Empty the tanks: Protestors make waves against dolphins and whales in captivity

16 May 2019

On Saturday the 11th of May, World Animal Protection staff and supporters joined other protestors from around the world to come together for international Empty the Tanks Day. Thanks to you we’re taking a stand against dolphins and whales being kept captive for entertainment.

Sea World Australia

On the Gold Coast, 60 protestors came out to show their opposition to Sea World’s ongoing captive breeding program. World Animal Protection representatives joined forces with Action for Dolphins and Animal Liberation Queensland to make sure our voices were heard. The peaceful protest helped draw attention to the issues facing dolphins in captivity.

Most of Sea World’s 30+ dolphins were born and bred in captivity to be used for entertainment. These incredibly intelligent animals can live for up to 50 years in captivity. That’s a long time to spend in a swimming pool performing the same tricks for tourists, day after day, year after year.

That’s why we need to take a stand. We want to ensure that this is the last generation of dolphins to suffer a lifetime in captivity.  We’re calling on the Queensland Government to ban captive breeding at Sea World. We’re also asking both Sea World and the Queensland Government to work with us on a sea sanctuary feasibility study to see if the remaining dolphins at Sea World can be relocated to a more natural environment.

Miami Seaquarium Florida

On the other side of the globe, more than 75 protestors gathered outside Miami Seaquarium in Florida to protest the venue’s ongoing use of dolphins and orcas in performances. It was fantastic to see a strong turnout at this peaceful protest.

Following the airing of films such as Blackfish, it’s clear that the tide is turning against these venues. Keeping whales and dolphins in captivity for entertainment is becoming increasingly unacceptable.

Next steps

Firstly, a big thank you again to all the passionate people who supported the Empty the Tanks protests around the world. Peaceful public protests are a great way to pressure venues and governments to take action to protect animals.

Sadly, our work is far from over. If you haven’t already, please be sure to sign our petition to the Queensland Government asking them to ban captive breeding at Sea World. You can also share our information on wild animals in captivity to help inform others, so they know not to visit or support these venues. 

We want to ensure that this is the last generation of dolphins to suffer a lifetime in captivity.
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