06 June
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 Georgie Dicks
Empty the Tanks Worldwide is a public awareness campaign. It is a opportunity to educate the general public about a situation they are simply ignorant to. This protest is to highlight the captive Dolphin and Orca trade and their use as human entertainment. These animals are kept in tiny concrete chlorinated tanks, taken from the wild and violently snatched away from their families which mean so much to them. These annual events will allow us to reach the public all over the world in a positive and productive way. Captivity seriously compromises a dolphin’s quality of life. In the wild dolphins have highly complex social lives that cannot be recreated in a lagoon or concrete pool. Captive dolphins don't have the freedom to express normal behaviour, a main principle for animal welfare. Science increasingly shows dolphins to be intelligent animals with the ability to think and reason. Over time we have learned that their capacity for suffering is significantly great and keeping them locked up for human entertainment purposes therefore raises big ethical questions. Dolphins are self-aware beings with individual personalities and a rich inner life. They have the ability to think abstractly, feel deeply and choose their actions. Their lives are characterized by close, long-term relationships with conspecifics in communities characterised by culture. Unfortunately, while there has been consistent progress in scientists' sensitivity to the ethical issues, the same cannot be said for those who use cetaceans to generate revenue. Especially troubling is the failure of the captivity industry to respond to the scientific discoveries at issue with any serious re-evaluation of their practices. One of the most important ethical implications of the scientific research on cetaceans is that these individuals are 'persons', not 'property'. Yet captive facilities continue to offer scientifically flawed and ethically unsophisticated defences for their current practices. Virtually no consideration is given to the ethical status of their captive breeding programs. Treating self-aware beings as a commodity whose reproduction is managed for economic advantage is, no matter what benefit it produces, fundamentally offensive from an ethical standpoint. In complete contrast, hard-hitting documentary films like The Cove and Blackfish are leading the way and are helping the public gain clarity, and with awareness support for captivity is waning. It appears the public has found some direction as the real story behind captivity spreads, no longer controlled by an industry led narrative manufactured by Sea World and other captive facilities. Dolphins belong to no one, and to no country, and their exploitation is of legitimate concern to everyone, including the public who must realise that nothing - not profit, not education, not conservation - can justify keeping these large, social, intelligent beings in small confined spaces. THE EVENT: Empty The Tanks worldwide is a global event which aims to raise awareness of the truth behind Sea World and other captive marine animal facilities. It is a day which allows a global collective of concerned individuals to shine light on the real story of captivity and the disturbing secrets these organisations work so hard to protect, particularly when their jobs and careers depend on keeping the current business model intact for as long as they can. Peaceful gatherings and educational events will be held all over the world in front of marine mammal parks, aquariums or in public places. In order to highlight the cruel and lucrative industry of keeping these sentient gentle souls behind the bars of concrete tanks in the name of education under the guise of entertainment, WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!! We need your voices, your slogans and your dedication to seeing an end to the business of keeping dolphins in captivity. As someone who has seen firsthand the link between the captivity industry and the annual Taiji dolphin hunt, it is with sadness, hope and a heavy heart that I ask you to join me, and thousands of others around the world, in peace and solidarity for the gentle souls without a voice where together we will make a stand against an industry that has perpetuated a great deal of suffering not only for those who were lost at sea or the individuals confined to a concrete tank but their brethren in the wild. Please note: - This is a peaceful assembly. We want to remain respectful and approachable to members of the public at all times. Our aim is to educate them, not abuse or judge them. - No placards with racist or rude comments, we will not tolerate racism.

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