Time to stop keeping dolphins in captivity

In the dolphin encounter programme in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), we are able to see dolphins and even interact with them.

The dolphins look like they are having a good time, but dolphins in captivity are actually under a lot of stress.

The stress weakens their immune systems and makes them prone to diseases. Even though they live in an environment that is free of predators and pollution, they die at a young age.

They perform tricks for food rewards, but after the performance is over, they are kept away in another tank.

Singapore's SEA Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the world, but it can never compare to the vast ocean where these marine creatures are from.

The suffering of the dolphins does not start in the aquariums; it starts all the way back when they are being hunted.

Documentary film The Cove revealed that Japanese fishermen put pipes in the water and strike the pipes continuously with a mallet, creating a sound which sends waves of fear and confusion to the dolphins.

The dolphins are then cornered, and the young and healthy ones are selected. The rest will have their throats cut and are left to suffer in the ocean.

The killing method has changed to one that causes minimal suffering to the dolphins, but it still does not change the fact that they are innocent creatures that do not deserve to be separated from their families and to die unnaturally.

The dolphins go through so much just to be taken away by organisations to perform for us.

So far, four of the dolphins at RWS have died.

It will not stop at four as long as there are still dolphins in captivity.

We can all make a difference; there are organisations supporting the release of dolphins, like the Save The World's Saddest Dolphins and the Animal Concerns Research And Education Society (Acres).

We can visit their websites and sign a petition to support the release of the dolphins.

The dolphins captured are not for conservation or education purposes, but are exploited for our entertainment.

So, let us start taking action to make a difference.

Jazreel Tan Yixin (Ms)