Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has learned from an informed source that the Atlantis Resort at Paradise Island in the Bahamas is preparing for a one billion dollar expansion.
Included in these plans is a large dolphinarium.
Presently, the Resort does not have a captive facility and guests have been going off site to see dolphins in the wild. The Atlantis Resort wants to keep these tourists dollars and is looking at providing an all-inclusive package for tourists to the Bahamas staying at their facility.
Atlantis Resort, owned by Kerzner International Resorts Inc., reportedly has already purchased 25 dolphins for the facility. At least 15 more will be purchased. All the animals will be bottlenose dolphins.
The location of these dolphins and the source of their acquisition have not yet been determined. Nor is it known when the dolphins will be arriving in the Bahamas.
The Chief Marine Officer for the Marine Sciences Development Department is Frank Murru, who was a former dolphin trainer with Sea World. Steve Kaiser is the Vice President of the Marine Sciences Department. Sea Shepherd has requested information from the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas detailing where the dolphins were purchased and where they are presently being held.
Sea Shepherd is concerned that these dolphins are being obtained from the cruel dolphin drives held in Taiji and Futo, Japan, and from the Solomon Islands.
The Society believes that Atlantis Resort should be forthcoming with this information and should satisfy the concerns of potential visitors to their facility who would be concerned about the origin of captive dolphins.
There are only three sources for acquiring dolphins:
- The first source is capturing them from the wild, which involves inflicting injuries and casualties on the pods targeted in order to obtain a few dolphins for display.
The second source is purchasing dolphins from other captivity facilities.
The third source is purchasing dolphins from captive breeding programs.
While Sea Shepherd is opposed to the display of captive dolphins our specific motivation for action is our concern regarding the capture of dolphins from the wild.
"There are many organizations involved with the welfare of dolphins presently in captivity and we applaud their efforts," said Captain Paul Watson. "Our focus is wild captures, and our concern is both for the legality of such captures and for the horrific suffering, death, and social disruption inflicted upon wild dolphins in dolphins drives and round-ups."
Our decision to actively target the Atlantis Resort with a campaign will depend upon the source of their purchase. Nonetheless, we expect that Atlantis Resort will be attracting the attention and protests of the large international network of anti-captivity organizations.
If you would like to inquire about the status of the dolphins, their origin, and/or express your opinion about the Resort's plans for a captive dolphin facility, please contact:
Kerzner International Resorts Inc.
1000 South Pine Island Rd.
Plantation, FL 33324