TripAdvisor has made a commitment to stop selling tickets to attractions that breed or import captive whales and dolphins for public entertainment.
The travel website and its subsidiary Viator said the move would affect several major tourist attractions such as SeaWorld’s theme parks.
“The extensive evidence presented to us by the experts was compelling. Whales and dolphins do not thrive in limited captive environments, and we hope to see a future where they live as they should – free and in the wild,” said Dermot Halpin, president, TripAdvisor Experiences and Rentals.
“We believe the current generation of whales and dolphins in captivity should be the last, and we look forward to seeing this position adopted more widely throughout the travel industry.”
The company will end any commercial partnerships it has with facilities that do not have, or are not in the process of developing, alternative environments for captive whales, dolphins and porpoises.
“We believe the current generation of whales and dolphins in captivity should be the last,” said Dermot Halpin, president of experiences and rentals for TripAdvisor. “Seaside sanctuaries have enormous potential but they need more backing from the tourism industry. As long as facilities with captive whales and dolphins continue to profit from keeping these animals in smaller, cheaper and less-natural living environments, then they don’t have enough incentive to adopt serious change.”
The travel site defines seaside sanctuaries as a body of coastal water, such as a bay or a cove, that houses cetaceans in as close to a natural environment as possible while providing protection and oversight from qualified husbandry and veterinary staff. It adds that these environments must adhere to a strict no-breeding policy, must not train their animals to perform in any shows or performances for public display, and must prohibit all forms of physical interaction between guests and the animals.