In 2018 Barcelona city pledged it would be free of captive cetaceans, this decision was the result of a two-year campaign. Over that period, discussions took place on whether the dolphin facility at the city’s zoo would be expanded or an alternative found for the dolphins held there. In 2016 two of the dolphins were moved to L’Oceanografic, Valencia, and since that time plans for the future of the remaining three dolphins were discussed, however more recently authorities in Barcelona favoured them being sent to Attica Zoological Park in Greece.
Dolphinaria-Free Europe opposed this plan because Greek law states no animal should be used for performance yet despite this ruling and although their license was suspended earlier this year, the authorities have surprisingly overturned this suspension and issued Attica with a new license, on the proviso that the dolphins are not used for shows/feeding sessions but are allowed to be on display.
The dolphins from Barcelona Zoo have now been transferred to Attica Park, officials say this was due to the fact that the park could offer the dolphins more adequate conditions. Previously Greece CITES rejected the request to transfer the dolphins, therefore the fact that this has now been authorised to take place is extremely disappointing.
Dolphinaria-Free Europe is now addressing the conditions behind this turn around with the license that allowed the transfer to take place and the future for the dolphins at Attica Park.