There are a number of concerning issues when it comes to dolphin and whale captivity. With so many marine parks and aquariums using terms like “rescue” or “research” there is a level of confusion among consumers. The following are some of the most common questions we’ve received about dolphin captivity. More information about captivity issues is available on our Facts About Captivity page.
Where do captive dolphins come from?
Aren't most captive dolphins rescued?
What parts of the world have banned cetacean captivity?
With growing awareness about major welfare and ethical concerns for cetaceans in captivity, a growing number of places around the world are moving to ban/phase out the captivity of dolphins and whales. See the full list of places that are protecting dolphins from captivity on our Where are Dolphins Protected? page.
Which captive facilities have been closed?
Thanks to Dolphin Project’s work along with efforts of cetacean advocates all over the world, a number of captive dolphin facilities have been closed or never opened. See the full list on our Closed Facilities page!
Can captive dolphins return to the ocean?
Aren’t dolphins safer in captivity than in the wild? There’s so much pollution in the ocean.
What's the difference between a sanctuary and a marine park?
Based on inquiries we have received, it appears there is confusion about facilities that list themselves as “sanctuaries” yet keep dolphins for display and interactive programs. We’ve compiled some tips here to help potential customers research before they support a captive dolphin facility here.
Don't marine parks do some good work?
If a dolphinarium is a nonprofit, does that mean they can’t profit off of their captive dolphins?
How will we learn about dolphins if we don’t study captive ones?
Is connecting with a captive dolphin in person necessary to inspire conservation?
Are there any dolphin facilities that are ok to visit?
Are all aquariums bad?
Have concerning photos or footage of captive dolphins? Submit them for our team to investigate.