On 21st April 2024, the Miami Seaquarium, the infamous aquarium in Florida, US, was supposed to shut down for good as its lease from the county terminated that day, but instead, it remained open, to the dismay of the animal rights activists who had campaigned for its closure. The Virginia Key facility kept its gates open as it continued to fight a possible eviction from Miami-Dade County.

In February 2024, Miami-Dade County officials announced that they were moving to revoke the lease of Miami Seaquarium which has been the centre of many animal welfare complaints, and so they did a few weeks later, giving it the deadline of 21st April to vacate the premises. However, The Dolphin Company filed a federal lawsuit on 19th April alleging lease violations.

Outside the aquarium, activists from South Florida Animal Rights and PETA voiced their opposition to the park remaining open. The day after Miami-Dade’s lease with the Dolphin Company was to end there were more protests outside the facility. Crystal Heath, a veterinarian who is the executive director of Our Honor, joined the protestors. She said to WSVN,  “It’s time we put our foot down. It’s time to get the animals the care they need before someone else dies. I bought an annual pass mid-February so I could keep coming back here and keep checking on the animals.”  Holly, a protester with  World Animal Protection, said, “Over 250 marine animals have died since this park opened, so today is a funeral.” 

The county has stated that they will move forward with the eviction process. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and County Commissioner Raquel Regalado later released a statement that included the following: “It is our hope that The Dolphin Company is taking the necessary steps to vacate the premises, and to ensure that the transition is done in a safe and orderly manner.”

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.