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ONLINE PETITION: HELP KEEP ANTIGUA & BARBUDA FREE OF CAPTIVE DOLPHINS
Wednesday 9th October 2013
 
The Antigua Barbuda Independent Tourism Promotion Corp (ABITPC)  launched an online petition on October 10th to the Government of  Antigua and  Barbuda calling for a law to passed to ban captivity of marine mammals in Antigua and  Barbuda in the  future.  
A number of countries have  taken this bold  step to protect marine mammals with India being the most recent. http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/india-banned-dolphin-captivity-on-moral-grounds Within the  first  5 hours  after the  ABITPC petition was  launched  nearly  400 people signed on.
 
This move would make the twin island state  "dolphin friendly" and would be welcomed by  thousands around the world who view the marine mammals with great sentiment.  ABITPC spokesperson Martha Watkins Gilkes commented,  " Antigua is such a beautiful "natural"  island with our nesting turtles, frigate birds,  rare racer snake,  a hugh variety of  bird life on the off shore islands. It is only right that we do not portray the image of captivity for marine mammals and  I am  sure  it will give us a  huge positive image in the international community and  much good publicity."    Gilkes continued by  stating that  she had  discussions with the Minister of  Tourism,  The Honorable  John Maginley,  who  confirmed that he would support this effort but commented that the necessary legislation would need to be put in place.
 
The  call was  made  for  this  big  step  after  an  article appeared in the  Daily Observer on Monday October 7th,  with an interview with Mr. Bowden from  Dolphin Cove in Jamaica.  In that  article he  indicated the  group was  interested in coming to Antigua to establish a  swim with the dolphin program.   A similar project was forced closed in 2004  as a  result of  many  environmental problems the  project caused.   http://www.enn.com/top_stories/article/407 
ABITPC is  opposed to a  dolphin   project for  specific reasons.  Gilkes commented,  " We fear an horrendous repeat of what  happened  last time.  We  believe dolphins prisons  are  a bad idea for Antigua and  could  lead to total environmental and economic disaster for Antigua and Barbuda” 
 
 It is  a known fact that  there is much environmental damage to surrounding coral reefs where  dolphin pens are  located. The   nutrients in dolphin waste  in  a concentrated area causes  a  blue green   algae over bloom  which covers and  kills the live  coral.    Gilkes commented "Without  live  coral  around our  island  there are  big  problems;   you lose the fish population  then you lose the  barrier protection protecting the coast line.... it is a very serious situation." 
Gilkes  explained that  an  average dolphin weights  450 lb dolphin  and   eats   25   pounds of fish a day   and the  waste  from one  dolphin  is   equal   to   4 to 6  people;  if there  are 12 dolphins in a pen  ( as was the  case  in Antigua  the last  time)   that  is  like  waste from  72  people;  If there  is  any current since the  sea is  a moving thing, all that goes  in one direction down current and  ends up where  there are  coral reefs.    To see this  in  "living  color please  check here and here.
 
Other reasons for  ABITPC  opposition  include the  negative economic effect on small local  marine related businesses and  the  negative press internationally to  eco minded  people.   There is also  the  issues of  cruelty to the dolphins being imprisioned.  
 
A call is being made  to the public for those who do not support  marine mammals in captivity  to  Sign on to petition and to  share it with others.
 
Please Help us keep ANTIGUA CAPTIVE DOLPHIN FREE
 

 


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