In this episode, Kathryn Sussman discusses welfare issues related to whale and dolphin captivity with Dr. Naomi Rose, marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute and member of the International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee.

Dr. Rose sheds light on the multifaceted natural behaviors of these majestic mammals and their need for expansive living space that is difficult to provide in captivity. She also explains cetacean exhibits’ adverse effect on visitors’ education and support for conservation initiatives, directing us instead to better ways to help.

“These animals spend the vast majority of their lives below the surface, out of our view, and of course when we have them in captivity the whole point is to be able to see them, so we take that away from them. We are seeking to control the very thing that attracts us to them in the first place, which is this free spirit that exists in the ocean, below the surface.” – Dr. Naomi Rose.

Dr. Rose’s insight inspires Kathryn and Gen to follow-up with a discussion on the incredible intelligence of marine mammals and their complex social structures undermined by traditional captivity practices.

“Nothing can justify the continuation of this activity – not scientific research, human entertainment, nor education.” – Kathryn Sussman, in a presentation to the Canadian Senate Committee in support of Bill S-203, a long-standing effort to end the captivity of whales and dolphins in Canada (June 2017).

Our message of change: Express your displeasure with facilities that house whales and dolphins! Now you know!

Be part of the change!

  • Simply avoid going to facilities that are housing whales or dolphins
  • If you do go to visit a facility housing whales or dolphins, express your concern or voice your displeasure with these exhibits
  • Find humane whale-watching tour operators if you are going to participate in eco-tourism
  • Contact your local elected officials asking for legislation that discontinues captivity of whales and dolphins
  • Contact organizations and take action in establishing viable solutions for the future of these animals, such as sanctuaries that provide rehabilitation, open-ocean enclosures and ideally release
  • Help us spread the word by sharing this podcast in your network

What’s next?

Join us in our mission to reach singer/songwriter and actor Harry Styles, who voiced his concern about whale captivity at a concert in 2015. Tag him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with a link to this episode.

Learn more

Understand the Politics behind All Things Whale with Kathryn Sussman and Zoocheck founder Rob Laidlaw.
Listen to the full interview about Cetaceans in Captivity with marine mammal scientist Dr. Naomi Rose.

If you’ve enjoyed listening to our podcast, we’ve a favour to ask. A lot of volunteering goes into making Now You Know, but it still takes money to run. If you’d like to help us make future Now You Know podcasts, please consider donating. Thank you!

Kathryn, Gen and the Now You Know team.

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