Bahamas Dolphinarium Ordered To Release Dolphins

The Bahamas are taking a huge step towards the protection of marine mammals.

A court in the Caribbean island has ordered that an illegal dolphinarium shut down and is questioning whether any dolphins should be allowed into the Bahamas for any purpose beyond research.

‘Blackbeard’s Cay’ is the name of the attraction that would have featured captive dolphins but was ordered to shut its doors before ever opening them. It would have been the fourth of its kind in the country, which profits mainly from tourism.

For the entertainment, its company owner, Blue Illusions Unlimited, secured eight dolphins from Honduras earlier this year but as the court ruled, they were brought into the country illegally.

The investigation was a result of the local activist group reEarth, which gathered 65,000 signatures in favor of freeing the dolphins and accused the country’s prime minister, the minister of agriculture and several others of breaking the law by giving Blue Illusions Unlimited permits. Justice Stephen Isaacs agreed with the group, noting that the whole project was done in secrecy, purposefully not releasing important information to the public. Finally, the dolphins were imported before the permits had been granted, which violated he Marine Mammal Protection Act.

“I am thrilled,” celebrated Sam Duncombe, president of reEarth. “We’ve been fighting this issue for 24 years and finally we’ve been able to bring one of the developers with dolphins in captivity to court over the circumvention of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.”

In addition to having to release the dolphins from captivity, the court also ruled that the area that is now filled with sea pens be restored to its original state and Justice Isaacs questioned whether there is a need at all for dolphins to be imported into the country for entertainment or any kind of tourist attraction.

The company has the right to appeal the decision within the next few weeks but for now, animals in captivity can celebrate a landmark victory.

Written by Natalia Galbetti, Ecorazzi

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

126 comments

Robert petermann
bob Petermann1 years ago

They will be free but all those nets are out there catching everything in their path from the top to the bottom of ocean. Many fish caught in these drown when they get tangled. I hope they swim free the rest of their life.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe1 years ago

Congratulations to reEarth for all their time and effort they did to start this investigation!! They should be very proud of themselves! I know I am proud of them!

Connie B.
Connie B.1 years ago

Great news!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for posting!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer Daniel
Past Member 1 years ago

Bravo - thanks for the post!

Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin1 years ago

this is amazing

Holly C.
Holly C.1 years ago

Thanks for sharing this news!

Fran away F.
Fran F.1 years ago

Thank you.

KAROLY MOLINARI
KAROLY MOLINARI1 years ago

Im so happy for this new!!!!!!

Kathy L.
Kathy L.1 years ago

Great News!

Elisa F.
Elisa F.2 years ago

Great News! Wild & Free!!!