Ban on School Field Trips to Philippine Dolphinariums

By Ric O’Barry
Dolphin Project

(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 to or on Facebook: Kabataan Partylist to express your support for House Resolution 2759.


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About Ric O'Barry

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Ric O’Barry, Dolphin Project Founder & Director has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.

In the 1960s, O’Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins who played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O’Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.

From that moment on, O’Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.

Over the past 40 years, Ric O’Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.

O’Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post’s 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine’s 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his “Power of Passion.” O’Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphin$.

Author: Ric O'Barry


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