Dolphinariums are unpopular and not profitable
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This is an open letter to Coastal Zone Management Commission.
Granting a permit to Coral World to hold captive dolphins, sentient beings, would be a huge mistake morally, ethically, socially and economically.
First, if she is still there, look at how small the enclosure is which contained a poor sea turtle who is on the endangered species list She can barely turn around, is in isolation and has been so for years. Coral World will not let her ever experience anything but her cage.
Every year, Fish and Wildlife has given them a permit to do this to this poor turtle who has never hurt anyone, who cannot even have the company of others, who cannot have the basic freedom of life to which she is entitled. I have already pled on her behalf to both Coral World and Fish and Wildlife. Now Coral World wants to have dolphins work for them to make them money. This attitude toward these poor animals is abusive.
Further, as the status of dolphin parks show, they are not even doing well from an economic perspective, because so many Americans and people of other countries and other Caribbean islands have risen up against the exploitation of dolphins.
Thus, your agreeing to St. Thomas keeping dolphins captive will turn off many visitors to our islands - and will very likely lead to a lawsuit, which will bring negative, not positive, newsworthiness to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Please do not agree to this exploitation of dolphins, and please review all the enclosures and animals at Coral World and determine if they are being treated in a humane fashion, including whether, and for how long, an animal has been in isolation.
Please have these poor captives examined by independent professionals and allow the turtles to go back in the water, where they belong. Please allow us at GreenerVI.org to coordinate any way that members of the public can be part of a rehabilitation program for these animals, particularly endangered species.
Below is the long list of dolphin facilities which were closed or never even opened.
- Susan Wolterbeek, St. Thomas, is president of GreenerVI.org