Fantastic news Dolphin Defenders! On the 14 March 2019, Dolphin Marine Conservation Park (formerly ‘Dolphin Marine Magic’) announced they will no longer breed dolphins, ensuring the five dolphins currently in pools will be the last generation under human care in NSW.
Action for Dolphins has long been campaigning for an end to captive breeding, and we are over the moon with this result.
Action for Dolphins is currently working with World Animal Protection and Dolphin Marine Conservation Park on a study to test the feasibility of a sea sanctuary where the dolphins could live out their lives in as natural an environment as possible.
Sarah Lucas, CEO of Action for Dolphins, states, “We welcome the news that these five dolphins will be the last generation under human care in NSW.
“Dolphin Marine Conservation Park has been an iconic institution in Coffs Harbour for more than 40 years. Action for Dolphins is excited to be part of the new direction the marine park is taking in exploring the option of a sea sanctuary as a possible new home for its dolphins.
“Dolphin sanctuaries are being established in the US and Europe but now that the feasibility study is going ahead, this one in Coffs Harbour could be the first of its kind in the world.”
The decision to stop breeding dolphins in NSW leaves Sea World on the Gold Coast, which currently has more than 30 dolphins, as the last marine park in Australia to continue breeding dolphins in captivity.
“The science is clear,” states Ms Lucas. “Captive dolphins experience stress, behavioural abnormalities, high mortalities, and breeding problems.
“Despite the evidence showing dolphins suffer in captivity, Sea World continues to breed these highly intelligent animals in artificial pools for entertainment.
Ms. Lucas dismisses the claim Sea World promotes conservation, stating, “The dolphins being bred at the Gold Coast theme park are not endangered. Every dolphin Sea World breeds in captivity takes the place of one that could be rescued from the wild.
“Sea World’s annual takings are estimated at more than $133 million. Of that it spends less than 1 per cent on rescue, research, and rehabilitation.
“It’s time for Sea World to change its ways and stop putting profit before the welfare of dolphins. They should be considering drastic changes – including retiring the 30+ dolphins in their care to a sea sanctuary, rather than continuing to breed dolphins into an unsuitable environment.”
Thank you so much to all of you who fought for an end to captive dolphin breeding in the state of NSW, and well done to Dolphin Marine Conservation Park for this monumental move.