top of page
Orca in captivity


There has long been a movement against cetacean captivity, specifically the Orca. We wholeheartedly support this movement and thank everyone who has stood up for these animals over the past half-century and more.


Orcas are majestic creatures and highly intelligent marine mammals that display a remarkable level of cognition and social complexity. They possess the largest brain among all marine mammals, with a structure resembling that of humans and other highly intelligent animals. Orcas exhibit a wide range of cognitive abilities, including problem-solving skills, self-awareness, and a capacity for learning and communication. They navigate the ocean with purpose and precision, employing sophisticated hunting strategies and cooperative behaviors to capture their prey.


Orcas also demonstrate cultural transmission within their pods, passing down knowledge and traditions from one generation to the next. This combination of intellect, adaptability, and social cohesion contributes to their status as one of the most intelligent and awe-inspiring creatures in the animal kingdom. 

Free, wild orca

In captivity, Orcas are confined to small tanks that restrict their natural behaviors and limit their social interactions, leading to boredom, stress, and physical ailments. The limited space and lack of mental stimulation can result in abnormal behaviors, such as repetitive swimming patterns and self-harm. Orcas in captivity are separated from their families, disrupting their social bonds and natural hierarchical structures. This separation leads to psychological distress and emotional trauma. The artificial environment of captivity fails to provide the sensory stimuli and complex natural habitats that orcas require for their physical and psychological well-being. These factors combined make keeping orcas in captivity a practice that undermines their welfare and compromises their innate behavioral and social needs, reinforcing the view that it is a cruel and unethical practice.


We are hereby officially stepping forward to state our aim to contribute to this movement by founding an open sea sanctuary for Orca and other cetaceans that cannot be released into the wild. Our aim is to create this sanctuary in conditions as close to their natural habitat as possible, where the orcas can roam larger distances and be in the natural sea, whilst maintaining a level of care that is tailored to the needs of each orca.

We have been quietly working behind the scenes for the past 18 months to try and facilitate the opening of a suitable open-water sanctuary, but now is the time to state our aim publicly. We are aware of other such projects and have previously engaged in dialogue, however after conducting due diligence and seeing a lack of meaningful progress, we are looking to go a different route in pursuing our goal of helping the Orca currently trapped in small concrete tanks.  

Unlike other projects, we will not be taking public donations until such time as we have a fully planned project with all required approvals, that is ready to be built. However, if you believe you can support our cause in other ways, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.


  • What is your ideal location?
    When evaluating location options for the Orca sanctuary, we are looking at the specific location and coastal geography (is there a bay that can be nicely enclosed, is it protected from open ocean), water temperature and local marine life, local community considerations and political considerations. Whilst we have sites we are working on, we are always welcome to hearing about more.
  • Why not return them to their home waters?
    The location the orcas were taken from is not always the best location for the sanctuary/for them to be released. As these animals have been in captivity for so long, we need to be able to keep them within a sanctuary so they can continue to be cared for, while enjoying the freedoms of a much larger space to roam. However, the needs for each individual orca will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and if there is a situation where experts believe the orca can be released directly into their home waters, we will help facilitate this.
  • Why not just release them to the wild?
    There are many considerations as to why it is often not in the animals best interest to release them into the wild. Having been held in captivity for so long, or even born into captivity, many would not know how to properly feed and care for themselves. They most likely would also have ongoing health concerns due to the poor conditions they have been kept in, which mean they will need continuous support to regain their health.
  • Will the whales survive transport?
    A healthy orca can travel halfway around the world as can be seen when the animals were first captured, or during subsequent moves to other marine parks. Older and sick orcas may not be able to be transported, and we will take the advise of professional experts when planning their release.
  • Are you competing with other planned sanctuaries?
    No. There are 44 known orcas in captivity as of June 2023. One sanctuary would not be able to house and care for them all. While we know of other planned sanctuaries, we are taking a fast0tracked approach to ensure orcas can begin to be released as soon as possible.
bottom of page