Spain tops the list of captive dolphins

As per published ranking World Animal Protection , Spain has the largest number of captive dolphins in Europe, the Oceanographic Center in Valencia has the largest number of dolphins in Spain. The list includes 14 countries with 308 captive dolphins in 34 dolphinariums. The data is released to coincide with World Oceans Day on June 8.

With 93 dolphins in captivity, Spain has the largest population in all of Europe, accounting for 30% of the total, according to the rankings. Spain has 10 dolphinariums, five times as many as two in Portugal and nine times as many as in the Netherlands and Belgium.

So Spain leads the way with 93 dolphins in 10 dolphinariums. Second on the list is Portugal with 35 dolphins in 2 dolphinariums, followed by Ukraine with 33 dolphins in 7 dolphinariums, and then the Netherlands with 25 dolphins in captivity in 1 dolphinarium. In Italy it is 23 dolphins in 3 dolphinariums, in France 23 dolphins in 2 dolphinariums, in Germany 15 dolphins in 2 dolphinariums and in Belgium 8 dolphins in 1 dolphinarium.

Spain has more centers that use dolphins for recreation than any other country. Of all these centers, the Oceanographic in Valencia has the largest group of twenty dolphins in captivity. World Animal Protection in Spain strongly criticizes them: “Oceanographic uses abusive language during dolphin shows, makes unacceptable and contradictory claims about conservation and education. Dolphins are not ‘ambassadors for their species in the wild’ as Oceanographic claims – they are in captivity! “The only purpose is to entertain the audience.”

Oceanogràfic welcomes 1.6 million visitors in 2022, 51% of which are from abroad. Spain is an important tourist destination for countries such as the United Kingdom and Denmark. Tourists from countries that do not have dolphinariums often prefer to include such facilities in their vacation plans.

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In March 2023, Spain passed a new animal welfare law banning the use of wild animals in circuses. Dolphins Not protected by this Act. Despite the law, Spain ranks first in the number of dolphins in captivity and the number of dolphinariums, which makes this type of leisure attractive to some foreign tourists.

Ferdinand Woolridge

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