(Photo Credit: change.org petition page)
As of today, October 17, the petition that was created to prevent the return of Dolphin Discovery, the company that operated the Swim with the Dolphins attraction at Prospect Reef, has garnered over 4000 of the 5,000 signatures it set out to get.
Prompted by an announcement that was made on October 2 by Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie, that conversations were taking place to facilitate the return of the attraction, the petitioners hope to convince many that the business is inhumane.
This petition, which is authored by Neil Day, can be found on change.org and boldly describes the dolphins as captives. Further, the petitioner noted that the return of this tourist attraction should be halted.
The petitioner explained, “Very little good news came about as a result of hurricane Irma, which decimated the Virgin Islands in 2017, however the destruction of the tourist attraction run by Dolphin Discovery in Tortola meant that the island no longer held captive dolphins - but that may be about to change. Now the government of The Virgin Islands are in discussion with Dolphin Discovery to bring this outdated form of entertainment back to the BVI.”
Day also referred to the practice of dolphin amusement as exploitation. He said, “The practice of exploiting these intelligent, social animals is out of step with the modern world, basic decency and increasingly, the law, as countries, most recently Canada, continue to ban this vile exploitation.”
The petitioner further mentioned that having a swim with the dolphin programme is an embarrassment.
“Many travel companies, most recently Tripadvisor, have stopped promoting or selling tickets to captive dolphin programs as they distance themselves from those that profit from their confinement and suffering. This brings shame on all of us who call the BVI home,” he added.
During the press conference where the Premier had made the announcement, Premier Fahie had disclosed that something to facilitate the return of the Dolphins should be signed in the next two months, with the return some time in 2020.