Join DFE live at the European Parliament, Brussels

On Wednesday, 28 June 2023, DFE will be meeting with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss why captivity is not a suitable environment for cetaceans. We will be encouraging MEPs to consider legislation prohibiting the exploitation and display of these wide-ranging, intelligent marine mammals across the European Union, including ending their breeding and importation, preventing the establishment of any further dolphinaria, and gradually retiring current captives to seaside sanctuaries – a place of refuge where individuals may live in a setting as close as possible to their natural habitat.

Nearly 300 cetaceans currently reside in captive facilities in the EU, performing tricks for food in barren environments, which lack the size and complexity to meet the needs of these complex species.

Dolphin and whale shows are not ‘education’ – they are exploitation.


Wednesday 28 June 2023 @ 12:00 | (UTC+02:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris
(Please adjust timing to suit your destination – based currently on UTC)

Join Link

Webinar number
2741 015 7580

Webinar password
xDi3YNWZp24 (93439699 from phones and video systems)

Join by phone
+49-619-6781-9736 Germany Toll

Access code
274 101 57580

March 2023 – UK 30 years dolphinaria free

Dolphinaria-Free Europe members are all dedicated to seeing the ending of breeding, retaining, and displaying dolphins, whales, and porpoises in captivity in Europe. In March 2023, the UK celebrates 30 years free of dolphinaria in the country, and UK member organisation Marine Connection co-founder and Dolphinaria-Free Europe Chair, Margaux Dodds celebrates this milestone, however, she highlights the need for a permanent ban on importation and display to be established to ensure the UK remains free from this industry.
Article here courtesy of Marine Connection

Further orca death at Loro Parque

image courtesy Marine Connection

Loro Parque has today announced the sudden death of 20-year-old orca Kohana at the facility. Kohana had suffered health issues for some time, a necropsy is to be carried out to determine the exact cause of death. Born May 2002 at SeaWorld, San Diego, Kohana gave birth to two calves in her lifetime, a male Adán in 2010 and female Victoria in 2012, who died at 10 months of age.

Dolphin deaths at Mediterraneo, Malta

DFE member Marine Connection has been working alongside colleagues in Malta since reports of three missing dolphins were first revealed.  The park initially advised that the dolphins had been moved to a facility in Spain, however upon further investigation, it was revealed the dolphins had in fact died at the facility.  Since making this discovery the charity has worked alongside ministers in Malta to find out the cause of death and can now reveal that this was due to lead poisoning.  An investigation into the park is now underway.

Detailed update on the Marine Connection website

Dolphins moved from Aquopolis, Spain to Hainan Ocean Paradise, China

Parques Reunidos has decided to close their dolphinarium in Aquopolis, Costa Dorada (Spain), and has sent their nine dolphins to Hainan Ocean Paradise (China).

Current proposals for changes to the laws in Spain regarding animal welfare may have, in part resulted in this decision by Parques Reunidos, however as they have other parks in Spain and throughout Europe, could this be the start of a change to their business model, and if so, will more of their dolphins and whales follow to China.  The closure of Aquopolis leaves Marineland, owned by Aspro Parks, the only facility left in the Catalonia region housing captive dolphins.

Parques Reunidos press release on the move here

Beluga whale dies at Spanish facility

image: Mendar Bouchali

Male beluga whale Kairo has passed away at Valencia’s L’ Oceanografic. He was moved from Mar de Plata aquarium in Argentina in 2003, shortly after L’Oceanografic opened. Over the years, he fathered at least 2 calves, one that died at 25 days old in 2006 and another born in 2016, which is still living.

In 2019, former Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson approved permits to move two beluga whales from Marineland in Canada to L’Oceanogràfic as part of a research project, however, Dolphinaria-Free Europe pushed for this move to be stopped and to date, there have been no transfers. However, this latest whale death leaves female 26-year-old Yulka and her son Kylu, which is a real concern as  L’ Oceanografic may push to import male belugas.