It's a shame it was in the Mail, but it's about time a mainstream paper covered this

(129 Posts)
ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 18:32:28

This is barbaric, revolting and upsetting and I don't like linking to DM articles, but it needs to be said and talked about and spread. People have been bravely campaigning against this atrocity for years yet it continues. Please be assured that every time you visit a place like SeaWorld that, no matter what they tell you, you are helping perpetuate this hideous, hideous trade.

I have talked about this on MN before and have had outraged mummies telling me I am trying to spoil their children's fun hmm

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 18:37:05

Apologies for the accusatory use of the word "you". Didn't mean it like that. I meant "people" in general.

AlistairSim Sat 05-Jan-13 18:40:16

I'm with you.
I would never visit somewhere that had captive dolphins/whales etc.

claig Sat 05-Jan-13 18:44:28

I have nver heard about this before. It is terrible cruelty. Shocking.

Otherworld Sat 05-Jan-13 18:45:37

I'm speechless. I had no idea. Truly horrific. Thanks for posting.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 18:47:04

I'm really glad I brought it to your attention, claig. It kind of gives me hope that the reason most people pay money to get into these places is because they don't know about the atrocities involved. At the risk of sounding like a zealot, the word needs to be spread, and the industry will wither. It's to Britain's credit that we don't have any of these places - they were shut down due to public pressure.

claig Sat 05-Jan-13 18:53:06

Yes, thanks for bringing it to our attention. I am sure that most visitors have no idea what is involved and the suffering that these beautiful creatures endure. I don't know much about zoos and the suffering that those animals endure either. I am sure that they suffer too. It is horrible. Slowly, slowly these things have changed and improved a bit over time. Hopefully, we will one day treat all creatures with respect and avoid cruelty to them.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 18:57:44

The other thing the article doesn't mention is that the animals who are slaughtered are sold as meat, and fed to children in their school dinners. Dolphins and whales, as they are top of the food chain, have accumulated huge amounts of toxins in their bodies including toxic amounts of mercury, which causes brain damage. They are damaging their own children, a nation which prides itself on its educational and technological prowess. This may sound like hysterical hyperbole, but it's absolutely true.

InTheNightGarden Sat 05-Jan-13 19:05:22

sad sad sad


HoppedOnAFairy Sat 05-Jan-13 19:33:36

:-( Are dolphins in UK aquariums from the same 'source'? You'd think there was some law preventing this...

I did think of taking my LO to the London Aquarium. Now I won't.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 19:38:30

No, no go! The London Aquarium is fab. We don't have any captive facilities in the UK. The last one was in Brighton and because of public opposition it was shut down and the dolphins released. We do however have lots of dolphins in the wild around our shores smile

lockets Sat 05-Jan-13 19:44:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 19:50:17

That's the one. Discovery Cove. Tell her all about it - it's probable she doesn't know. It's the dolphins' great misfortune that they have a face shaped in a smile. Their misery in those pools must be infinite.

If she's intent on swimming with dolphins, it can be done in the wild, including in Florida. Though I would have second thoughts about swimming and embracing and hanging onto the fin of an apex predator. They could kill someone in an instant.

Booyhoo Sat 05-Jan-13 19:53:21

this is just appalling. so glad to hear the UK does not partake in this awful practise by buying dolphins and keeping them captive. thise poor poor animals.

HoppedOnAFairy Sat 05-Jan-13 19:53:25

Oh, good. We were looking forward to this :-) So there are no dolphins in the aquarium? Is there a way to see the ones in the wild? It's mental that they are there in the wild around our shores!

lockets Sat 05-Jan-13 19:56:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lockets Sat 05-Jan-13 19:57:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 20:08:48

You can stand on the beach and the cliffs in some parts of the country and watch them. It looks as though they are performing tricks for tourists but it's all part of their natural behaviour e.g. New Quay in West Wales, Chanonry Point in NE Scotland, and parts of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset.

lockets Sat 05-Jan-13 20:12:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WeAreEternal Sat 05-Jan-13 20:15:12

It is disgusting isn’t it.

I would never visit a place such as sea world that has captive wild animals, it is evil.

The ONLY acceptable type of marine/animal park is one that rescues and rehomes injured or sick animals with the hope and intention of rehabilitating and re releasing them to the wild.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 20:19:28

I don't think we can sit on our laurels and think "Well there's nothing of that nature in the UK". I think we owe it to them to tell the people who we know are planning to visit Discovery Cove, Seaworld, MarineLand and the ones in Europe all about it. Let's shout about it (apologies if I seem evangelical, but this is my "thing")

There was a killer whale rescued off the Dutch coast last year. She was rehabilitated and recovered nicely and the animal welfare people were all set to release her back into the sea so that she could find her family again, and then the Dutch government sold her to a facility in the Canaries. The Spaniards are not renowned for their enlightened attitude towards marine animals. Apparently the poor orca is being hassled and bullied by the others in the inevitably way too small pool. There was a petition and an appeal mounted to the Dutch government to overturn the decision, and they refused it and told the protesters that any further action had to be made to the Spanish government. Great.

The life expectancy of a dolphin in the wild is over 40 years. In captivity it's approximately 5 years.

Booyhoo Sat 05-Jan-13 20:21:23

from what i remember from my childhood (about 20 years ago) you can see the dolphins off the coast of sligo in the south of ireland.

Booyhoo Sat 05-Jan-13 20:25:08

Ariel do you know anything at all about 'swimming with dolphin' type things in Australia, more specifically, near melbourne? my Cousin is going this year to do this. it has been a lifelong ambition and dolphins are a big obsession for her as she has Autism and it's one of her focuses. i would hate to upset her but i feel she would want to know if the animals she is swimming with might have been harmed.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 20:26:50

Hmm. I don't know off the top of my head, but can find out for you.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 05-Jan-13 20:30:48

That's terrible. Years ago I went to Loro Parc Zoo in Tenerife. I had no idea at the time that they had whales and dolphins there, was expecting it to be mainly parrots.

The pools that they kept the Whales and dolphins in seemed too small for them. It was sad to see them, they're such intelligent creatures.

I've been on a boat trip in Wales to see dolphins and I think it's much better to do something like that. See them in their natural environment.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 20:32:01

Ok, I have found this one.

The thing you have to be aware of with wild swim operations is that the boat you choose operates in a very responsible fashion. Chasing the animals, splitting a group, speeding through them with propellors spinning are obviously big no nos. This company looks as though they do research and take their responsibilities seriously.

Booyhoo Sat 05-Jan-13 20:32:27

that would be great. thank you very much.

Booyhoo Sat 05-Jan-13 20:35:13

oh xpost. thank you. i'll see if that is the one she's using. it has been arranged on her behalf so she may not even know.

D0G Sat 05-Jan-13 20:38:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Those poor things sad. "In 2011, about 15 per cent of dolphins were taken into captivity (68 were kept alive and 968 killed)."

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 20:50:21

Once or twice, D0G smile

D0G Sat 05-Jan-13 20:51:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 20:51:47

Maybe MNHQ can move this to Chat. It's not really In The News, as it's an on and on and ongoing issue that more people need to know about. I'll ask.

lockets Sat 05-Jan-13 20:59:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AViewfromtheFridge Sat 05-Jan-13 20:59:28

Discussions in chat are deleted after 30 days, though.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 21:04:50

Oh, good point. I'll have to message them again.

OK MNHQ, please could you leave it where it is? Thanks!

D0G Sat 05-Jan-13 21:07:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tilder Sat 05-Jan-13 21:08:10

There are several places in the UK where you can see dolphins and whales but no guarantees. Generally the more isolated spot, the more likely you are to see one. Porpoise are actually pretty common but tricky to spot. Good places to see bottlenose are cardigan bay in wales and moray forth in Scotland. The west coast of Scotland is a great place for several species, and if you pick your spot is pretty easy to see minke, risso dolphin, bottlenose and others. The further out you go, the more species you can see.

Swimming with truly wild whales, dolphins, seals or seabirds is truly magical. I can understand the appeal of the organised guaranteed swim but its only ok if the animals are free to move as and where they will, which the organised deals rarely are.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 21:08:50

I don't know. I am in unchartered waters here.

I want as many people as possible to see the article anyway.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 21:10:02

tilder, the uncertainty of finding them is part of the magic of the wild for me. I think when that's explained to them, most people are the same.

CatherineMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 05-Jan-13 21:13:21

Ariel thanks for posting this - I, for one, had no idea. Very powerful stuff, thanks again.

tilder Sat 05-Jan-13 21:18:34

I completely agree Ariel. It's especially exciting when you get to see something unexpected. It's one thing to live or work near them though and another to be in holiday with expectations of seeing or swimming with them, which I guess is why people go to these places. That and they are unaware or don't care about the seedy side of it.

I have friends who have been to seaworld and I just don't see the comparison between that and the real deal.

Growlithe Sat 05-Jan-13 21:19:18

We are off to Florida at Easter and were considering doing the Dolphin Experience at Discovery Cove. I asked on the travel boards if anyone had done it and got some great advice to do a bit more research fom PorkyandBess and VivaLeBeaver.

I automatically assumed that a world renowned attraction in a developed country would have good standards for animal welfare. I'm so glad I canvassed opinions and, of course, we are going nowhere near the place.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 21:23:45

Thank you Growlithe. I'm so glad you've changed your mind.

I have seen those reviews of Discovery Cove on the holiday topics and the odd voice shouting up about the welfare issues, and good on them, but only once the topic has gone dead. I think once a mainstream paper even if it is the Mail takes up the cause, it all becomes a lot more powerful.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 21:31:56

I don't think we can ask for something to be in Discussions of the Day in order to heighten awareness of an issue can we? It would be good though grin

Shodan Sat 05-Jan-13 21:35:01

Thanks for posting this, Ariel. I had no idea that this sort of horror went on Shocking.

Shodan Sat 05-Jan-13 21:35:31

Gah. Missing full stop. Sentiment remains the same however.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 21:39:59

Watch "The Cove" if you haven't already. It's extremely powerful. The fishermen in Taiji, Japan, wanted this hushed up and kept secret for years, but they have failed in that. Incidentally they are blatantly flouting the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on whaling by hunting great whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, while the rest of the world does nothing. Yes, that's right, the Sanctuary. Where whales are supposed to be safe. Likewise in Iceland, whales are still hunted. And in Norway. In Europe, in the 21st century. There is no humane way to kill a whale. They are too big.

LentilAsAnything Sat 05-Jan-13 21:44:59

Why are those thinking the London Aquarium is ok just because they don't have dolphins? What about all the other creatures they DO have? What about zoos, and all those captive animals?

I posted a few months back on this thread about Sea World etc but was completely ignored. I am glad more people are becoming aware, but really, it takes so little research to find these things out. In fact, I'd say it was obvious: animals do not belong in entertainment facilities.

LentilAsAnything Sat 05-Jan-13 21:46:38

A good place to start for info:

LentilAsAnything Sat 05-Jan-13 21:55:15

And some info on zoos:

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 21:56:36

Lentil, look at the link. We are not simply on about captive animals. We are on about the barbaric and blood thirsty slaughter which drives the market for keeping animals, which are designed for swimming hundreds and thousands of miles, in a swimming pool and forcing them to perform tricks for their food. This is not the same as keeping a fish in a tank. It just isn't. I think the issue with dolphins, as opposed to say triggerfish, is that they are such wide-ranging creatures, with complex societies, language, dialects, family bonds and conscious intelligence. I assure you I am not simply a dolphin-hugger - I know a lot about them! It's my job.

This particular thread is about the dolphin slaughter in Japan, not the Aquarium. Please, I beg you, please don't try and derail or water-down this thread. This is a far bigger response than I was expecting - in fact I was even expecting hostility about me trying to spoil people's holidays and wreck children's fun.

I am really glad that you posted a few months ago and I know you care hugely, but sometimes perfectly brilliant threads are "lost" whereas others stick. If anything changes in people's attitude's towards the captive dolphin trade, we need to speak as one voice and not dilute the issue.

lockets Sat 05-Jan-13 22:01:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 22:02:49

Definitely. Thank you, lockets.

My only other reservation is embarrassment that I have been caught looking at the Mail grin

lockets Sat 05-Jan-13 22:03:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhatDoesTheDogSay Sat 05-Jan-13 22:04:12

I am appalled by this!

LentilAsAnything Sat 05-Jan-13 22:04:22

I did look at the link, I am already well-aware if what goes on.
ALL captivity is wrong though. Just because they are caught or bred in less bloody ways does not make it ok. My post wasn't an attempt to derail your very important subject, and believe me, I am absolutely against this barbarity, but let's not lose sight of the other animals' issues. No watering down from me, just a widening of awareness of related issues.
I will bow out though, hopefully a few people will look at my links whilst they are learning about the dolphin situation, and we are win win.
Peace and love.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 22:05:33

Peace and love smile

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 05-Jan-13 22:28:11

There's a good website here about campaigns and petitions.

Ric O'Barry, as you probably know, was the chap who was the Flipper trainer in the 60s, and he had a complete about face after the dolphin who played the character Flipper died in his arms after apparently breathing her last breath on purpose. He has since devoted himself to trying to dismantle the industry he admits he helped create.

Growlithe Sat 05-Jan-13 22:59:33

'Holiday wrecker'? I would love my DCs to somehow get up close and personal with a dolphin. But how could I smile on and take photos, knowing that at any time in the future one of them could read about what is being talked about here - and then hating me for being the grown up who made the decision to go.

We are paying a fortune to go to Florida. There is so much to do, so many experiences, without resorting to this. I can't believe I was so naive as to consider it.

JustplainoldBuggerlugs Sun 06-Jan-13 00:07:48

I'm astounded and disgusted. I will certainly educate anyone who says they are going to swim with dolphins.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention Rie.

LentilAsAnything Sun 06-Jan-13 10:54:46

Well, I am not about to derail your thread but that reminds me of:
The Ronald McDonald actor who now apologises for brainwashing kids into eating hamburgers and is now advocating vegetarianism;
The cattle rancher turned vegan;
The vegan doctor who was raised on a dairy farm who has published studies showing dairy is linked to serious diseases;
The actor from the film Babe who went vegan because of that pig, smile, but if you will consider my post a thread bump, I hope that's ok! smile

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 06-Jan-13 11:12:45

Course its ok. I had no idea about those other people. It's a funny one isn't it - the Babe chap in particular must have had his epiphany because of an up close an personal relationship with an animal, and people who run places like Discovery Cove etc claim that that is the very thing they are trying to enable the public to have. There are also those who say that we should never encroach on animals' worlds at all, but that we should leave them to live their lives in the wild in peace, a very valid point. Personally I think that in order to make people care about wild animals they generally need to have had some kind of encounter with them themselves, so this needs to be managed in as responsible way as possible which has as little impact in them as possible.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 11:23:53

sadsadsadAwful, just awful.
Such needless, waste of dolphins & whales lifes. I cannot get my head around why they kill them & in such a barbaric waysad

It's just so evil, my eyes decieve me into believing it's unreal-the water so red and the pain they must suffer, just because they are not 'perfect'.
Has made me cry, and i vow never to visit a sealife centre/aquarium ever again now i know what goes on behind the scenesangry

blonderthanred Sun 06-Jan-13 11:51:09

Afraid I haven't clicked on link but I've always thought all those Swimming with dolphins/cuddling tigers type experiences are at best weird and at worst likely to involve animal cruelty. Went to Cuba a few years ago with my Mum and was the first thing we were offered - they were really puzzled that we weren't interested at all but it had never occurred to me that it's a 'thing' - I know they do it in Florida etc but I didn't realise it had become a holiday essential. How awful for the poor creatures.

We went for the politics (and the sunshine).

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 06-Jan-13 11:53:52

Sorry if it's upset you, pumpkin sad. I know, it IS bloody upsetting.

CJMommy Sun 06-Jan-13 12:24:47

This is abhorrent sadangry I had no idea!

I'm ashamed to say that I swam with dolphins (in captivity) whilst on honeymoon several years ago; will never do this again and will certainly tell others about this-just awful.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 06-Jan-13 13:06:15

Don't be ashamed. How were you to know? It's not like they advertise it - they just peddle nonsense about how educational they are, conveniently not letting anyone know how the animals were obtained.

landofsoapandglory Sun 06-Jan-13 14:29:40

I had no idea about this.

I have been to Florida, and been to SeaWorld and thought it was amazing at the time. But I was a child and had no idea this is how they had gone about selecting the dolphins and had killed many more in the process. sad angry

I actually feel quite sick about it. I am utterly, utterly appalled. Thank you for bringing it to all of our attention.

babyboomersrock Sun 06-Jan-13 21:50:43

I'm glad people are starting to look at this - I haven't clicked on that link because I know what happens, and until we get rid of the idea that animals are there for our entertainment, things like this will continue to happen.

Anyone who has seen dolphins in the wild (not that hard to do, if you're prepared to travel for a few hours, and stand on a UK beach for hours...a price worth paying, surely?) will be in awe at the spectacle they create on their own territory, on their own terms. When you see the massive distances they swim in a few seconds, it doesn't bear thinking about that they are confined in the way that "performing dolphins" are confined.

I stood outdoors one lucky wild Highland afternoon and felt joy at being near them...and I was very, very near. They came close to the shore and leapt in and out of the waves - mesmerising stuff, and very humbling. That's what we need to convey to our children - not that every creature is instantly accessible, but that with patience and respect for their habitats, some can be seen doing what they want to do, where they choose to be.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 06-Jan-13 22:04:49

Great post, babyboomer, especially the last bit.

SparklingSnow Sun 06-Jan-13 22:07:38

I'm really glad that finally there has been a story on the horrors of Taiji. This has been going on ignored for far too long.It's great that now more people will be aware of what is going on.

This is why I donate to Sea Shepherd as they take action against this barbaric slaughter. They have cove guardians in Taiji to document what the Japanese don't want the world to see.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 07-Jan-13 15:03:15

I've found out something just as bad - you know that money you may have sent over to Japan because you were so appalled for the people caught up in the tsunami? Well, it turns out a lot of it was spent by the government on armouring one of their whaling vessels so that those awful people trying to protect the whales couldn't damage the boat. It's here

Paul Watson is a bloody hero and yet he is being criminalised.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 07-Jan-13 15:04:16

Actually that was a little inaccurate - sorry. They spent it on a protection vessel which protects the whaling fleet.

babyboomersrock Mon 07-Jan-13 15:40:41

Thanks for that information, ArielThePiraticalMermaid. It's appalling, and I didn't know about it.

cory Mon 07-Jan-13 18:13:39

LentilAsAnything Sat 05-Jan-13 22:04:22
"I did look at the link, I am already well-aware if what goes on.
ALL captivity is wrong though. Just because they are caught or bred in less bloody ways does not make it ok."

Are you sure? Even if it is a project for breeding e.g. tropical fish that are threatened or extinct in the wild due to habitat depletion?

I am involved in this sort of thing: it's not a substitute for care for the environment; just a recognition that habitat destruction can happen very quickly and once a species is gone you can't get it back simply by restoring the habitat.

The London Aquarium does quite a bit of that sort of work, as well as informing the general public of the threat not just to big and cuddly animals like whales, but also to less photogenic ones. Recently they sent out a call to experienced hobbyists for breeding stock of some species that are either extinct in the wild or nearing extinction, often because they live in a single brook or pond in somewhere like Mexico and are very vulnerable to the sudden building of a factory or a road, or even to a growth of population (with corresponding greater water use) in the local village.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 07-Jan-13 18:18:06

(though personally I wouldn't fancy cuddling a sperm whale for instance. Or an orca. I have always wondered why people are so keen to get in a pool with the ocean's top predator).

edam Mon 07-Jan-13 23:08:47


I was lucky enough to see wild dolphins (one swam under our boat!) and it was such a joyful experience. And then to read about this...

edam Mon 07-Jan-13 23:11:11

ooh yeah, did you ever see that documentary where the orca separated the baby whale (the white ones with the big heads who only have one baby, and swim up the Pacific coast every year to the Arctic) from its mother, rolling in between, them, fighting for hours until the poor mother and child were exhausted, and then had the baby for breakfast? Horrible. But nature's way and all that, unlike the ruddy humans exploiting dolphins.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 08-Jan-13 13:25:09

Thank you for this thread.

It's a really important issue but it gets ignored so often. I have tried to make the point on threads on MN in the past where people are raving about what a brilliant time they had at Sea World, Discovery Cove etc, but it just gets lost, or like you say in your OP, you get accused of trying to spoil people's fun.

babyboomersrock Tue 08-Jan-13 23:14:26

I know what you mean, CloudsAndTrees but it's important to keep mentioning it nonetheless, isn't it?

It's hard when you feel like some kind of party-pooper, but those poor creatures have few people to speak for them - and I always hope that when I mention the cruelty it will open even one person's eyes.

I haven't been on here long, but I'll try to make sure I comment on those threads in future.

Gingersstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 23:33:03

Ariel, so glad you've posted this...I've been following this campaign for the last few years and it's often felt like banging my head against a brick wall trying to get people to listen. It's been hushed up for so long but the British press are starting to pick up on it and like you, not a great fan of the DM but hey, if it works....if we could get some sort of campaign going here on MN I'm sure it would make a massive difference and get people thinking about exactly what their holiday money is paying for. Someone also suggested that travel agents should be targeted for selling these "experiences" to tourists. It's a bloody disgrace that this kind of thing is still going on in the 21st century. Someone else once said "You may choose to turn and look the other eay, but you can never again say you did not know".

MrsPoglesWood Tue 08-Jan-13 23:33:26

Very well done Ariel for highlighting this. I have never understood the desire that some people have to swim with captive dolphins. I very strongly believe that only very endangered species should be in zoos/aquariums for breeding programs that will allow them to be released into the wild to repopulate. They shouldn't be entertainment. Btw has anyone seen the sketch by Bill Bailey where he likens our dolphin swimming desires with other cultures 'climbing in with the cows and scrabbling about a bit? Very sobering.

And I say this as someone who aged 5 was pushed around the aquarium in a dinghy by Flipper and Jenky, the beautiful dolphins at Peaseholm Park in 1975 whilst the audience cheered. Yes I absolutely loved it but I wouldn't have done it if I'd known then what I know now.

Gingersstuff Tue 08-Jan-13 23:33:26

way not eay!!

runningforthebusinheels Wed 09-Jan-13 00:10:25

Thanks for raising awareness OP. Shocking and barbaric, I honestly had no idea.

Can I ask about Windsor Safari Park? I don't know if they still do it, but I saw dolphins and a killer whale there as a child.

We've been to the London Aquarium and it is fantastic - but they had 4 sharks when we went in the 'biggest aquarium in Europe' or something. I have a fondness for sharks as well as whales and dolphins, and I felt for the sharks just swimming in endless circles.

MrsPoglesWood Wed 09-Jan-13 00:49:10

I felt for the sharks in that Chinese shopping centre where the tank ruptured a couple of weeks back. I was horrified at the footage of the poor sharks flapping about for survival whilst morons just filmed them. There was no effort whatsoever to save them and they were tiny little things, two feet long max. Far more entertaining to film them striving for life and dying than to do anything to help them.

But then when you're drying out several thousand shark fins on a roof top that you think the media can't see why bother with trying to save three sharks from an aquarium?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 09-Jan-13 08:41:14

Aah shark finning. Another thread in the offing. Unfortunately it is easier to make people care about smiley, clever dolphins than cold, dead eyed sharks hmm. But you have to start somewhere.

Windsor doesn't have any any more running. There are no captive facilities in the UK because of public pressure. If more people knew about the situation, then this pressure could be extended to the States and Europe, and ultimately Japan. "Every journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step" as someone clever and wise once said <vague>

CloudsAndTrees Wed 09-Jan-13 13:54:06

Windsor Safari Park has been Legoland for about twenty years now I think.

BabyBoomers, I agree, we can't stop talking about it, I just wish more people were prepared to face up to the reality of what is happening.

The Cove and Sharkwater should be compulsory viewing for every person living in the developed world.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Thu 10-Jan-13 14:09:39

If anyone still had any doubts about dolphins in captivity, show them this

(I promise it's the best thing you'll see all day grin )

MrsPoglesWood Fri 11-Jan-13 00:50:30

Fabulous Ariel thanks for linking!

BegoniaBampot Fri 11-Jan-13 09:54:24

I've dived with Dolphins in Eilat, but they claim that the dolphins there have access to the open sea and come and go as they please. Sure they also tell you not to try and touch them but just let the dolphins do their own thing.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 09:59:20

Love that video Ariel!

Begonia, I am envy I've never been lucky enough to see dolphins while diving, although I swear I heard some once. Where in Eliat were you? I can well believe they come to play from what I have seen of them from dive boats!

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 10:01:37

Begonia, do you mind me asking whether the dolphins in Eilat were in some kind of pen or enclosure? Were they in open water and fed? Or did they just turn up?

How did it work?

BegoniaBampot Fri 11-Jan-13 10:10:54

They advertise it as a dolphin reef. They have a beach, facilities and an enclosure of sorts but say the enclosure is open to the sea for the dolphins to come and go as they please. You can watch from the shore, snorkel and dive and hopefully the dolphins will be around. Think they come back for the food and seem to like interacting with people. We were lucky that they came up very, very close and we are told not to touch them but just let them do their thing. I hope it is as they advertise it, it was a great experience.g

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 10:14:30

I dunno sad The feeding thing doesn't sit right. Wild animals shouldn't be fed sad. It makes them dependent - they will have been coming back for the food. Really sorry if I seem judgey - it's just these places are awfully clever and know what to say to people.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 10:19:42

Hmm.. I suppose whether an operation like that is ethical or not depends on how much they are fed. Although I don't have much knowledge in this area so I might be wrong, and I'm happy to be educated! I'd worry that if they are fed too much then it would disrupt their natural feeding habits.

I had the same worry when I went diving in the Bahamas where there is a widely advertised shark feed dive. I reluctantly did the dive with the rest of my dive club and the centre was very reassuring that sharks are not disturbed by it because they keep feeding to a minimum. The sharks that turned up didn't get to eat much, if at all, and I questioned whether the anticipation of food and then not getting it was likely to do damage. They said not, as this occurs in nature anyway, but I'm not sure. It was obvious that the sharks were there from their own free will though as it was in the middle of the ocean, and you saw them frequently in the surrounding areas when no feeding was happening.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 10:21:02

Agree completely with your last post Ariel. I'm not entirely comfortable with the whole thing either, despite my last post!

I suppose that instinct should tell me something really. If it seems wrong it probably is, despite reassurances otherwise.

BegoniaBampot Fri 11-Jan-13 10:49:32

Not judgey, in a bad way anyway. It's good to talk about this stuff and question things.

Solo Fri 11-Jan-13 11:59:36

I swam with wild dolphins in Australia about 11 years ago; it was around the Perth area.
We were told that we'd be taken out in the boat and that they could not guarantee a sighting of them or a swim with them as they were completely wild. They also said that the pod that they see hears their boat and usually comes to play! we were lucky enough to have the dolphins come to us and we swam with them smile we were told that we must not touch them as the sunscreens etc on us can cause cancers to their skin. We all wore belts and were linked to one another and pulled around the water by a boat/staff member who used a tow machine 'thing' to pull us around. The dolphins swam around and around with us, it was the best experience ever.

I wouldn't swim with or go to see captive dolphins or whales; it's just not right. I'm so sad to see your link to the DM op; it has to be stopped somehow, but these countries seem to have a very unfeeling population.

ThatBintAgain Fri 11-Jan-13 12:05:07

I saw a whole school of dolphins in the sea in North Devon, it took my breath away. Was bloody glad I'd just got out of the water though or I'd have had a heart attack! grin

picketywick Fri 11-Jan-13 12:09:37

Thanks for bringing it up Ariel. Needs publicising

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 12:14:34

but these countries seem to have a very unfeeling population.

I think it's all too easy for us in the west to say, "oh the Japanese, cruel race" whereas it's the demand driven by European and North American and Middle Eastern marine parks and aquaria which drives the market. And actually until very, very recently the huge majority if Japanese had no idea this was happening in their country. There is footage showing some of their reactions when they find out about the Taiji hunts and they are horrified. In fact there has recently been a demo in Tokyo against the practice.

Solo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:21:48

It's a horribly sad and barbaric practice whichever way you look at it. Somehow, we have to stop it from happening.

WheelybodsDH Fri 11-Jan-13 13:13:32

I agree that this is terrible, however the article does say that these dolphins are not sent to the US or Europe. Also i believe that sea world funds a lot of marine research and also the trainers there are marine biologists they also practice animal enrichment to ensure that the animals are kept stimulated, if a lot of the animals in sea world were released into the wild they wouldnt be able to survive as they have been born and raised into captivity.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 13:17:25

Sorry, but bollocks. Reseach can be done in the wild and plenty of marine biologists are doing so. The level of successful breeding in captive facilites is tiny compared to breeding success in the wild because of the stresses they are under on a daily basis. Most captive dolphins are taken from the wild. This is true. The purpose of these places is entertainment not research.

Captive dolphins CAN be successfully released into the wild. The last two dolphins in aquaria in the UK were released into the wild, who had been living in a pool by Brighton pier.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 13:18:18

And as for the location of where they are being sent, I don't see that this is relevant. Plenty of places are opening up in places like Dubai which are full of European tourists.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 13:28:53

Sorry to post three times in row, but the market really is driven by the demand. If the demand is taken away the practice would diminish. Demand drives everything. Look at the tuna fishing industry - there are warehouses in the Far East which are stockpiling bluefin tuna so that when it becomes extinct as it inevitably will, they will be able to release the supplies slowly and charge a premium. It will be like gold. All because of the insatiable desire for tuna.

As for research, there is a woman in New Zealand, who I met recently, called Ingrid Visser who is conducting amazing research on orcas in the wild. Thanks to her, more and more is being made known about the NZ population and they orcas can only benefit. How could this be done in a pool?

WheelybodsDH Fri 11-Jan-13 13:35:58

As I said I do agree that this is barbaric, as for mentioning the locations they were being sent to, I only mentioned this as posters started saying about the US and European parks, I thought I would just point out that the dolphins mentioned in the article are not being sent to those areas.

How many animals would now be extinct due to over hunting etc if it wasn't for Zoos etc?

Yes there are plenty of parks opening up in Dubai etc, but surely it is these that need to be boycotted and not the ones that are trying to do some good?

(puts on flame proof suit)

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 13:53:02

This needs to be stopped and therefore people need to speak as one. Slaughter hundreds of animals in order to get a few is wrong, no matter how much research they say they are doing in marine parks. I'm sure you believe that. At the moment dolphins are not endangered. They will be if this carries on. And it's not just a case of them being in a "zoo". It's a case of them being kept hungry so they will perform tricks for rewards i.e. fish, it's them being kept in restrictive tanks when they are used to travelling tens or hundreds of miles in a day, it's them swimming around in their own faeces, its them dying of infections and diseases brought about through enclosed water, it's them being defeaned by the pool filtration systems day after day after day. In the name of entertainment. Christ, no wonder some of them commit suicide. It really isn't like breeding programmes of endangered species in zoos.

These places are not "trying to do some good". They are trying to make money in a terribly inethical and inhumane way.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 13:57:16

Wheely, you really need to do some more research and educate yourself if you think places like Sea World are trying to do some good. They are driven by profit, not good.

The 'environmental work' they do is a marketing ploy, nothing more. And marine animals wouldn't be at risk of extinction if they were left alone!

Of course these places employ marine biologists to try to maintain the animals, they're not going to want to waste the money they have just spent capturing and transporting the animals only for them to die in a couple of months are they? Whales and dolphins don't need people to stimulate them when they have the ocean to live in!

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 13:58:43

Thanks for that Clouds. I was starting to feel ranty.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 14:01:03

At the moment dolphins are not endangered.

Sorry that was a stupid thing to say. At the moment many species are not endangered overall. Certain populations and species are critrically endangered because of conflicts with fishermen and habitat destruction. The Yangtze dolphin was declared extinct in 2006. But that's another thread...

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 14:01:33

Sea world of hurt

Death at Sea World

Just to get you started.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 14:02:52

The Yangtze dolphin was declared extinct in 2006.

I didn't know that sad

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 14:08:37

It was a river dolphin. It's range had shrunk and shrunk because of the dam building that went on up and down the Yangtze. This meant it coudn't use its usual range to hunt, and as time went on, the dolphins which were left couldn't breed successfully, and also the river is incredibly polluted. An extensive search in 2006 found no signs of them left. So sad.

WheelybodsDH Fri 11-Jan-13 14:34:47

Cloud and Ariel I concede, I must admit I have been brainwashed by Seaworld etc propaganda, From now on I will also be boycotting, I'm sorry ariel if I put you in a ranting mood that was not my intention, * cloud* thank you for the links provided very informative. It's been nice to have a bit of a debate, as stated thank you. Also found this which may be of interest if you don't already know of it.


BoreOfWhabylon Fri 11-Jan-13 14:44:49

Ariel, thanks so much for this thread. It's a subject close to my heart too.

If I wanted to take a holiday to see dolphins, I'd go to Monkey Mia in West Australia, where for decades now, wild dolphins have visited the beach every day (carefully supervised by wildlife rangers).

CloudsAndTrees Fri 11-Jan-13 14:52:38

Yay! We have a convert! Thanks Wheely. smile

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 16:54:45

Thanks as well Wheely.

Don't worry about making me rant. It's my default setting anyway.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 16:55:43

Bore, you could see them a lot closer to home than that!

But I guess if an excuse was needed to go to Aus....grin

BoreOfWhabylon Fri 11-Jan-13 17:45:28

Ariel grin

Do you feel able to say what line of work you are in? Am assuming it must be marine-y/conservation-y.

Quite understand if you feel would be TMI

Smudging Fri 11-Jan-13 17:52:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 17:55:44

Erm...not really grin. But you're on the right lines.

BoreOfWhabylon Fri 11-Jan-13 18:03:23

Say no more, Ariel. <taps nose>

A nod's as good as a wink to a blind jellyfish...

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Fri 11-Jan-13 18:38:11

Wink wink. Nudge nudge. Does she sir? Does she?

SingingSands Fri 11-Jan-13 18:39:06

Well done on starting this thread Ariel.

Since I was a child I have had a keen interest in whales, dolphins and sharks. Sharks really were my thing as a kid - I remember having lots of arguments about them with classmates and fighting their corner! I've sailed around the west coast of Scotland and seen close hand examples of each of these stunning creatures, and it doesn't come close to watching them in captivity.

A colleague I work with has just announced she is going on holiday to Florida and wants to do the Dolphin Cove thing. It wasn't the right time to speak up at work, but I will be making sure that she is fully updated about the practice of these places and hope she decides not to visit. As was mentioned up-thread, she can turn a blind eye if she wants but she can't say she doesn't know.

And my favourite dolphin story happened on holiday on one of the Hebriddean islands about 20 years ago. My cousin and I were sitting high up on some rocks above a beach, enjoying watching some younger children jumping into the sea and swimming from the rocks below us, when they started screaming "shark! shark!" and they all came bolting out of the water. We jumped up in time to see a dolphin, who had come along for a nosy gander, making her way back out to sea! And of course started shouting "dolphin! dolphin!" and grabbed our cameras - too late, all we got were photos of the sea! I've had all my whale, dolphin and shark experiences around the Hebrides, I'm very lucky!

BoreOfWhabylon Fri 11-Jan-13 18:40:08


farewellfarewell Mon 14-Jan-13 23:56:23

Thank you for this info. I had no idea at all, it is disgusting. I am horrified that we took our two older children swimming with dolphins in a park in Potugal, near Villamoura. My son has an incredible knowledge of and interest in animals of all kinds. He is 11. The thoughts that he will look back on those pictures and feel disgusted is awful, those poor creatures. I have a close relative who has been involved with counting dolphins on our coast in their natural environment. She didn't know we took our children to this place but I'm sure she would have been sickened. Thank you for informing me.

Gingersstuff Tue 29-Jan-13 10:16:41

On a happier note today, Sea Shepherd has intercepted the Japanese whaling fleet within the international Whale Sanctuary but north of the concentrated population. They believe that not a single harpoon has yet been fired. It's already end January and if SS can keep up the pressure on the poachers then they are very hopeful that the bastards Japanese can be sent home without a single kill this season. Please keep them in your thoughts, an international crew, including Japanese, that are operating in very difficult circumstances trying to protect our great cetaceans.

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