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Putting the King of the Sea in Cages

PHRI Officials in North Bali Wants to Build Mid-Ocean Cages to Captivate Dolphins for Tourist Visits

(8/8/2016) The chairman of the Buleleng chapter of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), Dewa Suardipa, is suggesting that middle ocean dolphin cages be built in offshore locations near Lovina in order “optimize” the attractiveness of dolphin tours promoted to North Bali tourist visitors.

Currently, hundreds of domestic and international tourists visiting Bali’s north coast pay local boatmen to take them out on early morning boat tours in search of the pods of dolphins that live in the area.

Suardipa has the view that local boats chasing after the wild dolphins cause stress on mammals and that would be remedied by turning wild dolphins into captive dolphin held in offshore cages. Continuing to describe his vision, Suardipa told Bali Post that the caged dolphins then could be summoned with whistles and pieces of fish to appear on command for visiting tourists.

Apparently, Suardipa believes dolphins held in cages become somehow stress-free.

The PHRI official estimates that the offshore cages could be constructed for Rp. 10 million each.

Suardipa’s proposal is almost certain to draw strong condemnation from environmentally minded group who view any situation that makes dolphins captive for tourism displays and environmentally non-sustainable due to the ill effects, pain and shortened life-span such programs inflicted on theses ocean mammals.