No Dolphinariums in Europe: June 28 Demo Gives Dolphins Hope for Freedom


By Kirsten Massebeau

Demo Banner by Sasha Alazy

Demo Banner by Sasha Alazy

Demonstrators opposing dolphinariums and captive facilities in Europe are organized and ready to go! On June 28, 2013 they will gather in Brussels with a loud and clear message to Europe demanding closure of all captive facilities. According to the demonstrators captive facilities are in direct opposition to the law:

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).

Marineland Antibes

Marineland Antibes dolphin show

Today there are 34 captive facilities and 286 cetaceans in captivity in Europe. Those countries include:Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. “WDCS anti-captivity lead, Cathy Williamson states, these commercially driven, circus-style shows may seem like fun but the truth is much sadder”. Ric O’Barry of the Dolphin Project describes captivity as a life of silence and isolation: “Most captive dolphins are confined in minuscule tanks containing chemically treated artificial seawater. Dolphins in a tank are severely restricted in using their highly developed sonar, which is one of the most damaging aspects of captivity. It is much like forcing a person to live in a hall of mirrors for the rest of their life – their image always bouncing back with no clear direction in sight”(source).

25% of the cetacean population in captive facilities in Europe were obtained from a wild source meaning capture or strand while the captive born dolphins are being bred from small breeding pools. 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.

Bottlenose dolphins have last moments together before being dragged to slaughter.  By SSCS C.G. 1.20.13

Bottlenose dolphins have last moments together before being dragged to slaughter.
By SSCS C.G. 1.20.13

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)

Two long time dolphin advocates in Europe Yvon Godfroid and Annelies Mullens could see the unsustainable situation, and the terrible dolphin suffering taking place in captive facilities throughout Europe and worldwide. Independent of all groups they decided to organize a demonstration. They realize that the hunt in Taiji and other places will never end as long as dolphinaria exists. They realize that as long as dolphinaria exists the dolphin hunt will go on.

As dolphins don’t thrive good in captivity the dolphinaria will need “fresh” genes so the dolphin hunt will go on. They have the principle that before throwing stones at other countries you have to clean up your own backyard first. So in order to stop the dolphin hunt they will fight the dolphinaria in Europe (source)

European Demonstration Brussels

European Demonstration Brussels

How can you help the dolphins and get involved in the Belgium Demonstration? Join Ric O’Barry and attend the event in Brussels! You can sign up on Facebook: Demonstration against Captivity of Cetaceans in Europe! 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 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!!!

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Dolphin freedom is so worth fighting for. Together we can make a difference.

Kiska an Isolated Killer Whale Highlights the Importance of Marineland Protest


By Kirsten Massebeau

Marineland Protest May 18, 2013 by Dylan Powell

Marineland Protest May 18, 2013 by Lauren Corman

They gathered 1000 strong at Marineland on May 18, 2013 calling out for the notorious Marine Park to be shut down. In August of 2012 The Star began a series of articles exposing the cruel and neglectful treatment of animals as ex-trainers came forward, “Marineland animals suffering, former staff says”. Dolphins with peeling skin, sea lions blinded by poor water quality, and the eventual violent death of an infant beluga whale are only the tip of a very large iceberg of animal abuse. In December of 2012 the Star released yet another article revealing a secret mass animals grave yet even that would not be enough to “shut it down”. Sadly The OSPCA investigation ended in April of 2013 allowing Marineland to continue with business as usual. In the article, “OSPCA investigation ends as Marineland Complies with orders” states that many orders were given some of which involved Kiska the isolated killer whale:

He said in March the verbal orders were to assess and clean up the water and to enrich the environment of lone killer whale Kiska.

Marineland administrator Tracy Stewart said in an email at the time “there is no such thing as a ‘verbal order’ and consequently none were issued,” therefore, there were no orders on Kiska and the water system.

Kiska lives her life isolated and alone. Opening day by Natalie Lucier

In the first paragraph of the Humane Societies academic paper “Killer Controversy why orca should not be kept in captivity” the author Naomi A. Rose, Ph.D. describes, orcas as intelligent and family-oriented. Orca pods in the wild stay together for a lifetime yet Kiska is kept in a tiny tank alone. Retired from performing she literally floats in a world poisoned by chlorine, devoid of family and friends, destined to spend her remaining years in the silence of  a cement pool. Never will she have a family or feel the rhythms of the ocean.

Origami by Val Underwood May 18, 2013

Origami by Val Underwood for protest May 18, 2013

The good news is the battle continues. Following the protest event one of the organizers Dylan Powell stated, ” I want people to understand how important these protests are at Marineland”. Each protest gains more supporters for the animals languishing at Marineland. While Kiska and the other animals continue to suffer with no end in sight the battle to save them carries on to “Shut It Down”.

Be a voice for those that cannot speak for themselves the animals! Join the campaign to end the captivity of animals at Marineland by joining the open Facebook group Marineland Animal Defense M.A.D. and follow on Twitter M.A.D. @marinelandAD.