Are dolphinariums good for dolphins?

For most people, the only opportunity to see a dolphin close-up is in a dolphinarium or sea-world.

 

Dolphinariums are often (though not always) run by committed staff, who care deeply about the dolphins they look after and who do their very best to give their dolphins a stimulating environment in which to live.

 

Scientific research is often carried out in dolphinariums, and dolphins frequently seem to enjoy the performances they put on for visitors.

 

It is increasingly common for such dolphins to be either bred in captivity (and not taken from the wild) or to be injured and kept in captivity for their own safety.

 

Having said that, even the biggest pool will seem tiny compared to the wide expanse of ocean which dolphins normally roam in. Performing tricks in shows is unlikely to compare to the rich social lives enjoyed by dolphins in the wild.

 

Unlike many animals, dolphins appear to be self-aware and captivity may be much harder for intelligent dolphins to cope with than other animals.

 

For those reasons many people think that dolphins should not be taken from the wild and that dolphinariums should not be encouraged.

 

Humans can share experiences with dolphins without robbing them of their freedom.