BVI News

Over 5K signatures | Tourism authorities mum on anti-dolphin attraction petition

Stock photo of a dolphin.

Local tourism authorities are opting to remain mum on whether the anti-dolphin attraction petition, which was created in early October, will affect plans to facilitate the return of Dolphin Discovery to the British Virgin Islands.

The online petition titled ‘Stop the return of captive dolphins to the British Virgin Islands’ has some 5,043 signatures affixed to it.

The organiser of the petition who identified himself as Neil Day initially sought 2,500 signatures. That target has now climbed to 7,500.

When BVI News contacted Premier and Minister for Tourism Andrew Fahie at 4:33 pm on Wednesday, he did not immediately respond after reading the WhatsApp message.

He later replied at 9:16 pm saying: “in meetings still”.

Our news centre also sought a response on the matter from the Junior Minister for Tourism Shereen Flax-Charles. However, she responded with a, “no comment”.

Our news centre received a similar response from Director of Tourism Sharon Flax-Brutus who said, “I have no comments to proffer on this”.

More about the petition

Organisers of the petition said the 2017 hurricanes brought a positive side in the destruction of the dolphin facility at Prospect Reef.

The organisers said the entire business was a violation to the animals.

“The practice of exploiting these intelligent, social animals is out of step with the modern world, basic decency and increasingly the law as countries — most recently Canada — continue to ban this vile exploitation,” the said organisers claimed.

The signatories’ claim

Several persons who signed the petition used the platform to also publicly comment on their reasons for signing. 

“No animal should be used for human entertainment — it is inhumane. It is not an answer for tourism, it’s cruel and should be illegal! Don’t waste your money on this disgusting project,” one woman wrote.

“Keeping dolphins in captivity is extremely cruel. The BVI has so much to offer tourists without stooping to animal cruelty simply to make a profit,” another said.

“I do not see the benefit of captivating these beautiful creatures to generate revenue,” another local commented.

Not the first petition

This is at least the second anti-Dolphin Discovery petition which has been done since the hurricanes destroyed the dolphin facility back in 2017.

In July last year, citing animal welfare as their reason, Dolphin Freedom UK created an online petition to urge local government to deny the Dolphin Discovery franchise the permit to re-open in the British Virgin Islands.

Recently, the Premier said the Dolphin Discovery attraction is scheduled to return in 2020.

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64 Comments

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  1. Not convinced says:

    It took a couple of months to obtain 5,000 signatures – more people visited the tourist attraction in the same period when it was open.
    Enough winging millennials and snow flakes. If you don’t like it, stay away from our Islands.

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    • Haha says:

      How many of those signatures are from people that live or even visit the BVI? These people do no care about the BVI they care about the dolphins. They voted for Trump and Brexit so their opinions doesn’t matter.

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    • islandguy says:

      Really? With all the natural beauty, wind, beaches, and weather the BVI has, you feel a need to imprison dolphins to bring in tourists? Why not open a discount mall, an amusement park, and a couple of go cart tracks and become like every other cheesey tourist destination in the world.

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      • Welcome to ThunderDome says:

        Let’s get the real BVI Animal Attractions together and build a center… We could have a Dog Fighting Arena and an adjacent Chicken Fight Stadium. How proud we will all be…and just think of the revenues generated! Buh-bye Tourism in about 5 years. But, hey, that’s another election cycle.

  2. PETA says:

    And there will be more signatures. We will fight to assure that Dolphin Cove is not comming back to the BVI.

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  3. "No Animal Should be Use for Human Entertainment" says:

    If you all feel this way about the dolphins then I honestly feel that we need to get rid of horse racing as well. Horses go through far more cruelty when they are used for racing purposes; they are drugged and they are whipped. Why hasn’t a petition been started on this? It’s been happening for years right here in the BVI.

    The dolphins are being cared for on a daily basis. They don’t go through the torture the horses have to endure; so why fight so hard against the dolphins being contained and not the horses that seem to suffer much more at the hands of humans.

    Just my two cents.

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  4. USA says:

    And guess what NOT CONVINCED, we millennials and snowflakes will blacklist the tourist industry in your Country. There are plently of other Islands we can visit.Thank about that.

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  5. the cuban says:

    “don’t mind them”

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  6. WOW says:

    How many of these persons that signed this petition lives in the BVI? Let me guest probably fifty.

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  7. BS! says:

    Globally this sort of “entertainment” is being closed down. “Our Islands” will be perceived as cruel and unusual if we let this proceed.

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  8. Father Time says:

    It seems the Caucasians have spoken. No dolphins for you lot. #SaveTheFishes

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    • has nothing to do with skin colour says:

      It has nothing to do with skin color. This is about animal welfare.

      FYI i’m not Caucasian. For what it’s worth.

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  9. Abroad says:

    Guess what.The winging millennials and snowflakes as you call us will visit another Caribbean Islands that has way much more to offer.

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    • HA says:

      Or stay at home and watch the dolphins in your own water parks

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    • lol says:

      yeah thats all yall do come to our homes n try see how it can fit yall.. no one in no other countries shutting down the zoo’s they are captive animals as well alot of place u go it have captive animals exspecially america we got one lil thing that attract tourist n yall come here try band our lil thing going i would understand if these animals was in mucky water like i see in the states u self cant see bottom while swimming with these animal. here our dolphins them actually living in the ocean it just fence off so they dont leave… these other place is man made pond with salt water system hook up to keep them living as if they still in the ocean… i always believe these white ppl always come here try switch up our place.. dont talk bout the killer wales them they in a pool. ive travel too america nuff been nuff water park n zoo… dont talk bout cayman island where the turtle farm is dont that inhumane to them turtles them thing so yall should check out…

  10. My 2 cents says:

    If the Director of Tourism, the PM and the Junior Minister are absolutely satisfied that it is right and appropriate and completely beneficial to re-add this attraction to the BVI’s tourism product then why are they mum when approached for comment? Stand by the strength of your convictions! The word ‘cowards’ comes to mind. Sheesh!

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  11. I FROM HERE says:

    We need these white people gone from the BVI

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  12. Hone boy says:

    Let the dolphins come back.cant wait to see them again.this is our number one attraction on tortola.what the critics dont come up with something. They have no solutions. But to stop the dolphins.go and stop Disney in Olando. With your sh…t

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  13. LB says:

    How many of them have intelligent dogs, cats, birds, snakes, Tarantulas, Ant farms, etc for their own personal entertainment? They want to pick and choose what to fight for. GTFOH with that BS!

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  14. X says:

    They came on their boats and killed and raped the native Americans. They took their lands then went on boats kidnapped and enslaved Africans to work for free. They killed and raped many. Black people were considered less than human literally. These racist are all about control. There are well over 2400 zoos in America. America have over 30 large dolphinariums that are currently active. Flint in Detroit still doesn’t have safe drinking water. Police still killing black people daily because they feared for their life. White nationalist is the number 1 terror organisation in the US. There were at least 1 mass shooting a day in the US since the start of the year. I think Americans should focus on fixing their issues and keep out of ours.

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    • @X says:

      It is only a matter of time before It hit your Country. Stop being so foolish to think your Country is immune. Ok, buddy, stay away from America when you are in need of proper medical care and to birth your children.Also America is still waiting for the thousand of dollars that most of your people owe for medical bills that you skip out on.Okayyyy,so that is one of the issues that we will focus on,getting back what is owed to the American tax payer.

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    • Irony says:

      Oh the irony of your statement. You do realize that’s exactly what you’re doing to these dolphins. You’re taking them away from their family, from their lives and you’re forcing them to perform for the personal gain of their captors. If you really hated what happened to the slaves that were brought to these islands you would also hate what is happening to these dolphins. It still shocks me that my fellow Islanders are so ignorant to these similarities and don’t feel more empathy for these creatures.

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      • SMH says:

        Are you dumb how can you compare what is done to animals to a human being. We lock human beings away for life as punishment, Some human beings are executed as punishment, Are you outraged? We eat animals as food and kill them for use in other areas. Do you get outraged everytime you smell the scent of bbq chicken or see someone with a leather belt? Do you cry when a mosquito is swatted or a cockrock smashed. Get out of here with that BS.

  15. And yet says:

    We all use the US dollar.
    The white man pays all our wages – directly or indirectly.
    We dress in the white man’s clothes.
    We drive the white man’s cars
    We spend our whole day on the white man’s internet browsing it on the white man’s smart phone.
    The hypocrisy I read in these comments is truly amazing.
    And you all seem to think racism is a white problem?
    And let’s just set the record straight with the real facts. Black Africans were kidnapped and kept as slaves by their fellow Black Africans who then sold them to the europeans. This was happening for centuaries before the arrival of the colonial powers. And still happens today after colonialism so don’t try and twist the truth.
    Nobody treats black people worse than their fellow black people. Anybody that has travelled to Africa can attest to this. Heck you don’t even need to go that far… look at the way so called belongers treat others from ‘down island’. Or take a trip to the south side of Chicago. Of course most blacks like to point the finger and blame the white man for all their problems but we need to start taking responsibility and be accountable.

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    • TruDat! says:

      The truth is that humans, on the whole, leave a lot to be desired. We could do so much better if we all strive together for the betterment of our planet. Instead, we fight, kill, argue, rape, murder and destroy our own home.

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    • Totally agree says:

      These ugly locals and belongers treat the down Island people like they are less than human. They walk around here with their ugly faces turned up like they are better and superior to the people from down Island.

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  16. United States of America says:

    I never knew the BLACKS in the British Virgin Islands were so racist towards Caucasian people. You BLACKS ARE THE MOST RACIST, but, you get a pass for your racist behaviour due to the fact that you are always b***hing about the white man enslave you for pity. Look at the way you guys make your Country look to the outside world. The way some of you behave, you are turning away would be investers or others that is consedering doing business with your Country. Not a good look folks.

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    • Tbull says:

      Yea because majority of WI don’t have a sense of empathy for animals; if the animal doesn’t serve, it’s dumped or put on chain to rot. Nice “culture”. And yea I live here. Don’t bring this back. It’s embarasing that we are even thinking about it in a world where ecotourism is on the rise and these torture chambers are on the out. Look at all of the companies not selling tickets anymore. There’s a reason. Get with the times islanders.

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  17. Nun says:

    Its not your island to develope its indigenous BVIslanders responsibility. Your petition has no value like the signatures on it.plus the dolphins never complained aday about your fellow tourist a—s that keep swimming with them its your own kind love it so go sit down with your Bs. Its going back in and you cant do sh-t about it.so steam boil your petition in butter sauce and suck it up. Set idiots always cutting black businesses down toshow there ignorance. That will be the “Day” you leave tola neil.

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    • hahaha says:

      There is no such thing as an indigenous BVIslander

      Please google the meaning of the word indigenous before ever using it again.

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    • Ole! says:

      Your “black business” is owned by a bunch of Mexicans, you know that, right?

    • Uh no. says:

      Animal exploration is NOT a “business”. And to watch locals who were taken from their family and forced to preform for the greed of others, I would think you’d have a lot more compassion for these dolphins. You realize they’re all taken from theirs. Shame.

  18. Lol says:

    These animal rights people comes from the USA where hunting animals for fun is one of their greatest pass time and they here trying to tell us what to do ..Those dolphins are a big part of our tourism industry and I will like to see them back ..

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    • :) says:

      Exactly, they go to Africa and other places and pay hundreds and thousands to kill a giraffe just to take a photo with their “trophy” then discard the carcass all in the name of fun. Maybe if they set a better example for the world things might change. After all the World tends to adopt their customs and habits, bad and good. Dolphin parks are still legal and held all around the world. If it becomes a world standard to end keeping dolphins in captivity I’m all for it. Until then dont try to pressure us to do your bidding under threats of bad publicity or boycotting especially if we aren’t doing anything illegal or inhumane.

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      • Nice try says:

        Nice try on lumping the entire white race together when it’s a VERY small percentage of stupid white morons with little dicks that trophy hunt. You wouldn’t like it if I said all black peope are dumb and poor would you? Then stop making assumptions. .

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      • It is inhumane. says:

        The actual humane society of America literally says it’s inhumane. Look it up.

        • Blah says:

          Some people call it food look it up. I bet you wont take their word for it because it dont fit your narrative. Sea World also says its Ok to keep dolphins captive and they are very experienced with handling dolphins.

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  19. BE FOR REAL says:

    Look how many youths are up in the prison and will have their lives ruined just for smoking a joint. A damn life sentence for using a plant and you here ranting about dolphins that are happy to kiss kids and party all day. Get a damn life…with your sh.t.

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  20. Anonymous because it's Allowed says:

    This thread is so disappointing. The hate being spread is sad. THIS will drive more visitors away then the dolphins. So those of you spewing the hate and arguing about keeping dolphins because it attracts visitors, it leaves your argument null and void. Period.

    To the person who said “Dolphins is our number one attraction” you disappoint as you spew words for words sake and not factual statements. It’s NEVER been and NEVER will be #1. Those are facts.

    All of you on both sides of this talking hate for one another are the ones that will destroy tourism as well as harmony within our population.

    Those that preach love and kindness and have made vicious attacks on each other from behind the keyboard … look in the mirror.

    You are all cowards. Plain and simple.

    You add no value to your comments.

    I would like to see a petition started for BVI News (and the others news outlets) that confirmed registrations only are allowed to comment.

    This won’t make the hate that the others have in their hearts go away but it will make only the brave speak their minds which will and should always welcome conversations.

    Find love. You’ll be happier. I promise.

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  21. a tourist says:

    Sorry dolphins in captivity isn’t right, just because other countries around the world allow it, it doesn`t mean the BVI just has to blindly follow.

    Maybe for a change the BVI could lead the world instead of just doing what the rest of the world (i.e. the USA) want. Through the trauma and destruction of Irma comes an opportunity to rebuild your islands in an environmentally friendly way and do things right not just for todays generation but the next to come.

    As a tourist who visits regularly and drops big bucks on island (unlike the cruise tourists who as far as I can see don’t actually spend very much at all) it would make the difference to do I visit the BVI or another Caribbean island that actually cares about the environment let alone their fellow islanders……

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  22. Just think ... says:

    Hey, instead of processing the argument through whether the opposers are LOCAL, or WHITE, try and understanding their argument. Think about it as a rational, caring, human.
    Are you OK with cruelty to God’s creatures for fun?
    Are you OK with wild creatures being captured and imprisoned?
    Do you care about the illegal capture and trade in these wild species?

    The mindset of: “we BVIslanders been sh*t upon for so many years we don’t have to care about anyone else, ever” – it’s just you giving yourself permission to drop moral, rational and human thinking.

    Same with financial services: everyone feels like we the small guy, we been oppressed for so long, etc. – but everybody ignores that the opposition to our financial services is based on good moral reason. The reason is, it offers an easy route for big people to sh*t on small people without consequences.That includes local people and black people, too, of course. And here we are protesting our right to help the big man sh*t on little people – as long as they somewhere else in the world.

    Is it a race thing? I don’t know, but if BVIslanders make it one, it makes us look like we are stupid, irrational and very, very unChristian. So what are you, a church goer who cares about making the world a better place through love, compassion and understanding? Or a church-goer who gives themselves permission to be wicked and cruel when ever it suits you?

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  23. Anonymous says:

    There are supporting arguments for and against keeping dolphins in captivity. It’s not a one sided argument as the animal rights activist may have you think. How about not keeping any animals in captivity including dogs and cats.

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  24. CW says:

    STRUPE COMMENT

    Look at all these ridiculous comments. Snowflakes. Millennials. STOP BLAMING EVERYTHING ELSE FOR YOUR OWN PROBLEMS.

  25. Hah says:

    There are some very fine people that are against keeping the Dolphins. At least 95% of the people are not from here and never been to the BVI. Comments like nasty people, I pray a hurricane should teach them again and these @$$holes should be executed. How can you love animals so much but with the same breath wish death on humans beings. The way they talk about dolphins if they cared about their neighbours and other human beings in general the world would have been a way better place.

  26. Painful says:

    This argument about animal welfare is not black and white. Nor is it about black and white. Or at least it should not be.

    Animal captivity has numerous elements to be considered when trying to come to a balanced view. T

    here is very sound reasoning behind genuine zoos doing genuine conservation, research and education to keep limited numbers of animals in captivity in the name of conservation. This is not the same as animal parks where morally-bankrupt owners are exploiting animals just to earn a buck. Another key element in considering keeping animals in captivity is 1. Could they survive on their own in the wild (this is true of a domestic dog as much as a rescued hyena that has become tame) 2. What is the animal’s emotional capacity.

    Dolphins are highly intelligent, social animals that travel long distances in the wild. There is no conservation imperative to keep them locked up, least of all in a money-making organisation motivated only by profit. Go research dolphin discovery, the majority of their awards and accreditations were bestowed by a foundation they created, and the other awards from external bodies are for their customer food and accommodation. Not animal welfare nor education contribution.

    Finally, this whole race thing. I for one do not assume all black people are the same, all BVIslanders are the same, all white people are the same, all men are the same, all women are the same. ANYONE who buys into an us vs them narrative of any sort really should stop for a moment and ask ‘why is this narrative being maintained? is this actually helpful?’

    Collaboration and cooperation is usually more productive than divisiveness. People have different views, but let’s try to look at facts, rather than emotion and opinion, to build consensus and harmony.

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  27. Retired says:

    Sorry but all these comments are missing the point. Porpoises live in warm tropical oceans. Most cruise ships transit warm tropical oceans. The multi-million dollar cruise ship companies want porpoises to ‘entertain’ their passengers. So cruise ship companies should do the research to encourage free porpoises in the tropical oceans to swim with their cruise ships in the tropical ocean so there is no need to imprison porpoises in cages in various coastal countries.

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  28. Local says:

    Let the local people of the BVI have the final say in this matter please. Thank you.

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  29. Tourist says:

    @Local
    Sure you can have your final say and choose what you wish to do.
    Just as the tourists and visitors will have their say. Many of whom will dislike supporting a destination that puts profit and personal greed above the welfare of humans AND animals. If you decided to imprison dolphins nobody can ultimately stop you, but likewise you will not be able to stop the criticism and negative press and boycotts.
    You can’t demand that the whole world support these outdated and cruel facilities just because you personally don’t believe animals should be treated fairly and you believe you have the right to make money off the suffering of others.
    I am very selective about where and how I spend my tourist $$$. This is my choice. And many many other folk share my feelings.

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