Whale and dolphin captivity is a process, not just an end result of permanent confinement in a tank. It is fed by a life cycle of supply and demand that is motivated just as much by corporate profit as it is by consumer choices. Most international captive facilities source their dolphins from the wild. The entire process of captivity, from capture, transport and subsequent confinement takes a deadly toll on the individual animals involved, and the wild populations left behind.
In 2006, WDC published our campaign report, "Driven by Demand" (PDF), that revealed the connections between the captivity industry and the dolphin drive hunts in Japan. In order to feed this global demand for dolphin interaction programs, the dolphins that are acquired from the wild have to be transported by an airline or cargo company. More specifically, the dolphins acquired from the drive hunts in Japan are transported to international destinations such as Egypt, Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, China, and Vietnam by Air China, ULS, Nankai Express, and Korean Air Cargo, among others.