Phasing out cetacean captivity

There is a paradigm shift around the world of phasing out the keeping of cetaceans in captivity.  Here is a brief overview of some milestones, from a global perspective, including Europe.

Do you want to help move towards a Europe without captive cetaceans?  Read about some of the actions on our ‘Help Cetaceans‘ page.

European Milestones:

  • January 2017, the Italian Government shuts down Rimmi Dolfinarium due to poor conditions for the animals and no licence.
  • In 2016, the last dolphinarium in Finland closed due to reduced public attendance
  • In 2016, the City Council of Barcelona (Spain) voted against the construction of a new dolphinarium at Barcelona Zoo, in favour of moving the dolphins it has into a sanctuary.
  • May 2017, a Decree was proposed, banning the reproduction of all captive cetaceans in France.  However, the captivity industry fought this and overturned it.

Non-European milestones:

  • July 2013, Switzerland bans the importing of cetaceans into their country, effectively ending the keeping of cetaceans there, when Connyland transferred their last dolphins to another facility, outside of Switzerland.
  • March 2016, SeaWorld (USA) pledged to end orca breeding at all their current and future parks (although, note they have violated this pledge – see below)
  • In 2016, Baltimore National Aquarium (USA) pledged to retire their 7 dolphins to a sanctuary by 2020.
  • 1 June 2017, legislation implemented in California (USA);  bans the breeding or orca in the state.  No import or export of orca.  Those in captivity at the time may remain.