Dolphins in Captivity


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  • Dolphins in Captivity

    1. 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. 2. Bottlenose Dolphin ( Tursiops aduncus ) <ul><li>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) </li></ul><ul><li>Shallow coastal waters on the continental shelf and around oceanic islands. Observed to dive to depths of >450m ( Klatsky et. al. 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Status: Data deficient, unknown trend (IUCN 2008) </li></ul>Solomon Islands
    3. 3. Bottlenose Dolphin ( Tursiops aduncus ) <ul><li>Most commonly kept dolphin species (800 globally) </li></ul><ul><li>No dolphinarium in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>Single-trained bottlenose dolphin $100,000 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generates $1,000,000 per year for the marine park </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Issue: <ul><li>Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa plans to import wild-caught bottlenose dolphins (18) captured from the Solomon Islands </li></ul><ul><li>Currently there are five Indo-pacific Hump-backed dolphins in the Dolphin Lagoon at Sentosa </li></ul><ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul>
    5. 5. Fact: Indo-pacific Hump-backed Dolphin ( Sousa chinensis) <ul><li>Group size: 3-24 (Leszek Karczmarski, 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Waters of the continental shelf and where the water remains shallow (<100 m) (IUCN 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Status: Near threatened, decreasing trend (IUCN 2008) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Should Singapore allow imports of bottlenose dolphins? Pro-public display lobby Anti-captivity lobby VS <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Animal Welfare </li></ul>
    7. 7. Education <ul><li>Large graphic displays on dolphin biology, threats and importance of conservation </li></ul><ul><li>A 2005 public opinion poll conducted by Harris Interactive found the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>93% agree that visiting a marine life park, aquarium, or zoo can inspire conservation action that can help marine mammals and their natural environment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>93% agree that people are more likely to be concerned about animals if they learn about them at marine life parks, aquariums, and zoos. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Pro-public display
    8. 8. Education <ul><li>Unnatural behaviour portrayed in animal shows sends the wrong message </li></ul>Anti-captivity lobby balancing balls on rostrum jumping through hoops
    9. 9. Education <ul><li>Polling data not scientific, no systematic sociological analysis conducted </li></ul><ul><li>In a 1996 poll, 85% of people surveyed in the UK agreed that it is unacceptable to keep whales and dolphins in captivity </li></ul>Anti-captivity lobby
    10. 10. Research <ul><li>Extensive observations and evaluations conducted to understand reproduction and husbandry in dolphins </li></ul><ul><li>Male dolphin calf, Splash, was born on 7 Nov 2002 </li></ul>Pro-public display
    11. 11. Research <ul><li>Data obtained from captive dolphins often do not accurately represent conditions in the wild (Kannan, 1997) </li></ul><ul><li>Captive breeding not successfully due to high infant mortality rate, dolphins imported from wild to sustain dolphin population (Rose, 2004) </li></ul>Anti-captivity lobby
    12. 12. Welfare <ul><li>Naturalistic setting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Undulating floor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fringed with sandy beach and palm trees </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Seawater teeming with local topical marine life </li></ul><ul><li>Studies of steroid hormones showed that stress is not an issue (Dolphin Quest/ Sea World study 2000) </li></ul>Pro-public display
    13. 13. Welfare <ul><li>Too small for normal range; dolphins are deep-diving predators, swim over 50km/day (Connor 2000) </li></ul>Anti-captivity lobby
    14. 14. Dolphin Lagoon, Sentosa Volume: 30,000,000 litres Surface Area: 8,000 square metres 4km
    15. 15. Welfare <ul><li>Too small for normal range; dolphins are deep-diving predators, swim over 50km/day (Connor 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Similar mortality rates in captivity compared to wild </li></ul><ul><li>Increased aggressiveness, susceptibility to infections, gastric ulcers </li></ul>Anti-captivity lobby <ul><li>Wild </li></ul><ul><li>Natural predation </li></ul><ul><li>Food Shortages </li></ul><ul><li>By-catch </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Marine Park </li></ul><ul><li>High experienced trainers </li></ul><ul><li>In-house vet </li></ul>
    16. 16. Welfare <ul><li>Ignores impact of capture on complex social grouping in the wild </li></ul><ul><li>Demand for dolphins from marine parks encourages native fishermen to capture using unsophisticated methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rounded up into nets, dragged onto boats and transferred to shallow pens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2003 Solomon Islands, 4 out of 200 dolphins died </li></ul></ul>Anti-captivity lobby
    17. 17. What can be done? <ul><li>PROTEST!!! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NAH… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Medium for youth social movement: Join FACEBOOK CAUSE! </li></ul><ul><li>Increase public awareness, talk to your friends! </li></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>K Kannan, S Tanabe. (1997). Response to Comment on “Elevated Accumulation of Tributyltin and its Breakdown Products”. Environ. Sci. Technol </li></ul><ul><li>Leszek Karczmarski (1999). Group dynamics of humpback dolphins ( Sousa chinensis ) in the Algoa Bay region, South Africa. Journal of Zoology, 249 , pp 283-293 </li></ul><ul><li>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 . </li></ul><ul><li>LJ Klatsky, RS Wells, JC Sweeney. (2007). OFFSHORE BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS (TURSIOPS TRUNCATUS): MOVEMENT AND DIVE BEHAVIOR NEAR THE BERMUDA PEDESTAL- Journal of Mammalogy </li></ul><ul><li>Rose, N.A. (2004) Captive Cetaceans: The Science behind the Ethics. European Cetacean Society 18 th Annual Conference . </li></ul>