No to dolphin attraction
FCT against move to establish dolphinarium in Barbados
A local environmental group has launched a petition against the proposed establishment of a dolphinarium in Barbados.
The Future Centre Trust last weekend launched the campaign No To Dolphin Captivity, Yes To Marine Protection condemning the initiative.
They have called for stakeholders to voice their own concerns and opinions about how to protect and use Barbados’ natural resources.
“The short and long-term economic benefits of conserving our marine resources to support sustainable tourism; maintain our fisheries and prevent coastal erosion far outweigh any short-term compromise of Barbados’ international commitments to the protection of marine species,” FCT said in a statement issued today.
“A decision to establish a dolphinarium in Barbados will have a negative effect on Barbados’ reputation as a sustainable tourism destination as many locals and visitors are now aware through films like Blackfish or The Cove of the cruelty inflicted on these highly social and intelligent cetacean species in capture and captivity. The FCT wants to ensure that future decisions will help to protect our existing marine resources, sustaining the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Barbadians employed in tourism and other sectors of our economy which rely on the sustainable management and conservation of these resources.”
The group warned that dolphin swimming attractions were not ecologically friendly habitats for conservation or education about the marine environment.
To support their argument, they pointed out that captive dolphins usually had access to less than one per cent of the space required in their natural habitat and do not survive as long in captivity as they do in the wild.
And they noted that many dolphins that experienced violent capture were sometimes injured or killed.
“Since World Environment Day on June 5th and World Oceans Day on June 8th, which were celebrated with much fanfare in Barbados, we have noted with appreciation that Government agencies such as the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) and Natural Heritage Department in the Ministry of Environment have been seeking to secure greater protection for areas in our marine and terrestrial environments requiring conservation,” FCT stated.
“We felt that this lingering proposal to establish a dolphinarium was at odds with those developments. Barbados is a signatory to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean (or Cartagena Convention’s) Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife, which Barbados ratified in 2002. The protocol supports the recovery and protection of marine species, including marine turtles and all cetaceans, including dolphins, as well as the establishment of marine protected areas.