Would you believe that more than 550 dolphins are held captive in 68 facilities across Mexico and the Caribbean? These dolphins are imprisoned primarily to amuse cruise ship passengers on ‘shore excursions’. Every day, hundreds of tourists disembark the cruise ships and pour into dolphin theme parks to hug, kiss and swim with the captive dolphins.
Will 2018 be the year that I can finally visit beautiful Iceland purely as a tourist, rather than a campaigner? Maybe it’s not surprising that this fabled ‘land of fire and ice’ should offer visitors a host of contradictions, but the juxtaposition of whale watching and whale hunting in the same waters is surely one of the most logic-defying examples on the planet?
In June 2010 a young female orca was found off the coast of the Netherlands. She was malnourished and alone so she was captured under a rehabilitation and release permit. Almost eight years later Morgan, as she was named, is still in captivity. In November 2011 she was transported to the privately owned Loro Parque on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world’s main authority on the conservation status of species. Its ‘Red List of Threatened Species’ – known as ‘The Red List’ - is the most comprehensive inventory we have of species at risk.
Even after more than 100 whale watching trips in the same area there are still encounters that leave you speechless.
Further progress has been recently made in reaching the goal of identifying and protecting important habitat for river dolphins.
Natalie Fox is a surfer, yogi and activist who is passionate about protecting whales and dolphins. She is co-founder of Women for Whales, a Roxy Fitness ambassador and co-founder of Drift retreats. She writes for Surf Girl Magazine as well as her own website: www.ecoyogasurf.com
Born to Be Free, an impressive documentary exposing the devastating cruelty behind captive shows and the Russian trade in wild beluga whales, will air tonight on national TV in the UK and is well worth searching out if you live elsewhere.