The capture of dolphins is illegal in Indonesia, but fishermen can earn good money for captive dolphins, and the government has failed to prosecute them for it.
"The circus is still happening and the capture of dolphins is also still happening, and when we reported back to the minister saying, look the circus is still happening, and we also proved about the capture of dolphins from the wild, the minister stated he already prohibited the circus and it was no longer his duty to follow up," den Haas said.
There is a facility to receive dolphins from the shows -- but it's not being used.
A rehabilitation center was set up under a 2010 memorandum of understanding, which declared JAAN and the Forest Ministry would protect, save and rehabilitate captured dolphins. Yet the center still sits eerily empty, waiting for the dolphins that have never been rescued from the circuses to reclaim their place in the sea.
Similar bans have seen greater success in other countries -- last year, India joined Hungary, Chile and Costa Rica in enforcing captive dolphin bans, to the praise of activists around the world.