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I am not sure if I can comment on this page. For neither am I a Maldivian nor a marine biologist. However, having spent most of my childhood days in the place i still call ‘Paradise on Earth’ I would like to share my thoughts on the proposed ‘Dolphinarium’ as well.
In those days, there was a reason people flocked to Maldives the year around. My father worked as a manager in Universal Enterprises and that gave me the privilege of traveling to several resorts and interacting with the tourists who visited the country.
Most if not all the tourists I talked with told me that the first thing that came to their minds when they thought of Maldives was the feeling of being completely free from anything and everything in this world, a feeling they said they got as they watched fishes (mainly dolphins) playing in the ocean while cruising.
I agree times have changed and the Government would want to take extra measures to keep the dolphins safe in addition to keeping the tourism industry flourishing. However, keeping the dolphins captive in a dolphinarium cannot be considered the best option.
You don’t need to keep them behind walls to make sure they stay safe. Face It! Would we be able to survive within the confines of a walled up room our entire life? Would we be happy being forced to stay in a place we know is not our home? And would we be able to teach our children the values of life without actually showing them what it is really like outside?
As humans when we don’t have the proper answers to these questions, imagine what a mammal would do.
Just as we have the right to lead our own life, live in a house of our own and move around as we wish, animals need their freedom too! The Dolphinarium may be the next big thing Maldives has ever witnessed. However, it would be so at the cost of the happiness of the dolphins kept in it which sadly, we would not notice or tend to ignore.
Again, as I said, this is not to hurt personal sentiments or political views. There are other ways to keep dolphins safe than breeding them in a confined aquarium. And there are so many other ways to attract tourists to the island that claims to give equal rights to the all the creations of ALLAH the Almighty.
This letter was posted as a comment by Fathima Fairoze Abubakar on ECOCARE Maldives post “To me dolphins resembled freedom…” Thoughts of a 15 year old activist.