There has been a blow-up in the travel blogging community over the recent inclusion of captive dolphin experiences at a bloggers' conference in Cancun, Mexico. Those against the idea of captive dolphin experiences started a boycott, published a lot of posts with “facts” taken from documentaries like Blackfish and The Cove, and overall made me shudder at the poor form with which the argument was presented. I could go into the dozens of reasons as to why this was a horrible choice for our industry, but to sum it up in one statement, my biggest point of contention was that bloggers were fighting to restrict their own access to research a hotly contested topic- one we were personally invited to come and see firsthand.
Rather than take part in this debate once the conversation degraded past the point of being civil (so, about 5 minutes in), we decided to take matters in our own hand. We had to find out the facts for ourselves.
We had already done a wild dolphin encounter in Mauritius earlier this year, but to be able to adequately talk about the captive alternative, we made it our quest to take in a private dolphin experience during our conference stay in Mexico. We were signed up for the provided tour with the conference, but unfortunately the boycott got the event to be cancelled (or at least, we think it did. We never received an official notification from our sponsor, which makes the industry-declared “cancellation” seem very suspicious).
Luckily, a representative from Dolphin Discovery invited us to check out their dolphinarium during our stay, outside of the official conference itinerary, to experience their dolphin encounter for ourselves.
What we found was a bit shocking.
Read moreWhich is More Ethical – Captive Dolphin Experiences or Wild Tours?