Dolphins in Captivity
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Dolphins in Captivity

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Dolphins in Captivity Dolphins in Captivity Presentation Transcript

  • Dolphins in captivity / public display enclosures – To be or not to be? Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops aduncus Indo-pacific Hump-backed Dolphin Sousa chinensis
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.”
  • 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)
  • Should Singapore allow imports of bottlenose dolphins? Pro-public display lobby Anti-captivity lobby VS
    • Education
    • Research
    • Animal Welfare
  • 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.
    • http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/info-books/bottlenose/conservation.htm
    Pro-public display
  • Education
    • Unnatural behaviour portrayed in animal shows sends the wrong message
    Anti-captivity lobby balancing balls on rostrum jumping through hoops
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Welfare
    • Too small for normal range; dolphins are deep-diving predators, swim over 50km/day (Connor 2000)
    Anti-captivity lobby
  • Dolphin Lagoon, Sentosa Volume: 30,000,000 litres Surface Area: 8,000 square metres 4km
  • 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
  • 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
  • What can be done?
    • PROTEST!!!
      • NAH…
    • Medium for youth social movement: Join FACEBOOK CAUSE!
    • Increase public awareness, talk to your friends!
    • 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 .
    • LJ Klatsky, RS Wells, JC Sweeney. (2007). OFFSHORE BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS): MOVEMENT AND DIVE BEHAVIOR NEAR THE BERMUDA PEDESTAL- Journal of Mammalogy
    • Rose, N.A. (2004) Captive Cetaceans: The Science behind the Ethics. European Cetacean Society 18 th Annual Conference .