Animal Welfare NGO Calls For Captive Dolphin Breeding Ban In Queensland

Global animal welfare NGO, World Animal Protection is calling on the Queensland Government to ban captive dolphin breeding at Sea World.

With 30+ dolphins, Sea World on the Gold Coast is one of only two captive dolphin venues left in Australia and one of the biggest in the world. Unless the Queensland Government bans captive dolphin breeding, there will be nothing to stop Sea World from breeding more dolphins, who can endure up to 50 years of captivity.

According to World Animal Protection, community acceptance of keeping dolphins in captivity is declining and the long-term viability of venues like Sea World is poor. Many jurisdictions in Australia and overseas have already banned captive dolphin venues, while travel companies are starting to distance themselves.

World Animal Protection believe breeding more dolphins that will live up to 50 years in these circumstances is unjustifiable.

The petition follows the release of the 5th edition of the Case Against Marine Mammals in Captivity report – a damning global portrait of the behind-the-scenes cruelty of zoos, aquariums, and marine theme parks that trade and exploit captive marine mammals for entertainment.

Senior Campaign Manager for World Animal Protection Ben Pearson, said they wanted dolphins at Sea World to be the last generation kept captive in Queensland.

“No more dolphins should be given a life sentence in captivity simply to entertain tourists,” said Mr Pearson.

“Captive dolphins live for up to 50 years. That’s a long time for intelligent animals to spend in a small, barren pool,” he said.

In the wild, dolphins swim up to 100km in a day and deep dive hundreds of metres. A life in captivity is a world away from the life dolphins would have in the wild. There’s simply no way to replicate these conditions in captivity.

“For tourists keen to see dolphins our advice is simple, see them in the wild where they belong,” said Mr Pearson.

“The travel industry is a key source of demand for captive marine mammal parks.

“We’re calling on travel companies to stop supporting animal cruelty by reviewing the way they promote and sell tickets to Sea World.

“At the very least, we’d like to see a disclaimer on their websites that makes it clear they do not support captive wildlife entertainment,” he said.

“As the tide turns against keeping marine mammals in captivity for entertainment, the conversation about what will happen to these dolphins needs to start now.

“We’re asking the Queensland Government and Sea World to begin investigating the possibility of a sea sanctuary to allow the dolphins to live out their lives in a more natural habitat while balancing the impact on the natural environment.

“This is a conversation we’re already having with Dolphin Marine Conservation Park in Coffs Harbour and it’s time for Sea World to step-up,” Mr Pearson said.

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Elissa Jenkins

Elissa Jenkins is Sustainability Hackers’ Founder and Editor-In-Chief. Elissa founded Sustainability Hackers to inspire a hacker approach to sustainability – using excitement, innovation, creativity and technology to make the world a better place.

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