Indonesian minister shuts down dolphin attraction

Currently Indonesia is regarded as home to the world's last remaining traveling dolphin circuses. But recently due to mounting public pressure that demanded the Indonesian government stop the exploitation of dolphins for entertainment, Forestry Minister Zulkifli did just that. Last Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Zulkifli visited the Akame Dolphin Bay Restaurant near Benoa Port and shut it down.

The floating restaurant, which is shaped like a ship has a 130 square-meter pool in the middle. Every day it attracts hundreds of tourists who came to watch the dolphin show at the facility that was opened only four months ago. The restaurant did have a permit for the entertainment activities.

The dolphins were estimated to be seven to nine years old and were 1.7 meter-long . They were originally caught in the northern part of Java sea. Mr. Zulkifi ordered his staff to confiscate all the dolphins and to immediately move them to the Dolphin Rehabilitation Center in Kemujan, Karimun Jawa. Here Mr. Zulkifi said,"We will release them back into their natural habitat but we have to complete some observations before doing so."

Zulkifi also pledged to close down any other dolphin attraction sites in Indonesia such as the two other facilities in Bali that still offer dolphin attractions, one at Serangan Island in Denpasar and another one at the Melka Hotel in Buleleng.

He then went onto to say, "The existing rule actually gives permission for these kind of activities. But I understand that many people have criticized this sort of activity. Many people have protested via Twitter. This attraction received the attention of the international community. Therefore, we believe that it should be stopped."

Currently Indonesian dolphins (bottlenose and stenella species) are protected under a government regulation on plant and animal preservation that was issued in 1999. But Zulkifli admits that Government Regulation (PP) No. 8/1999 had provided a leeway for traveling dolphin circuses. "Now, we are eager to revise the regulation, following public pressure to stop the exploitation of dolphins. We will revise it soon."

World-renowned dolphin activist Richard O’Barry has praised Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan for agreeing to help end the dolphin trade in Indonesia. O’Barry, who stars in the Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove,” first came to Indonesia after hearing about what he believed to be the last travelling dolphin circus in the world.

The minister met with O’Barry and the Jakarta Animal Aid Network last Tuesday following a discussion the week before on dolphin protection. “I think he’s (Zulkifi) a hero. He never knew about the issue and as soon as he did he moved to action. He’s going to get lots of positive international public attention for what he’s doing,” said O'Barry.


STOP supporting travelling dolphin circuses!

Responses to "Indonesia's Forestry Minister begins to shut down dolphin attractions there"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I Believe That Dolphins Should Remain Free, Although The US NAVY Uses Them To Discover Mine Fields, As A Means Of Protecting Our Naval Forces!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Although they are beautiful creatures - lovely to look at and interact with - they belong in the ocean FREE. We must remember that they are wild animals and will revert to their natural instincts at some point.

Write a comment