Environmental and animal rights groups in the Philippines are refusing to concede defeat in their fight to prevent 25 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins from being re-exported to the Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).
There may be no stopping the re-export of 25 bottle-nose dolphins from Subic to Singapore.
A day after a Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) that a Quezon City court issued against shipping off the dolphins lapsed, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources director Asis Perez confirmed that the government has given its go signal.
"Yes, the Department of Agriculture has issued the said permit," he told Yahoo! Southeast Asia in a text message.
This, despite plans by petitioner Trixie Concepcion of Earth Island Institute Philippines to file a motion of reconsideration to extend the TEPO. Concepcion told Yahoo! Southeast Asia that she felt that she was deprived of due process.
Judge Evangeline Castillo-Marigomen of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 101 ruled against extending the TEPO on Wednesday, saying petitioners "have not proven any violation of law committed by the concerned government agencies (DA and BFAR)."
Perez said he has no information on when the dolphins will be shipped out. He said, however, that quarantine officers will oversee the shipment when it does happen.
The dolphins, which were captured in the Solomon Islands, have been an attraction at Ocean Adventure Park in Subic, Zambales since 2008.
A report on the Solomon Times warns the dolphin trade there may be unsustainable.
Citing research from the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium, the Solomon Times article said the dolphin population in Guadalcanal Province may already have been halved by the dolphin trade. It said only one dolphin should be taken from the province every five years.
Concepcion and another petitioner, Philippine Animal Welfare Society director Anna Cabrera, want the dolphins returned to the Solomon Islands and released into the wild.
THERE has been recent media coverage on the export of 25 dolphins in Ocean Adventure Park to Singapore. According to news reports, the export of these dolphins, which had been undergoing training in O...
A Quezon City court declined yesterday to issue another temporary environment protection order (TEPO) that would stop the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) from re-exporting 50 dolphins to...
At a hearing today, Judge Evangeline Castillo-Marigomen denied the extension of the Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) barring the re-export of 25 dolphins owned by Resorts World currently at the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic.
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence presented by the petitioners, the order signed by Judge Marigomen reads: “The Court is constrained to deny the application for a TEPO to enjoin the public respondents from issuing the exportation permit of dolphins, as the petitioners have not proved any violation of law committed by the concerned government agencies.”
Petitioners Trixie Concepcion of Earth Island Institute (EII) and Anna Cabrera of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) were also shocked and aghast when the Judge likened dolphins to ‘pets’. The Judge also asked Petitioners if they have been to SeaWorld as that facility takes care of its animals.
SeaWorld was at the center of controversy recently when one of its animals drowned a trainer bringing to three people killed by animals at that facility.
‘It is a sad day for dolphins today”, says Concepcion, ‘It is tantamount to saying that it is alright to capture, train and use wild dolphins for dolphin shows even if this will threaten their survival in the wild.’
Petitioners are expected to file a motion for reconsideration soon. Likewise petitioners are thinking of filing a motion for a voluntary inhibition of Judge Marigomen for her open remarks in court comparing dolphins to pets as well as the SeaWorld Park in the US.#####
Pinagbawalan ng Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QCRTC) ang Department of Agriculture (DA) at Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) na muling i-export sa Singapore ang 25 na dolphin na kinukupkop ngayon sa Subic.
By Rio N. Araja | Posted on Oct. 19, 2012 at 12:00am
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court has allowed the Department of Agriculture and its Bureau Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to issue a permit to export 25 bottle-nose dolphins to Singapore.
Judge Evangeline Marigomen of Branch 101 denied the extension of a 72-hour temporary environmental protection order blocking Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and BFAR director Asis Perez to issue the permit.
But Trixie Concepcion, regional director for Asia-Pacific of the Earth Island Institute, said their lawyer Amelito Antonio Velasco will appeal Marigomen’s decision not to extend the TEPO issued by Executive Judge Bernelito Fernandez last Oct. 12.
SINGAPORE, 19 October 2012 – ACRES today released a new campaign video, “Pillaging the Solomons”, highlighting the fact that Resorts World Sentosa’s (RWS) acquisition of 27 wild-caught dolphins from the Solomon Islands between 2008 and 2009 contributed to the depletion of this species there. A recent scientific report confirms that previous captures of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) from the Solomon Islands were unsustainable and therefore that the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) was not complied with.
Before RWS acquired the dolphins from the Solomon Islands, information was already available advising against the purchase. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) stated that import and export of bottlenose dolphins from the Solomon Islands should not take place as it might be detrimental to the survival of this species there. IUCN further stated that “their preference (T. aduncus) as a captive display species makes them vulnerable to depletion from such catches.”
A scientific study conducted by the Solomon Islands Government and the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium between 2009 and 2011 confirms the IUCN statements, and provides compelling evidence that past trade in T. aduncus was indeed unsustainable and detrimental to the survival of these populations.
Most of the dolphins exported from the Solomon Islands came from Guadalcanal North Coast. Researchers estimate that only 86 to 162 dolphins remain in that area. According to the study, it seems likely that a large portion of the resident T. aduncus population was removed because of live-captures and the local populations in Guadalcanal have been depleted by the captures.
Furthermore, RWS acquired 27 dolphins within the period of about one year. The study confirms that this was unsustainable and concludes that for the trade to be sustainable, no more than one dolphin every five years should be removed from Guadalcanal.
The study further states that there is little doubt that several deaths occurred in the process of capturing the animals, as well as during captivity.
RWS has failed to live up to their own claims. In September 2012, RWS said “…we adhere and even go beyond the guidelines stipulated by the American Zoo and Aquariums Association as well as the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks Aquariums”. However, the Executive Director of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums stated that it does not support collection of animals from Solomon Island waters, and that any collections from there to date would not adhere to their standards and guidelines requirements.
“We hope that through the campaign video, people will see the truth behind these captures and speak up against it through our new online petition protest letters. RWS is supposed to be ‘committed to marine conservation’. They should have performed due diligence before they acquired the dolphins and they clearly should have followed the recommendations of the IUCN and ACRES. We hope that RWS will now make the right decision and work with ACRES and Earth Island Institute to rehabilitate and release these dolphins back into the wild” said Mr. Louis Ng, Chief Executive of ACRES.
The recent successful release in Turkey of two wild-caught dolphins who spent six to seven years in captivity has indicated that it is possible for the RWS dolphins - who have spent less time in captivity - to be rehabilitated and released back into the wild. After a 20-month rehabilitation process, the two dolphins, Tom and Misha, have made excellent progress since their release.
The Born Free Foundation has reported that “According to the satellite mapping, they have travelled hundreds of miles in a pattern that indicates they remain healthy and are feeding well.”
The global movement to end the keeping of dolphins in captivity is growing. This year, Switzerland joined a growing list of progressive countries who have banned the importation of dolphins. Following votes in both Houses of Parliament, the keeping of dolphins or whales in Swiss zoos or waterparks will be forced to come to an end. The Solomon Islands has also banned the export of dolphins with effect from 1 January 2012.
Contact: Louis Ng (Chief Executive, ACRES) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Singapore) or ACRES, is asking a Philippine court to reconsider its decision to lift an order to block 25 dolphins from being exported to Singapore's Marine Life Park.
By Khrysta Imperial Rara, VERA Files Environmental and animal welfare groups seeking to rehabilitate and return 25 dolphins to the Solomon Islands say they will appeal the court decision allowing the re-exportation of the animals to Singapore.
MANILA - A Philippine court has denied a petition by animal welfare groups for a new temporary restraining order to stop 25 bottlenose dolphins from going to the Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), which is scheduled to open later this...