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.
Swim with dolphins
A tourist from Brazil is claiming compensation after she was allegedly bitten by a dolphin while leaving the water at a marine park in Colombia.
The incident occured while the woman was visiting the Oceanario Islas del Rosario near Cartegena. According to news reports she suffered injuries to her leg which the park was then unable to treat due to a lack of basic medical resources. A local clinic provided antibiotics to prevent infection.
A Swiss tour operator has announced that it is going to cease the promotion of dolphinariums and swim-with facilities in the next 18 months.
New research by Mexican marketing consultants suggests that the popularity of swimming with captive dolphins appears to be waning in the state of Quintana Roo. Studies of visitor numbers to facilities in locations such as Cancun and Riviera Maya have shown a steady decline in recent years with less than 10% of visitors to the region in 2016 taking part in such activities.
Scientists in Florida looking at decades of data around interactions between dolphins and people have underlined WDC’s position that swimming with dolphins is not a good idea.
Swimming or interacting with dolphins is increasing in popularity. Unfortunately, most participants in these activities are unaware of the problems surrounding them, and the negative impact on the dolphins involved.