dolphin show
Effects of Psycho-Physiological Stress in Captive Dolphins
Presents evidence to support the contention that capture and confinement of dolphins might be as stressful and harmful to them as they would be to humans. Findings on stress from handling in wild animals and capture shock and confinement stress are presented, along with 3 case vignettes of dolphins that died during tank confinement. While observation of animals in their natural environment is the best method of research, it is not always feasible; but efforts should be made to avoid profit-motivated uses of animals in circus-type displays, a practice that only consumes animals and does not assist in their conservation.


The blood-brain barrier is a dynamic interface that separates the brain from the circulatory system and protects the central nervous system from potentially harmful chemicals while regulating transport of essential molecules and maintaining a stable environment. However, there are some contaminants that can pass through. Spanish and german researchers has discovered that flame retardant and some biological compounds are able to cross this barrier in some cetaceans and penetrate their brain.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, analyzed 26 samples of five different delphinids from the Alboran Sea, the westernmost portion of the Mediterranean Sea.

Scientists have analyzed classic flame retardants (PBDE already banned because are persistent in the environment) and substitutes (emerging flame retardants) and the presence of other similar molecules but naturally generate, as brominated compounds by algae and sponges. 

The most striking result is that all the analyzed compounds have been detected in the brain of the dolphins

As the work shows, levels of the different pollutants in the samples differ depending on their capacity to penetrate the brain. The highest levels have been found for the new flame retardant compounds, which replace the forbidden PBDE. That would demonstrate that they have more capacity to cross the blood-brain barrier. It is followed by the classical flame retardants PBDEs, and by the natural molecules produced by algae and sponges, with the lowest concentrations.

This means that it is necessary to carry out new studies to assess the potential neurological effects of these compounds. It might happen that the new flame retardants are even more harmful than the previous PBDE” says Ethel Eljarrat, who is part of the study.


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

Little known or discussed about in the captivity debate is the water park Aquatica, located in Orlando Florida, and owned by Seaworld. This water park has a particular attraction called the Dolphin Plunge, where tourists can slide down a water slide that passes through a tank of Commerson’s Dolphins.

Commerson’s dolphins are well known as an elsive species of dolphin that is very active and quick-moving. Both of these traits prove for them to not only be unsuitable for confinement, but also for being so invasively surrounded by humans. To add onto the probable discomfort of having screaming people shooting through their tank every few minutes, there is an underwater viewing area that is added onto this tank, as well as a viewing area from above the water, further diminishing any privacy these animals should have access to.

The ICUN lists these animals as a threatened species, and to add onto the threats to the population from being hunted for their meat and oil, Seaworld (along with the Duisburg Zoo and a few small Japanese Aquariums) captured 53 or more of these animals for live display, further endangering their wild population numbers between 1978-1987.

Aquatica Orlando opened in 2008 with 4 dolphins in their inventory: Pepe, Fabio, Ross, and Keebler. Since then, Keebler and Fabio passed away. Keebler was 16, Fabio was 21. Only 2 dolphins remain at the park.

Please don’t support this business that is not only unfair to the animals, but environmentally unsustainable. Be pro-freedom, and spend your money on an animal-free water park, or take your family on a responsible whale watching tour instead.

The Joestars: Go to a Movie Theatre
  • Jonathan:Bought the whole group tickets. He sits quietly and enjoys the movie from start to finish. Afterwards he lets everyone talk about their opinions on it and respects them all. A perfect gentleman.
  • Joseph:Snuck snacks into the movie theatre, avoiding having to pay for them at the concession stand. Jonathan offered to buy snacks for everyone but Joseph declined because he felt clever doing this. He eventually spilled a coke on his pants because of his harebrained schemes to sneak an already opened can into the theatre.
  • Jotaro:Sits next to Jolyne, and watches quietly. Gasps audibly when the scene shows a dolphin. He occasionally reaches over and grabs some popcorn from Kakyoin. All he has to say after the movie's done is "it was alright."
  • Josuke:Because Jonathan was paying, he bought a TON of popcorn, candy and soda for him, Koichi, and Okuyasu. That group is the one in the theatre laughing the loudest at the jokes.
  • Giorno:Watches the movie politely and quietly. Is that one guy who claps after the movie's done. He sat next go Jonathan, and after the movie's done he takes everyone out to dinner.
  • Jolyne:Is the one person who got a phone call in the middle of the movie. She yells at the characters on screen if something stupid happened. Gasps audibly (like jotaro) at several moments throughout the film. Obviously invested in it, but after getting out of the theatre she agrees with Jotaro that it was "just alright."
  • Johnny:Got all emotional and held Gyro's hand at the scary parts. His enthusiasm and support for the protagonist was emanating off of him. He had the most to say after the movie was over.
  • Gappy:Didn't get the point of the movie. Had to keep asking questions afterwards about it. 3 days later, he walks in the room and goes "OH" finally understanding it. He starts trying to converse to people about it but they're all kind of worn out from talking about it, so he talks to Yasuho, a supportive friend instead.