Why You Should NOT Swim With Dolphins

Comments 1 Playa del Carmen
7 February 2014
Why You Should NOT Swim With Dolphins

Swimming with dolphins is one of the most sought after and sold tours in the Riviera Maya. Many tourists come to Playa del Carmen and they often ask if we organize “swimming with dolphins”, which parks we suggest…etc, to entertain their children, or for the newly-weds that want to share this experience on their honeymoon, or simply to live a dream.

The answer is no in that the eco-tourism agency does not selll tickets for this attraction that is found in a dozen different places in the Riviera.
Some even have their own complete park (for example, Bahia Principe) …and it is, obviously, a huge business that we have deliberately chosen not to participate in.

Here are a few explanations, that we hope will help you to choose a better option:…

Unfortunately, these animals have a physical feature that works against them, ’ where they look happy, always with a permanent smile, which makes some people think that they like to do “numbers”, but the reality is very different.

-The dolphins have been around since thousands of years ago, perfectly evolutionized to live in the wild in deep oceans and not in concrete tanks that are only a few meters deep.

In their natural habitat, they travel even up to hundreds of kilometers in a day, use their sonars in search of food,and live with different species.… In a park, they just go in circles, eat only dead frozen fish, and become simply crazy and depressed.

-The most outstanding characteristic of dolphins is that they emit ultrasounds through their blow hole. It is a type of radar or sonar that allows them to identify their surroundings, communicate, and even hunt.

Even in the dark of night, the dolphin is never blind. With their sonar they can move to any place and even detect a small fish swimming hundreds of meters away.

This ability is useful when they hunt and look for fish, due to the fact that it is easy for them to localize their prey very easily, even in the sand! A true “roving” radar!

Now imagine this same sonar that they use the entire day and is infinitely in the walls of a giant aquarium…Really imagine how it would be to be closed in with waves that constantly come back to your head? Can you imagine a bowl with a fish inside, where someone spends their day hitting walls?

The dolphins eat around 25 pounds of food on a daily basis. At the parks, they are only fed sardines when they do a somersault!! Experts say that they stop obeying when they are satisfied, which means that they are “trained” by starvation.

-The life expectancy in captivity is cut in half. A free dolphin can live around 40 to 50 years in comparision to the 20 year life-span of a dolphin in captivity.

-In some parks, dolphins end up reproducing and in fact it is so rare that there is always a report or image in the news on television at night.

The majority of the times they are trapped, it is in an atrocious manner, as it shows in the movie “The Cove” in Japan. They are so far away from their loved ones forever, which is a difficult thing for animals that belong to a group and live in communities, and for those that have social relationships that are very important. Once more, imagine the stress for the animal that is alone and in a sink.

Dolphin parks are not companies to protect animals, they were created to generate income. Some parks make up to $1 million because of dolphins.
If you or your children love dolphins, you would say that these dolphin parks are doing more harm than good to the animals.

You tell yourself that the whole world goes there, that one or two more won’t change the situation. Think again, the parks wouldn’t be able to open if there wasn’t such a big demand. Not buying a ticket helps you to assume responsibility and maintain ethics.

If your dream is to see dolphins, you should choose to se the Sian Ka’an Reserve, where they are completely free, although you can’t swim with them because the focus on them is highly regulated in the reserve.

Also take into account that every child completely understands when you tell them the message about dolphins and they are not at all surprised. On the contrary, they are usually more curious and learn more than adults.

Today we are talking about dolphins, but unfortunately, animal trafficking doesn’t only concern them.

But we know better than paying a small amount of money for a picture or petting them and that this is absolutely not in the name of protecting them or the survival of this species. It’s simply about keeping them safe from trafficking and enriching one or more of the most furtive hunters.

In the end, this isn’t a moralistic message, but simply the reality of the Riviera Maya and the Caribbean. Now you know why we don’t sell this excursion and why we will never sell it.

Mass tourism doesn’t bring good things and for this reason we advise you in making decisions.

See you soon!


For more informtion, the documental film directed by Flipper trainer “, The Cove” in English on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3XNjrgReHU

site reference: WSPA-USA.org , blog-les-dauphins.com.

Photo taken on one of our trips to Sian Ka’an:

Sian Ka'an paseo tours

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