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Proposed dolphin scheme in Thailand thwarted

May 9, 2006

Phuket City, Thailand – Dr. Roy Jones, WSPA's Wildlife Coordinator in Asia, participated in a meeting held on Saturday, May 8th at the Pearl Hotel to discuss a planned swim-with-dolphins program being presented by a Danish doctor and a local marine center. Dr. Jones offered evidence, showing that dolphins cannot live naturally in captivity.  WSPA is pleased to report that plans to build the facility have been abandoned.

Dr. Jones commented, “Swimming with dolphins is no more than a business, and captivity with constant intimacy with humans would prevent them from having a normal life.”

The facility was the brainchild of a marine biologist from Denmark, Judith Kongsted, and the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC). The planned swim-with-dolphin program would have aimed to attract tourists as well as those seeking therapeutic treatment. Dolphin-assisted therapy is a controversial idea, with little research to support its effectiveness. Dr. Kongsted claimed that the facility would use dolphins that stranded themselves on local beaches as well as importing captive-bred dolphins from the United States.

WSPA's objections, coupled with funding difficulties, led Kongsted and the PMBC to announce that they would not pursue their plans for a captive dolphin facility any further.

You can help WSPA protect dolphins by letting us know whenever you hear about a new captive dolphin facility being proposed in your community. Please send your emails to: campaigns@wspausa.org.

Click here to read The Case Against Marine Mammals in Captivity report.

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A pod of dolphins in the wild