1. What is the Marine Life Park?
The Marine Life Park (“MLP”), one of the main attractions at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), will be the world’s largest oceanarium when it opens in 2012. It will house over 100,000 fishes in over 55 million litres of water which includes the aquarium, dolphin experience and Reef Swim. The MLP will be all about family fun, interactive multi-sensory experiences and, most importantly, ocean conservation. We envision MLP as a showcase for ocean science education, research and stewardship.
2. Why did RWS include the MLP as one of the attractions at the integrated resort?
Situated on Sentosa Island, our integrated resort has the advantage of being surrounded by water and, hence, we wanted to give Singaporeans and visitors the opportunity to understand and appreciate the unique marine life in our oceans. The MLP will play an important role in educating visitors on the diversity and beauty of marine life. For many visitors to the MLP, it will likely be their first close-up encounter with marine life, and we hope this experience will inspire them to think about the part they can play in caring more about marine animals and their conservation.
In addition, the MLP will also have a structured education and research programme for the propagation and conservation of marine life animals. MLP will work with both local and overseas academic institutions and other marine animal facilities to collaborate on a variety of research and educational programs.
3. What can visitors expect when they go to the MLP?
There is plenty awaiting visitors at the MLP! The MLP will offer a myriad of activities for guests of all ages. At the Reef Swim guests will be able to snorkel amongst thousands of brightly colored tropical fish. Or they can hop in an intertube to tour the 620m Adventure River which includes an underground grotto or experience the fun and excitement of our exhilarating water slides and a wave pool.
4. How big is the marine life population at the MLP?
There will be over 100,000 fishes across various species of fish such as non endangered sharks, jellyfish and moral eels. Other aquatic species include a variety of rays, angelfish and many pelagic school fish. One of the most interesting and educational elements of MLP will be our Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins.
Testimonials abound about how deeply-moving encounters in aquariums and parks have inspired guests to become more aware and proactive as it relates to conservation of the environment. Some guests may even be inspired to take up careers in marine conservation and education. We offer many of the same opportunities and experiences that will inspire our guests and potentially make a positive impact.
5. There is the view that certain marine life species, such as dolphins, should roam free rather than be housed in ocean parks and aquariums? Would they be safe in your park?
We have assembled a team of experts to support our efforts in various aspects pertaining to the care, well-being, education, research and conservation of marine life.
The MLP has already opened its laboratory and developed the required veterinary and husbandry procedures and protocols required to house and maintain marine mammals. In addition, we are pursuing the launch of new conservation and research initiatives. The care and well-being of our marine life will take precedence over all else.
6. Why did the MLP source its dolphins from the wild instead of from captive sources?
We hold the belief that zoological organizations have a role to play in wildlife conservation and that to avert species crises, controlled wildlife collections can occur for quality zoological facilities to increase our understanding of the species and for breeding purposes.
To put it in context, the movement of marine animals including dolphins is governed by the United Nations Environment Programme which upholds the internationally agreed upon policies of CITES. Bottlenose dolphins, which are the species of dolphins that will be housed at our marine park, are not classified as endangered nor are they threatened with extinction.
Our research programs with our animals in conjunction with field research are on the fundamental pieces of worldwide conservation of marine mammals. Our staff will collaborate with other research facilities and institutions to conduct studies important to the conservation of marine animals and their environment. We want to play our part in the propagation of dolphins, and very early made the decision to implement a breeding programme at our marine park.
Dolphins have bred successfully in marine parks, an important measure of successful adaption of dolphins to human care. Today, the success of these breeding programmes provides us with valuable insight and knowledge into the propagation of this and other marine mammal species. Decades of successful breeding of bottlenose dolphins in parks that span Australia to Hong Kong and the United States have shown these animals to be very adaptable to living in controlled environments.
7. Does being in a marine park shorten a dolphin’s lifespan?
No. Scientific data over the past decades show that bottlenose dolphins can indeed thrive in marine parks. Dolphins in marine parks have lived in excess of 40 years, often exceeding the average life span of many of their counterparts in the wild. Contrary to popular belief dolphins in the wild do not necessarily enjoy a totally carefree life; in the wild, they can become victims of predation, are taken as ‘by catch’ by many fishing fleets, and are subjected to on-going ocean pollution.
The MLP will ensure that our animals will be given top-class care and treated with respect and dignity at the park.
8. How big will the MLP be?
The MLP is eight hectares in size and contains 20 million litres of seawater which is part of the overall 55 million litres of seawater that make up the entire park.
9. When will the MLP open?
The MLP will open to the public in 2012.
Marine Life Park Team