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Saving Dolphins in Singapore and the Philippines

June 6, 2011 by Ric O'Barry, Earth Island Institute

 

Saving Dolphins in Singapore and the Philippines

By Ric O’Barry

Campaign Director

Save Japan Dolphins

Earth Island Institute

This is a story about grassroots efforts to help some dolphins in two countries, the Philippines and Singapore, and the work that Earth Island is doing to help coordinate and support these efforts.

The story actually begins in the Solomon Islands and the international dolphin traffickers Chris Porter and Francis Chow, who sent more than two dozen wild dolphins to the Philippines to be trained for Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore.

For a number of years, Earth Island staff member’s Mark Berman and Lawrence Makili have opposed the capture of dolphins in the Solomons, trying to stop the exports of these animals all around the world, with only limited successes.  (The fight goes on as Lawrence and Mark recently met with officials in the Solomons’ government to urge them to permanently stop captures of wild dolphins in the islands.)

Originally, 27 dolphins were shipped from the Solomon Islands to wind up at Tim Desmond’s Ocean Adventure facility in the Philippines in late 2009 and early 2010.  Mark Berman and Earth Island’s Philippines representative, Trixie Concepcion, began work to see if the Philippine government would intercede for the dolphins.  At last count, there were only 25 dolphins still alive from the original shipment – captivity is not kind to wild dolphins.  Resorts World in Singapore is paying large sums to store and train these dolphins in the Philippines. 

Meanwhile, Mark Berman had also begun working with Louis Ng of the Animals Concerns and Research & Education Society (ACRES) in Singapore to protest the import of these blood dolphins from the Philippines for Resorts World.

Louis and his cohorts have built a major campaign to stop the dolphin import.  He recently held a major press conference and also prepared a great YouTube song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8zY2M-ZvNk&feature=autoshare

This is where I come in – Louis worked with me and our Earth Island staff to draft a letter to Resorts World, which journalist Sandra Davie had published this past Sunday in the Singapore newspaper Straits Times.  You can see Sandra’s story here:

http://wildsingaporenews.blogspot.com/2011/05/free-dolphins.html

You can read my letter here:

http://theonlinecitizen.com/2011/05/the-dolphin-project-makes-proposal-to-rws-over-dolphins/

Basically, we are asking Resorts World to help return these dolphins to the ocean in the Solomon Islands where they belong.

All of these brave local people and their small, but feisty local organizations, working together, can be a powerful force for dolphins.

 

If you would like to help ACRES with their campaign, go here:

http://www.saddestdolphins.com/

 

I hope you will also consider giving a donation to Earth Island’s work to help save these and many other dolphins around the world.  Thank you for your generosity!

http://www.savejapandolphins.org/donate/

 

 

Sad Dolphin Logo courtesy of ACRES.

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