Sing the PETITION to stop the dolphinarium in Poland!
* Update August 25, 2015 *
On August 25, 2015 the Minister of the Environment of the Republic of Poland, Maciej H. Grabowski released his official statement on the opening of the first dolphinarium in Poland. According to this statement, the Ministry will not grant an import permit which is required by CITES to transfer dolphins into facility that is planned to be opened in the city of Mszczonow. The Ministry based its decision on the evaluation prepared by the State Council for Environmental Protection, which questioned the conditions in which dolphins were to be transferred and held captive, as well as arguments provided by Polish and international scientific experts and animal rights activists.
In his statement, Minister Grabowski points out that opening any new dolphinarium will have a negative impact on wild dolphin population, because it stimulates the demand for more and more animals to be sourced from their natural environment. Due to relatively short life expectancy and low reproduction rate in captivity, wild dolphins must be taken to supplement captive population, which, as a Minister of Environment, he cannot approve. He concludes his statement with a remark that the only thing that commercial dolphin facilities can teach us is that humans are ready to sacrifice other being, even as intelligent as dolphins, for their entertainment.
Despite it being a clear sign of Polish Government’s negative attitude towards dolphin captivity, there is still no legislation in place that would prevent opening such facilities in Poland in the future. Until that changes, dolphinarium in Mszczonow can still be opened, provided it meets formal requirements for obtaining permits regarding import and conditions in which the animals will be held. Those permits will be issued independently by governmental agencies on various administrative levels, which may or may not follow the recommendations offered by the State Council for Environmental Protection. For this reason, further actions aimed at educating Polish society and strengthening the opposition towards dolphin captivity in Poland as well as introducing appropriate legislative changes must and will be taken.
Up till now, there has never been a dolphinarium in Poland. With a new investment planned to be carried out in the city in Mszczonów, this may soon change.
Mszczonów is a small town with over 6000 inhabitants, located in central Poland, 50 kilometers from the capital city of Warsaw and over 400 kilometers away from the waters of the Baltic Sea. This year, one of Warsaw-based companies purchased 5500 square meters of land near the largest local tourist attraction – a complex of thermal pools – as a ground for a dolphinarium. The investor, named Polskie Centrum Edukacji i Ochrony Mórz (Polish Center for Education and Sea Conservation) states that the main purpose of this facility will be dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT), education and entertainment. The facility will cover 3814 square meters, with 17 meters in height and consist of indoor and outdoor pools. It will house 3 or 4 supposedly captive-born bottlenose dolphins, obtained from another European dolphinarium. The opening date for this facility is set to 2017.
This investment is a source of major controversy, both in Poland and abroad, as it is contrary to the global movement to cease dolphin exploitation in dolphinariums and theme parks. For many years there have been independent reports that the educational value of dolphin shows is close to none, while DAT is used to take money from desperate parents, with little credible scientific justification.
In the light of above mentioned facts we have launched a campaign to NIE! dla delfinarium (“NO! for the dolphinarium), which aim is not only to stop the dolphinarium in Mszczonow, but also to widely educate Polish society about the dolphin captivity industry and the suffering those animals endure in facilities like the one that is planned to be opened in Poland. We are a group of experts and advocates, supported by Viva! Foundation. This website – www.niedladelfinarium.pl – was created as an information hub for individuals and institutions who wish to get more information about dolphin and whale captivity as well as the campaign.
Through educational efforts and changes in legislation, we hope that not only the shameful and irresponsible plan of dolphinarium in Mszczonow is stopped, but also that there will never be a dolphin kept in captivity in Poland.
Please support our campaign, by signing our petition: http://niedladelfinarium.pl/petition/
and petitions launched by WWF and Greenpeace:
Should you wish to obtain more information about the campaign, please send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org.