Cetacean expert speaks out against SEA LIFE whale circus

Dolphins-tomwhite_thumbFreedom for Animals was delighted to receive support for the SEA LIES campaign from esteemed cetacean expert, Dr. Thomas White, author of “In Defense of Dolphins” and scientific advisor to the Wild Dolphin Project. Dr White had this to say about the continued exploitation of whales by UK-based company, Merlin Entertainments, parent company of SEA LIFE aquariums:

“Scientific progress invariably leads us to change our understanding of the world. In particular, science regularly reveals challenging ethical issues we’d been blind to. Such is the case with the last thirty years of marine mammal science which has revealed that whales and dolphins are far more complex beings then we thought they were when we first started capturing them from their homes in the wild and putting them in aquaria.

“We now know that their intellectual and emotional abilities are very sophisticated. Indeed, their abilities are so advanced and so close to our own that these cetaceans qualify as “nonhuman persons.” From an ethical perspective, this means that the confining conditions of captivity make it impossible for them to grow, develop and flourish in a way consistent with the complex and social beings they are meant to be.

“Anyone who continues to defend the captivity of whales and dolphins as ethically acceptable–no matter how well-intentioned or sincere they are–is either unfamiliar with the full range of the relevant scientific research or doesn’t understand its ethical implications.”

Despite Merlin/SEA LIFE’s abject failure to respond to concerns raised, the number of signatories to the petition calling for answers and action over the company’s cetacean circus in its Shanghai SEA LIFE centre continues to grow and looks set to exceed 5,000 in the coming days.

Please ensure that you speak out for the whales held captive by SEA LIFE by adding your name to the petition today.


  • We'd love to keep you posted with latest information on this issue and share materials and activities. We'll never sell or swap your details with anybody else. You are free to change your mind at anytime. Please indicate how you would like to hear from us by using the tick boxes below.
  • We demand that SEA LIFE ends its exploitation of captive cetaceans and guarantees their safe retirement [Read More]
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *