Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Antiguan Environmentalist Supporting St Lucia National Trust in Fight to Block Dolphin Park

PRESS RELEASE: CASTRIES, St Lucia (September 17, 2018) – Antiguan environmentalist Martha Watkins-Gilkes recently travelled to St Lucia to support the national trust there with their efforts to stop the development of a dolphin park.

Watkins-Gilkes is the Executive Producer on a new documentary Dolphin Dilemma: The Antigua & Barbuda Story, which recounts how the people of the twin-island nation marched and protested the opening of a dolphin park, which had begun to cause damage to the environment and businesses.

The St. Lucia National Trust invited the executive producer along with Howard and Mitzi Allen of HAMA Films Antigua, who are working to tell the expanded version of the Caribbean story, and the ongoing efforts of Dolphin Discovery and other companies to open dolphinariums as tourist attractions.

More than 180 people attended the standing room only event in Castries, which was also streamed live on Facebook. To date more than 5700 people have watched the live stream.

National Trust Director Bishnu Tulsie said the audience was fully engaged during the viewing of the documentary and the discussion session. “There is considerable opposition to the establishment of the dolphin facility in Saint Lucia and we received useful feedback about how to approach our advocacy against the project.”

The trust believes development of a dolphin park will have a negative impact on the local marine ecosystem and affect the livelihoods of close to 100 fisherfolk. This despite, the government stating that the park will provide at least 60 new jobs for locals.

Their position was further bolstered by a published statement from the St Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association SLHTA which shared the views of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) on the construction of a captive dolphin facility. ABTA, the United Kingdom’s largest travel association, represents over 1,200 travel agents and tour operators including First Choice, Kuoni, Thomas Cook, TUI Group, and Virgin Holidays.

ABTA said “a new captive dolphin attraction would lead to substantial increased reputational risk to Saint Lucia and offer little in the way of differentiation. Research undertaken by our members in the UK also indicates a significant decline in the popularity of these attractions and a marked increase in the numbers of consumers who view keeping dolphins in captivity as unacceptable.

“A number of our members have actually removed all attractions involving captive cetaceans from sale and others are restricting the numbers they sell. We felt it important to highlight these trends and suggest that if there are alternative options to enhance St. Lucia’s tourism offering, with more longevity these should perhaps be considered. It is understood that Pigeon Island was the first national park in Saint Lucia and is one of the most bio-diverse sites on the island.

“Such a development seems to oppose the foundations of the park which was established with the vision to preserve local history, culture and natural resources for future generations,” the statement read.

Hosting the screening and discussion, trust officials said, helped to further the discussion on dolphins in captivity and how it would negatively affect St Lucia.

“The event raised awareness about our cause and triggered conversation on social media. It has already been repeated on national television to engage a wider audience that was unable to attend the event. The UK Guardian carried the story, thereby engaging the attention of its UK readership.”

Tulsie said the help of Watkins-Gilkes and other regional bodies has been invaluable in helping to build momentum.

“We would appreciate wider and continuous support for our advocacy efforts from Martha Watkins-Gilkes, HAMA and other regional bodies. Making new connections with other entities who support our cause is also integral. Access to case laws that deal with the subject will be of considerable assistance to the Trust,” added the director.

“To establish a Dolphin park in St Lucia is such an appalling and bad and backward idea. The tides are turning in it being acceptable to keep dolphins in captivity. Many tourists are so against the concept and it could lead to a boycott of St Lucia instead of any positive development. I hope the government of the day will heed the voice of the people,” said Watkins-Gilkes.

Learn more about the St Lucia National Trust here:

SLNT Website – www.slunatrust.org

SLNT Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Saint-Lucia-National-Trust-145287282155040/

Visit HAMAFilms.com to view more information on the Dolphin Dilemma documentary.


  1. Zoos, dolphin parks and generally keeping in captivity animals that roam thousands of miles in the wild are presently frown upon by most people globally. Chastanet clearly think tourism is the cure for all the countries economic woes. His thinking is anachronistic, clearly extremist and of a past era. The man has no respect for environmental concerns. Once it’s tourist related the environment is of no significance to the PM’s agenda. This man has happened to upset and alienated most organizations and people in S. Lucia with his frivolous policies and dictatorial tendencies.

  2. Thanks for the support. Allan only want to fulfill has ogre fathers dream. NO DOLPHIN PARK! UWP LIARS! DECEIVERS… Not to be trusted…. FFFCrew… we say NO

  3. When dolphins in a park to be honest they appear to be moreless closer to what they already know and do but I see people fighting that which pets eg. Dogs in a kennel, birds in cage, fishes in an aquarium etc. Next list poultry, pigs, goats, cattle and not us they are tied we kill amd eat after. I’d fight for the first before the dolphins that won’t be brutally slaughtered to be consumed. In St Lucia our biggest environmental issue is the littering issue can we get some help and sensitisation on this issue. I’d personally prefer not to see this project happen but sadly it seems the people behind it hault hearts seems to be tin the wrong place.

Comments are closed.


Probe Launched Into Viral Confrontation Between Bus Driver And Passenger

The Gros Islet Minibus Association has launched an investigation into a viral video of a confrontation between one of its members and a female...

Temporary Workers Needed For 2020 Census

The Central Statistical Office of Saint Lucia has  announced the launch of its recruitment drive for the 2020 Population and Housing Census. This national recruitment effort...

St Jude Hospital Site ‘High Security’ Area?

Former Saint Lucia Prime Minister, Doctor Kenny Anthony, says it appears that the St Jude Hospital site is now a “high security” area. Anthony made...

180 CCTV Cameras Introduced To Fight Crime, Hundreds More To Come

Saint Lucia has introduced 180 CCTV cameras providing coverage from Gros Islet to Castries,as part of measures to fight crime. The announcement came Monday from...
VIDEO: Confrontation Between Bus Driver & PassengerRead
+ +