The National Marine Fisheries Service in the United States is currently reviewing a permit application to import up to three captive-born dolphins from Dolphin Quest Bermuda to either the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois or Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands for public display. The requested duration of the permit is five years.
We’re asking for your help! Please write the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and ask that they deny this import permit application.
Here are some talking points you can use in your letters:
- Coral World Ocean Park is an unsuitable destination for any dolphin. Water Bay, where Coral World is located, is so polluted that, in 2018, it failed to meet Clean Water Act standards and was deemed unsafe for human swimming 40 percent of the time. No dolphin should be forced to live day in, and day out in such poor quality water – a condition that is sure to have serious health and welfare consequences.
- The Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois is an indoor facility, which creates other problems. The stress these dolphins would experience if moved to a concrete tank after spending the first years of their lives in a sea pen in Bermuda would likely be considerable.
- Dolphins do not belong in captivity. No enclosure – tank or sea pen – is able to replicate the complex ocean environment that dolphins inhabit in the wild. Those held in captivity experience a reduced quality of life and cannot perform many of their natural behaviors, including hunting for fish, choosing their own social partners, swimming long distances and diving deeply. The United States should no longer be a party to the international live trade in these intelligent, social beings.
CLICK HERE to submit comments.
Note: Comment period has been extended to May 19, 2019.
Thanks to VI Dolphin Voices and the Animal Welfare Institute for providing information contained in this blog.