The spotlight will again be turned onto a controversial dolphin entertainment park with the launch of an emotional campaign in its own backyard asking potential visitors to think twice before visiting over the Easter holiday period.
Targeting Dolphin Marine Magic in Coffs Harbour in northern NSW — where a two-year-old dolphin recently died after the NSW Department of Primary Industries granted the park a “variation” to keep too many dolphins in too small a space — four bus-billboards will today start driving the town’s main tourist routes.
They feature a little girl looking at a dolphin in a fish bowl with the words: “Please think twice before visiting captive dolphins.”
The park was recently slammed by former NSW Premier Bob Carr — who implemented the state’s first dolphin captivity legislation as minister for the environment in the 1980s — for being “exquisitely cruel”.
As revealed by The Australian, DMM was also falsely claiming to be doing research with major Australian universities in a bid to spruik its green credentials online.
“It’s the beginning of a national advocacy campaign and a start of push to end dolphn captivity in NSW,” the head of Australia for Dolphins, Sarah Lucas, who was behind the Australian-first campaign told The Australian.
“They’ll be seen by thousands of people in the peak tourism season and encourage them not to support cruel dolphin captivity.”
Both DMM manager Paige Sinclair and its regulator DPI have refused to offer up any details as to what killed Ji Ling in October.
The youngest dolphin was one of six, including four males, kept in a pool that, by the DPI’s standards, was too small — until an inquiry in June deemed it big enough, without evidence to support that claim.
The DPI’s standards require that many captive creatures be kept in a pool of 1700 cubic metres.
The Australian revealed the pool, built in the early 2000s, was designed to be compliant for four dolphins at 1400m3.
The engineering firm that designed it recently used the final construction plans to calculate the volume at 1438m3 at most.