A Message and a Letter on the Discovery Bay Captive Dolphin Facility


Please find below a message sent to the Jamaican Government, tourism officials and cruise ship companies by Diana Morency, which she shared with me. We all need to speak out and express our thoughts on matters if they do concern us – whether by email, in blog posts or on social media. You can follow Save Discovery Bay on Facebook and also on Twitter @DefendDBay. 

A beautiful drone photo of bottlenose dolphins, wild and free. (Photo: @dolphindronedom on Dolphin Project website).

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I am writing to protest the ongoing advertising of Dolphinaria at Discovery Bay, Jamaica promoted by your company to the tourists that vacation on your cruise lines.  In the 21st century, this type of attraction is not acceptable, and marinas around the world have now adopted new policies whereby they will no longer harvest/hunt for sea life such as dolphins to support their tourism industry.  Here in Vancouver, BC after years of protests, our aquarium will no longer hunt for orcas, dolphins. Any animals left will not be replaced, rather the facility will be for rehab of wildlife and then released once they are medically sound.  It is disgusting on a moral and ethical level that your company would endorse this vile type of tourism with pamphlets on the info counter. By allowing this type of advertisement your company supports the extraction of dolphins from their natural habitat and forced into an unnatural environment.

The owners of dolphinaria create the illusion that you are swimming and playing with friendly creatures of the sea that enjoy life in the wild but are here for you to play with close up.

They are not. You are playing with creatures that are being held in captivity, and now even being bred in captivity, and are interacting with you because they understand that is part of their meal ticket. The tricks they perform for you are all ingrained responses as part of their feeding routine. They are trained by having food withheld and then being fed morsels of food as a reward for performing.

The truth behind swimming with dolphins:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h46hPCTCzns&feature=share

Dolphins learn to perform far quicker than other animals because they are perhaps the second smartest creatures on the planet after humans. The operators of these dolphin amusements know this and are cashing in on the fascination people have for the display of intelligent response by animals.

How would you respond if you had never been close up to a dog before and you were allowed into an enclosure to pet dogs and play with them? They would be trained to perform tricks for you, using the same techniques used in these dolphin shows; and taught that interaction with humans was good because that was the only source of their meals while they are held in captivity.  You would likely avoid such a show once you realized that you were exploiting their need for affection in such a cavalier fashion.

Please click the link below:

URINE VOLUME IN DOLPHINS: A REVIEW OF DATA FROM 24 HOUR COLLECTION STUDIES IAAAM-ARCHIVE-VIN

https://www.vin.com/apputil/content/defaultadv1.aspx?pId=11257&catId=32370&id=3865311&ind=27&objTypeID=17&print=1&fbclid=IwAR0Odwapi0UueN_skX_49O7FwUdE9kK1ixbytUKQUG58E1hUdiL0YRP1boo

With dolphinaria, we are witnessing an attempt at a breeding program to create a dolphin population that can no longer survive in its natural habitat, the open ocean. They must now depend on humans for their daily food instead of swimming freely in the open oceans to catch their own.

At present, the people that operate these businesses are beginning to breed a growing number of dolphins in captivity since the capture and sale of wild dolphins is now becoming universally banned. They have found a temporary loophole in the law by which they are able to continue their operation. A paying public is a link in this chain of enslavement.

I and many of my friends will no longer be vacationing on your cruises in protest of this Dolphin sideshow. I urge your company to stop all promotion of this type of tourism whereby dolphins are used in captivity all for the sake of making money. We are better than that and we know better, and once we know better we should do better. A line has been crossed. It is time for the dominoes to start falling the other way until all captured dolphins in Jamaica are emancipated. We all agree on that.

Meanwhile, a treasured marine environment called Discovery Bay is in grave peril through the myopic vision of authorities that have placed the accumulation of wealth over the well being of the environment and its inhabitants.

WAKE UP AND USE YOUR BRAIN………DON’T BE PART OF THE CHAIN.

Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

Also below is an open letter from Erica Hamilton to Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett, published in the Jamaica Observer. We must keep in mind that it is not only the cruelty and unnatural conditions of these dolphin parks, but also in the case of the calm, lagoon-like Discovery Bay, the terrible damage to the environment that it will cause. How is this good for tourism? Is money the only deciding factor?

We have met several times from years ago; you may not remember as you meet so many people. I am one of very many opposing the new captive dolphin facility in Discovery Bay.

My primary concern is actually the bay itself, and what the scientists tell us will happen when the added nutrients from dolphin waste fertilize harmful algae. These will, they say, kill coral, seagrass, fish nurseries.

In addition, Jamaican marine wildlife artist and conservationist Guy Harvey says it will wind up eventually like Kingston Harbour.

We are also concerned about the dolphins themselves. All I have learned since joining the communities’ struggle make that whole business abhorrent to me. It actually kills many dolphins. It is a very down-market attraction and has been banned in 20 countries, 21 when Canada’s Bill passes, and in many cities and states including Mexico City, only proliferating in Japan and China.

Two days ago I received a letter from a five-time repeat guest at my little cottage in Discovery Bay that she is concerned about the dolphinarium there, and that if by November they are still there she thinks she will go elsewhere instead of Discovery Bay for her sixth visit. Other owners have had a similar comment. These are long-staying upmarket guests who spend money here and leave very good tips for staff.

We need your support and I implore you to do all you can to help us see that this dolphinarium in Discovery Bay is removed.

We have an irrefutable scientific opinion; evidence of the ecological damage that will happen, and the disgracefully inept and inadequate approval process, which we are laying before the Supreme Court. But wouldn’t it be remarkable if a sensible decision were to be made before this time-consuming, expensive and very drawn-out (in our courts) process were to happen?

Your Government banned “scandal bags”, saved Cockpit Country and Goat Island, and is planning to protect the Pedro Cays and the Black River Morass. Surely, iconic Discovery Bay, unique in all Jamaica, is worth preserving, too?

When our beaches are destroyed (and Discovery Bay is already eroded) tourists will simply move on to greener pastures; to destinations that protect their beauty.

Erica Hamilton

erica@edowner.net

 

 


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