College Writing 112
27 November 2012
Dolphins in Captivity
Most people are fascinated with dolphins and crave to see them in Sea World, or another aquarium, and even enjoy seeing them perform in shows. However, most people do not think about the harm that dolphins go through in order for the public to see them. Dolphins go through an immense amount of physical and mental harm solely for our entertainment. I never thought about the harm they go through when I first saw dolphins perform in a show. I, like most people my age, simply assumed that the aquariums actually cared for the dolphins. However, people that believe this are naïve. We enjoy the shows so much that we do not want to think about what goes on behind the scenes. People need to become more aware of the harm dolphins go through while living in captivity because we are the ones with the power to stop it. My Experience with Dolphins
When I was in the sixth grade, my parents took me to Sea World to see dolphins because they had always been my favorite animals. I saw the dolphins perform in the show “Blue Horizons”. I remember thinking that the show was amazing, and I became even more interested in dolphins. Being so up close to the dolphins at Sea World was better than I ever imagined. This experience was very exciting to me because I had always dreamt of what it would be like to interact with a dolphin. This experience made me become even more infatuated with dolphins, so when I got back from Florida I decided to do some research on them. When I researched how dolphins are trained in captivity, I found the results to be astonishing. I was amazed at how dolphins are not cared for well enough when they are in captivity. Dolphins that perform in shows are especially under-cared for because they are forced to perform every day against their will. I have not seen a dolphin show since I found out how harmful captivity is for them. People need to be aware of the harm it causes so they will also stop buying tickets to see the shows because if people stop buying tickets, there will be no reason for dolphins to stay in captivity. The Capture of Dolphins
The process of capturing dolphins is “violent and cruel” (Marine Mammals Campaign) and goes against many laws that are in place in the United States as well as in many other countries around the world. For this reason most dolphin captures occur in Taiji, Japan because the regulations regarding dolphin hunting and capture are less strict. These essentially non-existent regulations allow the fisherman to make easy profit off of a difficult to attain, high demand animal. This makes it not only easier, but also more profitable for the Japanese fisherman to capture these animals and sell them. During the capture, many dolphins die just by getting caught in the net because the fishermen are so careless. They also may die from the stress of being chased and captured. The fishermen keep the dolphins that do survive and sell them to aquariums for a large amount of money. The demand for dolphins in aquariums is very high because they are such interesting animals, and are rare to find in aquariums. They are very rare in aquariums because they are so hard to care for, and require so much extra space and work for the staff. Since they are rare, people are willing to travel very far to just see them, which causes more aquariums to want to have them. Fishermen keep capturing the dolphins because of the large profit they make. According to Dr. Lori Marino, “The captivity industry drives the dolphin hunting industry because it creates a demand for dolphins”(Lori Marino). Japanese fishermen continue to violently capture dolphins because they making such a large profit from the high demand of the entertainment industry. Living in the Wild vs. Living in a Tank
In the wild, dolphins have as much space as they need and are free to do whatever they would like. But, in captivity dolphins are...