National Marine Fisheries Extends Comment Period for Importation of Captive Dolphin

bottlenose dolphins

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responding to the public’s request for an extension of the public comment period and public hearing on an application submitted by the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) for the importation of three bottlenose dolphins (tursiops truncatus) for public display.

NMFS has decided to extend the public comment period for an additional 30 days to provide the public an opportunity to review additional information provided by CZS. However, NMFS determined that a public hearing is not warranted because documentation related to this MMPA permit application can be provided in writing. In order to allow for a full 30 days for additional public comment, it will accept comment through May 19, 2019, even though the FR notice indicates that the comment period ends on May 16, 2019.

NMFS has gone back to CZS and has requested additional information regarding the health status of the dolphins and the water quality at Coral World of St. Thomas, V.I. In addition, CZS has updated their transport plans regarding the timing and destination of the dolphins to be imported. The amended application is posted online at:

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  1. I am a world traveler. This dolphin swim is extremely unpopular. It is cruel and sickening to capture dolphins and contain them in a “pool” enclosure. St Thomas has many wonderful tourist options. Beautiful beaches, great shopping, island touring, friendly people and people who care about the image of St. Thomas. Please do not become another dolphin killer. They do die in captivity. They just don’t admit to that. Make the choice to kill this idea. It is the right choice.

  2. I really think you should stop this practice with the dolphins I know I would rather see them in the wild than captive in a pool please stop this

  3. It is interesting to read the negative comments about the importation of dolphins to St. Thomas. I must wonder if the writers have any idea what the Dolphin Sanctuary looks like and what the program is all about. These dolphins have been born and raised in human care, not captured from the wild and placed in a “pool.” The area they swim in is not enclosed, they are free to move about as they please and are NOT being trained to do ‘tricks and stunts’ for the enjoyment of humans. They would have an extremely difficult time in the wild as the have been raised, and thus fed, in human care, much like one’s house pets. The head dolphin curator has over 40 years experience w/ the raising and care of these mammals and is considered one of the leading authorities in the world. The opportunity for people to learn and be educated about these creatures, as well as interact w/ them, is above and beyond anything I have personally observed in the several “dolphin parks” I have visited. Mankind has learned to work w/ creatures from the land and air and now are doing the same things w/ ocean dwelling mammals. Go check them out. It will surprise you what is happening right here in STT. These people are the leading edge in this field of education, care, transport and study of dolphins raised in human care.


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