Doing it for the dolphins two day event
Heroic Tourism, a local Adelaide conservation venture run by Jessie Panazzolo and Shannon Moulds was proud to focus its first event in 2018 on the plight of dolphins in the tourism Industry. Since 2014, Heroic Tourism has been running as a global initiative to promote positive ethical alternatives to detrimental tourist ventures for wildlife. The event spanned over two days and featured a screening of “The Cove” which explains Ric O’Barry’s investigation into the dolphin industry and the impacts that capturing dolphins not only has on captive individuals but also wild populations and the health of Japanese citizens. After the screening, we held a discussion to find out how much the attendees knew about dolphins in tourism, what shocked them and what they had learned from the event.
Here are some reactions:
“It’s important to see these things even if you know about the situation, to truly understand the enormity and make that emotional/cognitive connection. Humans (the ones in power) are motivated by greed and have an incredible amount of cognitive dissonance and or wilful ignorance. You’re either an activist or an in-activist.”
“That dude’s persistence to make a change- proved to me that individuals can make a difference. Also how much exposure and understanding can impact an issue – we all need to share as much info as we possibly can!”
“I had no idea about how dolphins were being treated and mass murdered for no reason. Like I was aware that, yes, captive animals have a lower quality of life compared to wild animals in their natural environment, but I assumed that places like SeaWorld took care of its animals. Now I wonder how many other animal related attractions take terrible care of their animals!”
After watching the documentary, 100% of attendees said that they cared more about dolphins in the tourism industry and 78% of people said that since the event they are more inclined to see animals in the wild rather than in tourist facilities.
The following weekend we hosted an excursion to swim with Adelaide dolphins on the Temptation sailing boat where we saw two species of dolphins, the local residents, Bottlenose Dolphins as well as the migratory Common Dolphin. It was shocking to hear that Bottlenose Dolphins can live up to 60 years in the wild, but only live up to five years in captivity which just goes to show that being a tourism hero can add 55 years to a dolphin’s life!
Please note that some audience members voted for more than one option making the statistics equal more than 100%
10-18 Years old 0%
19-25 Years old55%
26-30 Years old 11%
31-40 Years old11%
41-50 Years old0%
50+ Years old22%
What drove the audience to attend the event?
Friends and family77%
They love dolphins33%
They wanted to learn more about captive dolphins 0%
They often attend events at The Joinery0%
What did the audience know about dolphins before attending this event?
They had heard some things22%
They had seen news articles about Sea World66%
They had seen “The Cove” before11%
They keep up to date with cetaceans in tourism11%
How much did the audience care about dolphins in tourism before attending this event?
Dolphins weren’t on their radar at all11%
They cared but were not aware of their captive lives11%
They cared a lot and didn’t support captive cetaceans66%
They sought to bring about change on this issue22%
Before going to this event would the audience happily see dolphins in captivity?
After attending this event would the audience happily see dolphins in captivity?
Did attending this event make the audience care more about cetaceans in the tourism industry?
Not at all0%
A little bit, but they would still pay to see them0%
Yes, they wouldn’t support captive cetaceans22%
Hell Yes! They would tell everyone about this issue77%
Did this event make the audience more inclined to see wild animals rather than captive animals while you travel?
They still want to see a mix of wild and captive animals11%