No breeding in dolphins' future
RECENLTY re-branded, the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park has announced it no longer intends to breed its dolphins in line with the future direction of the organisation.
"We are getting back to our roots - education and conservation through the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine wildlife,” said Managing Director Terry Goodall.
"The dolphins we have in our park have either been rescued or born here, and they all participate in a full range of behaviours; from play to mock foraging for their food.
"While reproduction will be no longer be part of their lives, we are confident that the dolphins will continue to experience dynamic and enriching social interactions.”
The decision should be welcomed by animal welfare groups who have been working with DMCP to investigate the feasibility of a sea pen.
"The sea pen idea is great in theory and may very well prove viable,” Mr Goodall said.
"However, we need to investigate it thoroughly to make sure it can be maintained long-term and more importantly, is in the best interest of the animals.”
The combination of the sea pen study and announcement to cease breeding dolphins, places DMCP at the forefront of marine animal conservation.
"There is strong scientific evidence that supports the link between breeding and the positive welfare of animals under human care that cannot be released back to the wild, so we will be working with the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) to ensure that our animals' welfare remains positive in the absence of our females rearing young.
"What everyone can agree on, is that the welfare of these animals is the top priority” he said.
With DMCP no longer breeding its dolphins, pressure is being increased on Sea World at the Gold Coast.
World Animal Protection has launched a public petition calling on the Queensland Government to ban captive dolphin breeding at Sea World.