Thankyou so much to our wonderful Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch Ambassador Melody Horrill for the following media release and images.

Bottlenose dolphin between performances at an aquarium in Lithuania. Lithuania, 2016. Jo-Anne McArthur / Born Free Foundation / We Animals Media

A KI Bottlenose dolphin on a Dolphin Watch survey on KI Marine Adventures-Peter Fuller

Footage captured by KI/VH Dolphin Watch and photographs by volunteer, Peter Fuller have graced a video from internationally renowned ethologist and conservationist, Dr Jane Goodall DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger for peace.

A therapy dolphin at an aquarium in Lithuania. Lithuania, 2016. Jo-Anne McArthur / Born Free Foundation / We Animals Media

The video, edited by SA cameraman Stephen Sard, featured beautiful footage of wild dolphins frolicking off the K.I coast along with stunning pictures by Peter Fuller. The visuals were used as an example of how dolphins live in the wild and why they should not be kept in captivity. The video was played to the Flemish parliament by Dr. Koen Margodt, co-chair of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Cetacean Committee during a presentation where he argued for the release of six dolphins in the Flanders dolphinarium. Dr Margodt pleaded with the parliament for the dolphins to be transferred to a coastal sanctuary, under development off Greece, so they can live out their lives in a natural, more enriching environment. Dr Goodall, Dr Margodt and the committee’s co-chair and KI/VH dolphin watch Ambassador, Melody Horrill also co-authored a letter to the Flemish parliament asking members to no longer allow the keeping of dolphins in tanks.

Dr Jane Goodall on moving dolphins from dolphinariums to sea side sanctuaries (

Bottlenose dolphins on survey on KI Marine Adventures on the North Coast of KI-Peter Fuller

Dolphins are highly intelligent, live in complex communities, have personalities and emotional lives, develop strong social bonds and use tools. The mammals have evolved to live in rich ocean habitats, with some ranging for hundreds of kilometres and diving hundreds of metres deep.

They argue that tanks simply cannot replicate the wild. They are monotonous, empty and barren environments that cannot provide dolphins with the psychological, emotional, social and environmental enrichment they need. Dr Koen, Melody and Dr Goodall pointed to research that shows dolphins may experience stress and frustration in captivity and become depressed and listless. They maintain that there is no conservation value in keeping dolphins in tanks as most species are not endangered. Additionally, people cannot learn about dolphins through watching them perform in captivity as they are experiencing a shadow of their wild cousins. Dr Margodt alikens dolphinariums to circuses that used wild animals. Such enterprises are no longer wildly accepted, so how is it that dolphinariums are?

The Islander Newspaper Article May 2nd 2024 thanks to The Fleurieu Sun Editor Michael Simmons

The tide is turning and a growing number of people around the world believe that captivity is not acceptable. However, dolphins that have been in tanks for years cannot be released into the wild as they’ve become institutionalised. The Jane Goodall Cetacean Committee is supporting the creation of a series of global coastal sanctuaries where former performing dolphins can live in a more natural environment, where they can swim for large distances, dive to deep depths and have the opportunity to hunt for their own food while being monitored and cared for by people.

Wild and Free! Bottlenose dolphin, Nepean Bay, KI-Peter Fuller

In a recent interview with 5AA Melody Horrill suggested that an area off the KI coast may well be a perfect location for such a sanctuary in the future….providing refuge for former captive dolphins in the Asia Pacific region.

Meantime, people are being urged to do their research before visiting dolphinariums. Without visitors buying tickets, such places cannot exist.

To Dr Jane Goodall, Dr Koen Margot and Melody Horrill our heartfelt thanks, love and gratitude.