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Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
Dolphins in Captivity
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Dolphins in Captivity


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    • 1. Dolphins in captivity / public display enclosures – To be or not to be? Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops aduncus Indo-pacific Hump-backed Dolphin Sousa chinensis
    • 2. Bottlenose Dolphin ( Tursiops aduncus )
      • Live in pods that number ~ 15 dolphins, but group size varies from solitary bottlenose dolphins up to mixed groups of over 100 to 1000 (Wells, R. and Scott, M. 2002)
      • Shallow coastal waters on the continental shelf and around oceanic islands. Observed to dive to depths of >450m ( Klatsky et. al. 2007)
      • Status: Data deficient, unknown trend (IUCN 2008)
      Solomon Islands
    • 3. Bottlenose Dolphin ( Tursiops aduncus )
      • Most commonly kept dolphin species (800 globally)
      • No dolphinarium in the UK
      • Single-trained bottlenose dolphin $100,000
        • Generates $1,000,000 per year for the marine park
    • 4. Issue:
      • Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa plans to import wild-caught bottlenose dolphins (18) captured from the Solomon Islands
      • Currently there are five Indo-pacific Hump-backed dolphins in the Dolphin Lagoon at Sentosa
      • “ Although the importation of bottlenose dolphins is legal with a permit, animal activists are upset, saying the wild dolphins were not collected sustainably and will not thrive in captivity.”
    • 5. Fact: Indo-pacific Hump-backed Dolphin ( Sousa chinensis)
      • Group size: 3-24 (Leszek Karczmarski, 1999)
      • Waters of the continental shelf and where the water remains shallow (<100 m) (IUCN 2008)
      • Status: Near threatened, decreasing trend (IUCN 2008)
    • 6. Should Singapore allow imports of bottlenose dolphins? Pro-public display lobby Anti-captivity lobby VS
      • Education
      • Research
      • Animal Welfare
    • 7. Education
      • Large graphic displays on dolphin biology, threats and importance of conservation
      • A 2005 public opinion poll conducted by Harris Interactive found the following:
        • 97% of respondents agree that marine life parks, aquariums, and zoos play an important role in educating the public about marine mammals they might not otherwise have the chance to see.
        • 96% agree that marine life parks, aquariums and zoos provide people with valuable information about the importance of oceans, waters, and the animals that live there.
        • 93% agree that visiting a marine life park, aquarium, or zoo can inspire conservation action that can help marine mammals and their natural environment.
        • 93% agree that people are more likely to be concerned about animals if they learn about them at marine life parks, aquariums, and zoos.
      Pro-public display
    • 8. Education
      • Unnatural behaviour portrayed in animal shows sends the wrong message
      Anti-captivity lobby balancing balls on rostrum jumping through hoops
    • 9. Education
      • Polling data not scientific, no systematic sociological analysis conducted
      • In a 1996 poll, 85% of people surveyed in the UK agreed that it is unacceptable to keep whales and dolphins in captivity
      Anti-captivity lobby
    • 10. Research
      • Extensive observations and evaluations conducted to understand reproduction and husbandry in dolphins
      • Male dolphin calf, Splash, was born on 7 Nov 2002
      Pro-public display
    • 11. Research
      • Data obtained from captive dolphins often do not accurately represent conditions in the wild (Kannan, 1997)
      • Captive breeding not successfully due to high infant mortality rate, dolphins imported from wild to sustain dolphin population (Rose, 2004)
      Anti-captivity lobby
    • 12. Welfare
      • Naturalistic setting
        • Undulating floor
        • Fringed with sandy beach and palm trees
      • Seawater teeming with local topical marine life
      • Studies of steroid hormones showed that stress is not an issue (Dolphin Quest/ Sea World study 2000)
      Pro-public display
    • 13. Welfare
      • Too small for normal range; dolphins are deep-diving predators, swim over 50km/day (Connor 2000)
      Anti-captivity lobby
    • 14. Dolphin Lagoon, Sentosa Volume: 30,000,000 litres Surface Area: 8,000 square metres 4km
    • 15. Welfare
      • Too small for normal range; dolphins are deep-diving predators, swim over 50km/day (Connor 2000)
      • Similar mortality rates in captivity compared to wild
      • Increased aggressiveness, susceptibility to infections, gastric ulcers
      Anti-captivity lobby
      • Wild
      • Natural predation
      • Food Shortages
      • By-catch
      • Pollution
      • Marine Park
      • High experienced trainers
      • In-house vet
    • 16. Welfare
      • Ignores impact of capture on complex social grouping in the wild
      • Demand for dolphins from marine parks encourages native fishermen to capture using unsophisticated methods
        • Rounded up into nets, dragged onto boats and transferred to shallow pens
        • 2003 Solomon Islands, 4 out of 200 dolphins died
      Anti-captivity lobby
    • 17. What can be done?
      • PROTEST!!!
        • NAH…
      • Medium for youth social movement: Join FACEBOOK CAUSE!
      • Increase public awareness, talk to your friends!
    • 18.
      • Connor, R.C. Wells, R.S., Mann, J. & Read, A.J. (2000) The Bottlenose Dolphin: Social Relationships in a Fission-Fusion Society. In Mann, J. Connor, R.C., Tyack, P.L. & Whitehead, H. (Eds.) Cetacean Societies: Field Studies of Dolphins and Whales (pp. 91-126). University of Chicago Press, London
      • K Kannan, S Tanabe. (1997). Response to Comment on “Elevated Accumulation of Tributyltin and its Breakdown Products”. Environ. Sci. Technol
      • Leszek Karczmarski (1999). Group dynamics of humpback dolphins ( Sousa chinensis ) in the Algoa Bay region, South Africa. Journal of Zoology, 249 , pp 283-293
      • Wells, R. and Scott, M. (2002). &quot;Bottlenose Dolphins&quot;. in Perrin, W.; Wursig, B. and Thewissen, J.. Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals . Academic Press. p. 122–127. ISBN 0-12-551340-2 .
      • Rose, N.A. (2004) Captive Cetaceans: The Science behind the Ethics. European Cetacean Society 18 th Annual Conference .