The Marine Connection find it astonishing that the Cayman Islands are taking such a backwards step allowing the building of a captive dolphin facility to occur especially as other countries in the Caribbean area are banning these types of activities.
Costa Rica implemented a ban in July 2005 against these types of facilities. Antigua turned down planning permission for Dolphin Discovery in Oct. 2005 and the Netherlands Antilles have adopted a policy of not issuing any new permits for captive dolphin facilities. Radisson Seven Sea cruise lines stopped promoting swim with dolphin trips to their passengers in July 2005.
While these facilities are extremely popular in Florida, it is not the case elsewhere. There have been no dolphin facilities in the UK since 1992 due to public pressure.
There was worldwide condemnation in 2003 when a large capture of wild dolphins occurred. As there wasn’t a population assessment before the capture, there is no way of knowing what the effect of capturing the dolphins will have. During capture, dolphins get highly stressed and the capture processes can result in many deaths. There is evidence that moving a dolphin from one facility to another generates the same amount of stress as removing a dolphin from the wild.
Allan Whaley, captivity officer at Marine Connection reports: ‘Where is the so-called conservation benefit that these facilities preach? Breeding programs do not result in dolphins being released back into the wild. They are not successful enough to stop wild captures occurring. The only benefit from these facilities is generating more wealth for the owners. The Marine Connection appeals to the Cayman Islands government to stop this application and follow in the path of other countries by banning these types of facilities.’