To the topic at hand, I still say there has got to be a better way than this. If a private citizen were to do such a thing they'd be arrested for animal cruelty, but it's okay for the government to do it? Talk about your double standard....
The same would be true if a private citizen owned a tank. Or an aircraft carrier. Or taxed people.
I found no peer-reviewed publications by Dr Marino since 2002. Her most recent publication is:
"Marino, L. 2002. Convergence of complex cognitive abilities in cetaceans and primates. Brain, Behavior and Evolution 59:21-32."
Hell, there are scientists that think some species, such as dolphins, are actually smarter than humans. They just don't have tools and cities because they don't have arms... My earlier example proves rats can be smart. They've lived off us humans quite well for hundreds of years, and we can't seem to get rid of them. There have also been studies that suggest pigs are intelligent. If nothing else they're clean. They only go to the bathroom in one corner of their pen. They roll in mud because they can't sweat and it keeps them cool as well as protecting their skin from sunburn. It's kind of interesting that such a 'stupid' animal figured that out.
I'm not saying that I think the comments she made are groundless or baseless (I'm after all not a neuroscientist. But then neither is she - her PhD and degree were in psychology), but not even she is advocating the 'animals are as intelligent as or more intelligent than humans' line.
The reason why people think that dolphins are smart is because of their brain:body ratio. They're at about 5. Humans are 7-something. As Wiki puts it: "The brain to body mass ratio in dolphins is less than half that of humans: 0.9% versus 2.1%. This comparison appears more favorable if the large amount of blubber (15-20% of mass) that dolphins require for insulation is left out. Humans have the highest brain-to-body ratio but there is debate whether dolphins or the treeshrew have the highest non-human mammal brain-to-body ratio."
What was interesting is that dolphins seem to be able to demonstrate some degree of comprehension of numbers. But having said that, the same researcher suggested that this might just be mimicry. http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep05/marine.aspx
It all comes down to how you measure intelligence. I would argue that problem-solving and self-awareness are what make something intelligent. "Brain and Intelligence in Vertebrates" (MacPhail, I think?) suggests that intelligence is in fact better described as learning from experience, and in this regard, dolphins are less intelligent than ferrets.
The more compelling evidence of Bottlenose Dolphin intelligence is:
-Gay-rape as a part of social dominance
-Killing porpoises for pleasure.