Dolphins held in captivity - Finland

Finland’s only dolphinarium, at the Särkänniemi Adventure Park in Tampere, closed to the public in 2015. Four bottlenose dolphins (two wild-caught and two born at the Park) are due to be transported to a new location. Finland has prohibited the import of further wild-caught dolphins.

The park has had a number of reported problems with captive breeding. Of a total of 16 calves born between 1990 and 2015, only two survived. 

Finnish animal welfare legislation will be revised in 2016. Finnish NGOs Animalia and Valaiden Puolesta are campaigning for improved legislation including a ban on dolphinaria and whale or dolphin imports. 

In 2010 Finland’s capital city, Helsinki, hosted a conference that established a Declaration of Rights for Whales and Dolphins, concluding that “No cetacean should be held in captivity or servitude; be subject to cruel treatment; or be removed from their natural environment.”

Finland is a Party to ASCOBANS (Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas) which aims to maintain and achieve favourable conservation status for small cetaceans throughout the agreement area.