Empty the tanks

On Saturday the 6th of June the protest “Empty the tanks” was held at various dolphinariums around the world. In order to protest against institutions that house cetaceans, a worldwide campaign was organized by associations that are against animals kept in captivity.

At Loro Parque a group of around 46 protesters gathered at the entrance for about two hours and a half (although the authorization requested by a local ecology organization was approved for four hours) in order to protest against the animals being kept in captivity. In spite of the discredit campaign in the media, the successive projections of Blackfish and The Cove and the permanent harassment in social media, the number of protesters only slightly increased in comparison to the one held last year (when around 35 people protested).


All opinions, even the minority ones, are entitled to be expressed and at Loro Parque we respect all the people who do so. However, what we can’t respect are lies and false arguments, especially when their sole purpose is to manipulate. The proof to such manipulation is held in the press release that the anti-dolphinarium associations that organized the “Empty the tanks” protest in Spain distributed, which literally states:

“The average number of years that a dolphin can live in captivity is four years, when in nature it could be up 40-50 years, according to “Empty the tanks”.

However, when these same organizations (Born Free, SOS Dolphins, etc.) presented their campaign (a different one) “Dolphinaria free Europe” in the European Parliament, they distributed a leaflet that read:

“Dolphins in captivity can live as long as dolphins in the wild, in the best facilities…”

This statement was presented next to scientific references, something that should always be done, that prove that mortality in dolphinariums isn’t significantly different to mortality in nature.

Dear protesters, you can’t say one thing and then also the exact opposite. You can’t be rigorous and use science in the European Parliament and then say in the press that a dolphin in captivity lives 4 years and in the wild up to 40 or 50. That is called manipulation, and there is no right to it.

What also lacks seriousness is the fact that the same release of “Empty the tanks” states:

“When you buy a ticket to watch a dolphin show or you pay to swim with dolphins you are supporting and encouraging the continuation of the atrocities happening in Taiji”.

It lacks seriousness because it is a lie as the anti-dolphinarium organizations know perfectly not only that there is not a single animal in Europe that comes from Taiji, but also that for more than a decade no animal has been imported from the wild. They are also aware of the fact that the European Association for Aquatic Mammals (which includes all the European dolphinariums) publicly rejected in 2007 the killings of Taiji as well as cetacean hunting. This means that before The Cove, or “Empty the tanks”, and long before SOS Dolphins existed, the European dolphinariums had already positioned themselves against this cruel activity. That is why the statement is manipulative, and there is no right to that.

On Saturday the 6th of June, Loro Parque received around 2.500 visitors, in spite of the protests, campaigns, lies and manipulation. Thousands of people continue trusting our work, the commitment towards the wellbeing of our animals and our effort to preserve cetacean species from their biggest threats, which are not the dolphinariums but the accidental capture, collisions, contamination, noise… And those 2.500 individuals that trusted us, did more that day for dolphins than the 46 that protested at the entrance, because thanks to them, Loro Parque will be able to give 7.500 € for nature conservation purposes (on average Loro Parque gives each year around 3 € of each entrance to conservation projects of endangered species throughout Loro Parque Fundación).

Dear protesters, thanks to the 15.000.000 dollars that Loro Parque Fundación has invested, two critically endangered species have been saved, and dozens of them have recovered their population and are improving their situation. Thanks to our cetacean projects, the best places to be declared as marine reserves for the orcas in the Strait of Gibraltar have been established, in the future it will be possible to reduce the number of porpoises that die suffocated by nets each year, or the possibility of protecting dolphins in a better way from pollutants in the coasts of the Canary Islands will exist. The question is: what have you done to improve the cetacean population in the wild?

Because, the great paradox is, that the people that chose to ignore the protest and enter Loro Parque on Saturday, did a lot more.

One thought on “Empty the tanks

  1. I love the fact that the park actively works along side our ocean friends and this has decided it for me I am visiting from England in august this is my first hol abroad as I don’t like flying so my little girl wants to see you beautiful park and the wonderful work you do and I commend your pro active/loving approach to your work

    one very excited future customer

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