World Animal Protection, an international non-profit animal welfare organisation, has launched a petition online to ban Sea World on the Gold Coast in Australia from breeding dolphins in captivity and keeping them in the park. The petition will be submitted to the Queensland government.
“We want these dolphins at Sea World to be the last generation kept captive in Queensland. The acceptability of dolphin venues like this is on the way out,” said Ben Pearson, a senior campaign manager for World Animal Protection in an interview with Australian news network, 9News .
“One of the problems in breeding animals in captivity is you can’t then release them into the wild,” Pearson added.
According to Pearson, dolphins in captivity can live up to 50 years, with bottlenose dolphins being able to swim a 100 kilometres in a day and dive up to 450 metres in the ocean – a far cry from the man-made pools found in marine parks like Sea World.
A spokesperson from Sea World defended Sea World’s breeding programme to 9News, “The dolphins at Sea World live in social groups and play and interact with each other as they do in the wild.”
According to Sea World, their breeding programme contains third generation dolphins and other dolphins relocated from other sea parks in Australia and New Guinea that have closed.
The Queensland government has come down firmly on the side of Sea World by stating the required Exhibition Licence held under Australia’s Exhibited Animals Act 2015 by Sea World. It is not known if the Queensland government will address the issues addressed in the petition by World Animal Protection.