Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Kids blogs
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
Dolphins captured for captivity in Taiji. Image: Hans Peter Roth

Loved and killed – whales and dolphins in Japan

Protests and criticism from outside Japan in response to the slaughter of whales and dolphins...
Narwhal with beluga whales

Unusual Whale Adoptions

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Curious kids Blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery Splish and Splash...
Irrawaddy dolphin

Helping fishers protect dolphins in Sarawak, Borneo

Fishing nets are bad news for dolphins and porpoises, so we're working with local fishers...
Dolphin watching from Chanonry Point, Scotland. Image: WDC/Charlie Phillips

Discovering inner peace – whale and dolphin watching and mental wellbeing

Guest blog If you've ever seen whales or dolphins in the wild, you'll know that...
Whale tail

An ocean of hope

In a monumental, jaw-dropping demonstration of global community, the nations of the world made history...
North Atlantic right whale Porcia and her calf.

Critically Endangered Right Whale Babies Spotted

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Curious kids Blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery Splish and Splash...
The infamous killing cove at Taiji, Japan

Why the Taiji dolphin hunt can never be justified

Supporters of the dolphin slaughter in Japan argue that killing a few hundred dolphins every...
Image: Peter Linforth

Tracking whales from space will help us save them

Satellite technology holds one of the keys to 21st century whale conservation, so we're exploring...

A look Inside The Tanks

Valentin - orca held at Marineland Antibes, France

 

Recently launched on YouTube, Jonny Meah’s short documentary, Inside the Tanks, presents a balance of views on the keeping of whales and dolphins in captivity, centred on the one of only two facilities to keep orcas in captivity in Europe, Marineland, in the French Mediterranean resort of Antibes.

Jonny accompanies marine biologist Dr Ingrid Visser, as she photographs and documents behaviour and injury among the whales and dolphins held at the facility, expressing her disgust at their incarceration and how unnatural their lives are. She talks him through how captivity leads to stereotypies developing among captive whales and dolphins, causing them to chew on walls and bars and damaging their teeth, as well as injuries such as rake marks they inflict on one another, unable to escape from the stress and aggression caused by their close confinement.

In an interesting twist, the documentary features an in-depth and first time interview on the topic with the Zoological Director of Marineland Antibes, Jon Kershaw. Perhaps surprisingly, although clearly dedicated to the continued keeping of whales and dolphins in captivity and somewhat flummoxed by SeaWorld ending the captive breeding of orcas, Jon agrees with many of Ingrid’s concerns about what happens to whales and dolphins in captivity, noting that public opinion has led Marineland to alter their dolphin shows.

The documentary is particularly interesting given the recent passing of a governmental decree banning breeding of captive whales and dolphins in France which will also end imports and swimming with dolphins programmes.

Inside The Tanks is well worth a watch.

Photo: Valentin, now deceased, at Marineland © Anne-Sophie Ring

About Cathy Williamson

Cathy Williamson was policy manager of our End Captivity Programme until July 2021.