Today’s Editorial December 22: Do dolphin homework carefully

The people have spoken via a Caymanian Compass readers’ poll and the overall opinion is that no captive dolphin facility should be opened in the Cayman Islands.

This latest poll in the Compass received the most votes by far.

Many of those votes, however, were duplicates entered by people with their own agendas – either for or against captive dolphin facilities.

The sheer amount of votes – 3,932 legitimate – shows the passion this issue invokes.

It is evident that some people were trying to stack the deck. More than 10,000 duplicated ‘yes’ votes had to be deleted and more than 6,000 ‘no’ votes had to be deleted by the folks in the Information Technology Department at Cayman Free Press.

This was done by us to produce a factual, legitimate poll.

Government is ultimately responsible for making the decision of whether captive dolphins will be allowed in the Cayman Islands.

While such facilities exist throughout the world, many countries are banning captive dolphins or shutting down existing attractions.

Many of those who voted against captive dolphins in the Compass poll are loyal stayover visitors to the Cayman Islands. And many threatened not to return to this country if such a facility is built.

Far worse, they’ll spread the word to their moneyed friends.

We cannot afford to lose their business.

The majority of captive dolphin facilities appeal to cruise ship tourists, which we welcome.

But it will not be the cruise ship tourists that keep the Cayman Islands economy rolling. It will be the stayover guests who spend their money on accommodation, food, beverages, events and attractions.

Whatever decision those who lead our Government make on the captive dolphin issue, we hope they take the Compass poll into consideration and do some thorough homework.

We hope they talk to the stayover guests this country relies on, as well as the population of the country.

Only a handful of people will fill their coffers with the proceeds from a captive dolphin facility.

The good of all must be taken into consideration.