Green is CoolAnimalsWhat Does Captivity Mean For Animals: The Pros And Cons Of Aquariums On Marine Mammals
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What Does Captivity Mean For Animals: The Pros And Cons Of Aquariums On Marine Mammals

Nov.15.2021 44 view review
where in the us can you see marine mammals in captivity

Our planet is full of weird and wonderful animals, but it’s not just those on land that is important it’s the marine life too. Marine life is one of the most beautiful aspects of our planet, one that is largely unknown and undiscovered yet fascinating. Unfortunately due to human behaviors, climate change and global warming many species of marine life have become endangered and in some cases even extinct. There are also many animals in aquariums and marine mammals captivity hubs that are housing a large amount of marine life for entertainment purposes. There has been a lot of controversy regarding the ethics of such procedures and whether or not they take the animals best interest to heart. Today we will be unpacking all of it from whales and dolphins in captivity to the effects and behavior changes that may occur as a result.

The History Of Marine Mammals In Captivity

There are many reasons as to why marine mammal captivity began and why it still exists today. In order to properly understand the reason why animals should not be kept in captivity and unpacking the cases where it is helpful we first need to delve into a brief history of how it all began. The tradition started many many years ago in the 1860s when two beluga whales were captured and transpired to New York so that Americans had the possibility of witnessing something that only existed far from their homes. Marine animal captivity was used as a way to show the world about under the sea life. When people took well to the ability to visit aquariums to see rare marine mammals, the industry began to grow and flourish into a market fueled with corruption and cruelty.

What Does Captivity Mean For Animals?

how long do dolphins live in captivity

There have been many animals in captivity articles capturing the horrors and destructive side effects of the industry as well as the psychological effects of long term captivity. There are many reasons as to why these have occurred but first, it’s important to understand the meaning behind captivity for marine mammals and what is captivity environment. Firstly if you think of an aquarium, think about how many different animals and species you can expect to see. You have everything from hundreds of tiny fish species to jellyfish, sharks, stingrays and in some cases even larger mammals such as whales, dolphins and seals. Captivity for marine animals is when they are taken out of their natural habitat in the wild and transferred to a glass cage where they are held captive and used as a form of entertainment for people.

Should Marine Mammals Be Kept In Captivity?

Whether it’s whales in captivity or dolphins n captivity or any marine animal in captivity for that matter, there is a lot of evidence to back up why it may be a cruel form of capturing. There has also been a lot of research done into understanding the difference in animal behavior captivity vs wild and why they may be suffering. Many people believe or have been told to believe that captivity is a form of animal savior and that it is a way of helping the weak still be able to survive and live longer. While this may be true in rare cases, it has been understood that the effects of captivity on animals do more harm than good. Not only does it alter behaviors and shorten lifespans but also means that that creature, rehabilitated or not will never be able to return to the wild of the ocean waters again.

Are Aquariums Ethical?

Aquariums are the number one form of marine life captivity. The effects of captivity on marine mammals stretch vastly and has involved alot of scientific research and understanding in the making. A recently leaked excerpt from marine mammals in captivity as well as the case against marine mammals in captivity has recently shed light upon the hidden secrets within aquariums and the treatment of marine animals in general. Although aquariums can be a place of wonder and discovery the practices are not at all ethical and play a large role in the animal cruelty issues our planet is facing. Aquariums are very confined spaces and do not mimic the wild at all. Animals are shoved into concrete cages in which they swim back and forth daily. They do not develop properly as they do not have the opportunity to hunt and gather food, mate and reproduce or swim freely. As a result of this type of confinement, it has been seen that the mental health of animals in captivity is a loot poorer than that of those in the natural habitats of the oceans.

Marine Mammals in Captivity Pros and Cons

what is captivity environment

To better understand the marine mammals in captivity pros and marine mammals in captivity health problems and cons let’s take a deeper look into the effects. Firstly let’s take a look at whales and dolphins in aquariums. Whether it’s humpback whales in captivity, dolphin species, killer whales or orcas they all suffer similar effects as a result of a captive lifestyle. Firstly the dolphin lifespan in captivity is drastically reduced compared to the wild. A typical dolphin in the wild can live anywhere between 30 to 50 years and only 12 in captivity. The dolphin lifespan captivity vs wild is just one aspect of proving the cruelty behind aquariums. A dolphin that is born into captivity stands even less of a chance of survival. It is almost like taking a fish out of water or making human life in the sea. Another example let’s take an orca, and orca lifespan in wild is approximately 30 years and even 50-60 in some cases. In captivity, this number is halved and many die at a very young age, soon after birth or a miscarriage is experienced. An Orca in captivity vs wild is drastically different, they are forced into cruel habitats, they do not have enough space to breathe and cannot reproduce without going through a lot of pain and agony.

Behavioral Effects Of Marine Mammals In Captivity

It’s not just the lifespan of marine mammals that are impacted by captivity, a lot of health and behavioral problems are also a direct consequence of such isolation. For example dolphin, whale and orca behavior in captivity is largely impacted by their surroundings and lack of freedom and natural abilities. There have been recorded episodes of depressed dolphins and even killer whale in captivity pros and cons that have shocked the nation. Some of the impacts that captivity has on marine mammals include :

  1. Extreme stress
  2. Neurotic behaviors
  3. Abnormal levels of aggression
  4. Depression
  5. Lower mortality rate

One of the most interesting orca facts in captivity relates to the fact that they spend nearly 70 per cent of their entire lifetime completely motionless. This is extremely harmful to their structure and survival abilities.

Questions, Answers And Facts About Animals In Captivity

To better understand the world of captivity, why it exists and the harmful effects it is having on many of our precious marine mammals here are some of the most frequently asked questions and pieces of information you need to know.

  • How long have marine mammals been in captivity?

Marine mammals have been kept in captivity for over one hundred years. There have also been 5000 deaths of these marine mammals within those years.

  • How many marine mammals are in captivity?

There are currently around 2,500 marine mammals in captivity, including 2000 dolphins and 53 killer whales.

  • What law seeks to protect marine mammals?

All marine mammals are protected under the MMPA law, which prohibits the ability to “take” from the water. This law is used when a company or organization wants to take marine mammals from their natural habitat for use of public entrainment. This law will prohibit these actions unless exempt. However, as a result of laws, a lot of illegal action is taken in the depths of the ocean in order for aquariums to continue thriving financially.

  • Where in the US can you see marine mammals in captivity?

Mammals in captivity can be seen in many aquariums throughout the US as well as all Sea Worlds across the states.

  • Why marine mammals should not be kept in captivity

There are many reasons why marine mammals should not be kept in captivity, including lower lifespan and a range of mental and physical health problems that occur as a direct result.

  • How long do sea lions live in captivity?

Sea lions will live approximately 23 years in captivity.

  • How long do dolphins live in captivity?

Dolphins can live anywhere between 9 – 12 years in captivity.

  • How long do dolphins live in the wild?

Dolphins live anywhere between 30-50 years in the wild.

  • How many whales are in captivity?

There are currently around 400 whales in captivity.

  • How many orcas are in captivity?

There are approximately 55 orcas in captivity today.

The Bottom Line

marine mammals in captivity

As you can see you have now learnt far more than just whales and dolphins in captivity facts and can now understand the true depths of the situation. The truth is the process of captivity for marine mammals is extremely cruel and has caused a number of problems in the industry and the ocean dynamics. Not only is the captivity industry driving a large revenue as a result of selling captured marine life for entertainment, but also hindering the futures of many species. There are many ways that you can help to decrease the problem that these marine mammals are currently facing. The first is to stop supporting organizations and companies who are involved in these processes. This includes all aquariums and many zoos too. If you are looking for a discovery method and a way to see the contents of the ocean the best way to do so is to go directly to the source. You can also donate to organizations that are trying to stop these cruel processes as well as spread awareness about the cruelty measures and effects seen on mammals in captivity.

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