How do you feel about Dolphin Parks?

How do you feel about the capture of dolphin from the wild for Cayman Dolphin parks, or any other marine mammals for any captive parks.

How do you feel about Dolphin Parks?

Postby Keep_Dolphin_Free » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:28 pm

Welcome to Cayman Islands Dolphin Parks Forums.

Thank you for visiting our Cayman Dolphin Park forums.

Feel free to discuss anything related to Cayman Islands Dolphin Parks, Cayman Swim With Dolphins, Cayman Dolphin Encounters, or any other location where there is a dolphin park, dolphinarium, dolphin encounter or swim with dolphin experience, where the dolphin are not free to come and go of their own accord.

Feel free to post your opinions about all things related to the capture of Dolphin or any other marine mammal for Cayman Islands dolphin parks or any other dolphin or marine life parks, encounters, swims, or anywhere else where the animals are imprisoned.
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Postby CayPro » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:30 pm

No, it is anything BUT okay!
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Re: Cayman Islands Dolphin Parks, ANY Captive Dolphin Parks

Postby statonrich » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:49 pm

The short answer - NO, "Hunting" Dolphin, for ANY reason is very much NOT "okay".

The longer answer:

On the surface, swim-with-the-dolphin programs seem like a fun, safe way to get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures of the sea. The dolphins appear to smile as they pull laughing children around swimming pools by their dorsal fins. But you don't have to look too deep beneath this whimsical façade to realize that there is something fundamentally wrong with all swim-with-the-dolphin programs.

Regardless of whether they are in the Cayman Islands or any other country, or how crystal blue the water is, or whether the trainers claim that their dolphins are allowed to "swim free" for a couple hours per day, or how much money park owners spend caring for their charges, swim-with-dolphin programs create a threatening environment for the dolphins - and sometimes their human visitors.

The Sad Truth Behind SWTD: Swim-with-the-dolphin (SWTD) programs allow visitors to pet captive dolphins in shallow pools or interact with them in deeper water by swimming beside them or being towed around by holding onto the dolphin's dorsal fin. Currently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not regulate SWTD programs, and as a result, record keeping concerning human injuries and dolphin deaths are often not complete, with countless dolphin deaths going unreported.

Dolphins have been on the earth for thousands of years. They are perfectly evolved to live and flourish in their wild ocean home, not within the confines of a human-made concrete tank or artificial lagoon. Statistics of dolphin deaths during capture and confinement prove that dolphins do not belong in captivity. Consider the fact that Sea World, one of the most recognized captive dolphin facilities in the U.S., reported 93 dolphin deaths between 1971 and 2002. That's an average of 3 dolphins per year, assuming that all dolphin deaths were accounted for. If these numbers were extrapolated to include the total number of captive dolphin facilities around the world, the number of dolphin deaths as a result of captivity in the last 30 years would be astronomical!

Wild dolphins can swim over 40 miles a day, they engage in mating, foraging, fighting and play behavior with their pod members and they use their echolocation to explore their diverse ocean environment. In contrast, captive dolphins are forced to swim in endless circles in artificial habitats, interact with unfamiliar dolphins and other species, eat dead fish, and perform behaviors that are unnatural and in some cases painful. Captive dolphins also face exposure to human infection and bacteria, chemicals such as chlorine, and suffer from stress-related illnesses.

Captive dolphins spend up to 80% of their time at the surface of the water seeking scraps of food and attention. This is in direct contrast to wild dolphins who spend 80% of their time below the surface of the water playing, hunting and exploring.

Beaching themselves as part of the show so that visitors can pet or kiss them. If left in this position for an extended period, a dolphin's immense weight on land would slowly crush its internal organs. Captive dolphins have been trained to ignore their natural instincts; wild dolphins never voluntarily beach themselves.

Vocalizing for food rewards and nodding their head as if to say "yes" or "no" and offering "handshakes" or waving at the audience with their pectoral fins. Dolphins are trained through food deprivation. When they successfully perform a trick they are rewarded with scraps of fish. If a captive dolphin waves to you, it is because it is hungry, plain and simple.

All of these highly UNnatural behaviors are consistently exhibited by captive dolphins. Dolphins perform these behaviors because they have been trained to do so using "positive reinforcements" - the captivity industry's politically correct term for food deprivation. They wave to the audience and kiss the trainer because they are hungry, not because they desire human interaction and sadly, they often float motionless in their tanks between shows because they are bored or lonely.

While countless dolphins are still ripped from the wild to populate SWTD facilities, some programs use captive-born animals instead. They hold up their use of captive-born dolphins like a trophy, proof of their mission to conserve dolphins. The truth of the matter is that captive breeding programs offer no contribution to the conservation of wild dolphin populations, acting instead to replenish the industry's dolphins when supplies run low. The fact is, whether born in captivity or pulled kicking and screaming from the ocean, all dolphins share the same physiological and psychological needs.

Unfortunately, the commercial success of SWTD programs and the high profile of the larger facilities in the U.S. have spawned a legion of copycat operations in the Cayman Islands, Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America and around the world. These operations are the driving force behind a sharp rise in dolphin captures from the wild. Many of these new SWTD programs lack the necessary funds and staff to properly care for the dolphins.

Perhaps the most damaging aspect of the SWTD industry is the misconception it perpetuates among the general public. SWTD programs present themselves as "educational" and "eco-friendly". They market themselves to people who love dolphins, care about conservation and are looking for a tangible way to express this interest. What SWTD participants don't realize is that by patronizing these programs, they are not only contributing to this expanding, profit-driven industry, but they are ensuring that dolphins will continue to be captured from the wild and suffer in captivity.

Love dolphins?

Don't buy a ticket!

Untold numbers of dolphins die during the notoriously violent wild captures.

These captures are carried out in secret - far from the public's eye - so obtaining an accurate number of dolphins killed is nearly impossible. What we do know is that the whole process is so traumatic that mortality rates of dolphins captured from the wild shoot up six-fold in the first five days of confinement. To the captivity industry, these numbers are accepted as standard operating expenses, but if this information was printed on SWTD brochures, it is unlikely that any person who cares about dolphins would purchase a ticket.

Fortunately, there are starting to be enough websites like these to educate people about the outright lies the "parks" propogate to sell tickets. As the administrator so stated, it's their "dirty little secret" and even if there were "humane" ways of getting wild animals to jump through hoops, images of such would be posted all over the internet in the interest of selling tickets.

As the author mentioned, any such images have yet to be found.

They do not exist, and neither will any dolphin by the time your children's children grow up, if you support these places through admission prices.
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Re: Cayman Islands Dolphin Parks, ANY Captive Dolphin Parks

Postby wscarter » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:45 pm

This is how a dolphinarium is run.

They entertain their spectators with dolphin tricks without even touching on the topic of dolphin knowledge and ecology.

Have you ever heard a narrator of a dolphin show tell his/her audience the global distribution, natural behavior and population status of bottlenose dolphins or orcas (killer whales)? How many viewers learn that the orca is actually a dolphin, not a whale, after watching a dolphin performance? If a spectator learns nothing about dolphins after attending a program, can the programreally be considered “educational”?

Sometimes panels introducing dolphin biology and distribution are hung in the vicinity of a dolphin pool - but the number of people who really pay attention to the panels remains a question.

Dolphin shows can provide false and misleading information to the public. Dolphins in aquariums are usually trained by humans to perform all sorts of “intriguing” tricks like touching a hanging ball with their beak, waving to onlookers with flukes and jumping across obstacles. Sadly, not many people realize that this has already seriously distorted the natural behavior of dolphins. These dolphin shows are so impressive that most watchers believe all dolphins, including wild ones, do routinely perform, or even love to perform tricks.

Feed-the-dolphin programs lead to more severe consequences. Many are greatly convinced that wild dolphins are keen on seeking fish-feed from human hands. Obviously, they have no idea that wild dolphins never prefer dead and frozen fish. They eat those fish just because there is no living alternative.

Aquariums do provide an opportunity for people to know and care more for dolphins, but in that the dolphins are only creatures crafted by the trainers, rather than genuine dolphins. Is this the “education” humans desire?

With the blooming dolphin-watching activities held in nature, parks are no longer the only places where people can get a closer look at these fascinating marine mammals. Should you attend a high-quality dolphin-watching tour, it is for certain that you can see the natural side of the dolphin, and acquire accurate knowledge of them.
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Re: Cayman Islands Dolphin Parks, ANY Captive Dolphin Parks

Postby Keep_Dolphin_Free » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:04 pm

Upon my most recent visit to Grand Cayman in January 2011 I had the opportunity to see both Cayman dolphin parks up close and all too personal. I got as close as I could without paying admission and was able to see the overall park layouts, cages and dolphin. The conditions are as good as can be expected from a business that treats its animals as assets. But a prison by any other name...

The good news is that I do not believe that either of the Cayman dolphin parks will last long.

They are advertising on the radio stations nearly 24/7 and trying to literally give away free dolphin encounters, so they must be getting at least a little desperate.

Based on my two visits, to both parks, during days and hours when cruise passengers were in port, the overall park attendance appeared to average 20-30 percent. I might add that I conducted this research during what is the height of busy season in the Cayman Islands.

They can only go on losing money for so long before they will be forced to shut down.

PLEASE >>> Continue to boycott these embarrassments to humanity and watch your consumer power in action. The parks will close, it's just a matter of how long they can subsidize them with other businesses and bank loans.
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Re: Cayman Islands Dolphin Parks, ANY Captive Dolphin Parks

Postby Keep_Dolphin_Free » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:07 pm

Anyone considering a family trip to a Cayman Islands dolphin park, please ask yourself this:

What will my children think?

Kids are better educated and growing up faster with each generation. 20 years ago, it could be excusable for parents to take their children to these types of places but now we all know better.

Do you want your kids to look back at this when they are older and wonder why their parents took them to the establishments that are the cause of dolphin and many other beautiful marine animal extinctions?

And remember, you can't say you didn't know any better because you do now.
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Invitation for Debate to Any Cayman Dolphin Park Advocate

Postby Keep_Dolphin_Free » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:47 pm

If any proponent of Cayman Islands dolphin parks or any captive marine parks would like to debate the pros and cons of such facilities, I would be happy to debate you publically at any venue of your choosing.

If you feel our forums would not be an impartial venue, feel free to suggest an alternative.

I will meet anyone, anywhere, anytime to publically debate:
1. The morality of imprisoning the second most intelligent creatures on planet Earth


2. What effects confined dolphin parks have on the environment - both local and global

If you believe you have a valid argument for the actions of capturing and imprisoning intelligent mammals for unwary visitor amusement and personal profit, then what are you afraid of? Log in and speak your mind.
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Re: How do you feel about Dolphin Parks?

Postby Keep_Dolphin_Free » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:21 pm

Riding dolphin date back to Roman times. Even today wild dolphins are kept in captivity for scientific 'researchers' to 'study'.

People have been capturing dolphin and breeding them for at least a century.

Dolphins - largely due to their smiley and playful nature, are among the most sought after animals for amusing people in parks and similar settings. There are big dollars involved so is there any wonder why dolphins are captured and held in captivity for entertainment purposes?

Dolphins exceptional intelligence and acrobatic abilities are cause for those seeking to unlock the mysteries of intelligence and communication. Researchers claim to love dolphins.

So what could be wrong with capturing and confining dolphin for our own research and amusement?

Because how dolphin are captured from their home in the wild, pod populations are destroyed beyond repair. The existing laws regulating dolphin treatment are extremely abused and mistreated.

The greatest tragedy of captive dolphin is the manner in which they are captured. Dolphin hunters seek the most active pods so Dolphin are herded into confined areas by any means necessary, including helicopters, boats, and even explosives! Whatever it takes to get the greatest yield means nothing to the individuals responsible for these grossly inhumane capture techniques.

Dolphin do not want to be captured, hence they are literally plucked from their homes in the sea and taken away from their family. Then pulled into the harsh air with no water to cushion their bodies (dolphin have not yet evolved to exist naturally on land). They have difficulty breathing and their skin dries and cracks, causing intense agony.

The dolphin cry out.

No one hears them.

The dolphin are transported for hours, days, or longer, not able to move.

The are dumped in a tank filled with chlorinated water. Not the natural sea water they require to live.

Less than 30% survive the transport.

Tens of thousands of dolphin and other sea mammals are hunted solely for the purposes of display, research and even military use.

The US and Canadian government have implemented some controls governing dolphin capture.

The hunt for dolphin continues to grow because there are enough consumers patronizing the dolphin prisons, paying average admission fees of $100.

78% of captured dolphin are female and the young. They will all die on average of 80% faster than dolphin in the wild.

If you are a captured dolphin, your life expectancy is very short. For the family members left behind, life expectancy is reduced by 30%.

Dolphin are the most intelligent species on the planet next to man.

How can these practices of capturing and confining beautiful intelligent mammals not be considered criminal?
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Postby tabethanickla » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:18 pm

Dolphins will be extinct in a matter of decades if these kinds of places keep running. How stupid are the people paying these places to murder innocent animals? Educate yourselves! You are going to have to explain this to your kids some day. Live with that!
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Postby loatilky » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:54 am

I feel that they should be closed down. Who gives them the right to go out and kidnap and murder all these innocent families of dolphins? The people associated with these parks will end up paying the ultimate penalty.
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