Dolphin Shows Ongoing at Marineland, Despite National Ban & Criminal Charge

New video from Marineland’s opening weekend reveals that the marine park continues to hold dolphin shows, despite a national ban on this practice. Animal Justice obtained footage of dolphins being used in performances over the weekend, including trainers clapping to the beat of high-energy pop music, dolphins pushing a trainer through the water, and dolphins performing various tricks including jumping and flipping through the air. 

The notorious marine park is already facing a criminal charge for unlawfully using dolphins in shows, which carries a fine of up to $200,000 upon conviction. And Animal Justice has filed a new complaint with Niagara Police regarding the footage from the 2022 opening weekend, and police have confirmed that they are investigating the dolphin shows.

It has been illegal since 2019 to use whales and dolphins in performances for entertainment in Canada, after Parliament passed groundbreaking new laws aimed at phasing out whale and dolphin captivity nationwide. It is now illegal for Marineland to obtain any new whales or dolphins, breed the ones already held in captivity, and use whales and dolphins in performances for entertainment.

The new law did not stop Marineland from holding dolphin and beluga shows, describing them as “educational performances”. Animal Justice filed a police complaint last year, and after the park closed for the season, Niagara Police charged Marineland with unlawfully using dolphins in a performance for entertainment. Marineland was in court last week to face the charge, and will appear next on June 29, 2022.

Marineland has long been criticized for the conditions at its facility. Provincial animal welfare authorities issued multiple orders against Marineland last year, after a lengthy investigation determined that marine mammals at the facility were in distress due to poor water quality. 

Authorities are also investigating a separate legal complaint filed by Animal Justice over the apparent distress and suffering experienced by Kiska, an orca whale confined by herself in a tank for the past decade. Multiple videos have shown Kiska floating listlessly, thrashing her body against the side of her tank, and swimming endlessly in circles. It is unlawful under both federal and provincial law to cause suffering or distress to an animal, including psychological suffering or distress. 

Thanks to your support, Animal Justice will continue to working to protect Kiska, the dolphins, and other animals still held at Marineland. Please join us.