Please add your name to this petition.
On Friday, 1 July 2016, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in Port Elizabeth signed a memorandum of understanding with the Eastern Cape Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Department to take over the management of Bayworld.
Bayworld is a natural and cultural history museum combined with a snake park and oceanarium. In 2009 Bayworld's last two remaining dolphins, a father and daughter Indian Ocean bottlenose pair named Dumisa and Domino, were transported to Hong Kong's Ocean Park aquarium to become part of a global breeding programme. Bayworld is now under new management and has received an apparent R300 million cash injection to upgrade the facility and thereby grow the city's economy. The municipality believe that reintroducing dolphins into the oceanarium will increase the tourism potential of the facility.
We demand that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality reconsiders their decision to bring dolphins back to Bayworld. Keeping cetaceans in captivity is an outdated form of entertainment which is rapidly decreasing in popularity. Documentaries such as Blackfish and The Cove are educating the public on the many reasons why dolphins to not belong in captivity, and the decline in stock market value, support and attendance of shows at Sea World in the USA can attest to the changing public opinion.
In 1995 Bayworld saw three of its dolphins die within a year, due to a complete lack of knowledge on the part of the oceanarium. One of the dolphins starved to death after swallowing a large amount of stones given to him as toys by trainers, and another died of an abscess that was incorrectly treated. More information on this can be found in this link:
Dolphins in the wild swim for hundreds of kilometres a day, live in closely bonded family units, use echolocation to communicate and hunt for live prey. In captivity dolphins are confined to tiny pools filled with harmful chemicals, are forced into unfamiliar groupings, are traumatised by loud music, screaming and applause and are forced to perform unnatural tricks for dead fish. There have been numerous studies performed on the physical, emotional and psychological trauma dolphins experience in captivity. Dumisa and Domino have been imprisoned, forced to perform tricks, been shipped across the world and used in a breeding programme. Their offspring, or any other dolphins, should not be brought back to Bayworld to suffer the same fate. This exploitation and abuse is not worth an hour of entertainment for humans, which offers no educational value whatsoever.