By Ric O’Barry
(NOTE: Ric was in the Philippines a week and a half ago. This final blog and video recounts his further investigations there.)
A few days before I was to go to the Philippines, I came across a news article that details how a Philippine Congressmember filed a resolution to ban school field trips to parks featuring dolphins and whales.
School groups are one of the major sources of revenue for dolphinariums around the world. Claiming to be “educational”, dolphin parks in fact provide bad education to children about how to abuse wild animals. In the Philippines, most of the captive dolphins there come from the horrendous drive hunts of Taiji or from drive hunts in the Solomon Islands. But all of these hunts are supervised by Americans.
Congressmember Raymond Palatino of the Kabataan Partylist filed House Resoulution 2759 in September 2012, titled: “Urging the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to Ban School Field Trips to Theme Parks with Captive Dolphins and Whales That Come from Cruel and Inhumane Sources.” A long title for a great idea.
That is the kind of thing we need. All dolphins in theme parks come from cruel sources.
Media soon picked up on this pioneering piece of legislation, and so TV stations in the Philippines requested to interview me on my take on it.
Of course Ocean Adventure in Subic, the park that imported all its captive dolphins from Taiji and the Solomon Islands, was not happy. They issued a statement that basically digressed from the issues and tried to smear my character together with that of Philippine activists Trixie Concepcion and dolphin-mural painter AG Saño. It did not work.
During my stay here in the Philippines, we met with the representatives of the Department of Education (Deped) and showed them Congressmember Palatino’s resolution. Given the media attention on the issue, the Deped representatives already knew about the resolution and welcomed our endorsement. We do hope the Deped in the Philippines will strongly support Congressmember Palatino’s resolution in Congress. I also appeared at a forum with the Congressmember.
I would like to make a call to all groups to send a letter of support for Congressmember Palatino. Please go tohttp://kabataanpartylist.com/contact/ or on Facebook: Kabataan Partylist to express your support for House Resolution 2759.