Dolphin Project’s and Empty the Tanks’s very own Rachel Carbary has reason to be proud. As the founder of the Empty the Tanks Worldwide Event, she’s seen her fair share of dolphins living in horrific, captive conditions. In 2013, she took a stand — literally — and, 10 years later, is grateful to the global family who stands together against the cruelty inflicted on dolphins and other whales in captivity.
If you haven’t already signed up for an Empty the Tanks Worldwide Event, scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 7, 2022, please do so. We would love for you to join us!
In the meantime, here’s a little about the brave individual who said NO to dolphin and whale captivity:
1. What was your inspiring event to create Empty the Tanks Worldwide?
The first time I visited Taiji, Japan I was shocked to see how closely the dolphin hunters and trainers worked together. The undeniable connection between the dolphin drives and the captivity industry is what pushed me to create the Empty the Tanks Worldwide Event. I wanted to continue working on this important issue when I returned home, and decided the best option was to organize a global day of action.
2. What were your initial event goals, and how have they changed as our awareness of dolphin captivity has changed?
Initially I simply thought having events at all the United States SeaWorld locations would be a great accomplishment. However, as people learned about Empty the Tanks, more and more locations wanted to join. The event grew to historic numbers over the next couple of years as more individuals and groups wanted to get involved. Prior to the pandemic, the Empty the Tanks Worldwide Event was nearing 80 locations around the globe, all standing up for captive cetaceans on a single day of action.
3. What sorts of things can people do in person during the Empty the Tanks Worldwide Event? Remotely?
There will be in-person events around the world on May 7, 2022. I would encourage everyone to visit the event webpage and see if there is an event near you. Joining these local events is very important because it sends a message to the captivity industry that after all these years, we are still here demanding they make changes. Large crowds also send a big message to patrons of these parks. If there is no event near you, you can contact me and we can talk about getting something organized in your area.
If you are unable to attend an in-person event, then I would encourage you to make a poster or print out one of our downloadable ones, and participate in the Selfies for Cetaceans campaign. This is essentially the online version of the Empty the Tanks Worldwide Event that we did for the past two years.
4. What follow-up activities would you recommend for people to do? (i.e., sign petitions, etc.)
The mission behind Empty the Tanks isn’t just to stand up for captive marine mammals once a year. My hope is it inspires people to take action and speak out all year long. Many places have regular protests at their local marine parks so join those, and get more involved. Talk to your family and friends and educate them about the truth behind captivity. Post on social media, sign and share petitions. Just don’t let this one day a year be the only day you speak out on behalf of these animals.
5. Any success stories you’re willing to share?
I think the continued support after 10 years is the biggest success. The event organizers who have been participating in this annual event since year one is just incredible to me. I find their dedication so inspiring and I am grateful they are still here with me after all these years. The Empty the Tanks Worldwide Event wouldn’t be the global success that it is without them.