Show for the Dolphins: Dr. Toni Frohoff on Top Ten Worst Tanks in North America, and Plans for a Seaside Sanctuary

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Japan Dolphins Day is September 1st. On this day, individuals, organizations, and activists will participate around the world for an International Day of Action to show that the massacre of dolphins in Taiji, Japan is a crime against nature and must end immediately.

To start the show, our guest co-host Daniela and co-host Jen tell us about the day they spent at the Delta Community Animal Expo last weekend, doing outreach to the public to try to shine a light on issues of speciesism and exploitation that were promoted at the Expo itself.

What Does the Future Hold for Captive Dolphins?

dolphin1The National Aquarium of Baltimore is retiring its 8 dolphins to a protected ocean-side habitat, which will be built by 2020. John Racaneli, Chief Executive of the aquarium has grown “increasingly uneasy” with the notion of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity, as have the public, who for the past 10 years have pressured the aquarium to end this practice.

The dolphins will be monitored by veterinarians and will have a digital connection to the aquarium in Baltimore. There are no plans to separate the dolphins, as they are bonded, and there will be no breeding. The area will be open to the public, who can view the dolphins from a viewing deck.

With the release of the documentaries The Cove (2009), Blackfish (2013) and Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered (2015), public awareness of the truth behind captivity and opinions of cetaceans in captivity is shifting. In this segment, we discuss this shifting view of dolphins in captivity, and moving towards building seaside sanctuaries for these beings, as will be done for Baltimore.

Unfortunately, highly-profitable dolphinariums are still being built around the world, often under the guise of “rescue and research facilities”, so we need stronger laws to protect them.

Dr. Toni Frohoff, Top Ten Worst Tanks for Dolphins and Whales in North America

TWT-Webpage-banner-blue-889x304For our feature interview, we have Dr. Toni Frohoff on the show. Toni is a wildlife behavioral biologist specializing in marine mammals for more than 30 years.  She is the staff scientist for cetaceans and elephants for the non-profit organization In Defense of Animals, which is an international animal rights and rescue organization dedicated to protecting the rights, welfare and habitats of animals.

As well as a co-author of two books on dolphins, Toni has put together the recent list of the Top Ten Worst Tanks for Dolphins and Whales in North America that IDA recently published, just in time before the opening of the hunting season for dolphins in Taiji, Japan on September 1st.

In this interview, Toni tells us about some of her findings, and why she (and other scientists) chose these particular 10 tanks (out of over 60 in North America) to be the worst. Our very own Vancouver Aquarium, known to be a “state-of-the-art” facility, comes out as #9. She also talks about the Taiji dolphin drive, and gives ample evidence as to why keeping cetaceans in captivity in this day and age is a cruel and archaic practise, and must be stopped.

You can find the Top Ten Worst Tanks list here.


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