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Dead whale to get 'New Life' at the museum
By Azlan Othman

18th May 2003

Borneo Bulletin

Bandar Seri Begawan - The whale that was found decomposed on the so-called Monkey Island a few days ago was presumably the same whale that was released into the deep from Pelumpong Island.

"The whale was actually found decomposed on the other side of the Pelumpong island, which was the initial place where the whale got stranded in the shallow waters near a fishing structure known as 'lintau'," Awg Samhan from the Museums Department said yesterday.

"Officials from the Museums Department will take the carcass of the whale to be displayed at the gallery as this is considered to be a blockbuster exhibit," he said.

Meanwhile Awg Samhan said on behalf of Brunei Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Management Authority, Minke and Bryde's whales that were known to pass through South China Sea have been a hot issue of late.

The whaling nations in particular, believe that their numbers are robust enough for sustainable harvest and thus they should be safely traded under Appendix II jurisdiction.

However, at the 12th conference of the Parties of CITES held in Santiago, Chile last November, the consensus was reached that both species must remain in Appendix I, (which means no trade allowed). Brunei, led by the Director of the Museums Department as the Chairman of Brunei CITES Management Authority were amongst 160 member nations attending the conference.

Brunei CITES Management Authority of the Brunei Museums Department thanked Awg Hj Zainal Abidin B. Penghulu Hj Ibrahim, Fisheries Officer and Mr. Morris for their caring effort to guide the severely injured whale back into the deep waters.

Since the campaign on Wildlife Protection Act and CITES began last March 2003, Brunei Museums Department has received from the public some protected species such as honey bear, reticulated python, estuarine crocodile, white-bellied sea eagle and a clouded leopard.

The department said they would like to extend its acknowledgment and appreciation to members of the public and government agencies for their encouraging, supportive and positive response.

All surrendered species are treated and taken care of for several weeks, before being released into the wilderness again. The department urges members of the public to keep vigilance on the welfare of CITES protected species as this is very important because Brunei has been an excellent model in the CITES where the volume of wild fauna and flora trade is minimal.