- Glenn D. FogelHead of Worldwide Strategy and Planning, The Priceline Group
Priceline Group - please de-list the resorts that hold dolphins captive
Mr. Glenn Fogel,
We are calling on you, one of the world's largest travel agencies, to suspend all the resort and destination inventory that actively fuel the live dolphin trade.
We are calling on you to be bold in the face of profit-at-all-costs.
As you may know, interacting with captive dolphins at a marine park, an all-inclusive resort, or an aquarium may seem fun and educational. However, the upstream impacts in offering this service are ripe with unethical and inhumane practices, and with realities that are kept hidden from your customers.
Most tourists are innocently unaware that these dolphins are living a stressful and dramatically shortened life in captivity. Nor are they aware that many have been stolen from their families in the wild in order to supply a growing demand for live dolphin encounters.
Dolphins are highly intelligent, emotional, social and wide-ranging creatures. Forcing them to live in artificial, and/or confined conditions, away from their natural family groups is at best, inhumane. At worst, this is a commercial death sentence to a fellow sentient species. Many will die during capture and transport, some will die in their tanks or enclosures - and many will witness the slaughter of their entire family in the process.
Methods used to capture and transport dolphins can be abhorrently cruel and many die during capture operations, such as in Taiji, Japan. Very often, dolphins are captured from populations that are already under threat from industrialization and as by-kill from the fishing industry.
You may not know that captive dolphins have a far lower survival rate than in the wild. They are unable to communicate, hunt, roam, mate and play as they would otherwise. The stress of confinement often results in behavioral abnormalities, sickness, and a lowered tolerance to disease.
Today, we serve notice to you - the Priceline Group; as well as all other large travel agencies that are profiting from the sale of these destinations and encounters.
Glenn, you do great things. No one here takes for granted the amount of cultural connections you have helped create, nor the in-destination investments made. We appreciate that.
We can also see that this makes for a tricky position. We know you have a fiduciary responsibility to your shareholders, and removing room & add-on inventory could equal a reduction in profit. No hiding that, but we will point out that there are many other more responsible opportunities that could replace lost profit. I also know a few seasoned tourism pro's, myself included, that will volunteer as much time as it takes to help you both.
Today, we stand together to drive awareness that consumer choice needs to take into consideration all inhumane and unethical practices. Fellas, we need you to join us.
Today, we ask that you please de-list the resorts and destinations that offer captive dolphin interactions.
It's the right thing to do, and it's insanely overdue.
You guys are both awesome and we thank you in advance.
Aaron Smith, East Vancouver, BC.
CEO | SEEtheWILD.org
*Photo Credit: Segei Lental*
- Head of Worldwide Strategy and Planning, The Priceline Group
Glenn D. Fogel
Priceline Group, please de-list resorts that hold dolphins captive.
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