PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – Dolphin Defenders St. Maarten is again expressing its concern regarding the
development of a captive dolphin facility coming to Sint Maarten, this time in the Beacon Hill Area. The Foundation was alerted to possible plans by a resort in Beacon Hill to construct a pier, breakwater and captive dolphin facility near to Maho Beach. “We are again faced with the rumored development of a captive dolphin facility on Sint Maarten, this time in the Beacon Hill, Maho area. From what we understood the
development will also involve the construction of a significant breakwater and pier.
Aside from the ethical and moral reasons for not keeping dolphins in captivity there are also considerable negative socio-economic and environmental impacts that the development will have: the construction of a significant breakwater and pier will likely affect the longshore movement and deposit of sand along the critical tourism beaches of Maho, Mullet Bay and Cupecoy. The sand is at risk from being washed away from these areas. Additionally, the building of a significant structure can also kill native seagrass and coral, which we have already lost so much of due to human impact and poor resource management” read a Dolphin Defender statement.
The organization has also mentioned that Dolphins produce a large amount of feces that will enter into the environment: “Dolphin fecal matter coming from dolphin holding pens has significantly affected the coastal areas of other locations where dolphins are being held. The fecal matter increases the nutrient load in nearshore environments and can result in harmful algal blooms, skin irritations and ear infections. I am sure that no visitor to the island will enjoy swimming in an area loaded with feces,” continued the statement.
Captive Dolphin Parks and the communities that condone them are experiencing negative press through international pressure groups and movies such as Blackfish and the Cove; “We urge that Government considers a program where education and conservation of wild cetaceans including whales and dolphins is the focus, instead of captive programs which are both inherently dangerous to the animals and the people
that frequent them. This is the fourth time that we have had to come up against plans for a dolphinarium, and we are urging Government and Parliament to enact legislation that will block these developments from happening on the island,” concluded the Dolphin Defenders statement.