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Dolphin Exports Unsustainable | Economy | Solomon Islands News

Dolphin Exports Unsustainable | Economy | Solomon Islands News | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
An independent assessment of Solomon Islands dolphin exports has warned the current quota is unsustainable.

A report by the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium, presented in Honiara says that level of export is way beyond what the population can sustain.

It says the dolphin population in Guadalcanal Province, which has been the biggest source of dolphins for export, may have been depleted by as much as half - and recommend no more than one dolphin should be removed from there every five years.

The report also highlighted the number of dolphins that die during capture before they are exported, and recommended the government base the quota on the number of dolphins captured, rather than the number for export.

It also found that as dolphin populations in the region do not intermingle, individual populations should be managed separately.

The report was presented at a two day workshop in Honiara last week which the Ministry of Environment says will lead to a national management plan for the dolphins.

Meanwhile, at a press conference on the eve of his Asian Tour last Wednesday, Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo said dolphin exports are not totally banned in Solomon Islands as it depends on its population.

When asked if the government is saying it will continue to allow dolphin exports from Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Lilo could not give a straight answer but indicated his government will take action if the mammal's population is at risk.

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Philippine court halts dolphin export to Singapore

MANILA: A court has blocked the export of 25 captive dolphins trained in the Philippines to become show animals at a Singapore casino, a Filipino official and animal rights groups said Saturday.
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Court order sought vs export of dolphins to Singapore | Clark Pampanga Angeles Philippines Business Travel Restaurant Hotel Resort

Court order sought vs export of dolphins to Singapore | Clark Pampanga Angeles Philippines Business Travel Restaurant Hotel Resort | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
Philippines Angeles Clark Pampanga business investment retirement vacation travel guide hotel resort entertainment, restaurant, bar, pub, wedding and event venues near Manila; leisure lifestyle, safe clean and quiet ambience, tax incentives, golf,...
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Philippine court stops export of RWS dolphins

Philippine court stops export of RWS dolphins | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
A Philippine court on Saturday temporarily blocked the export of 25 captive dolphins meant to be the main attraction at the Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).
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THE MANILA TIMES: NATION IN BRIEF: JUDGE FOILS EXPORT OF DOLPHINS

A Quezon City (QC) court yesterday issued a Temporary Environmental Protection Order against the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) from issuing a re-export permit for the 25 dolphins at Ocean Adventure, which is applying to re-export the animals to Singapore.


Executive judge Bernelito Fernandez of QC Regional Trial Court Branch 101 said that the order was issued after an environmental and animal welfare group filed a petition blocking the exportation of the dolphins.


The animal welfare group claimed that BFAR and DA should stop the re-export of 25 Solomon Island dolphins to Singapore, which are now being held in Ocean Adventure Park in Subic and instead call on the government to return the dolphins back to their home in the Solomon Islands.


Since 2008, a total of 25 wild-caught dolphins have been imported by Resorts World Singapore into the Philippines from the Solomon Islands despite scientific reports from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature showing that the harvest of wild dolphins from the Solomon Islands may not be sustainable and could further endanger the local population of dolphins in the island nation. JING VILLAMENTE

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Court stops export of 25 dolphins trained by Ocean Adventure | subicupdater.com

Court stops export of 25 dolphins trained by Ocean Adventure | subicupdater.com | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
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Court issues Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) on 25 Dolphins to be shipped from Manila to Singapore

Court issues Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) on 25 Dolphins to be shipped from Manila to Singapore | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
Quezon : Philippines | Oct 12, 2012 at 6:06 PM PDT BY jamalashley   

A Philippine court issued on Friday, Oct. 12 a Temporary Environment Protection Order (TEPO) on government authorities to stop them from sending 25 dolphins being kept at Subic, Philippines to Resorts World in Singapore.

 

Environmental and animal rights groups and individuals petitioned the courts stop the Philippine government from allowing the re-export of 25 Solomon Island dolphins to Singapore to be used as show animals in Resorts World at Sentosa, Singapore. The move was spearheaded by Earth Island Institute Philippines (EII-Phils), together with Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Compassion and Responsibility to Animals (CARA) Welfare Philippines, Dolphins Love Freedom Network, Save Philippine Seas, Save Freedom Island Movement, Wild Bird Club of the Philippines and other individuals.

 

The petitioners claim that the Ocean Adventure Park in the Philippines, where the dolphins are kept and the Resorts World in Singapore, where they will go, are again trying to re-export these dolphins to Singapore in contravention to Philippine laws and international agreements.

 

In November of last year, animal protection advocates from Manila and Singapore launched the “Save the World’s Saddest Dolphins” campaign in Taguig City, Philippines to stop the Philippine authorities from allowing the 25 dolphins to be re-exported to Singapore. (See link)

 

DOLPHIN TRANS-SHIPMENT

 

The first batch of dolphins imported to the Philippines from the Solomon Islands arrived on Dec. 8, 2008. They were to be trained at the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic, Zambales and later re-exported to Resort World in Sentosa, Singapore.

 

Despite vigorous protests by environmental and animal rights/ welfare advocates, and the findings of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), eleven (11) more dolphins were caught in the Solomon Islands and sent to the Ocean Adventure Park. The dolphins arrived on 15 January 2009.

 

Despite all the protests, the Philippine government allowed seven (7) more Solomon Island dolphins to come to Subic from Langkawi, Malaysia in January 2011. A total of 25 dolphins now stay at the Subic Ocean Adventure Park. Two dolphins died in Malaysia before it could be transported to Manila.

 

SCIENTIFIC AUTHORITIES

 

The Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of the Philippines (RA 9147) recognizes certain institutions as “Scientific Authorities” who can render opinions on questions regarding CITES ( Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) , an international agreement of which the Philippines has been a part of since 1981. The law names Siliman University and the National Museum as Scientific Authorities.

 

In 2009, , Silliman University, through its President, Ben S. Malayang III wrote a letter addressed to then BFAR Director Malcolm I. Sarmiento, in which he stated:

 

“We have read the relevant documents, including the case study report of the just released IUCN Samoa workshop. It is abundantly clear that the Philippines has been derelict in its obligations under CITES; the importation should not have been allowed. The Non-Detrimental Finding (NDF) is not credible.

 

As the designated scientific authority under the joint DENR-DA-PCSD Administrative Order No. 1, we recommend a moratorium on importations of live T. aduncus into the Philippines to take effect immediately and be lifted only until such time that the adequate population assessment necessary to a credible NDF has been carried out.”

 

Also in 2009, the National Museum, through its Director Corazon S. Alvina, commented on the importation of Solomon Island dolphins as follows:

 

“Based on the facts gathered and presented by Earth Island, if truth really prevails, the National Museum, being a scientific institution and an active member of Convention on the International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) firmly opposes this illicit activity. This must not be tolerated. Numerous negative consequences such as the spread of diseases possibly carried by these dolphins and threat to the survival of the species may occur. (emphasis added)

 

Thus, it is respectfully recommended that any activities regarding the importation of wildlife species be acted upon in accordance with both the Philippine Law (RA 9147) and CITES.”

 

ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO RE-EXPORT

 

Last year, the launch of the Save the Saddest Dolphins campaign postponed the departure of the dolphins.

 

On October 4, 2012, Earth Island Institute Philippines received a fax copy of a letter-order from the BFAR asking it to comment on an application for re-export of the dolphins in seven (7) days from receipt.

 

URGENT PRAYER

 

The petitioners urged the Regional Trial Court to:

 

1. Issue a Temporary Environment Protection Order (TEPO) ordering the respondents to refrain from re-exporting the captive dolphins and to any additional imports of dolphins into the country;

 

2. Direct respondents to permanently cease and desist from importing dolphins into the country and re-exporting those already in captivity in the Philippines.

 

3. Order the respondents to hold in custody the dolphins currently in Ocean Adventure until they are rehabilitated for release back into the wild and to eventually facilitate their release and return back into their native waters of the Solomon Islands.

 

4. Declare as null and void Import Permits for dolphins from Solomon Islands and

 

5. Direct the respondents to make periodic reports on the execution of the Court’s final decision on release of said dolphins.

 

 

jamalashley is based in Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, and is a Stringer for Allvoices.
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Court halts dolphin export to Singapore

Court halts dolphin export to Singapore | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
A local court blocked the export of 25 captive dolphins to Singapore's Resorts World...
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Court stops export of dolphins to Singapore

Court stops export of dolphins to Singapore | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
A court has blocked the export of 25 captive dolphins caught in seas around the Solomon Islands but trained in the Philippines to become show animals at a Singapore casino, a Filipino official and animal rights groups said Saturday.�The dolphins...
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QC court bars govt from exporting Subic dolphins to Singapore - InterAksyon.com

QC court bars govt from exporting Subic dolphins to Singapore - InterAksyon.com | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it

By: Ana Miranda, InterAksyon.com
October 13, 2012 3:00 PM


MANILA, Philippines -- A Quezon City court on Friday has barred the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources from re-exporting to Singapore 25 dolphins held captive in Subic.

 

The two agencies and Singapore-based Resorts World in Sentosa were also barred from importing any dolphins into the country by the 72-hour temporary environmental protection order issued by Quezon City regional trial court First Vice Executive Judge Bernelito Fernandez on a petition filed by the Earth Island Institute, Philippine Animal Welfare Society, and the Compassion and Responsibility to Animals Welfare Philippines, among others.

 

The petition will be heard by RTC Branch 101, the only designated environment court in Quezon City.

 

"After a thorough review of the allegations in support of the prayer for the issuance of a TEPO, this office finds that there exists extreme urgency and that the subject 25 captive dolphins and the petitioners will suffer grave injustice and irreparable injury should the re-exporting of the said captive dolphins and the importing of additional dolphins into the country be undertaken at this time," Fernandez’s two-page order said.

 

The animal welfare groups filed their petition after learning the dolphins, imported from the Solomon Islands in 2008, 2009 and 2011, were to be re-exported to Singapore based on a notice asking for their comment.

 

They noted that other countries have banned the dolphin trade altogether.

 

Aside from the TEPO, the petition asked for the nullification of import permits dating back to 2008 and the voiding of all import permits of dolphins from the Solomon Islands.

 

The petitioners also requested the court to order the respondents "to hold in custody the dolphins currently in Ocean Adventure Park in Subic at their expense until they are rehabilitated for release back in the wild."


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Dolphin export barred - Manila Standard Today

Dolphin export barred - Manila Standard Today | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it

By Rio N. Araja | Posted on Oct. 13, 2012 at 12:02am | 


The Quezon City Regional Trial Court issued a 72-hour temporary environmental protection order directing Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Director Asis Perez to prevent the re-exportation of 25 dolphins to Singapore.


The order of Judge Bernelito Fernandez of Branch 101 bars the shipment of the 25 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), which were caught in the waters of Solomon Islands, to the Marine Life Park at the Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore.

 

Fernandez said he saw the need to issue the TEPO “as this will result in grave and irreparable damage to the population of the dolphins from the Solomon Islands and generations yet to come and to the environment in general as the said activity has been scientifically shown to be detrimental to the survival of the species and in violation of domestic law and international conventions.”

 

The judge issued the TEPO after environmental and animal welfare groups filed a petition urging the government to stop the trans-shipment of the dolphins to Singapore. The cetaceans are now at the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic while Marine Life Park is being finished.

 

Marine Life Park, billed as the world’s largest oceanarium, is scheduled to open on Dec. 7 and will involve more than 60 million liters of water and 100,000 marine animals from over 800 species.

 

Trixie Concepcion of Earth Islands Institute said the importation of the dolphins should have been barred because it violates the country’s commitment under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species and Philippine Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, or Republic Act 9147.

 

Anna Cabrera, director of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, said the import permits were issued without proper evaluation of the best scientific data, adding that the marine mammals were forcibly snatched from their families and will make shorten their natural lives.

 

She noted that dolphins, whales and other cetaceans are not suited to captivity since they are highly social creatures that are used to being in families or pods.

 

Other complaining groups include the Compassion and Responsibility to Animals, Welfare Philippines, Dolphins Love Freedom Network, Save Philippine Seas, Save Freedom Island Movement, Wild Bird Club of the Philippines and other individuals.

 

The groups asked Alcala and Perez to deny the re-export permit application and work for the release of the dolphins back to their natural habitat.


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Acquisition of 25 dolphins in line with global requirements: Marine Life Park - Channel NewsAsia

Acquisition of 25 dolphins in line with global requirements: Marine Life Park - Channel NewsAsia | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it

By Alvina Soh

| Posted: 13 October 2012 1716 hrs


SINGAPORE: Singapore's Marine Life Park said its acquisition of 25 Indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins caught in the wild, followed international requirements.

A spokesman of Marine Life Park said Saturday that they are in line with the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which regulates the trade of animals to protect wildlife species from extinction.

The spokesman had said so in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia on a report that a court in the Philippines has moved to stop the 25 dolphins from being re-exported to Singapore.

This followed calls from environmentalists and activists to prevent the transfer of the mammals, which are housed temporarily in Manila before being sent to Marine Life Park.

A report on the website of The Philippine Star said a Quezon City court decided on Friday to stop the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources from issuing a permit to re-export the 25 dolphins in Ocean Adventure Park in Subic.

The report added that the court granted a petition by animal welfare groups and issued a 72-hour "temporary environment protection order" preventing the re-export of the dolphins.

The dolphins were imported from the Solomon Islands in 2008, 2009, and 2011 and brought to Subic for training while Marine Life Park was under construction.

The Philippine report said the court decided to stop the 're-exportation' on the grounds that doing so would cause irreparable damage to the dolphins.

Responding to the report, the spokesman of Marine Life Park said on Saturday that the movement of marine animals, including dolphins, is governed by the United Nations Environment Programme which upholds the policies of CITES. 

Marine Life Park's spokesman said the dolphins are currently doing well in the Philippines. 

He added that the Marine Life Park has an experienced team of animal experts who collectively represent over 300 years of experience working in more than 60 reputable zoological facilities around the world.

"With a mission to promote marine education, conservation and research, Marine Life Park strives to offer an educational and memorable experience that inspires a generation of stewards for the environment," said the statement from Marine Life Park.

But Singapore animal welfare group ACRES said on Saturday that it welcomes the latest news.

ACRES' chief executive Louis Ng said, "It has sent a very strong message out. A judge has reviewed the case, they've reviewed the literature and have agreed that this re-export shouldn't take place.

"We hope that they will make this ban permanent, and we are hopeful that the Philippines government will uphold the law and return these dolphins back to the Solomon Islands."

ACRES added that it would be a violation of Philippine law to allow the dolphins to be re-exported to Singapore and highlighted that the capture of the dolphins was unsustainable as the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins were a "very localised and small population."

Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa, billed as the world's largest oceanarium, is scheduled to open by December, and will involve more than 100,000 marine animals.

- CNA/lp

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Acres cheers Philippine court's order on dolphins

Acres cheers Philippine court's order on dolphins | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
By Gwendolyn Ng
my paper
Monday, Oct 15, 2012  

SINGAPORE - It is a rare chance to "right a wrong", a homegrown animal-welfare group said yesterday, referring to a Philippine court's order last Friday to halt the export of 25 wild-caught dolphins to Singapore.

 

Mr Louis Ng, executive director of animal-rights group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), told my paper: "We very seldom get a chance to right a wrong, but we now have the chance to do so."

 

The 25 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins - caught in waters off the Solomon Islands, near Papua New Guinea - are slated to be showcased at Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS') Marine Life Park, which is scheduled to open in December.

 

Mr Ng said: "These dolphins should never have been caught from the wild, and the right thing for RWS to do is repatriate the dolphins back to the Solomon Islands."

 

He added that the integrated resort should work with Acres and the Earth Island Institute - one of the environmental groups which filed a civil suit in the Philippines - to "rehabilitate and release" the dolphins back into the wild.

 

He said: "Acres is delighted that the Philippine government is reviewing the re-export of the RWS wild-caught dolphins."

 

He added that Acres supports the sentiments of Judge Bernelito Fernandez, who stopped the re-exportation on the grounds that it would "result in grave and irreparable damage to the population of the dolphins from the Solomon Islands".

 

Last week, the Philippine media reported that a Quezon City court had issued the 72-hour Temporary Environment Protection Order, preventing the dolphins from being exported to Singapore.

 

The court order was issued in response to the civil suit filed by environment and animal-welfare groups alleging that exporting the dolphins for sport or entertainment was illegal, cruel and would cause the extinction of the species.

 

In response to my paper's queries, a Marine Life Park spokesman yesterday reiterated its stance that the acquisition of the 25 dolphins adhered to the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

 

The spokesman added that "the dolphins are currently doing well in the Philippines".

It was earlier reported that the dolphins are being housed in Subic Bay in the Philippines.

 

The 8ha Marine Life Park - about the size of 13 football fields - will open with more than 100,000 animals from 800 marine species. It will be the world's largest oceanarium.

 

RWS had said earlier that the dolphins would be on display only next year, to give them time to settle into their new enclosure.

 

The dolphins will be part of a series of immersive programmes beginning next year, to be held at the Adventure Cove Waterpark.

 

nggwen@sph.com.sg

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Philipines Ban Dolphin Re-Exportation | Economy | Solomon Islands News

Philipines Ban Dolphin Re-Exportation | Economy | Solomon Islands News | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court in the Philipines has stopped the re-exportation of 25 Solomon Islands dolphins to Singapore.
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Philippine court stops Solomon dolphins export - Australia Network News - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A Manila court has issued a 72-hour temporary protection order to stop 25 dolphins, originally from Solomon Islands, from being exported to Singapore.
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Dolphins & Resorts World Sentosa

Dolphins & Resorts World Sentosa | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
*Is Resorts World Sentosa doing wrong to the dolphins? Any views? Acquisition of 25 dolphins in line with global requirements: Marine Life Park (TODAYonline) Oct 13, 2012 SINGAPORE – The Mari...
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Pagtutol sa pagbibiyahe sa dolphin patungong Singapore, idinulog sa korte | Balita - Tagalog Newspaper Tabloid

Nagsampa ng petisyon sa Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QCRTC) para sa temporary environmental protection order ang environment and animal welfare group na Earth Island Institute of the Philippines (EIIP) upang hadlangan ang pagpapadala sa...
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PACNEWS - Philippine court stops Solomon dolphins export

PACNEWS - Philippine court stops Solomon dolphins export | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it

By Online Editor
10:12 am GMT+12, 15/10/2012, Philippines

 

A Manila court has issued a 72-hour temporary protection order to stop 25 dolphins, originally from Solomon Islands, from being exported to Singapore.

The court has also banned the importation of more dolphins, saying the journey would harm them.

 

A petition was filed by environmental and animal welfare groups against the Philippines Fisheries Bureau and Agriculture Department.

They argued exporting the dolphins would be a violation of wildlife laws.

The 25 dolphins were being imported by Resorts World Singapore from the Solomon Islands, and were being held in a Philippines marine park awaiting transfer.


SOURCE: RADIO AUSTRALIA/PACNEWS

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Black Pearl - Daily News Brief: Court order sought vs export of dolphins to Singapore

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Philippine court stops re-exporting of 25 dolphins to Singapore - 13Oct2012

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Marine Life Park said its acquisition of 25 Indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins caught in the wild, followed international requirements. ...
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Philippine court halts dolphin export to Singapore

Philippine court halts dolphin export to Singapore | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
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wildsingapore news: Philippines: Re-export of 25 dolphins to Singapore barred

wildsingapore news: Philippines: Re-export of 25 dolphins to Singapore barred | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it
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Environmental groups sue government over dolphin re-exportation

Environmental groups sue government over dolphin re-exportation | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it

By Khrysta Imperial Rara, VERA Files


Environment and animal welfare groups filed  yesterday a petition against the Philippine government to prevent the issuance of a permit to re-export to Singapore 25 dolphins presently being kept and trained at the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic.

 

About an hour after the groups filed the petition, the office of the First Vice Executive Judge of the QC Regional Trial Court issued a 72-hour Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO).

 

"We won Round One. We have to argue this in court now to make this permanent," Atty. Mel Velasco, lawyer for Earth Island Institute, said.

 

Respondents to the case are the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore where the dolphins are to be re-exported.

 

Velasco explained that there has never been a case like this in Philippine legal history. "We are charting unknown waters. We saw a loophole — the rule of using Precautionary measures when there is conflict between authorities and they (the government) didn't follow that," he said. "The Executive Judge saw merit in the case."

 

Environment advocates  say that the suit  may change the course of wildlife trading  in the Philippines,

 

Velasco was referring to the Precautionary Principle in Environmental Law cited in the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which the Philippines ratified in August 1981 and which entered into force in November of that year.

 

CITES is an international agreement seeking to guarantee that any trade in wild animals and plants will not threaten the survival of the species.

 

According to CITES, authorities should consider the best interest of the conservation of species in any undertaking.

 

"BFAR violated certain rules. Precautionary measures should have been observed before they issued the permit to import the dolphins," Velasco said.


"In light of the CITES provisions, any import of sea mammals should have the green light of internationally recognized scientific bodies. In the Philippines, National Museum and Silliman University are recognized as the CITES marine mammal experts," he clarified.

 

"BFAR ignored the recommendations of National Museum and Silliman University," he said.

 

In their petition, Earth Island Institute (EII), the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), CARA Welfare Philippines, and 10 environmental and animal welfare advocates say the re-export of the dolphins would violate both the CITES treaty and the country's Wildlife Act (RA 9147).

 

"It is important that our laws, both local laws and international agreements, be respected and implemented by our authorities. In the case of the dolphins, our laws have been ignored or cavalierly dismissed by our government functionaries," one of the petitioners, Moro writer and environmental advocate Datu Jamal Ashley Abbas, said.

 

"When authorities start ignoring our laws, it will only encourage a climate of impunity," he added.

Trixie Concepcion, Regional Director for Asia of Earth Island Institute (EII), stressed the need for the public to closely monitor the government's actions when it comes to environmental issues.

 

"We are doing this because if we don't do anything, it will institutionalize the government's failure to abide by its commitment to CITES, to protect all species and not just the dolphins," she stated.

"It is specific in CITES that countries must not trade threatened species and the proposed export of the dolphins to Singapore is exactly that — it is a threat to the species of dolphins in the Solomon Islands," Concepcion reiterated.

 

Concepcion says BFAR should never have allowed the importation of these dolphins into the Philippines.

 

The 25 wild-caught Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) all came from the Solomon Islands. They were imported by Resorts World Singapore (RWS) into the Philippines in three batches in 2008, 2009 & 2011despite scientific reports from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) stating that the harvest of wild dolphins from the Solomon Islands could put the survival of the species at risk.

 

The IUCN report titled "Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin Assessment Workshop Report" estimates that the population of this particular species in the island nation is less than 5,000 individuals.

To protect the species from extinction, the Solomon Island government banned dolphin hunts in their territorial waters starting January 1, 2012. Island officials have also limited the captures to one dolphin every 5 years.

 

"Our objective is to compel the Philippine government to ship back the dolphins to the Solomon Islands because it's the right thing to do. They are on the brink of extinction," Concepcion said.

Lawyer Velasco is confident of victory for their case. "It's not just a legal battle. It's a battle of consciousness. People are learning about this only now," he said.

 

In Singapore, the animal protection group Animal Concerns Research  Education Society (ACRES) is campaigning to prevent the import of the dolphins into the island city-state.

 

Early this year, ACRES and EII launched 'Save the World's Saddest Dolphins' campaign to pressure both governments to return all 25 dolphins to their natural habitat in the Solomon Islands. The campaign has so far generated over six hundred thousand signatures from all over the world for its online petition.

 

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for "true.")


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Philippine court stops export of RWS dolphins

Philippine court stops export of RWS dolphins | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it

By Derrick Ho


A Philippine court on Saturday temporarily blocked the export of 25 captive dolphins meant to be the main attraction at the Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).

 

A Quezon City court issued a 72-hour "temporary environment protection order" preventing the mammals from being exported to Singapore, after animal rights groups there filed a civil suit, according to the Philippine Star newspaper.

 

The groups included the Earth Island Institute, Philippine Animal Welfare Society and the Compassion and Responsibility Philippines. They alleged that exporting the bottlenose dolphins for sport or entertainment was illegal, cruel and would cause the extinction of the species.

 

The suit was filed against the Philippine agricultural secretary, Department of Agriculture and the the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, as well as Resorts World Sentosa, the Star reported.


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QC court stops shipment of dolphins to Singapore -Inquirer

QC court stops shipment of dolphins to Singapore -Inquirer | Earth Island Institute Philippines | Scoop.it

By Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer

7:35 am | Sunday, October 14th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—A Quezon City court on Friday barred the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) from reexporting to Singapore 25 captive dolphins held at Ocean Adventure Park in Subic, Zambales.

 

The DA and BFAR, as well as the Singapore-based Resorts World in Sentosa, Singapore, were also ordered not to import any more dolphins into the Philippines while the temporary environment protection order (Tepo) was in effect.

 

QC Regional Trial Court First Vice Executive Judge Bernelito Fernandez granted the 72-hour Tepo sought by several animal rights groups that raised the alarm over the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins’ plight.

 

Extreme urgency


“After a thorough review of the allegations in support of the prayer for the issuance of a Tepo, this court finds that there exists extreme urgency and that the subject 25 captive dolphins and the petitioners will suffer grave injustice and irreparable injury should the reexporting of the captive dolphins and the importing of additional dolphins into the country be undertaken at this time,” the two-page order read.

 

Fernandez issued the Tepo on Friday afternoon as Executive Judge Fernando Sagun was in Bacolod City on official business. Fernandez ordered the personal serving of the Tepo on the three respondents.

 

The petition filed by the Earth Island Institute (EII), Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and Compassion and Responsibility to Animals Welfare Philippines et al. will be heard by RTC Branch 101.

 

Fernandez said this branch was the “only designated environment court” in Quezon City that could act on the petition.

 

The petitioners sought the Tepo after learning that the dolphins—which were imported from the Solomon Islands in 2008, 2009 and 2011—were to be reexported to Singapore.

 

The EII said it received a notice from the BFAR seeking its comment on the reexportation of the dolphins on Oct. 4.

 

Trained to perform


The dolphins had been kept in Subic where they were trained to perform in aquatic shows while the Singapore marine attraction was being built.

 

The petitioners noted that other countries had banned the dolphin trade altogether.

Aside from the Tepo, the animal welfare groups asked for the nullification of dolphin import permits dating back to 2008 and the voiding of all such permits from the Solomon Islands.

The importation and exportation of the marine creatures violates the country’s international agreements and the Wildlife Preservation and Conservation Act.

 

The petitioners also asked the court to direct the respondents “to hold in custody the dolphins currently at Ocean Adventure at their expense until they are rehabilitated for release back to the wild.”

 

This is aside from the periodic reports the respondents must make before the eventual release of the dolphins.

 
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