Five dolphins victims of exploitation in show center
Ali Rıza Akbulut- MUĞLA
With the death of a dolphin at a dolphin show center in the southwestern province of Muğla’s Marmaris district, the number of dolphin deaths that have occurred in the last two years due to inadequate living conditions at the center has increased to five.
Dolphins, which are used especially in entertainment centers in tourist places, for marriage proposals, photo shoots, or as part of therapy support for disabled people and children, are exploited under severe conditions in several centers.
After the dolphin named “Splash” died on July 24 at Onmega Dolphin Park, an entertainment center, another dolphin named “Jonas” also passed away as it couldn’t survive in the poor living conditions at the center.
The last two dolphins remaining at the show center, where five dolphins lost their lives in the last two years, were transferred to another show center in the southern province of Antalya.
The latest amendments to the Animal Protection Law in 2021 allowed nine dolphin parks in Türkiye to continue animal exploitation and trade for another 10 years, stated Öykü Yağcı, an official from Freedom for Dolphin Platform.
On the other hand, according to the new article, the existing facilities “cannot increase capacity by completing and increasing the number of animals that have decreased for any reason and opening new branches,” Yağcı explained while providing information regarding dolphin deaths and show centers where dolphins perform.
“Despite the new article, Onmega Dolphin Park, where five dolphins died in Marmaris, and Dolphinland in Antalya want to bring new dolphins under the pretext of the war in Ukraine and the increase in the number of tourists,” Yağcı expressed.
Emphasizing that dolphin show centers are about to receive permission from the necessary authorities, Yağcı said that dolphins should be rescued from captivity and that dolphin parks should be closed.
“Everyone who perpetuates animal cruelty and exploitation should pay the price before justice,” she added.
Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, India, Nicaragua, Slovenia and Switzerland have banned the use of dolphins for recreational purposes.
The dolphins in the closed show centers were sent to rehabilitation centers or facilities that are prevented from being used for commercial purposes.
For the survival of dolphins rescued from captivity and exploitation, the world’s first permanent shelter for dolphins was established by the Archipelagos Marine Conservation Institute on the Greek island of Lipsi.
The aim of the project is to provide a sheltered place for marine mammals in a large area.