Dolphins held in captivity - Germany

In the 1990s there were nine dolphinaria in Germany, however in the past 20 years, seven dolphinaria have closed.

The dolphins held in these seven closed facilities were either transported to other existing dolphinaria in Germany or other EU countries or – in rare cases – exported to other countries.

Germany now has two remaining dolphinaria. The dolphinaria at Zoo Duisburg and Tiergarten Nuremberg are investing in long-term business opportunities. The facilities in Duisburg have recently received a new roof and Nuremberg has invested 24 billion Euros in a new outdoor area, the so-called "dolphin lagoon". The Nuremberg Zoo’s top new attraction opened in 2011 with the aim of bringing visitors closer to its dolphins. Claiming it will display the animals in a "natural environment", it is hard to imagine a concrete tank resembling the oceans in any way. The zoo will also continue to offer Dolphin Assisted Therapy in the future. 

In May 2011, WDCS achieved a significant legal victory when the Appeal Court in Munich found in WDCS’s favour by granting access to all information relating to the display and husbandry of captive dolphins at Nuremberg Zoo. Representatives at the Zoo tried to prevent public access to this information.

Germany is a Party to ASCOBANS (Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas) which aims to maintain and achieve favourable conservation status for small cetaceans throughout the agreement area.