For a dolphinaria-free Europe : demonstration in Brussels 2014
On the 28th of June 2014, an important demonstration will take place in Brussels to demand the closure of all the dolphinaria in Europe.
This event will bring together hundreds of dolphin defenders from all around the world. They will meet at the Atomium around Ric O’Barry, the former trainer of Flipper and main actor of « The Cove », and they will demand – like last year – to urgently stop the slavery of cetaceans in Europe.
Currently, 15 countries within the EU are housing 34 dolphinaria, places that exhibit more than 300 small cetaceans, orcas, belugas, dolphins and porpoises. These places are selling circus shows to children, photo or contact sessions, therapies or «swimming with dolphins» sessions.
Annex A of the Directive No.338/97 of the European Council normally prohibits any commercial use of these marine mammals. But an exception exists in the text, an exception which allows their importation for scientific, educational or conservation purposes. This article should be suppressed, as dolphinaria do not contribute at all to science, education or protection of the species. EC Directive 1999/22 also requires – for all the animals in zoos – an environment that is as close as possible to the conditions of life in their natural environment.
The most recent scientific research tells us that it is strictly impossible to give those cetaceans the exact same life than the one they have in the ocean. Nothing can imitate the wind, the waves, the algae, the fish, the space or the pressure in the depths. Nothing can replace the joy to be hunting together and to travel far.
To keep these lucrative attractions in Europe these days encourages the emerging countries (China, Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand) to open hundreds of new aquatic prisons and to increase the catches in Japan, Russia, Cuba, Mexico or the Solomon Islands.
In the US, the film «Blackfish» is shaking SeaWorld and, with it, all the captivity industry. Certain schools refuse to send their kids to the delphinarium, rock stars boycott the shows, members of parliament suggest laws to ban captivity.
It is time for Europe to follow the same path and to put an end, once and for all, to this degrading industry, that inseminates dolphins like cattle, imprisons them in bare tanks and misinforms the public about the real life of cetaceans.