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.
New figures have revealed the number of visitors to SeaWorld San Diego plunged 14 percent in 2017, as more than a half million fewer people visited the marine park.
Joel Manby, SeaWorld’s progressive CEO, has stepped down after another poor financial performance by the company. The company lost around $200 million in 2017 and saw visitor number drop again.
Under Manby’s leadership, SeaWorld announced the end of the circus-style orca shows and captive orca breeding. WDC has welcomed SeaWorld’s change of direction and pushed for a further commitment to retire its captive whales and dolphins to coastal sanctuaries.
WDC's ongoing campaign to persuade airlines who are members of the Star Alliance group not to transport dolphins around the world has seen more success with the confirmation from Swiss International Air Lines that their freight subsiduary, Swiss WorldCargo, is not involved in the practice. In a message confirming its position to WDC, the airline stated that it "...condemns the unethical treatment of any animals, including dolphins."
Marine scientists from around the world are urging a US federal court to reconsider its recent decision on Lolita, a captive orca held for decades at the Miami Seaquarium.
In January, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the Seaquarium was not violating the Endangered Species Act by keeping Lolita in captivity in an undersized tank with little social companionship.
The Canadian government is to ban the capture of wild whales, dolphins and porpoises for theme parks as part a reforms to its fisheries legislation.
The Senate bill will prohibit live imports as well as the import of sperm, tissue or an embryo of any of these marine mammals.
There has been no live-capture of cetaceans for captivity in Canada since 1992. In recent years, however, wild-caught beluga whales and bottlenose dolphins have been imported for use in marine parks from foreign sources.
We are disappointed to share the news that the Florida Orca Protection Act did not make it out of subcommittee in the State legislature, and will not move forward on its own in Florida this year. Introduced in the Florida House of Representatives just a few weeks ago, the Florida bill would set into law SeaWorld’s pledges to phase out orca performa
Falling visitor numbers have caused a dolphinarium in Japan to announce it will close its doors.
The Inubasaka Marine Park, which opened in 1974, only now receives around 50,000 visitors a year, down from a peak of 300,000 a few years ago.
It is unclear what will happen to the dolphins held at the park but sadly it appears they will be moved to other facilities.
Find out more about why whales and dolphins should not be kept in captivity.
An orca held at a captive facility in France has apparently been trained to speak according to scientists.
The whale, called ’Wikie,’ is currently held in a tank at Marineland in Antibes. She has been recorded saying ‘Hello,’ ‘May,’ ‘one, two, three,’ and other words and phrases, after copying trainers saying the words directly or in recordings. This was part of a study created by scientists from St. Andrews and Madrid Universities.