Marcos Update: A New Sea Pen

By Ric O’Barry
Dolphin Project


Marcos, the little striped dolphin who lost his pod and wound up under the care of PROMAR, a grassroots stranding organization based in the south of Spain, is getting stronger and healthier.

But as I noted in my previous blog, his sea pen is small and shallow and is located in a harbor area near boat traffic and pollution.  He needs a bigger sea pen, to get stronger, and away from the noise of passing boats.
Given the exposure of the coast here, the sea pen will also need to be tied down to resist storm waves.

 I spent several weeks in Almerimar, Spain, consulting with PROMAR and helping their volunteer work with Marcos. 

One of the immediate needs I saw was the lack of waders.  Many of the volunteers have wetsuits that they can put on to get into the water to feed and exercise Marcos, but a much easier way to go is to slip on a pair of rubber waders.  Marcos likes the waders too, as the rubber feels like a dolphin’s skin, and Marcos loves to rub against the sides of your legs as you are wading about in his shallow sea pen.  PROMAR had only two pairs of waders for all the staff, so Dolphin Project bought them four more pairs for their use.


A deeper sea pen being needed in a new location away from the harbor.  I am grateful to all the support we have received at Dolphin Project for our work to protect dolphins.  Your donations are going to a very worthy cause in helping Marcos and PROMAR out.  PROMAR is using mostly volunteer labor to build the sea pen, and much of the materials are being donated.


Marcos is doing well, and his new and improved sea pen is taking shape.

I hope to return to Spain to help after the holidays.  I know Marcos is in great hands from the dedicated volunteers of PROMAR.


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About Ric O'Barry

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Ric O’Barry, Dolphin Project Founder & Director has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.

In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.

From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.

Over the past 40 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.

O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphin$.

Author: Ric O'Barry


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