While protestors from JAAN recently visited Bali calling on the Governor to close all businesses using live dolphin shows as tourist draws [See: Protesting for a Higher Porpoise], the regent of Bali’s northern region of Buleleng has adopted a radically different view on how the highly intelligent swimming mammals should be protected in his province.
As reported by Beritabali.com, the regent of Buleleng, Putu Agus Suradnyana, is asking Bali’s governor to withhold permits for captive populations of dolphins from all areas of Bali except his own. In Suradnyana’s view, which is at odds with defenders of animal rights, captive dolphins as tourist attractions should be the exclusive right of his coastal region of Buleleng in order to compel more tourist visitors to come to the North.
Suradnyana’s statement was made at a meeting on the environment held in Denpasar at the local Chamber of Commerce (Kadin) office on December 8, 2012.
According to Agus Suradnyana, if permission to hold captive dolphins is given to areas outside of Buleleng this will reduce the number of people wanting to visit his region. Dolphin shows, despite their disfavor with environmental and animal right groups, are he believes a mainstay of several Buleleng businesses.
“We truly understand that the dolphins have become an icon for Buleleng. Sometimes people will want to emulate our region, (holding their own shows and) persuading people not to come to Buleleng, but to instead see a dolphin show in Denpasar. I have written to the Governor. I have signed and sent him letter on Monday asking that no one be allowed to hold captive dolphins outside of Buleleng,” said Suradnyana.
Agus Suradnyana also said that the policy he is recommending is also intended to help achieve a more equitable spread of tourists in Bali from the island’s north to south, claiming that in the past tourists have tended to congregate in the South.
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