Myth: When animals are on display, people will better appreciate the species and the enviroment.
There is no evidence that animals on display translates to the action of protecting and conserving a species. Exposing the graphic images and information regarding poaching, whaling, pollution, etc. is more likely to set people into motion than simply sitting down and watching the Shamu Show.
Ask yourself which image is more likely to produce conservation efforts:
Appreciation? Or patronization?
Myth: Dolphinariums and Marine Parks are educational
Marine parks like Sea World have agendas. The shows rarely, if ever, feature information on the dolphins like their social habits, their tight-knit families, or free-ranging and migratory tendencies. To show how artificial the captive enviroment is wouldn’t be good for buisness. Instead, the trainers during the show often excite the audience over the size of the animals, how they learn so many “behaviors,” how much they love being trained, and the “bond” the trainers have with the animals. This information is patronizing. It is not scientific, educational information. It is education with an agenda, and emotionalism.
How can viewing an animal jump through hoops, or live in a featurless swimming pool, be educational for the species? There is nothing natural about a dolphin show.
Most people who watch the dolphin shows remember the images more than the commentary. The entertainment values of marine parks, far outweighs the educational values. When families go to Sea World, they are looking to be entertained.
Education? Or entertainment?
Myth: Marine Parks conserve the species with captive breeding programs
Breeding these animals in captivity is not “conservating” the species. Captive breeding programs do nothing to boost the wild populations. Breeding in captivity often takes place before a female is sexually mature and able to undergo a healthy pregnancy. This often ends in death of mother or calf. Also, this produces hybrids- which would never happen in the wild, and social situations, ie. pregnant females with males, which is also unnatural. Often, dolphins will be given expirimental contraceptives and birth control. Some end up pregnant while on the contraceptives, and still births become prevelent. Dolphins stay with their families their entire lives. In marine parks, the calves and mothers are separated- transported across the world, and sold to other marine parks as surplus animals. The captive breeding programs completely disregard the nature of the animals and their well-being. It is simply manipulating its animals for profit.
In the wild, mothers and calves live together their entire lives. In captivity, they are most often separated and sold.
Conclusion: The captivity industry is comprised of corporations. They have agendas, and there is truthful information they will censor, if it will have a detrimental effect on their buisness. They exploit their animals and then claim that their purpose is to “teach” you about respect for nature. Is that truly educational? Helpful? Or is it just plain hypocritical?