Two dolphins performing at Miami Seaquarium

Miami Seaquarium: The State of Our Campaign to Shut It Down



As one of the oldest oceanariums in the United States, Miami Seaquarium has profited off of animal suffering for decades. Enough is enough.

For years, World Animal Protection has been protesting Miami Seaquarium’s exploitation of animals for entertainment.

We stood strong outside of the venue with dedicated Miami activists for Empty the Tanks in 2019 in hopes to “Free Lolita.” (Tragically, Lolita died in the summer of 2023 after more than 50 years in captivity.) Our campaigners hosted a Super Bowl protest in 2020 when the Dolphins’ home stadium (Hard Rock Stadium) hosted and educated tourists on why the Seaquarium shouldn’t be part of their vacation plans.

A supporter protesting in Miami.

We spent months (and even years) campaigning travel companies, like Expedia, Groupon, TripAdvisor,, Virgin Holidays, Klook, and more to remove dolphin experiences (including Miami Seaquarium) from their offerings.

Expedia did. TripAdvisor did. and Virgin Holidays implemented swift changes. We’re meeting with Groupon in just a few short weeks to continue our productive discussions on this, and Groupon has taken down offerings specific to Miami Seaquarium. To date, 140 travel companies worldwide have signed our pledge to never sell experiences with captive wildlife.

We worked with Airbnb to ensure Miami Seaquarium would never be offered as one of its Animal Experiences. Airbnb’s team not only listened, but enthusiastically refused to offer any venue with captive wildlife apart from genuine sanctuaries, who rescue animals and let them live their days as naturally as possible.

By removing Miami Seaquarium’s previously reliable sources of revenue such as booking sites, we’ve been able to decrease its brand awareness and profits by simply making it less accessible or acceptable to travelers.

After Lolita’s passing and our productive conversations with Groupon, we shifted our campaign to focus on the venue itself. We truly were hoping (and working towards) a future for Lolita where she would be able to feel the ocean current in a sanctuary under the managed care she needed. She never got that chance, and it was clear we needed to amp up our pressure on the venue directly.

As our campaign continues, we’ll be updating our progress and work below so you can stay informed every step of the way.

Mobilizing the Public

With dilapidated tanks and decaying concrete structures, we launched our global petition demanding Miami Seaquarium close its doors. To date, 48,105 people have signed and our webpage for the petition garnered 54,761 hits. We still have a long way to go to hit our goal of one million, yet we’re optimistic you can help us reach our target. If you haven’t yet, please sign and share our petition far and wide!

We’ve also hosted three volunteer meetings (virtual and in-person, with more to come) and recently launched an action thanking the Miami-Dade County Mayor and urging her to act swiftly for the sake of animals still suffering at Miami Seaquarium. So far, over 50 local volunteers have sent her an email.

Building Awareness

Social media is an incredible tool to educate the public about issues surrounding animal cruelty—and this is no exception. Since Lolita’s death in August of 2023, World Animal Protection US has posted about the Miami Seaquarium’s animal abuse 122 times.

Our content, including news updates, blogs, and media articles, has been seen 464,691 times (impressions) and has been engaged with 73,829 times. Engagements include link clicks, likes, retweets or shares, and comments.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (X), TikTok, and LinkedIn for breaking news, action alerts, and more.

Media Hits

In order to build awareness around our campaign, World Animal Protection has been working with journalists around the country to advocate for the closure of Miami Seaquarium and protect the animals currently suffering at the venue.

Since March 2023, World Animal Protection has been mentioned in over 500 media articles, including (149.3 million unique monthly visitors), Yahoo Entertainment (3.3 billion unique monthly visitors), and NowThis Earth’s social media (787K+ followers).

See below for a few articles:

Keeping You Informed

Throughout the campaign, we’ve been keeping the public informed through blogs on our website. We will continue this series, as well as reporting on any news about the venue.

Check out some of our blogs below:

Where We Are Now

Thanks to local Miami activists, the Lummi Nation, our staff at World Animal Protection, and many of our colleagues in the animal protection movement, we’re closer than ever to shutting Miami Seaquarium’s doors forever.

In January of 2024, the Miami Mayor sent a letter to The Dolphin Company, Miami Seaquarium’s parent company, letting it know of her intention to revoke the venue’s lease due to the venue’s abysmal animal welfare violations and the intent of the USDA to confiscate four marine mammals from the venue.

This comes after the death of Sundance the dolphin, who was forced to perform the Christmas show just two days before his demise, and a scathing USDA report documenting the venue’s inadequate care of animals.

We have been in contact with Miami’s mayor to discuss next steps.

Three Ways You Can Help

  1. First and foremost, please sign our petition demanding Miami Seaquarium’s doors close for good—and share the petition with friends and family.
  2. Additionally, never visit a venue like Miami Seaquarium where marine mammals are forced to live and perform for entertainment.
  3. World Animal Protection relies on supporters like you to fight multibillion-dollar industries like marine mammal entertainment. Joining The Wild Side as a monthly donor can go a long way to ensuring we have the resources we need to move companies and end animal cruelty. Please donate today!
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