Rocco Siffredi, self-employed, Vigie:
The fact is that the dolphin swim program is a commercial activity.
Businesses thrive by keeping their costs low and working their
product as much as possible. The product is the dolphin. I wouldnít
care if it were some other, less sensitive, less sentient animal,
but dolphins are well known to suffer the deleterious effects of
stress and fear. In the wild, dolphins swim up to 40 miles per day.
Under current US regulations, they only have to be provided with a
30ft x 30ft enclosure. How big would a room have to be for you to
spend the rest of your life in it? But I guess the controversy
exists because no one really knows how the dolphin feels about it
The fact remains that dolphins suffer from stress and these
parks are no more than prisons, albeit friendly ones. Who knows?
Maybe the dolphins enjoy their work. Maybe they hate it. Since
opinion is so divided on this issue, and since, given the
involvement of Michael Chastanet, this initiative will surely go
through, the best we can hope for is that this facility will exceed
regulations, perhaps even set a precedent. The beaches at Tapion
used to be covered with garbage. Maybe it will finally attract some
money. However, spare a thought for the dolphins. Engine driven
ships are known to disorientate dolphins as the noise of machinery
and propellers throws its sonar out of whack. Iím sure the project
will be a success, and provide money for certain individuals.
Everyone just loves dolphins, but remember that for them itís going
to be like living in a closet with a heavy metal band for the rest
of their lives.
Tessa Marquis, sales representative,
Pavee: I see nothing wrong in having a swim with dolphins
programme if the dolphins are treated well and trained properly.
This country needs a pick me up in tourism and this could be the
answer. It is done all over the world, why not let Michael Chastanet
and St Lucia cash in?
We need more money in this country and if
a dolphin facility helps bring it in and the dolphins are not hurt I
see no reason why the public and the government should veto this
idea. What I do have a problem with is the idea of getting a dolphin
out of the wild and out of its home. Maybe he could get dolphins
which are already raised in captivity. In this case they will
already be trained, tame and familiar with human contact. Adults,
children and toddlers would love it!
Kurina Joseph, web designer, Bocage, Castries:
I have always pictured dolphins as creatures that are very
close to men because like whales and us they are mammals.
think what would I feel like if I were captured and placed in some
sort of facility to be on display. I do not think God intended for
any creature to be kept captive. Animals need to be free and wild
and live their life. It is especially malicious to take dolphins out
of the wild and put them into a facility. That is cruel and
tantamount to slavery.
I think a lot of people are tired of
others exploiting animals for their own selfish purposes.
Eliza Francis, journalist, Vieux Fort:
I have been out on whale watching tours and it was really a
very exciting experience, seeing the whales but particularly the
dolphins in their natural environment. They were all over the place
and I was fascinated by their movements and choreography in the
water as we followed them. It was almost as if they knew they were
being watched and were performing for us. I believe in freedom and I
think animals should be free in their natural environment, not
unnaturally caged and locked up.
If they are captured, then
their environment should be made as near to what they would be used
to as possible. I think that man, sometimes in the desire to make
money, has abused the earthís creatures. I donít think thatís right.
Sometimes I even have to think twice about eating meat. Iíve heard
that dolphins are really intelligent ocean mammals and I think they
should remain in the wild. I would much prefer to get out on a boat
and watch them swim around. I must admit it would be fun to swim
around with them, however. But as I said, I believe animals should
have their freedom.
Dia Clement, model, Hospital Road,
Castries: From what I understand about dolphins they are very
family oriented and they stay in a pack for most of their lives. So
I cannot imagine that they would enjoy being taken out of open sea
and brought into a facility.
On the other hand the benefits to
St Lucia would be great, especially for tourism. I would not mind
swimming with dolphins myself; it would be a new fun
And think about how many jobs the facility would
provide. I guess the question is which do St Lucians appreciate
more: the people or the dolphins? My guess is that people will
prevail and the facility will go ahead.
Venita Joyeux, civil servant, Vieux Fort:
I do not know much about the topic but I think we as St
Lucians have a tendency to blow things out of proportion. From what
I understand, this matter is still in the thinking stage yet people
are already making noise. I think we should wait to see what happens
before we start jumping out and calling the facility a bad