Yet another country has concluded that keeping cetaceans in captivity for human entertainment is an archaic practice that should end. After a two-year effort by activists in Kazakhstan, as well as international efforts by AWI and other organizations, the country’s president signed a bill into law at the end of 2021 that will close the country’s two remaining dolphinariums over the next seven years. This phase-out period is to allow the facilities to find adequate homes for their animals and transition their business model to one that does not rely on exploiting these wide-ranging, socially complex marine mammals.
AWI worked closely with Kazakhstani activists to effect this change in the law, in particular helping fund the work of Free Dolphins Kazakhstan. This grassroots group undertook amazing public outreach (especially involving children, the main audience for dolphin shows), which helped lead to this historic result. We will continue to support the grassroots efforts of local organizations to end the brutal exploitation of cetaceans globally.