Advancing the Argument Against Marine Mammal Captivity

The 6th edition of The Case Against Marine Mammals in Captivity (CAMMIC), published by the Animal Welfare Institute and World Animal Protection, was unveiled in July. Since its 1st edition in 1995, this report has served as a resource—for advocates, students, media, policymakers, and anyone else interested in the welfare of captive marine mammals—on the many scientific and ethical arguments against holding these wide-ranging and complex species in zoos and aquariums. CAMMIC’s 5th edition, published in 2019, discussed the Blackfish Effect—a reference to the many policy and societal changes that came after the release of the groundbreaking documentary focused on a captive orca named Tilikum who killed his trainer at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010. These changes have put the captive marine mammal industry on the ropes, and over the last few years, the industry has aggressively sought to remain relevant by promoting claims that it (1) safeguards the welfare of its animals, and (2) is essential to conservation as a sort of Noah’s Ark for endangered species, including cetaceans. A new chapter in the 6th edition of CAMMIC critiques research recently produced by the industry in its attempts to support these claims.

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