Schools told: Ban field trips to parks with captive sea mammals-A A +A
Friday, September 7, 2012
MANILA -- Holding field trips to theme parks that possess captive dolphins and whales captured from "cruel and inhumane sources" is not the way to teach students about environmental conservation, a lawmaker representing the youth sector said Friday.
Kabataan party-list Representative Raymond Palatino filed House Resolution 2759 directing the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) to prohibit such type of field trips.
The two agencies, he said, have moral obligations to ensure that students learn the real value of environmental conservation. "Holding field trips in ocean parks is simply not the way to teach such," he added.
"School field trips are designed to expand the students' learning through live interaction. However, dolphin and whale shows teach children the wrong values that keeping wild animals in captivity is acceptable," Palatino said in his resolution.
Citing a government-commissioned study in the United Kingdom, Palatino said watching dolphins perform in marine parks generate no significant knowledge about the said animals.
"What's more, the demand for captive whales and dolphins is the primary motivation behind the deadly dolphin and whale hunts in various countries, including Japan and the Solomon Islands," he said.
Several non-profit organizations, including Earth Island Institute Philippines, have raised concerns on the said dolphin and whale hunts that have grossly decreased the number of said animals in the past years.
In Taiji, Japan, annual dolphin killings occur in September of every year. Once "good-looking" dolphins are sold to marine parks, the rest of the catch is slaughtered, Palatino said.
Dolphins and whales from Japanese hunts have reportedly found its way into the Philippines, despite the enactment of the Animal Welfare Act, which bans and punishes any kind of torture and maltreatment of any animal, and the Fisheries Administrative Order 185 which prohibits the catching, killing and mere possession of dolphins.
"Various studies have also shown that keeping dolphins and whales in captivity also shortens the life span of these animals," Palatino said.
In Ocean Adventure Park in Subic, four out of five false killer whales and a bottlenose dolphin used for performances have already died. All of these animals were from Japan.
"Is this what we want our youngsters to learn – that people would risk endangering the lives of endangered animals just for entertainment? The nation's youth deserves the right to be informed correctly and protected from misleading facts," Palatino said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)