Dolphin Defenders St. Maarten has become increasingly concerned regarding the amount of businesses that are promoting the Captive Dolphin Facility on Anguilla on St. Maarten. Due to the efforts of Dolphin Defenders previous plans to establish a Captive Dolphin Facility on St. Maarten have ceased, however with the reopening of Captive Dolphin Facility in Anguilla many businesses are promoting an activity which both organizations feel should be banned.
"We cannot endorse or support local businesses which actively promote what amounts to the enslavement and exploitation of an animal that is self-aware and sentient. Dolphins are not made to be in an enclosed pen for the rest of their lives; these are animals that travel up to hundreds of miles a day. Dolphins which are kept in Captivity are done so in very bad conditions, with many of the animals showing horrific injuries and living a fraction of what they would in the wild. Dolphins living in captivity often also show social problems and neurotic behavior which results in aggression to both fellow dolphins and to the humans that train them and the humans that pay money in order to swim with them," read a Dolphin Defender statement.
The organization further states that they were disappointed to see how many companies actively promote the Captive Dolphin Program in Anguilla on St. Maarten; "having a Captive Dolphin Facility on St. Maarten and promoting one on Anguilla is essentially the same thing; it is based on the exploitation of a majestic creature for the economic benefit of greedy individuals and we urge the companies that do promote these programs to reconsider. The tourist high season coincides with the time of year where many dolphins and whales are passing through our waters, and we encourage businesses to invest in whale and dolphin watching trips where you can meet the animals on their own terms instead of in an artificial pool or pen which is essentially a prison environment," stated Dolphin Defenders.
According to the Humane Society International new research is constantly being published that shows that dolphins suffer from captivity, "Results often confirm what our common sense tells us is true—dolphins are unsuited to confinement in concrete tanks or in small sea pens. We must reach the people who visit these dolphinariums, who want to swim with dolphins, we must convince them to step back and consider the situation from the dolphins' point of view. The dolphins don't want to interact with us as much as we want to interact with them. If you ever find yourself swimming with a dolphin in the wide, blue ocean be grateful for the gift and don't ruin it by trying to capture this gift in a tank or a pen and paying $150 for it," read a Humane Society International comment on Captive Dolphin Facilities in the Caribbean.