Horsham wildlife charity brings film exposing captive dolphin industry to the UK

Blackfish, the acclaimed documentary film directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, tells the harrowing story of Tilikum, a male orca involved in the death of three people while in captivity at SeaWorld.

Blackfish  (c) Davis and Reid
Blackfish (c) Davis and Reid

The film includes shocking scenes, devastating testimonies and reveals the impact on captive dolphins, including orca, of unnatural confinement and exploitation.

It also highlights the risks that dolphin trainers are subjected to and the apparent lengths that captive facilities will go to ensure that the only news coming out of captive marine facilities is good news.

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The Born Free Foundation, based in Foundry Lane, Horsham, in collaboration with film distributors, Dogwoof, FilmFreaks and Karma Films, is proud to bring Blackfish, to Europe.

Blackfish (c) BFF

A film tour of 8 European cities in 7 countries in 20 days will be accompanied by former SeaWorld trainer, Samantha Berg, who will offer her own personal insights and respond to growing public concerns about what many regard as a totally unacceptable situation.

Starting on the 23rd October, Premier showings of Blackfish, personally supported by Samantha Berg, will include Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, countries which host 20 of the 34 captive dolphin facilities operating in 15 Member States of the European Union.

Between them, these ‘water circuses’ hold and display more than 300 whales and dolphins to members of the public and visiting tourists.

Samantha Berg, the former SeaWorld trainer, explains: “Blackfish expertly demonstrates that orca (killer whales – the largest dolphins) are extraordinarily intelligent, complex social beings.

“I’m coming to Europe to share my personal story of participating in the captive marine mammal industry and my subsequent change of heart to help people realize that the exploitation of whales and dolphins for human entertainment and profit needs to end.”

Daniel Turner, spokesperson for Born Free, added: “The evidence is overwhelming and it is clear to me that captivity causes the animals’ involved significant stress and suffering, resulting in physical and psychological disorders and early mortality.

“The keeping of whales and dolphins in bare, concrete tanks where they are made to perform circus-style tricks for entertainment is cruel. The Born Free Foundation continues to work for a dolphinaria-free Europe.”

The film will be screened in Dorking, Surrey, on 11th November at Green Room Theatre at 19.30h.

For more information on the effects of captivity on dolphin and whales, please visit: www.bornfree.org.uk/eudolphinaria

For more information about Blackfish, visit www.blackfishmovie.com

Report and pictures submitted by the Born Free Foundation.