Skal slams Phuket dolphinarium plan
The tourism industry body’s Phuket and Southern Thailand chapter has called on its members and the broader travel industry to protest against the project, saying that any educational aims the attraction may have would be outweighed by “circus-style performances”.Dolphins are highly intelligent, free-ranging carnivores who suffer greatly from the effects of confinement and as a result suffer from stress, breeding problems and premature death as well as behavioural problems that can result in aggression between themselves and towards humans,” Skal said in a statement.
It added that the capture of wild dolphins, which occurs in Japan, Russia, the Solomon Islands and Cuba, is a “serious concern to the scientific community”.
“In Japan… dolphins are driven to the cost, a particularly cruel form of hunting in which pods of dolphins are rounded up out at sea and driven towards the shore where some are selected for aquariums and the rest slaughtered for meat,” it said.
Skal added that imports of dolphins into the European Union are prohibited under EU legislation for primarily commercial purposes. A dolphinarium displaying animals to the public and charging an admission fee, would constitute a commercial purpose.
“This is an outrage and an unnecessary attraction for Phuket, tourists come for the beauty that is Thailand, a country rich in natural biodiversity and by allowing this project to happen, Phuket is taking a step backwards,” Skal commented.