06/30/09 Freedom Instead of Captivity
The Ministry of Culture regulated the ban on dolphin captivity!
- Marking of World Whale and Dolphin Day
In 2007 Animal Friends started a big campaign against the cetacean captivity and for the legal ban on dolphin captivity due to attempts of building of the dolphinarium in Vodnjan. Finally on June 19, 2009 such regulation came into force, which means that now in Croatia keeping dolphins, that is all sea mammals from the cetacean family, in captivity is completely prohibited.
In the Ordinance on the conditions for holding, methods of marking and keeping records on protected animals in captivity (Official Gazette No. 70, June 19, 2009) the Ministry of Culture adopted a regulation, that according to the Article 5 paragraph (1): "Holding in captivity live specimens of the animal species listed in Annex II to this Ordinance shall not be permitted." This regulation applies to cetaceans, whales, and includes all species in the higher taxon.
Adopting the regulation which strictly prohibits keeping of dolphins and other cetaceans in captivity, the Ministry of Culture and Directorate for Nature Protection sent out a clear message and showed their readiness to get actively involved in the protection of wild and protected animals, thus taking another step in making Croatia a "dolphin friendly country."
Welcoming this decision, on Tuesday June 30, on World Whale and Dolphin Day, Animal Friends will have an info stall on the King Tomislav Square in Zagreb in order to introduce this important regulation to the public and invite the citizens not to visit dolphinaria while traveling to the countries which still allow the dolphin captivity. The petition for the proclamation of permanent dolphin reserve at Mali Losinj will be also signed at the stall.
On the same day at 1 P.M. in the Ministry of Culture, Runjaninova 2 representatives of Animal Friends will give a letter of thanks to the state secretary at the Ministry of Culture Mr. Zoran Sikic for adopting the regulation against dolphin captivity. On this occasion, besides the letter of thanks, the new signatures for the proclamation of permanent dolphin reserve at Mali Losinj will be also handed over. At the moment more than 40,000 signatures are gathered for this petition.
The Republic of Croatia is a signatory of the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS), the International Whaling Commission, and the Berne, Barcelona, Bonn, and CITES conventions, and all dolphins are a protected species in Croatia. By proclaiming of the dolphin reserve of the same category of protection, Croatia will make a big step forward in regard with the protection of animals and nature. This will allow it to proudly carry the title of a "dolphin friendly country."
The Department of Nature Protection at the Ministry of Culture proclaimed the dolphin reserve at Mali Losinj on July 26, 2006 on the period of duration of three years. Croatia has got international support in proclaiming this area a permanent dolphin reserve, as well as the support of the majority of Croatian citizens because of its importance for the protection of dolphins and the long-term interests of Croatia. Because of the overfishing and the mass extermination, one dolphin species in the Adriatic – the common dolphin – is already extinct.
The biggest threats to the survival of dolphins are sea pollution, disturbing and noise, lack of food due to overfishing as well as accidental and intentional dolphin catch. According to the population research in the past fifteen years the number of dolphins in the Adriatic Sea has dropped by almost forty per cent. If we don't want to witness the extinction of another dolphin species in the future, it is necessary to specifically and legally protect the area in which dolphins habit most and proclaim it as a reserve.
Each and every one of us contributes with her actions to the conservation of nature and animals. Either by making a decision not to visit dolphinaria, aquariums and zoos, that is not supporting wild animals captivity, by forming a clear attitude that we save wild animals only by protecting their habitats, or by deciding not to take part in unrecoverable devastating of the seas and oceans because of the useless habit of eating meat of animals which abide there.