Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Coffs Harbour’s Dolphin Marine Magic looks to offshore sea pens for cetacean exhibits

Coffs Harbour’s Dolphin Marine Magic looks to offshore sea pens for cetacean exhibits
March 1, 2018

Having been under fire from environmental activists in recent years, Coffs Harbour’s attraction Dolphin Marine Magic has agreed to take part in a feasibility study that could see its captive dolphins relocated to a ‘more natural’ offshore sea pen.

Teaming with animal campaign group Action for Dolphins, the attraction is looking at the possibility of building an ocean sanctuary and moving its captive dolphins there if it is deemed viable and in their best interests.

The joint study is a surprising outcome that was negotiated after Action for Dolphins sued the park.

Action for Dolphins Director Jordan Sosnowski stated “we believed the sea sanctuary gives them the best possible way of life that they can have, and we really do have a duty to give them that.

"Dolphins can't use soundwaves or echolocation to communicate in captivity because the sound waves bounce off the concrete walls.

"The great thing about being in a sea pen is they'll be able to use that primary sense."

During the summer a group of young Coffs Harbour locals picketed outside Dolphin Marine Magic and asked visitors to boycott its dolphin shows.

Protestor Haley Micklosz-Martin told the ABC "They make the dolphins perform before crowds and make them live in chlorinated pools, so we're picketing here to make them stop.”

Micklosz-Martin acknowledged that the park did provide a voice for marine research in the region, but questioned the need to keep captive dolphins but added “if you want to study their behaviour this is not the place to do it. Study them in their natural environment.”

However, Dolphin Marine Magic veterinarian Dr Duan March said the concern was misplaced and the animals were healthy and happy to live and interact with visitors in the park.

Dr March stated “they are in good health in these pools and we can manage them safely.”

Dr March said despite joining forces on the feasibility study, the two organisations were yet to find common ground on a lot of issues.

Sosnowski said the dolphins should be left alone in the sea pens so they could be "provided with a much more natural lifestyle", adding “in a sanctuary there'll be so much more enrichment for them; there'll be currents and tides and fish to look at and a sandy bottom.

Dr March disagreed, commenting “they can't be left alone there, they're going to need to be managed with constant interactions.

"We can't just put them in a pen in the harbour and expect them to be fine.

"They're habituated to management and we can look at transitioning that management from public interactions to open water swims with the public."

The cost of maintaining the pens was also likely to be a major factor in the study.

Dr March concluded “if we find the harbour is a suitable location for the animals there'll be tens of millions of dollars for the construction and then millions of dollars for the upkeep.

"It could be an exciting future for the park and an evolution for us down there in a setting that provides better welfare outcomes for the dolphins."

Images: A marine show at Dolphin Marine Magic (top) and a larger ocean enclosure would allow the dolphins to use their primary sense of eco-location, which they can't use in their concrete pools (below, courtesy of Action for Dolphins). 

15th April 2017 - COFFS HARBOUR DOLPHIN ATTRACTION FACING COURT FOR ‘MISLEADING’ ANIMAL WELFARE CLAIMS

14th May 2016 - QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT BACKS SEA WORLD’S MARINE MAMMAL CONSERVATION WORK

9th May 2016 - CAMPAIGN LOOKS TO NEW LAW TO END DOLPHIN CAPTIVITY IN NSW

22nd April 2016 - SEA WORLD TO MARK WORLD PENGUIN DAY

22nd March 2016 - SEAWORLD USA TO MOVE AWAY FROM KILLER WHALE SHOWS 

4th November 2015 - SEA WORLD RESCUE TEAM REHABILITATES DOLPHIN

10th August 2015 - REBRANDED DOLPHIN MARINE MAGIC CONTINUES AS THE ONLY DOLPHIN ATTRACTION IN NSW

29th May 2015 - SEA WORLD WHALE WATCH LAUNCHES 2015 SEASON

7th January 2015 - ANIMAL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNERS TARGET SEA WORLD DOLPHINS


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

PlayRope

Playrope Aqua-Fun, are the Australian & New Zealand exclusive distributors for Vortex Aquatic Structures International, the world leader in aquatic playgrounds and urban water landscapes.…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Parks / Play / Recreation

 
 
 

revolutioniseSPORT

revolutioniseSPORT is the emerging market leader in online club management in Australia. Whether it is memberships, registrations, events, online sales or governance tools - revolutioniseSPORT is the…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Technology

 
 

SeatGeek Asia Pacific

SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Spill Station Australia

Compliant chemical storage and decanting solutions. Includes spill kits, spill containment pallets, chemical decanting decks and safety shower and eyewash equipment. See our full range of solutions

read more

Aquatics / Safety / Security / Venues

 
 

IEDM

iEDM integrate Design, Engineering and Delivery Management services to convert existing spaces into exciting new entertainment venues. Our team consists of highly qualified professionals with diverse…

read more

Consultants / Design

 
 

The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play

 
 

Quayclean

Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Surfaces / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business