Dolphin Marine Conservation Park (DMCP)—a marine park in Australia—is one of the latest facilities to embrace the idea of a seaside sanctuary and make Sea World look stubbornly foolish at the same time.
DMCP and two animal rights groups are setting aside their differences and joining forces for the benefit of Zippy (32), Bella (15), and Jet (11). These three bottlenose dolphins are currently housed at the Australian marine park, which has seen some harsh effects of COVID-19-related closures.
“They were our nemeses in the past,” Terry Goodall, the managing director of the marine park, reportedly said of Action for Dolphins and World Animal Protection, the two groups working with the park on proposing the seaside sanctuary, which would be a sectioned-off area of the Coffs Harbour International Marina in New South Wales, Australia.
“Now we are holding hands and walking down the road together, trying to solve the problem. It’s just a complete and utter turnaround. We don’t agree on everything, but we agree on the wellbeing of the dolphins.”
Jordan Sosnowski, advocacy director of Action for Dolphins, agreed that the alliance is a “very unique collaboration.” And for a group dedicated to helping dolphins, it’s appears to be a welcomed partnership. “A sea sanctuary … will allow the animals to live in the ocean and have a lot more autonomy, whilst still ensuring they are looked after and fed by caregivers,” Sosnowski pointed out. (The animals were born in captivity and therefore can’t simply be released into the open ocean.) Her group is the same one that sued the Japanese government over the legality of the Taiji slaughter, during which a reported 740 dolphins were either taken captive or killed.
In a sea sanctuary, Zippy, Bella, and Jet would no longer be forced to perform meaningless tricks in cramped tanks and instead would get to live in the ocean—swimming, diving, and doing other things essential to dolphins.
In the U.S., Baltimore’s National Aquarium is building a seaside sanctuary for the dolphins in its care, two whales have been moved from a marine park in China to a seaside sanctuary in Iceland, and The Whale Sanctuary Project recently announced plans for a seaside sanctuary for rescued orcas and belugas in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Meanwhile, Sea World seems intent on resisting doing what’s right for animals, which is why we’re keeping the pressure on. We’ve been urging it to move the long-suffering captive marine mammals to seaside sanctuaries for years.
PETA US has even offered SeaWorld there a quarter of a million dollars to help build one.
Tell SeaWorld to Get With the Seaside Sanctuary Program, Too
PETA and our international affiliates have campaigned against dolphin captivity for years around the world, and have scored victories for whales, dolphins, and other animals along the way. But we need your help to persuade marine parks to stop breeding programs and set in place a firm and rapid plan to release all animals into seaside sanctuaries, where they’ll have a semblance of the natural life that they’ve been denied for so long.