Help us make the EU a dolphinarium-free zone

We understand why people love dolphins and why many want to see them close up, but putting whales and dolphins in tanks for our ‘entertainment’ is wrong. Why? Taking them from their natural homes and families for use in the worldwide captivity industry is often a brutal process and puts wild populations under threat. Once in captivity they live shorter lives and it is impossible for them to cover the 100 mile distances that they can cover in a day in the wild.

WDC’s report, “Dolphinaria – A review of the keeping of whales and dolphins in captivity in the European Union and EC Directive 1999/22, relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos”, written in association with the Born Free Foundation for the European coalition ENDCAP, reveals that dolphinaria and the Member States that licence them, are failing to meet the requirements of EU legislation which aims to protect whales and dolphins in captivity.

ulceration on orca mouth

Keeping dolphins in captivity violates EU legislation that is supposed to protect these animals

  • It is supposed to encourage conservation, yet dolphin survival rates are lower in captivity than in the wild
  • It is supposed to promote education about animals, yet little information is given at dolphin shows in the EU about their lives in the wild
  • It is supposed to prevent cruelty to animals and look after their welfare, yet stress and disturbing behaviour is common amongst dolphins displayed in dolphinaria within the 15 Member States of the EU who are failing to implement EU legislation properly.

We want to make the European Union a dolphinarium-free zone

We are calling for:

  • The European Council of Ministers and the European Commission to take urgent steps to protect whales and dolphins in captivity in the EU
  • A ban on the import of wild-caught dolphins into the EU
  • For Member States to enact strict legislation for the keeping of these animals in captivity and enact plans to phase out national dolphinaria and not grant permits for the construction of any new dolphinaria

As part of our work we have been investigating the Nürnberg Aquarium and the death of six dolphins between 2006 and 2007.

You can read the full Report “Dolphinaria – A review of the keeping of whales and dolphins in captivity in the European Union and EC Directive 1999/22, relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos" from the link below

Country by Country Guide: Austria | Belgium | Bulgaria | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Romania | United Kingdom | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden