29 November 2009

Will there be a whale shark at Resorts World Sentosa?

A recent article reports that "the authorities are still looking into whether Resorts World at Sentosa will be allowed to drop a controversial plan to exhibit" whale sharks.
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

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1 comment:

  1. i cannot believe singapore would allow this. im so disappointed. why join in kyoto protocol if they dont really feel for nature and life. hasnt extensive been already done to show that captive dolphins and whales dont do well inthe small tanks!

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