On May 9, the world stood together for another annual Empty the Tanks Worldwide event. This year was a little different due to COVID-19, so the event went virtual, with the addition of a new #SelfiesForCetaceans movement.
Thousands of people from around the globe joined our #SelfiesForCetaceans online event. We are so grateful to everyone who took the time to participate, and share the message that marine mammals do not belong in captivity. Your photos and posts were creative, fun, and inspirational!
On the day of the event, social media quickly began filling up with incredible submissions from over 30 countries. Families took photos in pools, artists showed off their talents with homemade posters, poems, or songs, and fun costumes were worn. There were dolphin masks, mermaid outfits, dolphin suits, and companion animals even joined in. Celebrities such as Lewis Hamilton, Matt Sorum, Myles Kennedy, and Glenn Hughes used their social media platforms to spread this important message to their followers. Cast members from the documentary Blackfish also posted photos to remind the world that they too, are still fighting to bring an end to marine mammal captivity.
With so many incredible event submissions and participants, it was hard to choose the three winners of our prize packs. Everyone did an incredible job and because of these efforts, thousands of people learned more about the issue of marine mammal captivity!
Prize Pack Winners!
The power of poetry. Our first winner is Kiera. She is 22 years old and from England. Her #SelfiesForCetaceans submission was in the form of a poem, which she recorded and uploaded to her Instagram account. Her poem titled Empty the Tanks was creative, unique and showed that poetry can create a powerful message.
Our second winners are Shelly and Jim from Las Vegas, Nevada. They used a huge, full body dolphin costume for a poolside photo shoot. They wanted to share the message that not only do dolphins not belong in tanks, but they certainly don’t belong in the desert. Shelly spends her free time advocating for the welfare of the dolphins in the small tanks at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. You can follow. her efforts at Free the Mojave Dolphins.
Our third and final winner is 12 year old Sean from Dublin, Ireland. Sean has been attending Empty the Tanks events since he was six years old and is very dedicated to the cause. He used his own creativity for his #SelfiesForCetaceans photo and we think it came out great. Sean even got their dog to participate!
There are a few honorable mentions that deserve recognition as well because their photos were well thought out, creative and fun!
An enormous THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to take photos and make posts during our #SelfiesForCetaceans event. Your dedication to this annual event is inspiring.
With the current global quarantine restrictions, we hope, now more than ever, that people can understand what life is like for captive marine mammals. While the pandemic quarantines continue we hear phrases such as going stir crazy being tossed around, but our isolation is only for a short time. For captive dolphins, whales and other animals, freedom only comes with death. Your captivity is temporary – theirs isn’t.