Sea Life Park is Cleaning Up – “Empty the Tanks Worldwide” is Already a Success

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A recent visitor to Sea Life Park on the island of Oahu in Hawaii snapped these photos of the sea lions’ pool. Although the enclosure does look dismal, the visitor noted that most of the tanks – from the sharks’ exhibit to the dolphins – looked as though they were newly cleaned. He reported that even the sea turtles were being thoroughly scrubbed by a keeper with a brush in their newly drained and cleaned pool!
The cleanup effort is a great first step, and shows that the amusement park industry may  be listening to public opinion at last – and the worldwide event to draw attention to the plight of captive marine mammals hasn’t even happened yet.

Sea Lion pool at Sea Life Park, Oahu. Photo taken by recent park visitor.
Sea Lion pool at Sea Life Park, Oahu. Photo taken by recent park visitor.

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Some algae remains, but Sea Life Park appears to be making an effort.

Elizabeth Batt in her article “First Empty the Tanks event to hit global aquariums this weekend” interviewed the organizer of the July 27th Empty the Tanks event at Ocean Park, Hong Kong and reports that this remarkably progressive aquarium fully has embraced the event:

Zoe Ng, the host of the Empty the Tanks event at Ocean Park, Hong Kong, reports that the aquarium has been surprisingly helpful and even accommodating for her protest. Ng told Digital Journal that she has enjoyed open correspondence with the park since day one.

 Having invited her to tour their facilities, Ng met with park chairman, Dr. Allan Zemen, Todd Houghland, Matthais Li and Una Wang, to discuss her protest along with her concerns over captive cetaceans.
Surprisingly, not only did Ocean Park graciously grant Ng approval to host the event by their entrance, they even offered her a display table for her leaflets.

This is the second time that Ocean Park showed their willingness to comply with public opinion on marine mammals – in 2011 they abandoned plans to import belugas due to public outcry. The Hong Kong aquarium represents a fine and forward-looking institution, and their willingness to dialog opens doors – instead of slamming them shut as do the U.S. amusement parks such as Seaworld.  Sea Life Park’s attitude towards inquiry bordered on rude and yielded only wrong information in a recent call.
The Georgia Aquarium is still trying to get a permit to import wild caught belugas (which they will farm out to Seaworld and other parks) even though the American public is largely against it.
Empty the Tanks Worldwide has united a global effort to educate the public about the need to modernize the theme parks, both in the attitude towards public opinion and their inadequate facilities.
Please click HERE find out how to participate, or to get more information on Saturday’s Empty the Tanks Worldwide event.

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