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!