(DOLPHINS/ANIMAL ACTIVISM) Thanks to the hard work from animal activists, specifically the group reEarth in the Bahama’s, the Supreme Court is forcing a dolphinarium that was housing eight captive dolphins to shut down.

The Supreme Court’s decision to close the tourist attraction comes after reEarth, a nonprofit community and environmental watch group, obtained documents proving government violations.

The bottlenose dolphin population is believed to be falling victim to morbillivirus, a disease that previously rocked the population back in the late 80s. Photo Credit: Albert Gea
Eight dolphins were illegally imported to the Bahamas from Honduras, which violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  Photo Credit: Albert Gea

The documents show evidence of the prime minister, the minister of agriculture, and the town planning committee, among many others violating the law when giving Blue Illusions Limited (which is headed by Samir Andrawos, a St. Maarten business man) permits to build the dolphin attraction on Blackbeard’s Cay.

The Blue Illusions began building the dolphinarium despite opposition from the Planning and Subdivision act.

The documents also show that the attraction’s eight dolphins were imported from Honduras before attaining the proper permits, which violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

India is now the largest of four countries to ban dolphin shows. Photo Credit: eddie.welker, Flickr
Supreme Court judges in the Bahamas are now questioning if it is legal to import dolphins for reasons other than research.  Photo Credit: eddie.welker, Flickr

The judge presiding the case is now questioning if it is legal to import dolphins for reasons other than research—which is a huge decision for the tourist based economy.

Blue Illusions Limited can appeal the Supreme Court’s decision, but for now, there is still plenty to celebrate over this groundbreaking decision.

“I am thrilled,” Sam Duncombe, president of reEarth, told The Nassau Guardian. “We’ve been fighting this issue for 24 years and finally we’ve been able to bring one of the developers with dolphins in captivity to court over the circumvention of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.”

— Cara Meyers, exclusive to Global Animal