Changes to Conservation Law to protect dolphins in captivity supported by Dolphin Marine Conservation Park

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park staff rescuing a juvenile dolphin at Trial Bay in South West Rocks. Photo: Dolphin Marine Conservation Park.

 

DOLPHIN Marine Conservation Park has come out in support of recent changes to marine captivity laws and the importation of marine animals into NSW.

The NSW Government has released an update to the Biodiversity Conservation Act, ending the breeding of Cetacea in captivity and importation of Cetacea into NSW.

Cetaceans are aquatic mammals including whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park actively participated in the Parliamentary Inquiry that resulted in the recent amendment, and supports the wording and intent of the changes to the Act.

“As an organisation we have publicly stated that we do not intend to breed dolphins,” Dolphin Marine Conservation Park Managing Director Terry Goodall said.

“In fact, we have not bred dolphins for many years.

“Dolphin Marine Conservation Park is opposed to the removal of Cetacea from the wild for the express purpose of exhibition and/or breeding.”

Mr Goodall said the conservation law has operated in Australia since 1999, “Australia leads the world in this respect.

“However, we will continue to rescue and rehabilitate stranded Cetacea and provide ongoing care if they are deemed unsuitable for release back to the wild,” Mr Goodall said.

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park has rescued thousands of marine animals and other wildlife over the past 50 years.

“We are committed to rescuing and caring for injured and sick marine life as much of the harm and stress inflicted on these animals in the wild is caused by humans and their disregard for the marine environment and its inhabitants,” Mr Goodall said.

“We hope this amendment does not create bureaucratic barriers to our important rescue, rehabilitation and conservation work.”

Under the NSW Government’s Biodiversity Conservation Act – Amendment (Cetacea) Regulation 2021 in relation to the breeding or importing of Cetacea animals, a person must not, in relation to an animal of the order Cetacea, import the animal into New South Wales, or cause or permit the animal under the control of the person to breed.

The objects of this Regulation are to prohibit the breeding or importation of certain marine mammals, and
to constitute the breeding or importation of the marine animals as harm for the purposes of the Act.

Under the Act, a biodiversity conservation licence is not to be issued to authorise a person to harm or obtain a marine mammal for exhibition or other purposes unless the person issuing the licence is satisfied that it is necessary for genuine scientific or educational purposes, or any other purpose connected with the conservation or protection of marine mammals.

 

By Emma DARBIN

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