Target: Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Planning Department
Goal: Do not allow marine attraction company to exploit more animals by building new dolphin parks.
Dolphin Cove has unveiled plans to expand their parks to a biodiversity hotspot known for its variety of endemic marine species and wild dolphins. Dolphin attractions exploit dolphins for financial gain while ripping them away from their families and keeping them in restrictive tanks. Despite captivity being a detrimental and cruel place for these intelligent creatures, the Turks and Caicos Islands government has amended regulations to allow marine mammals to be kept for display, exhibition and performance.
The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are famous for JoJo, a wild bottlenose dolphin who voluntarily interacts with humans. The locals have deep admiration for these beautiful creatures and TCI historically had laws forbidding their confinement, earning a reputation for being a haven for marine mammals. TCI is where Barbara Young, an advocate with the environmental non-government organization Pride, freed the UK’s last remaining captive dolphins.
The new Dolphin Cove park, which was recently granted outline planning permission, would be built on a critical habitat for flamingos, conch and mangrove. So, while harming the dolphins inside the park, it could also devastate the ecology around the park. It would be a travesty for a dolphin attraction to be built in such an ecologically viable place with a rich past of dolphin advocacy.
Dolphins are intelligent, social, self-aware, emotional, and cultured creatures. Being held in captivity is a traumatic and stress-inducing experience for them. They are held in restrictive tanks and deprived from food and stimulation. Demand that the TCI Planning Department does not allow Dolphin Cove to exploit their diverse islands and harm the dolphins who have historically found refuge in their waters.
Dear TCI Planning Department,
Dolphin Cove has received outline planning permission to build a new attraction on your islands. Dolphins are highly intelligent and social creatures who are self-aware and display a broad spectrum of emotions. Dolphin parks force dolphins into captivity, where they live out their lives in constant stress and trauma. TCI has historically been a haven for dolphins and it would be a travesty to have the equivalent of dolphin slavery allowed in your waters.
Dolphin attractions do not provide the research, conservation or education that they claim to. They are a business that exploits dolphins for profit. Experts on dolphins agree that for people to learn about dolphins’ ways of life, they must see them in the wild. There have been claims that a dolphin park could bring in more tourism and boost TCI’s economy. However, a dolphin park would be a direct conflict to your ecological image and upset the current tourism that’s drawn to your wild dolphins. As the horrors of dolphin captivity are becoming common knowledge, dolphin parks are going to be able to draw in less tourism.
The problems that will arise from a Dolphin Cove existing on TCI range from the negative effects it will have on your tourism due to boycotting to the more prevalent moral crimes against the dolphins. Please stay true to your history of being a haven for dolphins and do not allow Dolphin Cove to expand to your islands.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: themeparkgc