The National Aquarium in Baltimore, US has announced that eight of the bottlenose dolphins it holds will now be retired to a natural sea sanctuary by 2020.
A location has not been found yet but the intention is for the dolphins to remain in the sanctuary under human care. The dolphins stopped public performances at the aquarium in 2012 but remain on display.
Recently, SeaWorld announced that the orcas it holds captive would no longer perform in shows, but the company will keep them in small tanks rather than freeing them into a sea sanctuary.
WDC is continuing its work with Merlin Entertainments to establish sanctuaries for bottlenose dolphins and beluga whales. The fact that The National Acquarium has not announced a location, and that the sanctuary won’t operate for at least four years, highlights how long and complicated the process to find and develop the right site really is. Sanctuaries need to offer space and protection in clean waters of the right temperature, and require large amounts of funding to keep them operational. You can read more on that story here.