Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Plans for new dolphinarium in Madeira opposed

Posted: 13 August 2014


ADI has teamed up with 30 other animal groups to oppose plans to build a dolphinarium on the Portuguese island of Maderia. In a joint letter, the governor is urged to abandon the proposed plans for the Marina do Lugar de Baixo for the following reasons:

  • Keeping dolphins in captivity means continuous suffering for these highly social and agile animals: The surrounding is artificial, monotonous and offers extremely limited space; the group structure is unnatural and arbitrarily composed; in dolphinaria individuals canít escape from ear-battering noise during shows and from aggressive conspecifics, which can result in serious injuries.Ö.
  • In Madeira, several whale-watching companies are doing a fabulous job by creating public awareness for marine conservation and the threats faced by cetaceans. A dolphinarium, on the contrary, merely portrays dolphins as entertaining clowns, thus sending an outdated message lacking educational value.
  • A dolphinarium would not create additional income for Madeira, but would directly compete for tourists with the whale-watching companies, and hence would financially damage a prospering conservation-minded, eco-responsible and sustainable business.
  • In the past, several ambitious investment plans for the Marina do Lugar de Baixo have already failed at least partially due to destructive damage caused by recurrent giant waves and heavy winter storms in exactly that area. Any further investments in the Marina are a fundamental financial and security risk. Above all: It doesnít bear thinking about what would happen to dolphins, kept in tanks there, if the facility was destroyed by storms similar to those that have already occurred there.
  • In Member States of the European Union the number of dolphinaria is declining while the public critique is increasing. For example, in the United Kingdom, all such institutions have closed, in Germany two dolphinaria have closed in recent years, with a similar situation in Italy. Cyprus, Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary all prohibit either dolphin captivity or the import of dolphins. The building of a new dolphinarium on Maderia would be a huge step backwards.

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