Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: Use Article 44 to take down the dolphinarium

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The Phuket Gazette endorses the recent call by SKAL and several other groups in petitioning Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul to put to an end, once and for all, to the plans to open a “dolphinarium” in Chalong.

In their letter to the minister, SKAL makes a succinct yet highly compelling 12-point argument against the dolphinarium, which has already been constructed with funding from Ukranian investors.

There is no doubt that public opinion here in Phuket is overwhelmingly opposed to a dolphinarium anywhere on the island. A Gazette online readers’ poll conducted last year, after news of the facility’s construction broke, found that 98% of tourists were opposed to it. Internationally, more than 17,000 people have already signed an online petition launched by the Sea Shepherd Global Conservation Society, which is just one of several high-profile international NGOs that have rallied together to oppose the project.

The many arguments against the dolphinarium are too extensive to be cited here in full. In addition to serious legal and safety concerns, the opening of such a facility would severely damage Phuket’s reputation as a sustainable and eco-friendly tourist destination – especially since the dark secret of how dolphins are brutally captured in the wild, at places like Japan’s notorious Taiji Cove, was revealed in the 2009 Academy Award winning documentary The Cove.

The only argument in favor of a dolphinarium that we are aware of is financial. The strategy is apparently based on attracting busloads of packaged tourists from places like mainland China and Russia. We feel it insulting to presume that people in these market segments lack sufficient awareness of the issues involved, especially at a time when countries as diverse as the United Kingdom and India have comprehensively banned the capture and display of cetaceans for human amusement and profit.

Some readers might harbor positive childhood memories about going to a dolphin show, but that was a different time – before it was revealed just how badly marine mammals suffer, physically and psychologically, in captivity. These truths have been clearly revealed by former dolphin trainers and handlers, most notably former “Flipper” trainer Ric O’Barry, whose organization ‘Dolphin Project’ is actively campaigning to stop the Phuket dolphinarium.

A more detailed argument against a dolphinarium entitled ‘The Case of Opposition to the Phuket Dolphinarium’ breaks down in great detail the numerous flaws with this project and the dangers it carries for Phuket’s image and environment.

The interim government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-ocha has correctly tackled the very difficult issue of Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices in Thai waters. We hope they will also consider using the special powers under Article 44 of the interim charter to ban the future development of any facilities in Thailand that would involve public display of cetaceans, and to incorporate this directive into the country’s 20-year “development plan” currently being drafted in Bangkok.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World7 hours ago

25 arrested in Germany suspected of leading a ‘right-wing’ coup

Thailand10 hours ago

23 military students hospitalised after being trained too hard

Thailand10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | British man who loves Thailand banned for 5 years for overstaying

Sponsored13 hours ago

Top 5 Backlink Agencies in Bangkok for Your Business

Crime10 hours ago

Police arrest another Chinese visa overstayer living it up in Thailand

Hot News10 hours ago

Christmas present to Phuket motorists: Patong Hill road to reopen

Thailand11 hours ago

Firework maker killed in firework accident in eastern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand11 hours ago

Lao star swindled by Thai celebrity, more than 500 million baht lost

Thailand12 hours ago

Father chains up daughter and forces her to return to abusive husband

China12 hours ago

China mulls downgrading Covid-19 status as protests continue

Business12 hours ago

Tesla to launch in Thailand this month

Apple12 hours ago

Two women sue Apple saying AirTag product gives stalkers access to their whereabouts

Thailand13 hours ago

Electioneering: Thaksin’s daughter vows to end poverty in Thailand

Thailand13 hours ago

Thai travel agent group says travel restrictions hamper tourism growth

Hot News13 hours ago

Thailand pushes for more international flights as tourism surges

Crime13 hours ago

Man stabs passersby in Bangkok, 1 killed 1 injured

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending