AWI in China to Address Cetacean Captivity

Dr. Naomi Rose, AWI’s marine mammal scientist, traveled to China in December to visit and evaluate several captive marine mammal facilities. She also gave two public presentations in Chengdu, one of China’s largest cities. Naomi spoke at the Sichuan Provincial Library and a large and popular bookstore, Fang Suo, about the negative impacts on marine mammal welfare when they are displayed in captivity. Her slides were translated into Chinese in advance, but her presentation itself was in English, with sequential translation. Regardless, a surprising number of attendees spoke at least some English and the questions afterward were insightful and indicated a gratifying degree of attention and concern. About 350 people attended these talks in person, including a 10-year-old girl, a budding animal welfare activist, who drew a picture for Naomi while she was listening to the lecture. A volunteer who has a popular social media page streamed the presentations, allowing another 20,000 people to watch them live online. After the talks were archived, an additional 320,000 people viewed them within a few days. This was an amazing level of interest in the message and AWI will continue these outreach efforts through its work within the China Cetacean Alliance.