[MARMAM] First professional accreditation for cetacean sanctuaries

Lori Marino marinolori at outlook.com
Wed Jun 28 12:50:26 PDT 2023

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) has adopted and published the first ever set of best practices for cetacean (whale and dolphin) sanctuaries. (See the press statement here<https://whalesanctuaryproject.org/wp-content/uploads/New-Sanctuary-Standards-Herald-Sea-Change-for-Captive-Whales-and-Dolphins.pdf>.)

The new guidelines are the product of a pioneering collaboration between the Whale Sanctuary Project, the National Aquarium, Sea Life Trust, and Merlin Entertainments.

Accreditation standards for sanctuaries that care for land animals – including elephants, great apes and big cats – have been in place for many years. And now, coastal sanctuaries for cetaceans are being developed for their retirement.

The new standards provide the answer to a critically important question: What constitutes a true, authentic sanctuary? And how do you know that a facility that calls itself a sanctuary really is what it claims to be?

Until now, there have been no generally recognized standards for what differentiates a sanctuary from any other facility that houses whales and dolphins.

“These guidelines were established through the combined efforts of top cetacean experts,” says Valerie Taylor, executive director of GFAS, in a press statement issued this week. “They signal a defining moment for the future of captive cetaceans across the globe.”

For more information: Lori Marino, marinolori at outlook.com

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