Dolphins in captivity
Dolphinarium to return to Britain????
It has been brought to our attention that a company has applied for planning permission to introduce a new dolphinarium to the United Kingdom, and in particular to the South West coast.
This barbaric enterprise must not be allowed to happen, why read on.
Protesting against this is our way of demanding that the dolphin captivity industry finally let the public know what really goes on behind the glittering scenes of the captive dolphin spectacle.
We believe it's wrong to remove these beautiful marine mammals from their natural enviroment and exploit them for commercial purposes. By protesting we are letting them know that we are not going to silently accept what they will be doing is in the publics interest, or anyway scientific.
The company that is involved here may tell you that dolphin shows serve the purpose of being educational. So when the music is blasting away and the performing dolphins walk on their tails, play basketball, and take their trainers for rides around the tank, the audience is supposed to become acquainted with the true nature of dolphins and, based on that, grow motivated to contribute to the protection of dolphins in nature.?Why we are against this project getting off the ground
Take a look at these photographs, put your self in the position of a captive Dolphin or Orca, and ask youself what would I prefer.?
In nature.Dolphins enjoy the ability to move freely. Their streamlined bodies and smooth skin enable them to gain fast speed, and bottlenose dolphins are always on the move, swimming up to 40 miles a day. They spend only 10-20 percent of their time on the surface. They can hold their breath for as long as 20 minutes and dive to depths of more than 1, 640 feet (500 meters).
In captivity.Dolphins are restricted to the size of their tank or enclosure. They can only swim a few feet before a wall or a fence stops them. Captive dolphins--especially those kept in a tank -- spend a lot of time swimming in a small circle or simply lying motionless on the surface of the water.
In nature.Most dolphins spend their lives in the company of dolphins of their own kind, living in groups, known as pods. Some pods consist of females and their offspring; others of young males who -- when they reach maturity -- leave their motherís pod to form their own. Dolphins are very intelligent and social animals. Belonging to a pod is important to them, because this is where they find safety, love, and companionship. The social bonds within the pod may last for many years.
In captivity.Dolphins are forever separated from their pod. During the capture, the strong social bonds the dolphins have enjoyed and nurtured for years are abruptly destroyed. Different capture methods are used for different species of dolphins. Bottlenose dolphins are usually captured with a net before being hauled onto the capture boat. The capture is an extremely violent procedure, not only for the captured dolphin, but also for the pod that experiences the sudden and permanent loss of a pod member.
In nature.The most intimate relationship within a dolphin community is that between a female dolphin and her calf. The two of them can be seen swimming very closely together, sharing a relationship characterized by deep affection. A young bottlenose dolphin will stay with his/her mother for as long as five years.
In captivity.You will find dolphins that have been captured at a very young age to be sent to various dolphinariums/parks and swim programs. They will never see their mother or other pod members again.
In nature.Dolphins live in natural seawater.
In captivity.Most dolphins are confined in tanks containing chemically treated artificial seawater.
In nature.Dolphins use their sonar to check out various fish, predators, their vast ocean world, and other dolphins. Dolphins are sound oriented in that they constantly scan their surrounding with bursts of sound. The use of sonar is as important to dolphins as eyesight to humans.
In captivity.Dolphins are severely restricted in using their sonar. They canít use it to chase live fish, as they are fed dead fish as food rewards. Neither can they put it to full use to explore their underwater world, because there isn't much to explore in a barren, concrete tank. They can't use it to navigate, because they aren't going anywhere. Depriving dolphins of using their highly developed sense or sonar is one of the most damaging aspects of captivity. It is much like forcing a person to wear a blindfold for the rest of their life.
In nature.Dolphins spend many hours cooperatively chasing and catching fish. Dolphins have developed a number of sophisticated ways of foraging. Not only does foraging satisfy the dolphins hunger. Chasing and catching live prey enables them to let all of their natural skills unfold: their speed, their intelligence, their use of sonar, and ability to communicate and cooperate.
In captivity.The first two things a newly captured dolphin has to learn is to:
1. Eat dead fish
2. Accept hand feeding
They will never again experience the thrill of chasing and catching live prey.
In nature.The young dolphin's mother teaches the dolphin all the skills needed to live in the ocean: How to use sonar and avoid predators, where to look for food, and how to chase and catch fish. Everything a dolphin knows is a learned behaviour. It is by watching and mimicking the behaviors of the other dolphins in the pod that the young dolphin learns how to dive, leap, breach, surf the waves, and communicate.
In captivity.Dolphins are trained by dolphin trainers to perform various circus tricks so they can perform dolphin shows and entertain the spectators. Captive dolphins depend completely on their trainers to be fed. This gives the trainer a lot of control over the dolphins. The trainer teaches the dolphins that every time they do the trick right, they receive a fish as a reward. This is how dolphins are trained to walk on their tail, wave at the audience, and take children from the audience for rides around the tank in small rubber boats. The training has a very damaging effect on the dolphins. While learning to perform unnatural behaviours like hitting a ball with their snout and jumping through hoops, the dolphins gradually forgets their natural behaviours.
In nature.A dolphin's only boundary is where the ocean meets the shore.
In captivity.You will find dolphins confined in small concrete and glass tanks.These dolphins are deprived of moving freely. Having to do dolphin shows several times a day, they are confined to a very small body of water, far away from their pods, with nowhere to swim to and nothing to explore.
These are only a few reasons why dolphins and other cetaceans belong in the open sea's and not in concrete surrounds.
The tragedy of dolphin captivity can be seen between the shows. When the music stops and the cheerful crowds go home, the dolphins resume to lying listlessly on the surface of the water, starring into the barren concrete wall of their tank. There is nothing else for them to do. This is where their journey ends.
Dolphin Care UK will be keeping a close watch on this proposed development, and will do our utmost to stop it from going ahead.
There are numerous Dolphin and Whale watching operators around the whole of the Uk and if people want to see cetaceans where they belong they will learn alot more about them than they would do from a visit to a dolphinarium.
Please support Dolphin Care UK, do not let this dolphinarium get off the ground.
Contact your MP here, tell them what you think of Dolphin and Whale captivity