Tampere dolphinarium to close

Amusement park Särkänniemi has decided to close its controversial dolphinarium owing to financial and other reasons. Over the past two decades there have been repeated calls to end the captivity of dolphins at the Tampere park.

Delfiinejä Särkänniemen delfinaariossa
Image: Antti Eintola / Yle

“The dolphinarium has been unprofitable and the general change in attitudes (towards holding dolphins in captivity) are not new phenomena – they have gradually developed over the years," says Sofia Vikman, who is the chair of the Särkänniemi amusement park's board of directors.

"The most important thing right now is to ensure that the rest of these dolphins' lives are made secure in the best possible way,” says Vikman.

Särkänniemi currently has four bottlenose dolphins, which will be transferred to other dolphinariums or sea destinations during spring 2016.

The closing of Särkänniemi dolphinarium means that co-determination talks are underway and workers are being offered comparable work.

For the past two decades, councils, demonstrations and campaigns to end the captivity of dolphins in Särkänniemi have cropped up consistently. The newest move to abolish the amusement park's dolphinarium – one of only two in the Nordic countries – was a citizens' municipal initiative in June 2015. 

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