According to developers, it will feature dolphins, and that's the animal these protestors are most concerned about being in captivity. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Protestors gathered along Highway 90 to bring attention to Empty the Tanks Day, a national day of protests against keeping marine animals in captivity such as aquariums. (Image Source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
Empty the Tanks Day protests took place across the country, calling for the release of marine life housed in captivity.
Construction is underway on the Mississippi Aquarium located in downtown Gulfport, but not everyone is in support of the idea.
“We know the aquarium's coming. We know we're not going to stop it. We would just like to see the dolphins be left out of the plan,” said Ashley Goodson.
Protesters gathered along Highway 90 to bring attention to the national day of protests against keeping marine animals in captivity, such as aquariums.
“Dolphins do not belong in captivity. They suffer, they live shorter life spans. They're ripped away from their families all in the name of human entertainment,” said Goodson.
According to developers, the aquarium will feature dolphins. Charity Buchholz feels there are alternatives to housing the animals at the location.
“They could employee local charter boat captains to take out excursions into the Gulf and then they could see actual wild dolphins and how they behave and learn from them which would be way more educational than seeing them in a tank doing tricks that they're taught to do.” Said Charity Buchholz.
Others feel the price tag is steep, and the money being used to design it could go toward something more sustainable.
“It's supposed to be $93 million going into this aquarium," said Taylor Owen. "I just feel like so much of that could go toward restoration of our Gulf and benefit not only our dolphins, but whatever other creature is out there.”
Several of the protesters say they plan to do the same in front of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies at a later date.