By Kirsten Massebeau
Ocean day is a day to celebrate our oceans, understand more about them, and take action to help the very bodies of water that give our world life. Part of the amazing underwater world of the oceans are the inhabitants which include dolphins. Highly intelligent with brains as large as mans dolphins remain at the top of the food chain in the ocean. They can easily be categorized as the people of the sea. Dolphin families stay together for a lifetime living in socially complex societies. They recognize themselves in the mirror, and call each other by name. Many scientists today believe that cetaceans deserve status as non-human persons: “They believe dolphins – and their whale cousins – are sufficiently intelligent and self-aware to justify the same ethical considerations given to humans. Recognizing cetaceans’ rights would mean an end to whaling and the captivity of dolphins and whales, or their use in entertainment ”. (source).
Sadly despite the scientific data that deems dolphins unsuitable for captivity the practice continues. Bruges Dolphinarium in Europe is just one example of the terrible dolphin suffering that takes place in Europe and worldwide. Trapped in cement tanks filled with chlorinated water dolphins are forced to spend their lives in suffering for human entertainment, forced to perform tricks for dead fish something that would have never been part of their diet in the wild. In 2005 Toni Frohoff, Ph.D. prepared a report entitled, Report on Observations and Preliminary Assessment at Boudewijn Seapark Dolphinarium in Brugges, Belgium:
Bruges dolfinarium is considered as “substandard”. The fate of our 6 dolphins (more than 30 died Under the Dark Dome) is a good example of cruelty, as Morgan is a good example of commercial cynism of Industry. Dr Toni Frohoff said : “The facility itself appears to be sub-standard compared to many facilities around the world that a) provide a more naturalistic environment for dolphins and b) adhere to international governmental regulations This is especially notable due to the extreme noise and reverberation that is characteristic of an indoor facility (and in particular this one that plays such loud music and encourages loud sounds from the audience as well). In fact, this was the loudest facility of the many that I have visited – and in my opinion, is completely unacceptable and constitutes cruelty to these animals who are well-known for their exquisitely sensitive hearing. Further, the ambient and reverberating noises of the indoor facility pumps and maintenance systems may produce continuous noise from which the dolphins cannot escape” (source)
According to Born Free these facilities breeding pools are unsustainable which will force dolphinariums to purchase wild dolphins: “The captive population is unsustainable. Captures of wild dolphins for captivity still goes on in some parts of the world. The danger remains that if the number of dolphinaria in the EU remains the same or increases that attempts may be made by dolphinaria to import further wild-caught dolphins into the EU which contradicts EU law, too” (source)
Long-time activists Yvon Godfroid and Annelies Mullens have been fighting on the European front for dolphins for many years and they need our help. On June 28, 2013 Yvon Godfroid, Annelies Mullens, Ric O’Barry and many other dolphin advocates are demonstrating in Brussels demanding all Dolphinariums be closed. To make this effort a success every dollar counts. No matter where you live you can be a part of this big day for dolphins. A small contribution will help to bring Ric O’Barry to the event, and bring media to the forefront on this very special day for the all the captive dolphins imprisoned in Europe and worldwide.
According to the experts the captive facilities in Europe are in direct conflict with the European Council:
“The European Council Directive 1999/22/EC on the keeping of wild animals in zoos requires that animals must be kept in conditions that meet their biological and conservation requirements. Yet in the case of cetaceans, it is impossible for these requirements to be met in captivity. Because no tanks, no lagoons as big as they can be, could ever replace the freedom of swimming in the immensity of the ocean”(source).
How can you help to further the goal of dolphin freedom? If you are not in Europe and cannot attend the even you can still be a voice for the dolphins and support the demonstration by making a donation no matter how small or large to the Europe Must Ban Dolphinaria Demo. You can sign up on Facebook for the demo and for daily updates on the event: Demonstration against Captivity of Cetaceans in Europe! You can find more information on the actual demo at: For a Delphinarium-free Europe!!! You can also sign the petition All dolphinaria must be closed in Europe!!!
Together we can make a difference for dolphins and the oceans!
- No Dolphinariums in Europe: June 28 Demo Gives Dolphins Hope for Freedom (championsforcetaceans.com)