Plans for Dolphin Parks in India Challenged

Written by on January 13, 2013 in Policy & Ocean Law
Dolphins performing at a show.

Dolphins performing at a show. Photo credit: wwarby via photopin cc.

Last week, Animal Welfare Board of India attempted to block plans that would put performing dolphins on display at several locations across the country.

Over the past few years, businesses and local governments have discussed plans for at least five dolphin parks to be brought to malls and amusement parks. But, the Animal Welfare Board recently wrote a letter stating that this would violate the 1960 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

“All types of studies have shown that these animals, after capture, are under a very high level of stress,”S. Chinny Krishna, the board’s vice-chairman, told India Ink. “A wild animal belongs in the wild.”

Krishna said the dolphin parks would be created only to make money, but N. Venugopal, chairman of the Greater Cochin Development Authority that wants to create a dolphin park, and other supporters say it will be educational.

“It is not cruel,” Venugopal said. “People will be entertained.”

Currently, there are no captive dolphins anywhere in India and animal rights activists want to keep it this way.

“We’re taking big strides forward in being the most compassionate nation on Earth,” said Arpan Sharma, chief executive of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations.

“The Animal Welfare Board is not promulgating any new legislation,” he explained. “All it is doing is informing the states that dolphinaria are in violation of the existing laws of the land.”

To learn more about marine mammals in captivity, check out some of these links:

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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