A vigil for marine life was held yesterday on the steps of City Hall in Gulfport, Mississippi, in an effort to stop the captivity of dolphins at the new Gulfport Aquarium which is scheduled to open in 2019.
Doll Stanley, with In Defense of Animals, simultaneously brought a petition with 200,000 signatures of people who are opposed to dolphin captivity before city leaders at Gulfport’s City Council meeting yesterday afternoon.
In Defense of Animals has suggested an ordinance Prohibiting the Use of Cetaceans within Gulfport, which aims to prevent the ongoing use and abuse of dolphins and whales in captivity. It would allow the dolphins that are already scheduled to be shipped to the new “dolphin prison” but no more after that.
“Mississippi Aquarium’s plans swim against the tide of compassion with many states, cities, and nations taking steps to outlaw dolphin captivity,” said Stanley. “The world around us is outlawing the imprisonment of highly intelligent and sensitive animals, which makes the aquarium a risky investment for Gulfport. We urge Mayor Hewes to do the right thing and keep dolphins out of the Mississippi Aquarium and in the oceans where they belong.”
In Defense of Animals, Sonar, and the Animal Advocacy Initiative of Mississippi sponsored the ordinance that would set an important precedent by asserting dolphins’ right not to be used for entertainment, education or research.