Support the SWIMS Act
Take action to end the future capture and breeding of Orcas, Beluga whales, Pilot whales, and False killer whales for public display in the United States.
What is the SWIMS Act?
In July 2022, Congressman Adam Schiff, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Representatives Jared Huffman, and Suzan DelBene introduced the Strengthening Welfare in Marine Settings Act (aka the "SWIMS Act"); legislation that would end the future capture and breeding of Orcas, Beluga whales, Pilot whales, and False killer whales for public display.
What would this bill do?
This bill would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to prohibit the taking, importation, or exportation of Orcas, Beluga whales, Pilot whales, and False killer whales for the purpose of public display.
This bill would also amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit any breeding of Orcas, Beluga whales, Pilot whales, and False killer whales for future public display.
This bill would allow exemptions for animals being transported to a sanctuary setting or being released into the wild.
Studies have shown that certain cetaceans (orcas, beluga whales, pilot whales, and false killer whales) are cognitively, emotionally, and socially complex animals who cannot thrive in captivity. Whales who are held for display often exhibit signs of suffering and distress – and die significantly younger than whales who live in the wild. Currently, there are roughly 50 whales being held in captivity in the United States.
Press release from Representatives Schiff, Feinstein, Huffman, and DelBene - including the co-sponsors and supporters of the SWIMS Act.
NOTE: We've seen more and more U.S. Representatives sign on to cosponsor the SWIMS Act since it was first introduced. We are thrilled to see it! Please keep sending those letters. Keep speaking up! CLICK HERE to view the list of 30+ original Representative co-sponsors that signed on to support this bill. CLICK HERE to view the list of original Senator co-sponsors of this bill.
The SWIMS Act was originally introduced to the U.S. Congress in July 2022, but re-submitted January 31, 2024 and your support is needed to help pass it!
For our supporters based in the United States:
Please send letters to your U.S. Representative and Senator asking them to co-sponsor the SWIMS Act.
Click the buttons below (.DOCX or PDF) to download a sample letter that you can use to speak up for captive cetaceans!
This sample letter can be sent to a Senator or Congress-person - it’s written in a way that will work for both.
You can locate your Congresswoman/Congressman and Senators by clicking the buttons below.
Multiple addresses might be listed for contacting your representative. Please choose the Washington D.C. address
For our supporters outside the United States:
Your help is equally valuable! Please consider sharing this webpage with any friends you may have in the U.S. We'll also be actively posting about the SWIMS Act on our social channels, and your support in spreading the message would mean the world to us.
Letters make an impact!
Peggy Oki (Founder/Director of Origami Whales Project and co-founder of cetaceans.org) delivered her SWIMS Act letter to U.S. Representative Salud Carbajal. This momentous occasion was captured on video so we could share the power of letter-writing with you. After this meeting, Congressman Carbajal signed on to cosponsor the SWIMS Act! This is a wonderful example of how impactful letters can be!
Meeting your U.S. Rep in person isn't always possible, but writing to them can make a BIG impact. Watch the full video of Peggy meeting her U.S. Rep - and please join our letter-writing campaign on behalf of cetaceans!
“No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. And no dolphin who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands can be considered normal."
- Jacques Yves Cousteau