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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

Sea World to see some action outside the pool

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Saturday (May 12) will see an action at Sea World on the Gold Coast against the captive breeding of dolphins. Photo Sea World website

A group of activists are organizing a peaceful protest against Sea World on the Gold Coast this coming Saturday (May 12) in an effort to get them to stop breeding dolphins in captivity.

Organisers say the event has been timed to coincide with International Empty the Tanks day, a global day of protest calling for an end to dolphin and whale captivity.

Local marine-conservation charity Action for Dolphins says it ‘aims to bring an end to dolphin captivity in Australia’.

The group has hired a truck billboard that will display messages from people around the world ‘urging Sea World to do the right thing and ban captive breeding’.

It claims that during Sea World’s live performances, dolphins are ‘forced to perform circus tricks to loud music and lift heavy trainers up on their noses under the hot, Queensland sun’.

Action for Dolphins’ Advocacy Director Jordan Sosnowski, says there is scientific evidence to show captive dolphins suffer ‘stress, behavioral abnormalities, high mortalities, and breeding problems’.

‘Despite this, Sea World continues breeding highly intelligent dolphins in artificial pools for entertainment,’ she said.

‘People no longer want to see these sentient animals suffering – which is why four out of five Australians are not in favour of dolphin captivity.’

Ms Sosnowski dismisses claims that Sea World’s captive breeding program aids conservation, stating, ‘Dolphins are not endangered. Every dolphin Sea World breeds in captivity takes the place of one that could be rescued from the wild.

‘There’s just no way to justify deliberately breeding dolphins in captivity. It doesn’t help conservation, or rehabilitation. It’s purely for profit, and it has to stop.

‘Sea World’s annual takings are estimated at more than $133 million. It spends less than one per cent of that on rescue, research and rehabilitation. It clearly prioritises profit over the welfare of animals,’ she said.

Company responds

A spokesperson for Sea World told Echonetdaily that the company was ‘aware that some people do not support the idea of animals in human care,’ but added ‘we are proud of our passionate team, our world-class facilities and our position as a global community leader in marine conservation and education’.

‘Sea World has an exemplary record of animal care, research and rescue accomplishments thanks to its professional husbandry, veterinary care and world class facilities, including some of the largest filtered natural sand bottom lagoons for dolphins,’ the spokesperson said.

‘The health and wellbeing of our animals is of the utmost priority at Sea World and we have a strong reputation for caring for marine animals. Sea World is an accredited zoological institution under the Zoo and Aquarium Association and is also regulated by the Queensland Government.

‘Sea World runs a not for profit Sea World Research & Recue Foundation through which we have rescued, rehabilitated and released thousands of marine animals as well as funding over 180 marine research projects with high scientific merit,’ he said.

Action for Dolphins encourages members of the public to join their peaceful protest this coming Saturday, May 12, outside Sea World.


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  1. End dolphins in captivity entertaining ignorant humans.
    Thanks to the protesters in bringing awareness to this cruelty issue.
    They belong in the ocean, free.

  2. re Sea World response referring to “animals in human care”….major lies and BS excuses! These are not animals who need, want or require “human care”. These are voiceless, innocent and intelligent creatures who have been stolen from their families, their habitats, their lives -imprisoned in chlorinated “bathtubs”, exploited, abused and inhumanely treated to get them to perform!

    The lack of will to outlaw this kind of “entertainment” rests entirely on elected officials, who need to be held to account! If you are not outraged, you’re not paying attention! Take action!!! Boycott! Protest! Join those who are out there fighting against these injustices!

  3. We seem to have got onboard with not supporting circus animals being kept in small cages and rolled out for stupid human entertainment. Why do some people think dolphin shows are any different? Want to see how amazing dolphins are? See them in the wild. Just hangout around Cape Byron for a while, you won’t be disappointed.

  4. While I’m dead-set against capturing wild animals such as these, it must be remembered that animals that ARE bred in captivity, have next to no survival skills in the wild, won’t have a familiar pod or flock to return to, and are really quite reliant on their human servants to take care of their needs. Releasing them to the wild could be considered an act of cruelty. I think this energy would be better directed towards land animals that suffer by the millions, as opposed to a small handful of captive-bred animals that are somehow “special” by the fact they don’t have hooves.


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