Local groups in Kaş have started their fight against the dolphin park with a protest in April, and they continue the fight by teaching school children about the habitat of wild dolphins. If the children are our future then they hope this will create a better life for our Dolphins.

The dolphin park facility in Kaş has been deserted for a couple of years since Tom and Misha were transferred to a small inland swimming pool in Hisarönü where they had the most difficult period of their life, until they were rescued by Born Free and taken to a rehabilitation facility in Gökova.

Now they are “back in the blue” swimming freely in the Mediterranean.

However, last December, four more dolphins were transferred from Bodrum to the Kaş facility.

Kaş NGOs and Freedom for Dolphins Platform came together and organized two meetings for public awareness and a protest in April against the dolphin parks.

When the dolphin ‘attraction’ started to accept customers without legal working permission public pressure grew.

Kaş Municipality stopped the activity last week by putting a legal seal on their entrance gate.

However, this may only be a temporary stop as any final permissions are subject to decision of the Ministry of Maritime, Transport and Communication.

Seminars in Kas Schools

Whilst putting pressure on the ministry, Kaş NGOs and Freedom for Dolphins Platform have come together again to promote public awareness. This time they have involved the school children in Kaş. They believe that education for how to respect wild life should start at the schools.

The NGOs gave seminars to three high schools and two primary schools in Kaş. The seminars were prepared according to the age groups and gave information about the wild life of the sea mammals, specifically dolphins, and then compared the welfare of dolphins in the wild and in captivity.

The seminars end with an invitation to the diving boats for a free ‘dolphin watch tour with binoculars’, suggesting that the children watch dolphins in the wild instead of paying for an artificial show.

The schools in the villages surrounding Kaş will also be invited to the diving boats this summer and the same seminar will be given on the boat before the trip.

In July, there will be a photo exhibition in Kaş with the pictures taken at the seminars and on the boats.

What to do next

All the ten dolphin parks in Turkey are against International Conventions which Turkey has undersigned. Capturing dolphins is also against the Animal Rights Law of Turkey. Many NGOs all around Turkey are trying to cancel the special permission that six specific companies had in 2006 to capture dolphins and they try to close permanently the dolphin parks in Turkey.

You can also make a difference by refusing to go to dolphin shows…

Our motto is “get a pair of binoculars instead of going to dolphin shows”.

More info: www.yunuslaraozgurluk.com

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