in captivity.
The Romanian dolphinarium, known as Constanta Dolphinarium or Delfinariu Constanta, opened in 1972, when a harbour porpoise and 2 common dolphins were wild-caught and brought into the facility. In 1986 reports document another import of 6 wild-caught Black Sea bottlenose dolphins and in 1998 the CITES trade database records the import of a further 3 from Russia. A stranded common dolphin was also recently held.
“Mark”, a male bottlenose dolphin was the last dolphin to die at Constanta in 2009 forcing the dolphinarium to close its doors. However, on May 29th , 2010 the Romanian dolphinarium re-opened its doors with 3 bottlenose dolphins imported from the Beijing Aquarium in China. The dolphins where flown on Chapman Freeborn airplane from China to Romania on what must have been an exhausting 11-hour flight. They are currently used in dolphin shows 3 times a day as entertainment for the public. WDCS is currently investigating the legality of this import from China.
The dolphinarium is included in national zoo legislation, but there are no specific standards for the keeping of these animals in captivity in the country.
Romania is Party to ACCOBAMS (Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area) a cooperative inter-governmental agreement for the conservation of marine biodiversity in the Mediterranean and Black seas.