Dolphins in Captivity – the Harsh Truth

Dolphins in captivity have become a huge business. Where once the odd aquarium in Florida or California had a dolphin show, today dolphins are kept in mega amusement parks, swim-with programs in harbors, in casinos and even shopping malls.

People love dolphins, but they often suffer a failure of empathy and imagination. They do not make the connection that to bring a dolphin into these preposterously unnatural circumstances requires that dolphins be ripped from their natural environment, kidnapped from their families and pod mates, held in nets, carried in trucks, hoisted into planes and flown to distant locations. Many die in the process. Those that survive are condemned to a life in a cement tank, listening to the interminable hum of the filtration system and the screams of the audience.

Many of these unfortunate animals do not survive. Of five killer whales taken from their pod at Taiji, Japan in 1997, all have died. The five pod members who were not taken into captivity have little chance of surviving as a pod — all the young females, one of them pregnant, and juveniles were taken forever.

The major players in the international trade in dolphins are Japan, Cuba and recently, the Solomon Islands. Those who trade in and profit from the misery of dolphins cannot tolerate the light of exposure. They detest those of us who expose their heartless work. But that is why BlueVoice was founded.