This week in ocean news...











Take a good look at the first 3 photos in this set and remember them next time you want to see a dolphin in captivity. That’s what your money goes to. All companies that keep dolphins captive are inter-connected. Just remember those may be your dollars you paid being handed off under the table to import a wild caught dolphin, or your dollars may be directly handed to the man who captured and/or killed the dolphins like you saw in that show. 

Still need more convincing that dolphin captivity is wrong? Here are some fast facts:

  • Dolphins in the wild spend around 80% of their time exploring, feeding, and socializing underwater. Captive dolphins spend about 80% of their time at the surface because they are logging lifelessly at the surface, looking for food/attention, or waiting for commands by their trainers who control every aspect of their life.
  • In the wild dolphins are documented to swim 40 or MORE miles per day. In captivity, they are confined to an area that is dramatically smaller, not allowing them to swim or dive as long or deep as they would in the wild. Animals can develop stereotypical behaviors from lack of space to act naturally in. 
  • In the wild dolphins utilize their extreme intelligence by spending a lot of time hunting and developing hunting techniques together. This gives the animals an opportunity to problem solve, get stimulation, and socialize with each other. In captivity animals are fed dead frozen fish in a limited variety (sometimes unnatural to the animal’s typical diet), taking away that massive chunk of their wild daily lives from them and leaving them under stimulated.
  • Dolphins are highly social, and although they do not always stay together for life, they form complex societies and dialects, which are disrupted in captivity and cause aggression and frustration between tank mates who are forced to live together. 
  • Dolphins that are put through swim-with programs are subject to humans constantly invading their heavily confined space. Not only does this put dolphins at risk of contracting disease from the tourists and tourists at risk of being injured by these wild animals, these programs give the dolphins no peace from humans who are constantly trying to interact with them by force.
  • Sources: X X X X X X X

Depictions of dolphins in ancient art.

Dolphin, Greece, 300 BC-AD 100. Courtesy of the LACMAAC1992.152.16.

Dolphins and Octopuses. Phiale with decoration in superposed colour, ca. 510–500 BC. From Eretria. Courtesy of the Louvre, MNB 624. Photo by Jastrow.

Dolphin mosaic from the Baths of Buticosus, Ostia Antica. Roman, 2nd century. Photo by Roger Ulrich.

Dolphin fresco, Knossos, Crete, 1700-1450 BC. Photo by H-stt, via the Wiki Commons.

Youth playing the flute and riding a dolphin. Red-figure stamnos, 360–340 BC. Alcestis Group, from Etruria. Courtesy of the National Archaeological Museum of Spain. Photo by Jastrow, via the Wiki Commons.

Fish (Dolphin), Syria or Palestine, 300-400. Courtesy of the LACMAM.88.129.118.

After watching the CNN documentary “Blackfish,” Steve-O, famous performer and comedian had the anti-SeaWorld campaign on his mind and, after passing “SeaWorld Drive” in San Diego, the inspiration for a perfect stunt struck him (see the video)

“I have a pretty passionate stance against animal cruelty, as everyone knows,” he said. “But I want to be really clear here too: when I go on tour to various locations, one of first things I think of is what kinds of trouble can I get to to shake things up and get some news … this worked out so great. I could kill two birds with one stone: bring attention to the cause I believe in, and bring attention to myself.” 

Steve-O noted that he was very careful not to damage any property during the stunt. And the result is something of a circus itself. The whole ordeal (which took place last May) took five tries and cost him more than a few injuries, but Steve-O says it was worth it.

“It’s magical if I can take a wild and crazy stunt and do some good,” he said. “Here I am setting out to entertain people and then I can do something to make a difference.”   


"I love how SeaWorld keeps suggesting that somehow Blackfish’s ‘undeserved’ success has prevented it from ‘telling its side of the story.’ SeaWorld was in a position to tell its side of the story for 45 years - in fact, during that time it had almost exclusive use of the mike. Turnabout is fair play, SeaWorld - get over it." - Dr. Naomi Rose