Japanese Dolphinariums 101: Kujukushima Aquarium Pearl Sea Resort “Umi Kirara”



General Info:

Kujukushima Aquarium Pearl Sea Resort “Umi Kirara” (九十九島水族館 海きらら) is a dolphinarium located in Nagasaki prefecture that opened in 2009. It is one of the few Japanese dolphinariums no longer affiliated with the Japanese Association Of Zoos And Aquariums (JAZA). After international public pressure caused to association to ban the any future purchase of cetaceans from Taiji at their accredited facilities, Umu Kiara parted from them. Umikirara is known to have an extremely small tank for their dolphins which is currently 11 meters in diameter by 5 meters deep.



News And Mentionable Incidents:

  • Sept. 2015, A Risso’s dolphin named Lily died. She had been held captive since they aquarium opened 6 year prior.

  • They continued their dolphin show with their 2 remaining captive bottlenose dolphins Neeha and Nami, both female.

  • In 2017, they decided that the 2 dolphins didn’t provide “enough” entertainment for their shows and announced that they were looking into getting more.

  • After debating whether to purchase from Taiji or breed, they decided to try and get both females impregnated by transferring them to Tsukumi Irukajima in Oita.

  • From 5/10/17 ~ 6/26/17, both dolphins were transferred and stayed at Tsukumi Irukajima in Oita prefecture with a male bottlenose.

  • In August, they found out that neither of the females were pregnant, so they are now attempting artificial insemination on both (success rate in the past has been extremely low), while they continue to use them full time for shows

  • This procedure is planned to continue from September ~ November 2017 and if unsuccessful, continue on to January ~ March 2018

Any Taiji Affiliation?

They've purchased all of their cetaceans from Taiji and since they've left JAZA they can still continue to purchase more cetaceans in the future.


What can you do? Knowledge is power and a lot of people would not be attending and purchasing tickets to these places if they knew what was going behind closed doors. You can reach millions on social media! Don't let a language barrier stop you! You can copy and paste the following phrases to their guests on their social media accounts linked below.

水族館でイルカショーを見る前に「ザ・コーヴ」を見てください (Please watch The Cove before buying a ticket to dolphinariums)

動物は自然界で生きるべきです (Animals belong in the wild)


You can also comment with the link DOLPHINFRIENDS.JP! It links to The Cove in Japanese!


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