After 4 years of research cooperation between Archipelagos Institute and Odisee University, focusing on the behaviour and welfare of marine mammals in the context of the Aegean Marine Life Refuge, a group of students completed their on-site training at Archipelagos Institute’s research bases in Samos and Lipsi. 

At a time when it is finally being recognised that dolphin captivity is not entertainment and obviously not “education” as some insist on calling it, it is hopeful that European countries are launching one after the other the closure of their dolphinariums. 

The case of Belgium is illustrative as in recent weeks there have been ongoing consultations and meetings in the Flemish government aimed at phasing out the only dolphinarium in the country, the ‘Boudewijn Seapark’ in the city of Brugge, and finding the best possible solution for dolphins found there. 

As part of these months-long consultations, a committee of members of the Flemish government and the Belgian environmental organisation Gaia, carried out site visits in recent months to the Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary under construction on the island of Lipsi. Our common goal is not only to close the dolphinariums in Europe, but also to finally put a definitive end to the systematic abuse of dolphins worldwide for the benefit of an industry with billions in global turnover.