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Sir Richard backs Dolphin campaign

The campaign against the proposed establishment of a dolphinarium in Barbados is getting support from a powerful voice in the global world of business.

Founder and president of Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Sir Richard Branston, is calling for a ban on the capture of dolphins.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY in an exclusive interview during the official launch of the airline’s new fashionable uniforms in London last night, Sir Richard suggested that placing such sea creatures in captivity was wrong.

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson

“I think there should be a blanket ban worldwide, for the capturing of any whales, any dolphins,” the iconic airline magnate, environmentalist and philanthropist, said when questioned about his position on Future Centre Trust’s petition against the proposed establishment of a dolphin aquarium in Barbados.

“Having said that, I think that where dolphins have already been captured, they should be treated in places that are big enough. They can serve a purpose. I mean, you can’t release them back in the wild again. So the important thing is, you use captive dolphins to educate people to try to get an army of people to protect dolphins in the wild and to get an army of people to make sure the only dolphins in captivity are those already in captivity,” the wealthy entrepreneur declared.

He said that while it’s a difficult balancing act, he believes if dolphinariums were closed, he would fear for the fate of those giant sea mammals.

“And so I think, there are young people who see dolphins in captivity, who play with dolphins, can go out and protect them in the wild; and personally I think that’s a good thing,” Sir Richard told this newspaper.

“We spend a lot of time dreaming to protect the ocean, the species in the ocean and try to make the ocean more sustainable. We have something called The Oceanic Elders; we’re trying to create more nature reserves for the ocean. We’re trying to protect species that have been decimated in the ocean, like the rays or the sharks, the turtles, and that is something we’re working hard on,” he disclosed.

Earlier this week, the Future Centre Trust began circulating the petition, stating that the capture and captivity of dolphins and other cetaceans is cruel and prevents these species from living in their natural habitat.


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