Seeking an end to the exploitation of whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity

Have you ever visited a dolphinarium or swum with a captive dolphin? These have long been popular holiday activities, but perhaps you were unaware that just the keeping of whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) in captivity, is detrimental to their welfare? The science shows us that, behind their proverbial smile, captive cetaceans are suffering.

Born Free’s campaign #TankFree aims to raise public awareness about the cruelty of keeping these animals in tanks and to appeal to anyone thinking of visiting a dolphinarium not to buy a ticket. Housing cetaceans in featureless, concrete tanks does not provide these intelligent animals with the space or stimulation they would enjoy in the wild, and causes reduced physical health, stress, boredom and even early death.



The 2017 documentary #InsideTheTanks focuses on what life is like for whales and dolphins in European marine parks. Filmed at Marineland Antibes in the south of France, the documentary features Born Free and the Free Morgan Foundation. A ‘must see’. 




#StopDolphinaria seeks to reveal the plight of cetaceans in captivity.

Produced by the Spanish NGO FAADA in collaboration with Born Free, the film focuses on the real lives of three individual animals; all kept in Spanish animal attractions, revealing the stark reality behind the suffering of whales and dolphins in captivity.




Working with WCRS and The Mill, Born Free highlighted the plight of orcas in captivity as part of its #TankFree campaign.

Our powerful and thought-provoking animation of an orca in a barren tank was displayed on the billboards of shopping centres across the UK to highlight the appalling fact that a captive orca can legally be kept in a tank just twice its own body length – roughly the size of a 48ft billboard – in the USA.




The acclaimed documentary Blackfish tells the harrowing story of Tilikum, a male orca who was kept in captivity at SeaWorld for 25 years until his death in 2017.

The documentary resulted in an increased awareness of the plight of orca in captivity and caused massive public outcry. Born Free, in collaboration with film distributors Dogwoof, FilmFreaks and Karma Films, was proud to bring Blackfish to Europe in 2013, visiting seven countries in 20 days, accompanied by former SeaWorld trainer, Samantha Berg.


Image: © George Logan, © WCRS


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