Update: Atlantis Confirms 1st U.S. Resort to be Built in Oahu
Dolphin Project can confirm that the first Atlantis U.S.-based resort will be developed in West Oahu, Hawaii, and will include an extensive captive dolphin exhibit.
Hawaii developer Jeff Stone’s The Resort Group, the master developer of the 642-acre master-planned resort community, said a subsidiary of China Oceanwide Holdings closed on the $280 million purchase of 26 acres of land at Ko Olina’s “Honu Lagoon 2.” The Hong Kong-based company, which is headed by one of China’s richest individuals, is spending about $580 million total on Hawaii properties.” ~ Source: American City Business Journals, Pacific Business News, 9/19/16
In 2008, Atlantis The Palm in Dubai unveiled “Dolphin Bay,” a captive swim-with-dolphins facility. It was branded as “one of the most sophisticated dolphin habitats in the world”* yet failed to reveal the source of their entertainment. In 2007, 28 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins were wild sourced from the Solomon Islands and shipped to the luxury facility – a deal whereby government tax was estimated at over $100,000 USD. The Solomon Islands overturned their 2003 ban on the trade of live dolphins to allow this export.
*Source: Atlantis The Palm in Dubai
Captive cetacean displays banned in Maui
In contrast, in 2002, on the neighboring island of Maui, the City Council enacted Ordinance No. 3109 to ban the exhibition of captive cetaceans. The move was in response to a plan for a dolphin park in a shopping center on the island, referring to the importance of wild dolphins and whales in their waters.
With an abundance of natural beauty – including 18 different species of toothed whales, and six species of baleen whales that live in the waters around the state – along with a growing, worldwide condemnation of keeping dolphins in captivity, we call upon the state of Hawaii to follow Maui. We ask that all exhibitions of captive cetaceans be banned. In addition, we ask that existing facilities be “ramped down” to disallow all captive breeding and retire their dolphins to seaside sanctuaries.
Featured image: Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, CC license 3.0, Imre Solt
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Sign the petition requesting the State of Hawaii ban cetacean captivity
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It might be true that we don't recall many moments from our early years. However, Cara's first memory of a dolphin had her begging her parents to ask the trainer to let the dolphin go! The problem with captivity was evident to her, even as a 4 year-old child.
A writer by trade, Cara has researched, investigated and documented dolphins suffering in captivity. From documenting dolphins incarcerated in buildings, cut-off from fresh air, sunlight and normal socialization to researching cases of animals imprisoned in solitary confinement, Cara is a dedicated dolphin welfare advocate.
It is her belief that education equals empowerment. The more information shared, the better our choices and knowledge of how to act as a positive and respectful voice for dolphins across the world.
Cara is based out of Canada and makes time whenever possible to observe dolphins in their natural environments. She is writing her first fiction novel but knowing her, the marine world will play a prominent role in her book!
"The use of animals for entertainment is nothing more than an abuse of dominance. Some of the most sentient species on the planet have been exploited to incomprehensible levels, all due to their inherent benevolence. Ironic, considering that we turn to the abused themselves for displays of humanity."
~ Cara Sands