Connect with us


Dolphins not connected to Taiji, says Phuket GM

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The Nemo Dolphinarium dolphins, which recently arrived at the controversial facility on Phuket, were not poached from the wild and have no connection to the annual dolphin slaughter at Japan’s Taiji Cove, Dolphins Bay Phuket General Manager Supreecha Suthamanondh told the Phuket Gazette yesterday.

“Our five dolphins are among 19 dolphins that were born and raised in an aquarium in the Ukraine. Each one of them has an embedded chip to verify their identity, which is registered with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),” Mr Supreecha explained.

“The dolphins and two seals legally arrived in Phuket earlier this month and are now in quarantine, as training specialists and veterinarians work with them.”

Five people from the Nemo Dolphinarium in Ukraine joined the animals on their trip and are now working with Mr Supreecha to ensure that they adjust to the new facility.

“We have a lot of faith in the company, as they have been in this business for years.”

However, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society confirmed to the Gazette in 2014 that the original marine animals slated for shipment from Ukraine to the Phuket facility had a direct connection to the annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins in Taiji.

Three of the dolphins, two Pacific Bottlenose and one Black Sea Bottlenose, were born in captivity in 2012 and are being directly exported from Ukraine, said Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Asia Director Gary Stokes at the time.

Additionally, five more Pacific Bottlenose dolphins are being re-exported from Ukraine; and all five were originally caught in the wild in Japan, he explained.

“The only place in Japan that catches wild dolphins is Taiji. We had 20 Bottlenose [dolphins] shipped from Taiji to Nemo [representatives] in Ukraine a few years back. Nemo has not imported any other dolphins from Japan except these,” said Mr Stokes.

Nonetheless, Mr Supreecha assured the Gazette that such a connection did not exist between the dolphins that were finally approved for the facility.

“I understand people are concerned about the possible connection between Taiji and our dolphins. However, I can assure that they are not wild dolphins and did not come from Taiji,” he said.

The 100-million-baht facility, with seating for 900, is not only designed to be a tourist attraction, but also a learning center for students and underprivileged children, Mr Supreecha said.

Ticket prices are set at 1,200 baht per person, with discounts for students and underprivileged youth.

However, the facility has one more legal hurdle to jump through before its soft opening.

“The next step is to have the Department of Fisheries do a final check of the facility and approve it,” Mr Supreecha said.

“I assure you that we are following all the standards required by the Department of Fisheries and other dolphinariums around the world.

“Everyone is welcome to have the opportunity to see and study these animals up close – something that is not easy to do in our everyday lives.”

— Chutharat Plerin


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 *

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism11 hours ago

Pattaya October reopening hampered by obstacles

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Thong Lor again: 31 arrested in club violating Covid-19 rules

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Pfizer vaccine application received, review process begun

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

Visa15 hours ago

Covid-19 prevention leads to 14 arrests of longterm overstays

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,277 new infections and 29 deaths, provincial totals

Thailand16 hours ago

Red tape and restrictions suggest a slow Phuket reopening

Phuket16 hours ago

UPDATE: Tourism Minister reportedly says July 1 ‘sandbox’ won’t happen

Tourism17 hours ago

Koh Samui eyes August 1 reopening, “Samui Sealed Route”

Weather18 hours ago

Village need rain? Have you considered a giant penis?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,277 new infections and 29 deaths

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

8.3% of Thailand’s 50 million vaccine target reached so far

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Site launched for June 14 vaccine signup for all foreigners

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Free quarantine accommodation for arriving Thais to be cancelled

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox – bar, clubs closed? Local AZ problems, Sex toy arrest | June 11

Drugs2 days ago

UN report: Changes in Southeast Asia drug trafficking during the pandemic

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