Dolphinarium would not be a 'sanctuary'
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Fillipo Cassinelli's Letter to the Editor ("In support of Coral World," The Daily News, Jan. 7, 2013) describes Coral World's proposed dolphinarium as a "sanctuary," but there is no way that these dolphin exhibits and "swim with dolphins" programs that Coral World has plans for - in addition to a dolphin breeding pen - can in any way be called "sanctuaries."
There is a 76-page document titled "The Case Against Marine Mammals in Captivity," which was written by the Humane Society of the United States and the World Society for the Protection of Animals, is a must read for those thinking that dolphins enjoy their lives in captivity. The document states:
"The HSUS and WSPA believe that the entire captive experience for marine mammals is so sterile and contrary to even the most basic elements of compassion and humanity that it should be rejected outright."
The argument that the dolphinarium will save V.I. jobs also does not make sense. From what I saw of Coral World's employees at the CZM meeting, the majority of them were white stateside transplants who would go home or move on if they were laid off. Why don't more local people have those particular jobs?
By her own admission, Coral World owner Trudie Prior states that "Coral World has not made any money in 14 years." What's up with that? Either they do not know how to run such a business or they like the tax write-offs the constant losses give them. The economy has not been bad for all 14 years.
Their captive sea lions exhibit was supposed to be a fix for Coral World, but that does not seem to have worked out all that well.
The so-called education of adults and children about the unnatural, forced behaviors of captive dolphins kept in tiny, unnatural, sterile enclosures being trained by food deprivation to perform unnatural "tricks" and exhibit unnatural behaviors at their expense and Coral World's profit is not education at all.
Anyone genuinely concerned about bringing awareness about the vital importance of conservation and protection of our marine environment and the oceans that surround us should educate themselves and oppose this project wholeheartedly.
- Alana Mawson, St. Thomas