Part of The Problem
It is my firm belief that as a traveller or really as a consumer we have the obligation to choose what is best for the environment and those that live around it, which in the past has meant that I avoided elephant riding or the truly abhorrent Tiger Kingdom and even cage diving with sharks as well as avoiding certain countries due to the treatment of locals by their government. I'll admit that it's not always the most fun of situations to have to avoid the choice Instagram shots that could easily earn a few hundred likes but when my choices are for likes over the well being of others I feel that I know most certainly that I've done something wrong with my own life.
Sadly, this leads me into saying that we are all a part of the learning process because yesterday I was part of the problem. After careful deliberation with fellow backpackers, I had decided to attend the Sydney Aquarium as the cost was fair (28 AUD) if I booked it online. I had also heard that it wasn't nearly as bad as Marine Land and they worked with conservation but unfortunately I was part of the problem and the continuation of animal abuse that is supported by capitalism. As embarrassed as I am to admit this, it's necessary so perhaps you will make a more informed decision upon your trip to Sydney or any other city with an aquarium or zoo as most have them in one way or another.
While I am, in no way, a marine biologist or a vet it is very easily to see how small the quarters are for all life there with excess space being used to create large dinosaur heads, clearly a necessary thing for animal conservation or keeping too many fish in one tank at a time which is harmful at best.
Specifically at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium there are two Dugongs, Pig and Wuru, which are vulnerable in the wild due to hunting. Naturally they swim for long distances and live a long life, with the oldest recorded wild Dugong being 73 at the time of death. They naturally do not spend time together unless they are mating but are forced to be within the same enclosure which is open so that the screaming children and the staff announcements disturb them because they are sensitive animals as well as disturb their calls to one another and the other fish around. It has been proven that the marine life which live in captivity are likely to be underfed, most likely to be unable to be rehabilitated, mate properly or even reject their calves should they be forced into a mating program. They are also likely to become depressed which can cause depression and this is not just with the Dugongs but the dolphin Sea Life has is just as likely to show these symptoms as well as the large variety of sea life captive there. I could go on explaining more issues with aquariums and lying to tourist and local alike for money to go into the pockets of the undeserving abusers.
This is made worse as the Sydney Aquarium is currently in the works to have a ride for guests to ride a boat to interrupt the little blue penguins which have enough issues already from pollution to culling. The use of this is hardly conservation or education but instead to continue with unfair distribution of wealth to the already wealthy at the expense of our planets creatures. I ask now if your Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook feed is more important than the well-beings of all these beautiful animals that have done nothing to deserve this suffering except existing? Certainly not so how can we fix that? It's not simple but it's through trial and error that we'll figure out.
Part of The Solution