The Marine Mammal Captivity Issue: Time for a Paradigm Shift

  • Lori Marino
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series book series (PMAES)


Dolphin and whale (cetacean) captivity is one of the most contentious cultural issues of modern times. But is there a way to proceed to resolve this issue based on evidence for whether cetaceans can thrive in marine parks and aquariums? By asking “who are cetaceans?” we gain insight into why their natural characteristics as wide-ranging, large brained and socially complex mammals make them particularly vulnerable to the stresses of living in concrete tanks and performing. The result is a growing body of scientific evidence for physical and psychological damage in cetaceans kept in concrete tanks. The time is ripe for the “captivity industry” and cetacean advocates and scientists to come together to create a paradigm shift in how we relate to cetaceans from exploitation to one of recognizing their need to be in their natural environment.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori Marino
    • 1
  1. 1.Whale Sanctuary ProjectKanabUSA

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