In a press conference held yesterday, March 26, 2015 in Korea, the Korean Animal Welfare Association (KAWA) and the Earth Island Institute Philippines urge the governments of Korea and the Philippines to prohibit the re-exportation of beluga whales, specifically those from the Geoje Sea World (GSW) in Korea to the Manila Ocean Park (MOP) in the Philippines.
In addition to being considered as “near threatened” based on the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), beluga whales are also listed in the appendix of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as a specie that is “not necessarily threatened extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.”
Last week, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) faxed their long-awaited response to our inquiry about Manila Ocean Park’s (MOP) plan to import beluga whales. A copy of BFAR’s letter dated March 5, 2015 and MOP's letter-of-intent is appended to this post.
The National Museum, a CITES authority in the Philippines explained the four points in their recommendation that the application of Manila Ocean Park to import beluga whales be denied.
Mong Palatino talks about why Filipinos should love the environment here in TalaAkayan a radio show every Tuesday 6-7 PM at Radyo Veritas 846AM. TalaAkayan is a partnership between Earth Island Institute, Kodao Productions and the Promotion of Church People's Response.
The work that we do in Earth Island Institute Philippines and network of advocates from the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, Balyena.org, and the Large Large Marine Vertebrate Project, Philippines was recently featured in Rubi On A Roadtrip, a primetime eco-travel show at the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) airing every Saturday at 6:30PM and Sunday at 8PM. You can also tune-in abroad via The Filipino Channel (TFC).
Social media tools are increasingly being used by scientists to identify and track wildlife species. Through open source software solutions like Wildbook, scientists rely on crowdsourcing to conduct mark-recapture and animal biometrics. Or in other words, the wildlife photos and videos posted on Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, and other websites are used by scientists to tag and photo-identify individual animals.
On the eve of our team building's last day, Earth Island Institute Asia-Pacific tagged along with Dr. Alessandro Ponzo of the Large Marine Vertebrates Project - Philippines (LAMAVE) as we respond to stranding. Here's a video of Dr. Ponzo explaining what we discovered that evening.
We are re-posting Femke Dan Haas' blog about Earth Island Institute Asia-Pacific's #TeamBuilding2015. Femke's the one in the middle in the picture below, together with Indra Poernomo (left) and Asia-Pacific regional director Trixie Concepcion. Photos by Weng Castillo, Femke Dan Haas, and Karl Ramirez.
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