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Environmentalists, community groups against dolphin attraction in St Ann

Published:Monday | November 19, 2018 | 11:25 AM
File photo

Environment lobbyists and community interests have launched a petition against the construction of a dolphin attraction in Discovery Bay, St Ann.

They argue that the Government has granted a restricted permit to a new Dolphin Cove at the Puerto Seco Beach development despite objections raised by marine scientists, the  Jamaica Environment Trust, The Discovery Bay Community Development Committee and The Fishermen's Coop of Discovery Bay.

According to the groups, due process was not followed in the granting of the permit.

They want the Government to withdraw its approval for the construction of this facility because:

1) Discovery Bay is a Fish Sanctuary. The construction of the captive Dolphin facility will damage the ecological health of the Bay due to the buildup of silt and disruption of existing currents.

2) The Bay is in a very calm cove and excrement from dolphins will not be quickly washed out into the open sea. This will pollute the Bay eventually damaging the coral reef and sea grass as well as affecting swimmers.

3) Dolphins are one of the most intelligent species on the planet. In the wild,dolphins swim in groups, up to 200 miles per day.  In captivity, this activity cannot be recreated and the dolphins suffer from separation anxiety, boredom, stress and depression. Dolphins in captivity are often put on antidepressant medication and even fertility drugs. Dolphins often attempt suicide while in captivity.

4) Dolphins in captivity are being phased out all over the world. This will be the fifth of the exact same type of attraction that we currently have in Jamaica. Jamaica's Draft Dolphin Conservation policy requires a carrying study to be done before there are any more dolphin attractions in Jamaica. To our knowledge, no such study has been done.

5) NEPA's (National Environment and Planning Agency) media statement does not clarify why a restricted permit was granted for the facility. NEPA also stated that if water in the Bay is negatively affected the permit will be withdrawn. We believe the precautionary principle should apply and we should not wait for damage to be done to take action.

With a target of 15,000 signatures, the petition has so far been signed by over 10,000 persons.

See petition here: 

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