Stop Dolphin Captivity in Cebu!

January 9, 2019

They are at it again.

Owners of the Manila Ocean Park are now set to open the Cebu Ocean Park located in SM Cebu this April 2019. When this plan became known to environmentalists a few years ago, Earth Island Institute (EII) and the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sat down with SM Cebu officials in a dialogue. EII and PAWS informed SM Cebu that laws would be violated if dolphins would be brought to the facility.

The Manila Ocean Park and their public relations people were absent but sent a letter explaining that they were misquoted and that there was no intention to put dolphins in the facility. Or so they say.

Screen shots of the recent ad campaign of the Cebu Ocean Park show that dolphin and sea lion shows will be conducted in the facility. A video shows an amphitheater where “dolphin and sea lion shows will be held”. When environmental groups started questioning the facility, parts of the video were blurred.

Cebu Ocean Park deceiving the public

The Manila Ocean Park has a creative history of deceiving the public. In the past, MOP attempted to bring Beluga whales into the country, as proven by their letters to the government. However, they denied this in public when questioned by environmentalists and animal welfare groups.

We condemn bringing in marine mammals to the Cebu Ocean Park. We likewise urge the public, environmental activists and animal welfare advocates in Cebu, to be vigilant against Cebu Ocean Park’s deception. Even if they deny any plans of having dolphin shows in public statements, they cannot dispel the nature of their plan.

We want to emphasize again that captivity kills dolphins. It is a proven fact that dolphins do not survive long in captivity, and that facilities within and outside the Philippines have a high mortality rate of marine mammals kept in captivity. They are continuously starved and subjected to different kinds of cruelty to tame and train them for animal shows. These animals are subjected to grave, stressful conditions after being removed from their natural habitat. Many people now are realizing that marine theme parks and Oceanariums are not really for education nor conservation. We call on Cebu Ocean Park to follow the steps of more advanced countries, where dolphin shows is already a thing of the past.

There is a broad and wide disagreement with the plans of Cebu Ocean Park which is already being felt in social media. We firmly believe that dolphins, sea lions and marine wildlife must be kept safe, wild and free.

In the same intensity as the past successful campaign against the importation of Beluga whales into Manila Ocean Park, we will unite against Cebu Ocean Park’s captive marine mammals!

Stop Dolphin, Whale, and Marine Mammal Captivity in Cebu!

Statement by the Earth Island Institute Philippines