BFAR-7 has no issue with dolphin shows as long as Cebu oceanarium has permit

By Delta Dyrecka Letigio |February 08,2019 - 06:30 AM

A dolphin frolics in the Tanon Strait. (Oceana)

CEBU CITY, Philippines–The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (BFAR-7) said they have no issues with a dolphin shows in Cebu City as long as the oceanarium hosting it are complete with the  necessary permits for the transport of marine animals.

“The role of BFAR is to protect all marine resources. Sa mga shows na ganyan, di naman kinakatay ang mga dolphins (It’s not as though they are slaughtering the dolphins in shows like that),” Prudencio Belga, Jr., the  officer-in-charge of the Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MSC) unit of BFAR-7, told Cebu Daily News Digital.

Belga said that BFAR-7 could not stop the oceanarium if they have secured the necessary permits to operate since the permits are released by various agencies.  In BFAR’s case, the permit  to transport is released by the central office in Manila.

The oceanarium will also need the necessary permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Cebu city government.

“If nagawa nila sa Manila at sa Subic, bakit hindi sa Cebu?” said Belga.

Belga said the role of BFAR would be to monitor if the animals are properly cared for and if their living conditions would not cause them harm.

Upon the transport of the animals, the BFAR-7 will monitor them  for any illnesses they may bring and can spread to other animal species.

Belga said that if they find any dolphin in questionable state, the dolphins will automatically be turned over to the BFAR’s quarantine department for treatment.

If, by chance, signs of abuse will be found among the dolphins, Belga said they can take custody of the dolphins and notify agencies like Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the conduct of an investigation.

Other animals will also be closely monitored for sickness and for any signs of torture and abuse.

Belga said that BFAR-7 is one with the public in protecting marine mammals and they will do their part in the form of proper monitoring to assure that the dolphins trained for show remain to be healthy and protected from abuse./elb

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