Have you ever been, or wanted to go, swimming with Dolphins? I can understand why you would want to, Dolphins are amazing animals. Dolphins and Whales seem so happy to be performing tricks for you, smiling and playing with their trainers. Swim with Dolphins programs make it look like a great time! Unfortunately, going to swim with Dolphins, or watching a Dolphin & Whale show is just the opposite of a great time, for the animals performing.
Thousands of Dolphins and small Whales are being held in captivity all around the world. These unfortunate Dolphins and Whales have been ripped away from their families, flown around the world, forced to live in tanks that could never compare to the freedom of the ocean, and expected to perform tricks for food.
Why captivity is bad for dolphins?
There are many damaging effects captivity has on Dolphins and Whales. Here are some of the reasons you should not give money to captive cetacean programs:
1. Dolphins in the wild live up to 45 years. In captivity they can live approx. 5 years.
2. Most tanks Dolphins live in have a lot of bacteria that cause health problems (chlorine poisoning, intestinal disease, and stress related illnesses).
3. While confined, dolphins and whales tend to abuse themselves. They hit their heads against the tanks, and cause other harm to themselves.
4. Dolphins feed on live fish in the wild, traveling miles everyday. In Captivity they are fed dead fish filled with antibiotics, and cannot exercise and swim great distances in rhythm with the ocean currents.
5. Dolphins are self aware, they know exactly what is happening to them. They do not deserve to be locked up in a concrete prison for life being forced to perform for food.
Why should we care?
Cetaceans are some of the smartest and most amazing animals in the world. Dolphins and Whales live with their pods (families) life long. They have a language so advanced we cannot understand it, yet they have managed to learn ours (Sign Language). Cetaceans nurse, protect, and teach their young just like humans. We share so much in common with Dolphins in Whales. We, as humans, search the galaxies for other intelligent life with whom we can communicate. Why do we do this when we have these beautiful cetaceans that are very intelligent and complex, a species with a culture we cannot understand, right here on our own planet. Yet, we enslave them in concrete prisons, force them to perform for food, tear them apart from their family, and trick people to pay money and support the cruelty.
Cetaceans are self aware and intelligent beings. They know exactly what is happening to them. How would you like it if someone came and took you away from your family and forced you to perform for food, while locking you up and mistreating you? You wouldn’t. Dolphins and Whales don’t like it either. That is why you should not support swim with dolphin programs.
Is Dolphin Captivity Educational?
No! Swim with dolphin programs definitely try and make it seem like you are learning all about dolphins, but nothing could be further from the truth. You do not need to swim with a dolphin to learn about one. In fact, swimming with dolphins and witnessing them in captivity only educates you about the negative effects of captivity on cetaceans. A dolphin in captivity behaves nothing like a dolphin in the wild therefore you aren’t really learning about the animal instead you are seeing how captivity changed it.
How captivity is connected to the slaughter of dolphins all over the world?
Surprising isn’t it? But it is true. Dolphin captivity is connected to the slaughter of dolphins all over the world. Dolphins are hunted for captivity in a style known as “Drive Fishing”. Dolphin Fishermen go out and find dolphins in the ocean, they then create a wall with their boats and using some kind of sound device they drive the dolphins to shore with the wall of sound. Dolphins see, hear, and communicate with sounds, echolocation, so the wall creates confusion and fear and they lose their ability to communicate with each other and escape.
Once driven to shore the dolphins selected for captivity are captured and their family is slaughtered. The dolphin slaughter is not lucrative enough without the captivity program to continue without it. That is why you should not give your money to organizations that keep cetaceans captive or force them to perform. What you can do:
- Educate your friends. Make sure your friends and family know the negative effects swim with dolphin programs have on Dolphins. Tell them marine parks are connected to the slaughter of Dolphins all over the world, and that you should not attend them.
- Tell your teachers about the issue of Dolphin captivity and see if you can get your class to agree not to attend marine parks with captive Dolphins.
- Write letters to swim with dolphin programs near your home and tell them why you will not attend.
- Most importantly, Do not give your money to any place that holds Whales and Dolphins captive.