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Dolphinariums - Steps towards a future without dolphinariums

Animals affected

Dolphins, Killer whales, Beluga whales






Next we will explain some of the measures that we at FAADA consider to be essential in order to bring about the end of cetaceans in captivity:

  • Stop capturing them, stop all reproductive programs and establish measures so that the animals don’t breed (In USA, SeaWorld has committed to following these guidelines with their orcas).
  • Do not permit the construction of new dolphinariums.
  • Do not allow circus shows or the interaction with cetaceans.
  • Although each case should be individually reviewed, most cetaceans currently in captivity cannot be returned to the sea as they would not survive.
  • Therefore, the construction of marine sanctuaries is the best short term solution for these animals. A sanctuary for cetaceans should be a place in the sea, with clear boundaries, where controlled reproduction is carried out under constant supervision of professionals who are concerned about the animals’ health. In this kind of place cetaceans could enjoy a much bigger space in which to live, with a wealth of underwater life, the physical variety of the sea, the use of echolocation and even, in time, the chance to feed themselves. Above all in a marine sanctuary no animal would be made to perform circus tricks or interact with tourists. In this respect there are several ongoing initiatives: The Whale Sanctuary Project, designed for orcas in USA; the sanctuary that Baltimore National Aquarium has planned for its 8 dolphins in 2020; The Aegean Marine Life Refuge, designed for dolphins in Greece or the beluga sanctuary which the WDC is working on with Merlin Entertainments.

Our action

At European level

We act via the foundation SOSdelfines, a campaign led by FAADA which advocates the end of cetaceans in captivity. It counts on the support of the organisations ANDA, Animanaturalis, Born Free Foundation, Ocean Care, One Voice, Mare Vivo and LAV.

  • We are working to raise awareness in society by sharing informative material and giving talks in schools. We explain the problems that cetaceans suffer from in captivity, hoping that people will stop visiting these places in a not-to-distant future.
  • In Spain we spread the information to different town councils and local governments, advising them on improvements and legal modifications against this type of practice.

Through Dolphinaria-Free Europe, a coalition made up of different organisations, professionals and European experts in marine mammals which is working towards ending their captivity.

  • We work alongside organisations from other countries to make these topics subject for debate in the European Parliament.


At international level

We work with experts in cetaceans and other scientists with the aim of defining and creating solutions, like for example, the creation of marine sanctuaries where dolphins which are currently being exploited can go to die with dignity. 


What can you do?

  • Choose not to go to centres that keep cetaceans in captivity.
  • Tell you family and the people at school or work why they shouldn’t visit dolphinariums.
  • Write to your mayor or the local government about how you feel about having a dolphinarium in your area.
  • Give out informative leaflets to groups in your town, or places close to a dolphinarium or in areas with a high concentration of tourists. Ask for our material by writing to formacion@sosdelfines.org.
  • Take part in events like Empty The Tanks, an international demonstration held yearly to  show our collective rejection of the captivity of cetaceans.
  • Share information on social networks and sign active petitions against these centres and their practices.

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