In a major victory for marine mammals, a Supreme Court judge in the Bahamas has ordered a “swim-with-dolphins” exhibit to shut down and release its eight captive dolphins.
The facility on Blackbeard’s Cay, off the coast of Nassau, had barely opened its doors when Justice Stephen Isaacs ordered its owners, Blue Illusions Limited, to remove the shallow and unprotected sea pens that the dolphins were held in and restore the area to its original condition. And the victories kept coming as Justice Isaacs raised questions about the legality of importing dolphins into the Bahamas for anything other than research or preservation of the species.
The victory came on the heels of a campaign by local animal and environmental advocacy group reEarth and a petition to shutter the facility that was signed by more than 65,000 people. Siding with reEarth in the lawsuit that the organization filed against Blue Illusions Limited, Justice Isaacs found that the company, with help from government officials, had skirted building permits, ignored the public outcry against the facility, and imported the dolphins illegally. In a final blow, he ordered Blue Illusions to pay for reEarth’s costs in bringing the lawsuit. This is a historic victory for captive marine mammals, achieved because animal advocates like you refused to stay silent. Take action to help more imprisoned dolphins now.