Import Moratorium of        Dolphins from the        Solomon Islands A Presentation for the National Agriculture and      ...
I. BASIS FOR THE IMPORT MORATORIUM OF DOLPHINS FROM THE SOLOMON ISLANDS1. The import permits for the 18 bottlenose dolphin...
No scientific assessment of thepopulation-level effects of theremovals of bottlenose dolphins inthe Solomon Island wasunde...
2. Philippine CITES Scientific Authorities such as the Silliman Universityand the National Museum concur with the IUCN-CSG...
The Silliman University therebyconcludes (See Annex 9):‘ As the designated scientificauthority under the joint DENR-DA-PCS...
The National Museumrecommends that (See Annex 10):‘Based on the facts gathered andpresented by Earth Island, if truthreall...
3. The CITES Animals Committee,on its 24th meeting in Geneva onApril 2009, reviewed the issue ofdolphin exports by the Sol...
I. BASIS FOR THE IMPORT MORATORIUM OF DOLPHINS FROM THESOLOMON ISLANDS (continued)4. The importation did not have any cred...
5. That the importation of dolphins from the Solomon Islands ispurely for commercial purposes and is neither for research ...
II. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE SECRETARY OF THEDEPARTMENT OF AGRICLUTURE1. Impose a moratorium on dolphin imports from the So...
MARAMING SALAMAT PO
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Import moratorium of dolphins from the solomon islands

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On December 2008, seven bottlenose dolphins arrived in the Philippines from the Solomon Islands, followed by another 11 animals in January 2009, totaling 18 in all. The importation was done through the import permit issued by the Department of Agriculture Secretary in 2008. The dolphins were transported to the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic for training. Eventually, the dolphins were to be re-exported to the Resorts World in Singapore where they are to be used for entertainment.


The Earth Island Institute and The Philippine Animal Welfare Society believe that the importation of all 18 dolphins from the Solomon Islands violate the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act or RA 9147 as well as the Philippines’ international commitments under CITES.


It is therefore prayed that the Philippine government rectify the situation by instituting a moratorium on all importation of dolphins from the Solomon Islands, hold in custody the dolphins currently in Ocean Adventure until they are rehabilitated for release back into the wild, and to eventually facilitate their return and release into their native waters of the Solomon Islands. Local and international non-profit organizations are willing to work with the Philippine government for the rehabilitation and return of the dolphins to the Solomon Islands.

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  • Subsequent ‘activities’ defined by RA9147 include: Collection, possession, transport, exportation/importation, introduction, reintroduction, restocking, bioprospecting, etc.
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  • Import moratorium of dolphins from the solomon islands

    1. 1. Import Moratorium of Dolphins from the Solomon Islands A Presentation for the National Agriculture and Fisheries Council (NAFCI) 4 November 2010Earth Island Institute (EII), Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Marine Wildlife Watch of thePhilippines (MWWP), Bangon Kalikasan Movement
    2. 2. I. BASIS FOR THE IMPORT MORATORIUM OF DOLPHINS FROM THE SOLOMON ISLANDS1. The import permits for the 18 bottlenose dolphins from theSolomon Islands were issued without proper evaluation of the bestavailable scientific data that the importation will not be detrimentalto the population of wild dolphins in the Solomon Islands. This, infact, could constitute the violation of RA 9147.According to Sec. 6, Art. 1 of the Wildlife Resources Conservation andProtection Act or RA 9147:Section 6. Wildlife Information. All activities, as subsequently manifestedunder this Chapter, shall be authorized by the Secretary upon properevaluation of best available information or scientific data showing that theactivity is, or for a purpose, not detrimental to the survival of the species orsubspecies involved and/or their habitat. For this purpose, the Secretary shallregularly update wildlife information through research.
    3. 3. No scientific assessment of thepopulation-level effects of theremovals of bottlenose dolphins inthe Solomon Island wasundertaken in advance of therecent live-capture operations.Without any reliable data onnumbers and population structureof bottlenose dolphins in thisregion, it is impossible to make acredible judgment about theimpacts of this level ofexploitation. Until such data areavailable, a non-detriment findingnecessary under CITES Article IVis not possible. Therefore CITESParties should not issue permitsto import dolphins from theSolomon Island. Unfortunately,this episode of live-capture wasundertaken with little or no seriousinvestment in assessing theconservation implications for theaffected dolphin population(s).
    4. 4. 2. Philippine CITES Scientific Authorities such as the Silliman Universityand the National Museum concur with the IUCN-CSG recommendationson the non-detriment finding for dolphins from the Solomon Islands.In its position, the Silliman University stated that:’We have read the relevant documents, including the case study report of thejust released IUCN Samoa workshop. It is abundantly clear that the Philippineshas been derelict in its obligations under CITES; the importation should nothave been allowed. The Non-Detrimental Finding (NDF) is not credible.
    5. 5. The Silliman University therebyconcludes (See Annex 9):‘ As the designated scientificauthority under the joint DENR-DA-PCSD Administrative OrderNo. 1, we recommend amoratorium on importations oflive T. aduncus into thePhilippines to take effectimmediately and be lifted onlyuntil such time that theadequate populationassessment necessary to acredible NDF has been carriedout.’
    6. 6. The National Museumrecommends that (See Annex 10):‘Based on the facts gathered andpresented by Earth Island, if truthreally prevails, the NationalMuseum, being a scientificinstitution and an active memberof Convention on the InternationalTrade on Endangered Species(CITES) firmly opposes this illicitactivity. This must not betolerated. Numerous negativeconsequences such as the spreadof diseases possibly carried bythese dolphins and threat to thesurvival of the species may occur.‘Thus, it is respectfullyrecommended that any activitiesregarding the importation ofwildlife species be acted upon inaccordance with both thePhilippine Law (RA 9147) andCITES.’
    7. 7. 3. The CITES Animals Committee,on its 24th meeting in Geneva onApril 2009, reviewed the issue ofdolphin exports by the SolomonIslands and recommended that itsannual dolphin export quota bereduced.Prior to a decision on the proposal,the IUCN-CSG representativeattending the meeting was asked,based on existing scientificinformation, what number of dolphinscould be sustainably removed fromthe Solomon Islands population. TheCSG representative reported that totaltake (including bycatch, harvest, andlive-capture) should not exceed 10dolphins per year.
    8. 8. I. BASIS FOR THE IMPORT MORATORIUM OF DOLPHINS FROM THESOLOMON ISLANDS (continued)4. The importation did not have any credible veterinary/phytosanitarycertificate as well as an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) on theintroduction of the 18 dolphins to the natural environment of CamayanWharf in Subic
    9. 9. 5. That the importation of dolphins from the Solomon Islands ispurely for commercial purposes and is neither for research norconservation.If the Philippines allows for the continued practice of importing dolphinsfrom the Solomon Islands and re-exporting of dolphins for commercialpurposes, the country will be participating in the trafficking of dolphins fromunsustainable sources. Allowing the import/export of dolphins from theSolomon Islands, whose resident dolphin population dynamics and statusare unknown at best, jeopardizes the survival of dolphin populations in theSolomon Islands.Allowing the entry of dolphins from unsustainable sources also runscontrary to the Philippine policy of protecting dolphins in our very ownwaters. The Fisheries Administrative Order 185 and 185-1 and FAO 208prohibit the catching, killing and even mere possession of dolphins.
    10. 10. II. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE SECRETARY OF THEDEPARTMENT OF AGRICLUTURE1. Impose a moratorium on dolphin imports from the Solomon Islands and reject any applications to re-export the animals to Singapore.2. Seize the 18 animals in Ocean Adventure, and, at the cost of the shipper, re-export the animals back to the Solomon Islands for rehabilitation and release3. Consistent with the plain language and intent of the Wildlife Act, institute proper procedures where the CITES Scientific Authorities are consulted before any activities, (e.g. importation/exportation) are undertaken. In addition and specifically in the case of marine mammals, that the opinion of other CITES Scientific Authorities such as the U.P. Marine Science Institute, U.P. Visayas, Silliman University and the National Museum be obtained prior to any importation/exportation.4. Our international network of marine mammal experts, veterinarians, legal experts, and non-governmental animal protection and environmental organizations are willing to assist and support the Philippine government in rectifying this situation, in strengthening the implementation of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, and providing other resources and support to the government should it implement these recommendations.
    11. 11. MARAMING SALAMAT PO
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