Dolphin activists oppose Sea World project in MaharashtraFebruary 29th, 2012 - 3:53 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Feb 29 (IANS) An international environmentalist Wednesday urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to scrap the planned building of a marine-mammal park in Sindhudurg district in the coastal Konkan region
In a letter to Chavan on behalf of animal rights group PETA, dolphin specialist Ric O’Barry said dolphins and other marine mammals suffer immeasurably in captivity as they do not belong to tanks.
“Dolphins in aquariums — even those born in captivity — quickly become depressed, stressed and volatile. These exceedingly intelligent marine mammals know they are not where they are supposed to be,” said O’Barry, who featured in the Academy Award-winning film The Cove — which documented the annual dolphin slaughter in Japan — and who has trained dolphins for the 1960s American television show Flipper.
According to O’Barry, dolphins in the oceans inhabit a vast and complex world, establish close co-operative and long-standing relationships living in large social groups, swimming together as a family and travel up to 100 miles daily.
“Dolphins used in marine parks are violently torn from their families and confined to small tanks, that to them seem like bathtubs in which they can swim in only mind-numbing circles. Most captive dolphins live to be only half the age of wild dolphins,” O’Barry pointed out.
The Emory University scientists recently determined that the cognitive capacity of dolphins is second only to that of humans, added O’Barry.
Citing examples of dolphin conservation efforts, he said that Brazil and Costa Rica have declared it as illegal to use marine mammals for entertainment.
Similarly, Israel has prohibited the import of dolphins for use in marine parks, and Canada no longer allows beluga whales to be captured and exported, while South Carolina, in the US, has banned exhibits of whales and dolphins.
O’Barry’s appeal comes after the state government announced plans to build India’s first oceanarium, Sea World, at a cost of over Rs.5 billion, in Malvan fishing village of Konkan, around 450 km south of Mumbai.
The decision last October followed a feasibility report prepared by the Science & Technology Park, University of Pune.
Construction on Sea World, which will house state-of-the-art facilities, will start September this year and the marine park is expected to be thrown open by 2015.
Among other things, Sea World would include a dolphin stadium, water park, a 3D dome theatre, aquarium, amphitheatre, underwater studio, rescue centre, theme restaurants and amusement facilities.
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- Scientists test Japanese dolphins' visual capacity with plasma TVs - Jul 24, 2010
- Thematic Sea World to come up in Sindhudurg - Oct 18, 2011
- Oscar Makes Fisher Stevens A Very Happy Man - Mar 09, 2010
- Whales distressed by noise of ships' propellers - Feb 09, 2012
- Stranded whale put down in Cornwall - Aug 14, 2012
- Treat dolphins better, say scientists - Feb 21, 2012
- Now, enjoy 'swim date' with Hayden Panettiere and dolphins - for charity! - Aug 29, 2009
- Scientists discover 'balloon head' dolphin - Nov 03, 2010
- Oil poisoning? Alarming sea animal deaths on India's west coast (With Images) - Apr 07, 2012
- Penguins, seals to feature in Konkan's sea world project - Jun 02, 2011
- Whale found dead 800 metres from shoreline - Sep 29, 2011
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