Exhibitors increase efforts to acquire wild-caught whales & dolphins

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2012: (Actually published on November 1,  2012.)

MANILA,  SINGAPORE,  TAIJI,  ATLANTA–Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Evangeline Marigomen on October 18,  2012 vacated a 72-hour temporary environmental protection order against exporting 25 captive dolphins from the Philippines to Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore.  Quezon City Regional Trial Court first executive judge Bernelito Fernandez issued the temporary environmental protection order on October 12,  2012 at request of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society and Earth Island Institute.

_______________ PAWS and Earth Island Institute alleged that the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources had illegally allowing the dolphins to be imported from the Solomon Islands,  where they were captured from the wild in 2008,  2009,  and 2011,  along with two others who have since died.  The dolphins were then trained at the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic,  the Philippines.

. “We are still hoping for Resorts World Sentosa to send the dolphins back to the Solomon Islands for release back into the wild,” said Amy Corrigan,  spokesperson for the Singapore animal charity 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 Resorts World Sentosa dolphins–who have spent less time in captivity–to be rehabilitated and released,” elaborated ACRES chief executive Louis Ng.  “After a 20-month rehabilitation,  the two dolphins,  Tom and Misha, have made excellent progress since their release,”  Ng said.

. The dolphin lagoon at Sentosa’s Underwater World was in March 2012 found to be housing dolphins “in quarters that are way too small,  as during our previous visit in 2010,”  the Singapore SPCA said.

__________________ Other transactions __________________

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Cove Guardian observers in Taiji,  Japan on October 9,  2012 reported that six dolphins captured at the site where film director Louis Psihoyos and dolphin advocate Ric O’Barry in 2008 clandestinely filmed the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove had been flown from Japan to Europe.

. “An observant Cove Guardian was on the same flight as the buyer and noticed the buyer’s bags carried the Marineland Mallorca logo,”  the Sea Shepherds said.  “By chance,  the Cove Guardian saw him again at the cove the following day,”  helping to prepare the dolphins for transport.  Identified as a possible former employee of Marineland Mallorca,  the Sea Shepherds said,  the buyer “may have purchased the dolphins for the Lisbon Zoo or a marine park in the United Arab Emirates.”

. A hearing on a plan to import 18 wild-caught beluga whales from the Sea of Okhotsk,  Russia,  advanced by the Georgia Aquarium, SeaWorld,  the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago,  and the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut,  was held on October 12,  2012.  Public comments on the plan closed on October 29.  The National Marine Fisheries Service is expected to decide whether to allow the beluga imports in early 2013.  Wild-caught belugas have not been imported into the U.S. since 1992

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