Much has been written to the Caymanian Compass concerning the 6 April page 1 article on a dolphinarium in Jamaica.
We’ve been accused of being biased.
We’ve been accused of not giving those who oppose dolphinariums a chance to speak out.
We’ve been accused of being pro-captive dolphins.
This editorial is to set the record straight.
We were as surprised as anyone to learn in a Cabinet press briefing last month that Government won’t stop the development of captive dolphin facilities that were approved by the last administration.
Government was letting us all know that the Cayman Islands is in fact going to have captive dolphins as a tourist attraction on its shores.
There’s nothing we can do about it.
To that end a decision was made to send a reporter to captive dolphin facilities in Jamaica to see firsthand what goes on there.
Because it is definite we are getting captive dolphins in Cayman, it is our duty to educate the public on what to expect.
The article in the 6 April newspaper reflects what the reporter saw and was told.
It was meant as a feature piece to offer a glimpse at what goes on in Jamaica at the facilities.
It was never intended to be an investigative piece.
For those who have opposed dolphinariums in the Cayman Islands to even insinuate that the Caymanian Compass hasn’t told their side of the story is downright wrong.
The anti-captive dolphin campaigners have received much press from the Caymanian Compass; almost always on page 1 and almost always the lead story.
Even when we’ve had updates about the facilities or stories about the dolphinarium developers, we’ve had comments from those opposed to the facilities.
When Keep Dolphins Free brought Martha Watkins-Gilkes to the Cayman Islands in August we covered just about every move she made and quoted her extensively about the cruelty dolphins experience during capture. Those opposed to the dolphinariums have gotten more than their fair share of press from the Caymanian Compass, so much so we’ve been accused of being anti-dolphinarium by the proponents of those facilities.
And those opposed will continue to get coverage as well as have their letters to the Editor published.
Captive dolphins in the Cayman Islands are going to be a reality sooner than later.
It is an attraction that is assisting tourism in a lot of other countries and Cayman has to investigate the pros and cons of anything that will help this industry.
This newspaper and all media has a responsibility to educate the public on what to expect.
We have let the opposition have its say. It is only fair to offer the same opportunity to the developers.
In the end it is up to the public to decide whether it wants to participate in a captive dolphin facility or not.
If there is a market in the Cayman Islands for the captive dolphin facility to survive it will. If there is no market, the facility(ies) will dry up and go away.
In the meantime this newspaper will continue to give voice to both sides of the issue.
It’s only fair.