Dr. Naomi Rose, marine mammal scientist of the Animal Welfare Institute, member of the International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee, outlines the impact of captivity on cetaceans and how conservationists around the world are fighting to find alternatives to traditional zoo practices.
Naomi Rose’s take:
“This is a very old-fashioned concept in a very modern world, and what’s perpetuating it at this point is ignorance in the East, and the desperation of a dying industry in the West. It’s very strange to me how wedded to the concept of live animal exhibits the whale and dolphin community is. Zoos and aquariums are actually modernizing with a little bit more flexibility. For example, they are phasing out elephant exhibits, and polar bear exhibits, and the common denominator of the exhibits they’re phasing out are large wide-ranging species. They are recognizing that large wide-ranging species do not thrive in captivity. And the whales and dolphins exhibiting facilities, who specialize in these species, are clinging on for their dear lives to this type of exhibition.”