Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Save the Whale Sharks!

Credits to http://www.techdivethailand.com/wreck-diving-photos.htm

We are against Resorts World Sentosa importing whale sharks for their Marine Life Park, and would like to ask all of you to help!

To help the whale sharks please sign this petition: http://www.whalesharkpetition.com/

In a nutshell, whale sharks:

  • are endangered and close to extinction.
  • are known as the largest fish in the ocean and can grow up to 20m
  • migrate over 13,000km and
  • dive up to 980m deep
  • cannot thrive in captivity due to their size and migratory patterns.

Here is M's interview with Animal Concerns Research & Education Society's (ACRES) executive director Louis Ng.

M: What is ACRES'S main concern of keeping the whale sharks in captivity?

Louis: Whale sharks are a species vulnerable to extinction and efforts must be undertaken to protect all remaining wild populations. There can be no merit from removing a whale shark from its natural environment for a life in captivity.

On top of this, whale sharks can dive up to 980 metres and migrate over 13 thousand kilometres. No man-made environment, no matter how large, could accomodate their needs.

Evidence has shown that whale sharks fare poorly in captivity. In fact, two whale sharks - Ralph and Norton - died within five months of each other at the Georgia aquarium, U.S.A.

M: Do you think that Resorts World Sentosa will be able to provide appropriate care for the whale sharks in the oceanarium? Are there any specific tips on whale shark husbandry ACRES recommends?

Louis: ACRES would like to stress that we are not against the keeping of certain species in captivity. It is, however, simply impossible to cater for the needs of whale sharks in captivity and they should thus never be captured and kept in captivity.

M: If these whale sharks were NOT to be imported, is there any other way people can appreciate the world's aquatic biodiversity and promote conservation action in Singapore?

Louis: There has been no scientific evidence to justify the positive educational aspects of captive facilities. ACRES strongly believes that people can learn about aquatic biodiversity through visiting nature reserves like Chek Jawa and also seeing these animals in the wild. In fact, we believe that these create a more educational experience, without compromising the welfare of the animals.

M: The whale sharks are endangered. What is considered good conservation strategy for them?

Louis: A good conservation strategy is to protect the sharks in the wild and protect their habitats. Awareness must be and can be raised in Singapore and other countries without having whale sharks in captivity.

M: Should the whale sharks ultimately be in the oceanarium, what is the best advice you can give guests and Resorts World Sentosa themselves.

Louis: If the whales sharks are housed in RWS, we will be urging people to boycott the facility.


* http://the5rascals.blogspot.com/2009/05/whale-sharks-may-not-be-brought-in-to.html

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