Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
iskay

RWS Marine Park Dolphin Saga

  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you for or against keeping the dolphins captive?



Recommended Posts

dolphins+3.jpg

RWS urged to make 'moral decision'

Wildlife-rescue group ACRES wants resort to abort plans to house dolphins

05:55 AM Dec 20, 2010

SINGAPORE - Wildlife-rescue group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) is urging Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) to "make a moral decision rather than a business-minded, profit-making one" - by aborting its plans to house dolphins as entertainers following the death of two bottlenose dolphins which were bound for RWS ' Marine Life Park.

Last Saturday, MediaCorp reported that the dolphins - out of seven that were caught in the Soloman Islands and kept at a holding area in Langkawi - had died from an acute bacterial infection of Melioidosis in October.

ACRES executive director Louis Ng said in a letter to this newspaper that the non-profit group was "disappointed" that RWS are proceeding with its plans.

RWS had noted, in response to MediaCorp's queries, that the Marine Life Park was "part of the bid" when RWS was awarded the integrated resort licence. An RWS spokesman added that it was "committed to delivering the bid and the Marine Life Park that will not only boost tourism but research, conservation and education in marine mammals in this part of the region".

But Mr Ng described these reasons as "appalling". Mr Ng reiterated:

"Our economy and tourism sector must grow, but it is time for us to ask, 'At what cost?'. We must remember that the two dolphins who died were sentient individuals who only a year ago swam freely in the vast open oceans. They died despite the team of marine experts and best care that RWS promised."

Citing the example of dolphin trader Chris Porter - who decided to give up his business of capturing dolphins in the Solomon Islands and selling them to aquariums - Mr Ng said RWS "must rethink their decision urgently".

According to Mr Ng, Mr Porter was inspired by the film The Cove and the recent death of a trainer caused by a captive orca.

Said Mr Ng: "If Mr Chris Porter, a dolphin trader, can have a change of heart, then surely RWS can as well."

Mr Ng added: "What can RWS really teach its visitors about dolphin protection? Would it not be an irony and contradiction for RWS to ask their visitors to protect dolphins when they themselves obtained 25 individual dolphins from the wild and two have now passed away."

Original

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cage3.jpg

Langkawi dolphin pens 'appalling'

Acres says enclosures didn't meet standards; RWS rebuts allegations

Sandra Davie Straits Times 14 Jan 11;

THE dolphins, slated to be an attraction at an oceanarium in Resorts World Sentosa, continue to draw debate.

After going to Langkawi to inspect four sea pens where the bottlenose dolphins had been kept for a year before they were relocated to the Philippines, local animal protection group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) has said it is 'appalled' at what it discovered.

Two of the nine marine mammals died last October while the remaining seven were recently sent to a facility in Subic Bay in the Philippines, which houses another 18 of the RWS dolphins.

The 8ha oceanarium, called Marine Life Park (MLP), was among the draws touted by RWS, owned by Genting Singapore, when it made its bid to run an integrated resort here.

Acres executive director Louis Ng and another staff member visited Langkawi from Sunday to Tuesday. 'The dolphins were housed in rusty enclosures measuring approximately 10m by 10m,' he said. 'If you go by the standards set by the European Association for Aquatic Animals which AVA (the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority) goes by, this is clearly insufficient to meet the needs of these wild-caught dolphins.'

He added that the pens, just off the coast where the Genting group has a hotel called Awana Porto Malai, is in an area frequented by boats.

'Sounds of mechanical origin are probably the most stressful for the dolphins because of their regular repetitive nature,' Mr Ng said, claiming that RWS did not employ a full-time vet to care for them or have an animal hospital.

The female dolphins - one aged between four and five years, and the other around 10 - died from an acute bacterial infection arising from contact with contaminated soil and surface waters.

Mr Ng also asked why the dolphins were not sent to the Philippines from the start. Citing studies, he said: 'Each time they are confined and shipped from one place to another, it is as traumatic as if they were being newly captured from the wild.'

Contacted by The Straits Times, RWS spokesman Krist Boo said the allegations against the MLP were 'cursory' or 'inaccurate in parts'.

Noting that Acres visited the Langkawi facility nearly a month after it had closed, she said the enclosures were more than double the size of what Acres had indicated, and met global standards. She added that there was a full-time vet and two consulting vets.

'Acres chose, in pictures it used for campaigning, to highlight rust on the side of a boardwalk next to the enclosures. This picture is not reflective of the facility when it was in operation.

'Acres, with its own experience and challenges in setting up an animal shelter, should be familiar with how swiftly unpopulated outdoor facilities deteriorate. This is especially so at sea.'

She added that round-the-clock security had been provided to prevent boats from coming too near the enclosures.

Ms Boo explained that the relocation to the Philippines had been part of a plan to expand the 'development of our dolphins and trainers'.

'The MLP team will also start preparations to commence our long-term goal of developing a breeding programme for the dolphins,' she said, adding that all are in good health.

While animal activists here have been up in arms over the captivity of dolphins, RWS has stressed that the oceanarium - the world's largest aquarium - was 'part of the bid' when it won the IR licence in 2006.

The Singapore Tourism Board had stressed recently that RWS must comply with global regulations, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), and the requirements of the AVA, to safeguard animal health.

Bottlenose dolphins are listed in Appendix II of Cites which entails strict regulations in their trade. The RWS had said previously it would comply with these regulations.

Original

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dolphins bound for Resorts World Sentosa die, activists up in arms

Esther Ng Today Online 18 Dec 10;

SINGAPORE - Two of the seven bottlenose dolphins, which were destined for Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS) Marine Life Park, have died in a holding area at Langkawi.

The dolphins were caught from the wild in the Solomon Islands in January. Two females - one aged between four and five years and the other, around 10 - died from an acute bacterial infection of Melioidosis in October, said RWS spokesman Robin Goh on Friday. They were in "perfect health" previously, he noted. The remaining five have no signs of infection.

The virus, Burkholderia pseudomallei, can be transmitted through contact with contaminated soil and surface waters, with infections occurring primarily during the rainy season.

The deaths are set to reignite opposition to RWS' plans to house the animals as entertainers.

Marine conservationist Paul Watson told MediaCorp the "incarceration of dolphins lowers life expectancy of the animals".

"It's a trade based on blood and misery and has no place in the 21st century," said the founder and president of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals executive director Deirdre Moss agreed: "This is a tragedy. The animals were obviously under tremendous stress ... If RWS could change its stand on whale sharks, why couldn't they on dolphins?"

Last year, RWS scrapped its original plan to exhibit whale sharks. Animal Concerns Research and Education Society founder Louis Ng hopes RWS will also "re-think" its decision to keep dolphins in captivity.

Marine Life Park is still under construction. Said RWS' Mr Goh: "We currently do not have a definite date for its opening, and likewise, details like animal configuration are also being finalised."

As for the 18 dolphins being trained at Ocean Adventure Park in the Philippines for the Marine Life Park, RWS said they were in "good health".

"We're continuing with the development and establishment of the medical, behavioural, husbandry and training programmes that include the preventive medicine programme to ensure the well-being and health of the dolphins," said Mr Goh, who added that the Marine Life Park was "part of the bid" when RWS was awarded the integrated resort licence.

"We're committed to delivering the bid and the Marine Life Park that will not only boost tourism but research, conservation and education in marine mammals in this part of the region."

However, Ms Moss reiterated: "It's cruel to capture these animals from the wild with a view to entertain the public. We should promote tourism but not at the expense of these animals."

Bottlenose dolphins are listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which entail strict regulations in the trade of these mammals.

RWS has said previously it would comply with CITES.

Original

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh where, oh where have the dolphins gone?

by Esther Ng

05:55 AM Jan 08, 2011

LANGKAWI - First there were seven, then five and now there are none.

The five remaining bottlenose dolphins at a holding area in Langkawi destined for Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS) Marine Life Park were no longer at the pen of the Awana Porto Malai resort when MediaCorp visited on Friday.

An employee who wanted to be known as Ahmed, told MediaCorp that the dolphins were put into a container last month and sent to Langkawi's international airport, from where they shipped to the Philippines.

MediaCorp had reported on Dec 18 that two of the dolphins had died from an acute bacterial infection in October.

The dolphins were caught in the Solomon Islands last January.

Mr Ahmed believes that the rest were moved from the Malaysian resort, which is owned by the Genting group, because the water "was not good" for their health.

"We had a lot of rain and muddy run-off from the nearby mountains could have affected the dolphins," he said.

Until they were removed, said Mr Ahmed, the dolphins were friendly and trained three times a day by six trainers - two each from Mexico, Hong Kong and Singapore.

"Contacted by MediaCorp, RWS was unable to respond by press time if the mammals were joining its 18 other dolphins being trained at the Ocean Adventure Park in the Philippines.

The RWS had previously said the dolphins there were in "good health" and that it was continuing with the "development and establishment of the medical, behavioural, husbandry and training programmes ... to ensure the well-being and health of the dolphins".

While animal activists have been up in arms about the captivity of dolphins in Singapore, RWS had stressed that the Marine Life Park was "part of the bid" when it won the integrated resort licence.

After winning the bid, RWS signed an agreement with the Sentosa Development Corporation, a Government statutory board. This means the ball is not just in the RWS court when it comes to any decision about the dolphins.

On Friday, the RWS wrote to MediaCorp to explain how its Marine Life Park would support conservation.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Tourism Board stressed on Friday that RWS must comply with international regulations, which include the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), as well as the requirements of the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority to safeguard animal health.

Bottlenose dolphins are listed in Appendix II of Cites, which entails strict regulations in their trade. The RWS had said previously it would comply with these regulations.

Original

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pen+at+close.jpg

RWS moves dolphins again

By Lin Yang

Jan 9, 2011

RWS moves dolphins again

Seven dolphins destined for Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) have been moved from their holding pen on the Malaysian island of Langkawi to another facility in the Philippines.

The move comes after two dolphins died in captivity in Langkawi in October, drawing flak from animal welfare groups. They had suffered an acute bacterial infection.

Captured in January last year at the Solomon Islands, the nine dolphins were first brought to Langkawi for training by professional RWS trainers.

According to RWS spokesman Robin Goh, the move to the Philippines was done 'to enhance and expand the training and development of the dolphins'.

In addition, it also wants to integrate the dolphins into social groups, and is preparing to start a long-term breeding programme.

It plans to use the dolphins for its Marine Life Park, an 8ha oceanarium which was part of its winning proposal to build the Sentosa integrated resort in 2006.

It could not confirm when the park will officially open this year, or what role the dolphins would play in it.

It did not comment on whether the dolphins were moved because of what could be poor water quality at the Langkawi facility that could have threatened the dolphins' health.

To prevent any further deaths, Mr Goh said RWS has built an animal hospital and laboratory at its facility in the Philippines, and has hired a full-time vet who specialises in marine mammals to join its consultative team of vets.

The trade of bottlenose dolphins is governed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which RWS said it has pledged to comply fully with.

Original

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dolphins+1.jpg

Best place to learn from dolphins? In the wild

Letter from Marilyn Cromack

09:05 PM Jan 09, 2011

I refer to the letters from Kirst Boo, VP for Communications Resort World Sentosa, and Carrie Kwik of Singapore Tourism Board, published on Jan 8-9. While I respect their vision on putting the Marine Life Park (MLP) in the world map as as leader in marine research, conservation and education, I would like to speak on behalf of the freedom-loving dolphins, especially those in captivity.

I have been involved in marine wildlife protection for so many years, it was a great pleasure to interact and study these magnificent mammals in the wild. It is a fact that marine mammals face many difficulties and dangers in the wild, but this simply does not justify keeping them in a sterile, captive environment and placed in tanks containing chemically treated artificial water and used for entertainment.

Dolphins are highly sociable animals who love to interact with humans. And the best place to learn and enjoy them is in their natural environment.

In any dolphin show, they are subjected to loud music, excited crowds of peopleand artificial light. These are some of the reasons why dolphins in captivity are facing the stress of capture, captivity and early death.

Dolphin loves freedom. No argument can rationalise the forced confinement of these highly intelligent creatures. I believe it is wrong to remove these beautiful marine animals from their natural environment and exploit them for commercial purposes. Dolphins and whales in captivity is not about education or conservation, it is about one thing - profit.

If RWS can reverse their decision on keeping whale sharks, I believe they can do it as well for the dolphins. Let us teach our young generation the true meaning of freedom and let the dolphins be where they should be - with their family and in their own home, the ocean.

Original

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20101225.170638_101225-dolphin.jpg

From dolphin 'Darth Vader' to activistblank.gif

By Benson Ang

Dec 26, 2010

JUST two years ago, Mr Chris Porter, 40, considered the world's biggest dolphin broker, was reported to have sold 25 dolphins to Singapore's Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).

But the man who was once referred to as the "Darth Vader of dolphins" is now an animal activist.

After two of the dolphins he sold to RWS in 2008 died recently, Mr Porter has called for RWS to review its motivation for using these animals as a tourist draw.

His main beef: RWS is using the animals primarily to make money while telling the public that its aim is to educate the public on marine conservation.

Mr Porter wants RWS to be upfront with its intentions.

He told The New Paper in an e-mail: "I would like to see more information on the amount of direct conservation work RWS plans to do and the amount of direct impact its display will have."

By impact, he meant "not only for the economical benefit of Singaporeans, but also for the social benefit to wild dolphins".

Mr Porter was responding to The New Paper's queries after two bottlenose dolphins that RWS had planned to display in its upcoming Marine Life Park (MLP) died in October.

An RWS spokesman confirmed this and said that both dolphins were female.

One was under seven years old and the other was under 10 years old.

Both dolphins died from an acute bacterial infection that arose from contact with contaminated soil and surface waters, the spokesman added.

The two dolphins have been with RWS since January this year.

Because of the deaths, local animal group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) has called for RWS to reconsider its decision to include dolphins in its park.

Mr Louis Ng, Acres' executive director, told TNP that he was "disappointed" that RWS would continue with its plan.

"What can RWS really teach its visitors about dolphin protection?

"Would it not be an irony and contradiction for RWS to ask its visitors to protect dolphins when it obtained 25 individual dolphins from the wild and two have now passed away?" Mr Ng said.

"RWS must rethink its decision urgently. If Mr Chris Porter, a dolphin trader, can have a change of heart, then surely RWS can as well."

RWS currently has five dolphins in a holding area in Langkawi. Another 18 are being trained at Ocean Adventure Park in the Philippines, according to a report in Today newspaper.

These dolphins were caught from the wild in the Solomon Islands, near Papua New Guinea, by the Solomon Islands Marine Mammal Education Center and Exporters, which was owned by Mr Porter, the Solomon Star news website reported.

Mr Porter, who has been dealing in marine life for 21 years, felt that caring for animals in the industry has generally been buried under the red tape of companiesand organisations.

Referring to both dolphin catchers and protesters, he said he felt that both sides tend to bemore preoccupied with their own concerns and "the animals themselves are secondary".

Animal ambassadors

"These (animals) are ambassadors of their wild species for human benefit through education and display and profit.

"They should be treated as importantly as all ambassadors around the world."

Responding to Mr Porter's comments, an RWS spokesman told TNP via e-mail: "The MLP has consistently pledged its commitment to develop a facility that will set the standard in Asia for animal care, learning and education."

He explained that the MLP began conservation efforts even before it opened by launching the Marine Life Fund, worth S$3.2 million, in May 2008 to help marine life-related research, education and conservation projects.

The spokesman said: "RWS has also undertaken coral conservation and today remains one of the few destination resorts in the world that does not serve sharks' fin soup in its restaurants."

On the death of its two dolphins, RWS said it did not announce the news immediately as it was awaiting conclusive pathology results.

Original

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20101225.171527_101225-chris.jpg

Documentary, trainer's death changed him

MR PORTER has seen it all.

A former dolphin trader, he sold 83 dolphins over the last nine years, according to news website The Solomon Times.

Now he is an environmental activist campaigning to get captive dolphins released back into the wild.

He was inspired to give up his business - where he could fetch around US$165,000 (S$215,000) for each dolphin - by two events.

First was the 2009 film The Cove, a hard-hitting documentary about the annual killing of dolphins off the shore of Taiji in the south of Japan.

The second was the death of dolphin trainer Dawn Brancheau in February at SeaWorld Orlando in Florida. Ms Brancheau was drowned by a captive killer whale as tourists looked on.

This year, Mr Porter started the "Free the Pod" campaign, which aims to release captive dolphins back into the wild.

He decided to start his dolphin crusade because of the "ineffectiveness" of both the aquarium and protest industries to effect change on wild animals.

Original

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First a Whale shark, Now Dolphins somemore bottlenoses... zzzZZZ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

whale shark too big not suitable even if suitable habitat, what if it gets sick?

transport the giant to where? <_<

anyway I would say no to keeping dolphins captive when its wild caught. unless its being bred by their own then maybe yes

further more bottlenose dolphins are the easiest dolphin to "so call" keep in a public aquarium...

whatever it is both the spca and Acres are preventing it from happening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...