SINGAPORE GROUP CALLS ON THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT TO RELEASE DOLPHINS CAUGHT FROM THE SOLOMON ISLANDS

The Animal Concerns Education and Research Society of Singapore (ACRES) today urged the Philippine government not to re-export 25 dolphins, currently in training at the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic, to Singapore.

The group says that the dolphins, caught in the wild from the Solomon Islands, were forcibly snatched from their families and will live short, miserable lives in captivity as show animals for Resorts World in Singapore (RWS).

Louis Ng, Executive Director for ACRES also informed the Philippine Government that a growing number of Singaporeans have voiced their opposition to the keeping of dolphins in captivity and have urged Resorts World of Singapore to let the dolphins go.

Since May of this year, ACRES, together with Earth Island Institute (EII) has launched an international campaign to urge RWS to free 25 dolphins currently in the Philippines for training as show animals for Resorts World. So far, the ‘Save the Saddest Dolphin’ campaign has generated over a million signatures in its online petition and facebook campaigns as well as thousands of supporters from within and outside of Singapore.

In 2003, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the foremost scientific authority on marine mammals, wrote to the CITES Secretariat in Geneva informing all CITES parties that the harvest of dolphins from the Solomon Islands may not be sustainable. The IUCN even advised that CITES parties should avoid issuing any import permits for dolphins from the Solomon Islands until it is proven that harvests from that country can be sustained by wild populations.

Despite this, dolphins were imported into the country several times in 2008, 2009 & 2011. Trixie Concepcion of Earth Island Institute says the importation of dolphins into the Philippines should not have been allowed as this has violated the country’s commitments under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) as well as the Philippine Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act or RA 9147.

The groups are now calling on Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Bureau of Fisheries Director Asis Perez to rectify the situation by releasing the dolphins back to their natural habitat.

Joining ACRES and EII are the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, Save Philippine Seas, Philippine Animal Welfare Society, Marine Mammal Wildlife Watch of the Philippines and the Dolphins Love Freedom Network.#######