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NSW Government bans dolphin breeding and importation of marine mammals

NSW Government bans dolphin breeding and importation of marine mammals
February 26, 2021

Follows a landmark inquiry, the NSW Government has today announced a new regulation under the Biodiversity Conservation Act that prohibits the breeding or importation of dolphins and other marine mammals.

The inquiry into the use of exotic animals in circuses and the exhibition of cetaceans in NSW, recommended stronger limitations on the breeding of dolphins.

The NSW Government’s update to the Biodiversity Conservation Act - Amendment (Cetacea) Regulation 2021: 

2.8A Breeding or importing animal of the order Cetacea
(1) A person must not, in relation to an animal of the order Cetacea -
(a) import the animal into New South Wales, or
(b) cause or permit the animal under the control of the person to breed.
(2) For section 2.7(4) of the Act, the actions listed in subclause (1) in relation to an animal of the order Cetacea

Explanatory note
The objects of this Regulation are - 
(a) to prohibit the breeding or importation of certain marine mammals, and
(b) to constitute the breeding or importation of the marine animals as harm for the purposes of the Act.

Under section 2.7(5) of the Act, a biodiversity conservation licence is not to be issued to authorise a person to harm or obtain a marine mammal for exhibition or other purposes unless the person issuing the licence is satisfied that it is necessary for genuine scientific or educational purposes or any other purpose connected with the conservation or protection of marine mammals.

This Regulation is made under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, including sections 2.7(3) and (4) and 14.10 (the general regulation-making power).

The NSW Regulations come off the back of an Upper House Parliamentary inquiry that confirmed dolphinariums are a dying business model, and made recommendations that the NSW Government effectively end the breeding of dolphins in entertainment venues.

World Animal Protection along with other animal welfare organisations, including Action for Dolphins, have publicly campaigned for a ban on captive dolphin breeding in Australia for years, and has advised that the NSW Government's amendment is "a welcome announcement".

In March 2019, Dolphin Marine Conservation Park in Coffs Harbour - the only dolphinarium in NSW - committed to stop captive dolphin breeding, and is working with World Animal Protection and Action for Dolphins on relocating their dolphins to a sea sanctuary.

World Animal Protection refers to research that shows 66% of Australians prefer to see dolphins in the wild, and 59% are willing to pay an extra half more for this experience.

Major travel brands including TripAdvisor and have already committed to stop selling tickets to dolphin shows and encounters.

As well as changes from the travel industry, Canada recently passed a ban on keeping dolphins, whales and porpoises for entertainment.

World Animal Protection’s report Behind the smile: The multibillion-dollar dolphin-entertainment industry is available here.

Main image: Dolphins in the ocean off Moreton Island.

Related Articles

15th December 2020 - NSW Government announces support for study into Coffs Harbour sea sanctuary for dolphins

9th December 2020 - Sea World and QPWS staff combine to free dolphin after days trapped in North Stradbroke Island rock pool

13th November 2020 - World Animal Protection unveils new campaign calling for end to captive dolphin breeding at Gold Coast’s Sea World

28th June 2020 - Plans move forward for new dolphin sea sanctuary at Coffs Harbour

13th June 2020 - Dolphin dies at Coffs Harbour Marine Conservation Park

23rd December 2019 - Sea World hit with new protests over dolphin care

16th December 2019 - Sea World has ‘nothing to hide’ in its dolphin care

18th June 2019 - New Zealand Government plans to expand protection for Maui and Hector’s dolphins

15th June 2019 - Coffs Harbour Dolphin Marine Conservation Park moves forward sea-pen sanctuary plan

12th June 2019 - New Dolphin attraction opens in Thailand

19th March 2019 - Coffs Harbour’s marine attraction ends breeding dolphins in captivity

14th February 2019 - Sea World’s oldest dolphin dies aged 55

2nd January 2019 - Queensland Government to allow dolphin feeding to continue in Tin Can Bay

15th December 2018 - Animal activists disrupt Sea World dolphin and seal shows

14th December 2018 - WA Dolphin Discovery Centre delivers new tourism experience and attraction

23rd May 2018 - Otago Researchers bring new perspectives on dolphin tourism activities

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

15th April 2017 - Coffs Harbour dolphin attraction facing court for ‘misleading’ animal welfare claims

9th April 2017 - Japanese aquariums quit industry body over Taiji cove dolphin ban

5th April 2017 - New report estimates cost of saving Maui dolphins

28th February 2017 - South Korean authorities investigate aquaria following dolphin death

11th February 2017 - Animal rights protesters disrupt Sea World dolphin show

23rd December 2016 - Sea World welcomes Baby Dolphin

22nd June 2016 - Breeding success at Resorts World Sentosa’s Dolphin Island

9th May 2016 - Campaign looks to new law to end dolphin captivity in NSW

7th January 2015 - Animal rights campaigners target Sea World dolphins

6th June 2014 - Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium dives in to support endangered dolphins

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