Connect with us


Opinion: Use Article 44 to take down the dolphinarium

Legacy Phuket Gazette



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.


Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Thaiger Talk Forums.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand40 mins ago

Almost 8 million register for stimulus scheme, app briefly goes down

Best of53 mins ago

Top 5 best temples in Bangkok

Thailand1 hour ago

Good Morning Thailand | What’s happening in Pattaya, Phuket sandbox, reopening for tourism

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

25 vaccination sites put on hold in Bangkok

Phuket2 hours ago

Ambulance crashes into a lightpole in Phuket

Thailand2 hours ago

Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport task force cracks down on drug trafficking

ASEAN3 hours ago

Southeast Asia sees highest tally of Covid-19 infections in a single day

Chiang Rai3 hours ago

Chiang Rai: man robs a bank that’s inside a Tesco Lotus

Best of3 hours ago

Top 10 Private Villas in Thailand

Drugs3 hours ago

Over 1.5 kilos of heroin found hidden in notebooks at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 3,355 new cases and 17 deaths

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 Tax Firms in Thailand

Malaysia4 hours ago

Lockdown extended for another 2 weeks in Malaysia

Food4 hours ago

Top 10 Restaurant-Bars in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Low immunity levels in some, despite 2 doses of AstraZeneca, Sinovac

Thailand3 months ago

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

Tourism3 months ago

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

Phuket3 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8