Stop the importation of Beluga Whales into the Philippines
This petition had 17,664 supporters
Beluga Whales won’t have fun in the Philippines
Recently, Earth Island Institute Philippines received information from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources that the Manila Ocean Park filed an application to import two beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) into the country.
These two whales, whose natural habitat is the cold arctic, were originally captured in Russia and now in a marine park in Korea.
We strongly believe that these whales won’t have fun here in tropical Philippines. Please help us in calling on the Manila Ocean Park to withdraw its plan to import beluga whales into the country, and call on the respective government agencies to reject these applications. We urge them to consider the following:
- The importation of beluga whales is against the principle of sustainability.
In August 2013, the United States government, through its National Marine Fisheries Service (equivalent to our Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources), DENIED the planned importation of these animals into their country for the following reasons:
(a)It has significant adverse impact on the population of the species;
(b)This will likely result in the taking of more marine mammals beyond those authorized by the permit; and
(c)Five of the beluga whales were found to be just 1 and half years old when they were captured, still nursing, and not yet independent.
Furthermore, there is an on-going petition to designate the Sakhalin Bay-Amur River stock of beluga whales as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of the US. The beluga whales currently in Korea were originally captured from the Sakhalin Bay-Amur River at the east coast of Russia.
Studies by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Marine Mammal Experts from the Humane Society of the US likewise raise several issues on the sustainability of the removal of beluga whales in the Sakhalin-Amur Region.
- Importing Beluga Whales into our country violate the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of the Philippines or RA 9147
“SECTION 6. Wildlife Information. — All activities, as subsequently manifested under this Chapter, shall be authorized by the Secretary upon proper evaluation of best available information or scientific data showing that the activity is, or for a purpose, not detrimental to the survival of the species or subspecies involved and/or their habitat. For this purpose, the Secretary shall regularly update wildlife information through research."
As a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), it is the responsibility of the Philippines to ensure that trade does not result in the depletion or extinction of species.
It is clear from the determination of the National Marine Fisheries Service of the US, that any importation of beluga whales will most likely result in the depletion of its wild population.
- Beluga whales thrive in very cold environments.
Beluga whales are normally found in the Arctic or sub-arctic regions of the world. In the wild, belugas can live from 30 to 55 years old but rarely survive at this age in captivity. As a concrete example, of the ten beluga whales procured by an aquarium in Taiwan in 2002, only three survive today.
Definitely, beluga whales won’t have fun in the Philippines. Infact, they will die a cruel death in our tropical country.
Join us in asking the Manila Ocean Park to stop in its plan to import beluga whales into the country, and in calling on the government to not allow activities on animals determined to be inhumane, unsustainable, and illegal under the laws of the Philippines.
Register your opposition by signing and campaigning for this petition.
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