The Asia for Animals coalition is deeply saddened to hear of the recent development of another 'swim-with dolphins' pool in Indonesia, this time on the popular tourist island of Bali. Four dolphins have reportedly been caught in the Java Sea and are now confined to a swimming pool.
In October 2010 the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry recognized that the capture and use of wild dolphins to supply entertainment facilities and attractions, such as 'swim-with-dolphins' programs, poses significant conservation, animal welfare and public safety concerns.
The removal of individual dolphins from wild populations has serious animal welfare as well as conservation implications for the survival of the targeted populations. The capture is extremely traumatic and violent, and research has shown that dolphin death rates increase six-fold during and immediately after capture
Once removed from their natural environment dolphins are transported to small enclosures, which lack not only their families and social groups but also the open space to which they are accustomed. Captive dolphins must adapt to an artificial diet, excessive noise and the proximity of people and unknown animals. Chemical burns from water treatment solutions are a common problem for dolphins in captivity.
A life in a swimming pool is so far removed from their natural environment that the effect this has on their lives is almost inconceivable. These are wide-ranging, intelligent, social animals and captivity presents a lack of the social, visual and auditory stimuli of their natural environment, leading to a life of severe deprivation, lower life-expectancy and higher infant mortality than in the wild.
The Asia for Animals coalition members will continue to support the work of animal protection and conservation organisations campaigning to end the capture and exploitation of dolphins
We have written to the Ministry of Forestry and Department of conservation of fish species and habitat, calling on urgent action to end the capture of dolphins and to confiscate the dolphins currently being held captive, for rehabilitation back into the wild as soon as possible.
This support is in aid of the Jakarta Animal Aid Network