In May 09 , Resorts World announced it was "scrapping its plan to exhibit whale sharks at its upcoming Marine Life Park" because "it believes it may not be able to care for the animals". But as of today, its website still features a photo of the whale shark for its Marine Life Park.
The Resorts World announcement followed a petition against keeping whale sharks in captivity.
The poster for the petition against captive whale sharks at Resorts World Sentosa.
The recent report quotes Professor Peter Ng, head of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at the National University of Singapore as noting that the only facility to have successfully done so was the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan.
'Even then, they can't stay in the tanks for long. The secret is that several whale sharks are kept in an enormous holding area in the ocean, and a complex engineering system hoists the sharks in and out of their tanks,' he said.
'I believe there will never be a whale shark in Singapore. We don't have the expertise, we don't have the space, and there's a global ban on the animals,' he added.
Resorts World so far has purchased seven dolphins. These were caught in the wild in the Solomon Islands and shipped to an ocean park in the Philippines where they are being trained.
This move resulted in much controversy. The latest news on this was in Jun 09 when "The Philippines-owned CITES science team sent a letter to the government of Philippines that the import of the dolphins from Solomons earlier this year is NOT legal under Philippine law. There are now grounds to halt the re-export to Singapore as the legality is questioned."
The dolphins remain on the Resorts World website as of today.
It is also not clear whether earlier plans by Resorts World to have 700,000 marine creatures, ranging from tiger sharks to sea horses, are still in place.
The opening date of the Marine Life Park has yet to be confirmed.
Related media articles on whale sharks and dolphins at Resorts World Sentosa
- Absence of whale sharks won't hurt by Goh Si Guim IR Straits Times Forum 4 Dec 09;
- Acres lauds animal-friendly move Straits Times Forum 4 Dec 09;
- Sentosa's whale shark plan being reviewed Straits Times 28 Nov 09;
- More needs to be done for marine life conservation Straits Times Forum 19 May 09;
- No whale sharks at Sentosa IR Resorts World exploring other 'conservation-focused' options, Grace Chua, Straits Times 16 May 09;
- Online petition against the import of whale sharks for Resorts World Sentosa 93.8Live 30 Mar 09;
- Whale sharks and dolphins at Sentosa: ACRES Don’t snatch them out of the wild Letter from Acres, Today Online 21 Mar 09;
- Atlanta whale shark deaths cited in Singapore protest Jim Tharpe, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 16 Mar 09;
- Resorts World Sentosa press statement on petition against captive whale sharks Marine Life Park Statement 12 March 2009
- Animal welfare groups oppose import of whale sharks at Sentosa IR Channel NewsAsia 12 Mar 09;
- No whale sharks at Sentosa IR
- CITES to scrutinise Solomon Islands dolphin trade with links to more on the captive dolphin issue.
- Updates on whale sharks at Resorts World Sentosa
- Captive whale sharks and moral integrity of Resorts World Sentosa
- Georgia Aquarium responds to Singapore petition against captive whale sharks.
- Resorts World Sentosa's response to petition against captive whale sharks