NGO wants to pour cold water on dolphinarium

Nov 29, 2011, 07:25 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

It has just been a month since the Rs 509-crore dolphin park at Sindhudurg received state government's nod, and the project has started receiving flak from animal rights organisations. MiD DAY in its report ('India's first sea world in Malvan village', Oct 27) had published that the state has approved Tondawali village, just 450 km off Mumbai, for the multi-crore aquatic theme park.

Trouble brewing: Animal rights activists feel that the proposed
dolphinarium will damage the fragile ecosystem of the area and deprive
locals of job opportunities. representation pic

It has been learnt that Humane Society International (HSI), an NGO, recently shot off a letter to Maharashtra Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, asking him to reconsider state's decision of setting up the dolphinarium along the Konkan coast. N G Jayasimha, a HSI activist, said, "One of the major reasons why we are against this project, is because the expertise for setting up such parks lie with the Westerners. And if this happens, locals will lose employment opportunities."

The objection 
In its letter, HSI stated that, "True ecotourism costs minimal to the environment and provides local community maximum benefits. Dolphinariums in new areas do not comply with either of these requirements. The construction of a dolphinarium is a high-impact endeavour, often requiring substantial environmental disruption."

It further states that the captivity can prove fatal for the captured animals (dolphins) and disrupt the marine ecosystem. Moreover, man-animal contact won't help in increasing knowledge about dolphins or environment at large.

The letter also points out the dwindling popularity of the public display of whales and dolphins world over and that the move of constructing a dolphin park would be a regressive one. In addition, the letter
has suggested the ministry to focus and promote country's natural beauty and cultural riches along the Arabian Sea coastline.

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