Halts Dolphin Capture Program
Antigua and Barbuda Independent Tourism Promotion Corporation An Active Part of Decision
that Eliminates Need for Immediate Court Action
Earlier this month, the Antigua and Barbuda Independent Tourism Promotion Corporation
(ABITPC) successfully caused the local Antiguan government to immediately halt the capture
of dolphins in local waters. This action was taken in response to threatened legal action
and discussions that the permit to take dolphins (issued in December, 2000) actually was a
violation of international law.
Speaking for ABITPC, spokeswoman Martha Watkins-Gilkes said, "We are delighted that
this long, drawn-out debate has come to a close. It has been very time-consuming and
mentally and physically draining for all involved. We are pleased that the environment of
Antigua and Barbuda will not be compromised by the removal of our wild dolphins. We feel
that the government was sold a misleading 'bill of good' from people who came to our
island and wanted to exploit our marine resources for personal gain. We hope that this
case will have a positive effect throughout the entire Caribbean region."
Watkins-Gilkes said that although any future dolphin captures would be prohibited due to
the recent Cabinet decision, the matter of dolphins currently in captivity would still
need to be addressed.
"We have pointed out clearly in the press that there are international treaties that
Antigua may have been violating," she said. "We will pursue the fact that the
dolphins were brought in illegally."