13 March 2009

Resorts World Sentosa's response to petition against captive whale sharks

"We respect the views of this group of petitioners, although they may not be representative of the broader society," a Resorts World Sentosa spokesperson said of the recent petition against captive whale sharks at their Marine Life Park (as reported by Earthtimes 12 Mar 09).

In their press statement dated 12 Mar 09 (also on wildnews) Resorts World Sentosa says
We are aware of the online petition that has been addressed to the Singapore Government and the Marine Life Park.
The Marine Life Park has consistently pledged its commitment to develop a world-class facility that will set the standard in Asia for animal care, learning and education and the promotion of marine conservation. A world-class team of experienced professionals and animal experts will be set up to deliver this promise.

Just as zoos have educated millions of people worldwide on the need for, and importance of, protecting wildlife, we believe our Park will likewise play a crucial role in educating visitors on the variety and conservation of marine animals. It will be a unique window for visitors – many of whom would never get to see such marine life up close -- to appreciate the ocean and the need for its conservation

Details on the Marine Life Park have not been finalized and we continue to explore various options. As we move forward, we will abide by the Singapore regulatory guidelines on the import and treatment of marine life.

We welcome feedback and remain committed to dialogue with special interest groups, supporters and any individual who is keen to learn and act on marine conservation.-Marine Life Park.
Resorts World Sentosa earlier made a longer press statement on 9 Jan 09 (also on this blog), including these comments on whale sharks:
Whale Sharks

Whale sharks are currently listed as “threatened”, a category below “endangered” in the protection list. They are “threatened’’ for a variety of reasons, many of which are a result of human activities that threaten the oceans. The threat these animals face in the wild makes the role of aquariums in their conservation all the more crucial.

We need to conserve and learn about these animals as much as we can before their population becomes critically unsustainable. There have been similar doubts on whether pandas and bottlenose dolphins could breed in captivity, and zoos and aquariums have played a crucial role in breaking ground in that respect to ensure these species continue to exist. It is the Marine Life Park’s goal to contribute to the study and research of whale sharks, and to do its part to help protect the species’ wild population from disappearing.

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1 comment:

  1. I think we HAVE to push out this message further. I do sincerely believe that the public would be against bringing in the whale shark after having some background knowledge about the whale shark. So to oppose the notion RWS has about the petitioners being the minority of public views, we have to push our views aggressively. And RWS claim of zoo being educational is utter rubbish. Zoo is a business that revolves purely on entertainment. I can learn so much more about animals by watching a documentary. People learn nothing by looking at animals in enclosed areas.

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