Cetaceans in Captivity

  • Rob Lott
  • Cathy Williamson
Part of the Animal Welfare book series (AWNS, volume 17)


Several species (and over 3000 individuals) of small cetacean are held in captivity around the world, primarily for public display and entertainment. Scientific evidence strongly supports concerns about individual animals’ welfare, including mental and physical health. Conditions in captivity cannot meet an individual’s biological needs, and restricted space, a limited social environment, artificial surroundings and behavioural restrictions all contribute to stress and early mortality. Wild cetacean populations in some countries are targeted by live captures to supply the public display industry, presenting a risk to conservation as well as welfare. Public opinion is shifting on cetacean captivity and may signal a change in the way cetaceans are held in captivity in the future.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Whale and Dolphin ConservationChippenhamUK

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