Empty The Tanks Worldwide Day

Today Abigail called on NSW Parliament to acknowledge Empty the Tanks day, recognising the suffering of dolphins and orcas bred and held hostage in captivity, and calling on Queensland to outlaw the cruel practice.

I give notice that on the next sitting day I will move: 

(1) That this House notes that 12 May 2023 was Empty the Tanks Worldwide Day 2023.

(2) That this House further notes that:

(a) Empty the Tanks Worldwide Day is a global day of peaceful protest in support of education and awareness to end cetacean captivity and promote ocean conservation worldwide;

(b) the life of a dolphin in the wild, where they live in close-knit family units and travel up to 100km a day, is vastly different to life in captivity, where they have restricted space, unnatural social groupings and inappropriate physical and mental stimulation;

(c) health outcomes of dolphins in captivity are consistently poor, with lifespans of many captive dolphins more than halved from that of the life expectancy of wild dolphins and:

(i) at least 10 percent of captive dolphins experiencing the eye condition medial keratopathy due to UV light exposure linked to the amount of time spent with their heads above the water surface;

(ii) 100 percent of captive orcas experiencing dorsal fin collapse, which is experienced by only 1 per cent of wild orcas, due to nutrition intake, time spent above or near the water surface and lack of physical activity;

(iii) emotional, psychophysiological, and behavioral changes, including  stress, depression, stereotypic behaviours, aggression and self-destructive and self-harming behaviours, prevalent amongst most captive dolphins;

(iv) the likelihood of stress-related physical health impacts including appetite loss, ulcers and increased susceptibility to disease is greatly increased; and

(v) the likelihood of developing respiratory, liver, hematological and metabolic diseases is greatly increased

(3) That this House notes that NSW has effectively ended the use of dolphins for entertainment, with the the Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Cetacea) Regulation 2021 prohibiting the breeding or importation of cetaceans for anything other than genuine scientific or educational purposes, or any purpose connected with the conservation or protection of marine animals.

(4) That this House commends Empty the Tanks and associated Empty the Tanks Worldwide Day event organisers.

(5) That this House notes with concern that dolphin breeding and captivity for entertainment continues to occur in Queensland, and states that it is time to empty the tanks.

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