The Foundation was alerted to possible plans by a resort in Beacon Hill to construct a pier, breakwater and captive dolphin facility near Maho Beach.
“We are again faced with the rumoured development of a captive dolphin facility in St. Maarten, this time in the Beacon Hill/Maho area.From what we understood, the development will also involve the construction of a significant breakwater and pier,” Dolphin Defenders said in a statement Monday.
Aside from ethical and moral reasons for not keeping dolphins in captivity, there are also considerable negative socio-economic and environmental impacts the development may have, according to Dolphin Defenders.
“The construction of a significant breakwater and pier will likely affect the longshore movement and deposit of sand along the critical tourism beaches of Maho, Mullet Bay and Cupecoy. The sand is at risk from being washed away from these areas. Additionally, the building of a significant structure can also kill native seagrass and coral, which we have already lost so much of due to human impact and poor resource management,” the statement reads.
The organisation also mentioned that dolphins produce a large amount of faeces that will enter the environment.
“Dolphin faecal matter coming from dolphin holding pens has significantly affected the coastal areas of other locations where dolphins are being held. The faecal matter increases the nutrient load in nearshore environments and can result in harmful algal blooms, skin irritations and ear infections. I am sure that no visitor to the island will enjoy swimming in an area loaded with faeces.”
According to Dolphin Defenders, captive dolphin parks and the communities that condone these are experiencing negative press through international pressure groups and movies such as Blackfish and The Cove.
“We urge that government considers a programme where education and conservation of wild cetaceans, including whales and dolphins, is the focus, instead of captive programmes which are both inherently dangerous to the animals and the people that frequent them. This is the fourth time that we have had to come up against plans for a dolphinarium, and we are urging government and parliament to enact legislation that will block these developments from happening on the island,” concluded the Dolphin Defenders’ statement.
Bron: Daily Herald