Do we want to visit dolphins in captivity? Is it cool to see dolphins in a big cement tank?
Dolphins Belong in the Ocean
When Amigos Del Mar began operation in Cabo San Lucas there were not many choices for divers . . . Either you dove with us or you dove from the beach. Today Cabo has several good, solid, safe, professional dive operations to choose from. We know you have choices and we sincerely hope you decide to dive with us. We can’t guarantee you a Whale Shark but we promise to do our very best for you every dive.
Take into consideration there is one dive shop here in Cabo which is associated with a facility that keeps dolphins in captivity . . . Rumors abound of abused and stressed animals, of a dead dolphin being spirited out of the facility late at night, to be dumped like so much trash at sea. . . . They don’t advertise this association so please be wary.
Jean-Michel Cousteau once told me that we Sport Divers represented one of the best hopes for the survival of the oceans, that we were truly the “Stewards of the Seas”. We at Amigos Del Mar believe that wholeheartedly . . . Most of the divers we’ve met truly love the ocean. Given the choice, they would not knowingly support the capture and confinement of marine mammals . . .and they would not support dolphins in captivity.
PLEASE CONSIDER THESE FACTS:
* 53% of dolphins who survive their violent capture die within 90 days.
* The average life span of a dolphin in the wild is 45 years; yet half of all captured dolphins die within their first two years of captivity. The survivors last an average of only 5 years in captivity.
* Every seven years, half of all dolphins in captivity die from capture shock, pneumonia, intestinal disease, ulcers, chlorine poisoning, and other stress-related illnesses. To the captive dolphin industry, these facts are accepted as routine operating expenses.
* In many tanks the water is full of chemicals as well as bacteria, causing many health problems in dolphins including blindness.
* When a baby dolphin is born in captivity, the news is usually kept secret until the calf shows signs of survival. Although marine mammals do breed in captivity, the birth rate is not nearly as successful as the one in the wild, with high infant mortality rates.
* Confined animals who abuse themselves (banging their heads against the walls) are creating stimuli which their environment cannot supply. Dolphins in captivity tend to develop stereotypical behaviors (swimming in a repetitive circle pattern, with eyes closed and in silence) because of boredom and confinement.
Dolphinariums would have you believe that their mission is to protect dolphins through research and public education. Those are nice words but the facts speak louder.