Stop Captive Dolphin Shows

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One would think that with Sea World deciding to end its orca captive breeding program, that freedom for the dolphin and other cetaceans would be trending up. But not so, since when it comes to unbridled capitalism, anything that makes money is ok unless wise citizens like us rise up and stop it. And here are two places for you to go to work to save the dolphins.

Soon, Dolphinaris a Mexican company with six trained dolphin shows in Mexico expects to open an entertainment facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, populating it with bottlenose dolphins. Not dolphins captured in the wild, the company proudly exclaims, but dolphins born in captivity, accustomed to pool life (not to mention that they are the offspring of those that had been captured in such faraway places as the Solomon Islands — with the Solomon government approval). Of course, this just encourages capturing more dolphins so they can be bred to produce offspring that are “acceptable,” because they are not wild.

So, it’s to be dolphins in the desert, where summer weather hits 120 degrees, where the high desert winters can get quite chilly, and where the dolphins will reside in huge tubs in an urban environment, surrounded by freeways and cell towers and adoring yet screaming humans. Stop the nonsense.

Here’s a petition to sign, if it’s not too late.

Then there is Grand Turk, where Carnival Cruise Line is behind a scheme to get a dolphin show established to provide another reason for people to take a cruise to the Turks and Caicos Islands. The company in charge employs a head dolphin expert with only a high school degree and no scientific training. To fulfill the requirement of the Turks and Caicos Islands, they propose that in an emergency they will shift their dolphins to local hotel and home swimming pools, without a thought to the chlorine in those pools.

Go to www.TCReef.org to help stop the dolphin show. And, sign this petition. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/269/123/327/

Maybe we divers can do something to stop them.

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Ben Davison

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3 comments for “Stop Captive Dolphin Shows

  1. July 18, 2016 at 4:45 am

    I loved the shows as a child. Today I know better. I just signed the petition. Great work guys.

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  2. August 12, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    “….they will shift their dolphins to local hotel and home swimming pools, without a thought to the chlorine in those pools.” I can’t speak for the Turks or Caicos, but many 3rd world pools do not use cholorine. I know, as I have caught ‘gunk’ from these pools.

    But in the end, I agree, these kinds of productions for ‘carnival cruises’ are basically commercial cotton candy merchandisers at the expense of the captured live performers. Just as I have always been against ‘shark feeding’ exhibitions put on to entertain scuba divers in some parts of the world, I am not fond of this kind of usage of marine animals. In the wild, where these creatures belong, ‘hands off,’ has always been my motto. Only a spectator in the water and leave the critters alone…..

    In Roatan, Honduras there once was/or still is an entertaining live dolphin show that did not appear so intrusive upon the animals lives. It’s been awhile and I don’t remember the particulars but it seems these were free roaming or semi-free roaming dolphins that became accustom to the shows and hung around in the bay waters to do this ‘in the pool performance’ with their trainers, if my imagination is not getting the best of me here. It was back in the day and please remember, it’s been a few years now. I believe it was Anthony’s Cay Resort. I know this goes against everything I just said in the last paragraph, but perhaps there are degrees of separation between ‘funky commercialism’ of these animals for use in ‘carnival productions’ and more realistic real life displays these intelligent creatures are capable of participating in. Just a thought…..perhaps readers out there know more about this particular issue in Roatan than can I remember.

    Even if the Solomon gov’t allowed capture of these dolphins how can it be permitted for a foreign business to set up this kind of shop here in the United State? Am curious. Would the US gov’t, in our world of environmental awareness today allow me as a citizen of the United States to go out and capture live dolphins in our own waters, or any waters actually, then issue me the permits to do such a commercial enterprise with them here? Something tells me the EPA or some government agency would be all over me like stink on you know what if I tried such a thing. How does a business from Mexico get to come in here and do this?

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  3. DaveD
    August 18, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    The answer is politics/corruption. Big money comes into the area and finds a local high government official or officials to “sponsor” them in exchange for all manners of largess including a slush fund. The sponsor(s) then co-opt$ enough of his fellow officials to seal the deal. All of this happens before any plans for the project is made public. When the project is announced, it is already a done deal. Subsequent public hearings to address community concerns is just window dressing. As a frequent visitor to Anguilla, I saw this scenario worked to perfection. Nevertheless in spite of the hearings where there was almost unanimous opposition to the “Dolphin Discovery” (the only parties for it were the owners and the taxi drivers – a very powerful lobby on AXA), the project was approved and is in operation today. The animals are kept in a relatively small shallow enclosure within 200 yards of the main ferry dock subjecting them to noise and water pollution from the boat traffic. Unfortunately, the operation is now part of the AXA tourist landscape with enough visitors to keep it open. Sad.

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