Guide To Marineland
We at Iconic Riviera would like to take this opportunity to explain why we will not be promoting Marineland (located near Antibes), and why we hope you don’t give them any of your money. Here are a few things to consider:
#1: It’s damaging for kids to witness. Keeping animals in captivity perpetuates the damaging idea (especially to children) that these sentient beings are simply objects to use for the sake of our own interests, and instills a lack of empathy in children. More reading: Taking children to an aquarium is a lesson in cruelty (by Huffington Post).
#2: It’s pushing many species to extinction. Because of the trade in whales and rare sea animals, a whole industry has sprung up to capture these animals in the wild, killing far more than are successfully captured and sold into slavery. This has pushed these species to the bring of exinction.
Another aspect of capturing orcas – one that is rarely considered – is the effect of capture on those animals left in the pod. If the pod is small (fewer than six animals), as in the transient pods of the North Pacific, then capture of even one individual may affect the pod’s ability to survive.
Example: A potentially productive transient pod with five members, including four females, was captured in a bay on southern Vancouver Island. The entire pod was lined up to be sent to various marine parks. Two were transported soon after capture to Sealand in Victoria. The other three remained in the holding pens, refusing to eat for more than 70 days. After one female died of malnutrition, and was quietly disposed of at sea, the remaining two began to eat and were then sold to a Texas marine park for a life of enslavement, separated from the rest of their family.
#3: Living in a tank is excruciating torture for the animals. These highly social and intelligent marine mammals normally swim up to 100 miles per day. But in captivity, they are confined to minuscule concrete tanks. This cruel method causes extreme emotional distress to the sea creatures.
Imagine someone took you away from your home and your family. You will spend the rest of your life in a sterile room the size of a bathtub. Your captors then will force you to do tricks in front of a screaming crowd. Imagine no way out but death. This is what these animals live through.
#4: Many die in captivity. The animals are tortured by being stolen from the wild and imprisoned in tiny dirty tanks, forced to perform tricks. At Marineland, most of their whales and dolphins are cruelly captured in the wild. Captors trapped and stole them from their mothers in the wild and many of the young dolphins and whales die from the stress soon after.
In the Antibes Marineland location alone, more than 50 dolphins have died in recent years because of the terrible conditions.
Going to these parks supports this cruelty and death.
What others have to say
Many celebrities have spoken out about how terrible Marineland is. At a recent protest outside of Marineland near Antibes, actress Pamela Anderson told the press: “No one wants to live their lives in a bathtub. And that’s exactly what Marineland inflicts on the orcas they imprison.“
John Hargrove is a former senior killer whale trainer for SeaWorld. He is the author of “Beneath the Surface,” and was present at a recent protest at Marineland in Antibes. His words added a strong voice to the message that these magnificent marine mammals do not belong in captivity. During his career, Hargrove spent two years working as a killer whale trainer in Marineland of Antibes. In his book, Hargrove describes how the severely impoverished and restricted living conditions of captive killer whales lead to stress, intense boredom, and unnatural aggression.
Further Information & how to see whales and dolphins
If you want to see whales and dolphins, the French Riviera is full of them in the wild. Please take a boat trip and see them in their natural habitat.
Also read: Marineland is a Hellhole (by VICE).
To learn more, please watch Blackfish (you can watch the movie for free). Here is the Blackfish movie, in French:
There are many fun things to do with kids on the French Riviera. We’ve also provided a guide to the best places to take your kids.