dolphin underwater


Dolphin Freedom

Helping Dolphins

Why Dolphins Need Our Help

  • Captivity

    We all love dolphins and find joy in seeing them. What many of us don't realize is what captivity means to a dolphin.

    Having dolphins in captivity has become a lucrative business. People flock to see dolphins, swim with dolphins, and watch them perform. In order to meet the demands of purchasing these dolphins, wild dolphins must be captured.

    Dolphins are very intelligent and have a complex social awareness. They live in family groups called pods which is a very important part of their lives. Being separated from their pod during the capture process is very traumatic to both the captured dolphin(s) and the remaining pod family.

    Capturing wild dolphins is a violent process. During this terrifying experience, some dolphins die from shock. Often young dolphins are separated from their mothers. Many dolphins die during or shortly after being subjected to the capturing process.

    Once captured, dolphins are then transported to tanks or small lagoons. Their quality of life becomes seriously compromised. Consider the following:

    ~Dolphins swim up to 40 miles a day and can dive up to 900 feet (300 meters) or more. In captivity, they are limited to extremely small enclosures by comparison and often display boredom, swimming over and over in a small circle.

    ~Dolphins in tanks live in artificial, chemically treated sea water, which causes reoccurring health problems. Those confined in lagoons must live in water that becomes soiled because natural filtration is limited.

    ~In captivity, dolphins are very limited in using their sonar, normally an important part of their daily lives. Since this is a major part of how they "see", captive dolphins are blinded in that respect.

    ~Dolphins in marine parks perform tricks for food. See Behind the Dolphin Smile at to see what ex-dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry wrote.

    Find out more!

"There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by only observing prisoners held in solitary confinement".

~ Jacques Cousteau


What You Can Do