Free All Captive Whales and Dolphins in Europe


Target: CEO of Parques Reunidos, Yann Caillere

Goal: Free all dolphins and whales currently held captive in European dolphinariums

Recently in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium, there was a large protest focused on freeing Europe’s captive, intelligent marine life. Dolphinariums were the main corporate focus of the protest, with 34 locations around the European Union. Supporters from all over the world joined together to urge the end of cetacean slavery in Europe. The European Council holds legislation that prohibits keeping cetaceans captive, though dolphinaria businesses around the continent are undeservedly exempt from this ruling. Demand that dolphinariums respect intelligent life and let their captive cetaceans go free.

Within the 34 dolphinaria around the European Union live more than 300 individual cetaceans, consisting of many different species like porpoise and orca whale. Legislation designed to help captive cetaceans was passed by the European Council, though the bill consists of a deadly loophole: If a business is utilizing cetaceans for scientific, educational or conservation purposes, it is allowed to keep the mammals captive. The dolphinaria around the continent utilize this loophole, even though forcing cetaceans to perform for an audience serves none of the protected purposes.

Dolphinariums force cetaceans to perform because it is a lucrative industry. With little knowledge of the depressing lives that captive cetaceans lead, patrons continue to support the industry, and dolphinariums are happy to pretend that their captives are happy and fulfilled.

There is a growing movement against keeping cetaceans captive that has been spreading all over the world. Dolphinariums must admit that their businesses are anything but educational, scientific or based in conservation. Urge the CEO of Parques Reunidos—one of the largest marine mammal park operators in Europe—to free its captive dolphins and whales, so that they may live out the remainder of their lives in their natural environment.


Dear Mr. Yann Caillere,

The 34 dolphinarium locations across the European Union do not serve science or education—they serve profit and dominance. Annex A of the Directive No.338/97 of the European Council ruled that in order to keep cetaceans captive, the captive must serve education, conservation or science. Forcing cetaceans to perform in an unnatural environment for a paying audience does not allow the audience a glimpse into the natural life of the mammals, nor does it do anything for wild cetaceans.

With tiny tanks and a lack of adequate mental stimulation, it is no mystery why these magnificent beasts die prematurely while in captivity. A recent protest in Brussels hit the nail on the head: Keeping cetaceans captive is vile and it is time for dolphinariums to put an end to this degrading industry. No enclosure, no matter how expensive or well designed, will give cetaceans what they experience in the wild.

I urge you to step into the right side of history, Mr. Caillere. Keeping cetaceans captive for any purpose will soon be a thing of the past. Free your captive cetaceans and set a standard for other marine parks around the world.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Lerdsuwa via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Sydney M says:

    Animals were not put on this planet for human entertainment. Therefore, there is no reason (other than being treated medically for injuries or illnesses) for any of them to be in captivity.

  2. SeaWorld is experiencing the effect of being outed in “Blackfish”. But Sea World isn’t alone. ALL aquaria should release their captive slaves, either to the oceans, where they belong, or to sanctuaries for possible rehabilitation after being traumatized.

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