Stop Supporting Dolphin Captivity In Hawaii

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The facilities holding marine mammals captive in Hawaii are promoted heavily by the tourism industry. They push thousands of visitors into these places every year. Swim-with-dolphin programs are outdated and cruel. We want these businesses to see how supporting these practices will do more harm to their business than good.


Please consider our signatures as our official intent to refrain from booking with your business while in Hawaii until you stop supporting Hawaii’s captive dolphin facilities. As we learn more about what is required of these dolphins to survive in dolphinariums, we see that it is irresponsible to strip them of nearly all of their physical, social, and psychological needs for our benefit.

Studies prove that dolphins are cognitive beings with self-awareness similar to that in humans. In the wild dolphins’ lives revolve around their social structure and bonds. They care for eachother’s young, co-operate while hunting, aid and console those in distress, partake in their population’s own varying cultures, and pass down information throughout generations, just like we do.

Hawaii’s captive cetacean industry is responsible for over 140 reported deaths, all documented by the overseeing governing body National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) with causes of deaths varying from “drowned,” “suffocation,” “killed by another dolphin,” “food poisoning,” and trainer error. 91 of these animals were taken from Hawaiian waters. We strongly feel that this is a poor representation of Hawaii’s long standing cultural relationship with the ocean and its inhabitants and we are not the only ones.

As more information about the marine mammal industry is brought to light, public opposition has continued to grow ( What was once a huge draw for business and tourism is now becoming a negative association.
Multiple countries and states have banned the public display of whales and dolphins over the past few years and a lot of progress has been made including:

- Jeff Stone of The Resort Group decided to cease all plans to put captive dolphins in the upcoming billion dollar investment Atlantis Resort in Ko’olina, stating they are committed to “respecting and celebrating the unique history, culture and ocean heritage of Hawaii.”
- The National Aquarium In Baltimore was met with praise when they told the public they intended to retire their dolphins to a sea sanctuary.
- Vancouver Aquarium announced it will no longer keep dolphins and other whales in captivity.
- France banned breeding captive cetaceans.
- Instagram flagged searches relating to swim with dolphin programs and created an alert warning users who search for them that the tag may be “associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals.”
- It’s also worth nothing that Maui preemptively banned captive dolphin facilities and is still rated the #1 island, not just in Hawaii, but in the world by Trip Advisor.
- Mexico city prohibited the use of captive dolphins therapy, scientific investigation, training and entertainment
- Canada has been pushing for a bill to end marine mammal captivity
- A sanctuary is being built in Russia for captive dolphins to retire to
- A whale sanctuary is being built in the USA for captive orcas to retire to
- South Korea successfully rehabilitated and released even more dolphins back into the wild. Their previous releases over the years have been spotted amongst new pods with new offspring of their own.

The list goes on and on and continues to grow.

With such beautiful and diverse ocean wildlife providing opportunities for visitors that include world class whale watching and scuba diving on every island, we hope you will consider taking a similar route to those standing up to the practice of keeping marine mammals captive during the inevitable sunset of this industry. Mahalo nui loa for your time!