Marine campaign blocked in China

By Roger Moroney

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While the Friends of Marineland www.facebook.com/sosmarineland site had begun attracting hits and "likes" from all parts of the world, their potential supporters in China had been left in the dark, coordinator Emily Otto said.

"They'd like to see what we have to say but they can't," she said.

Facebook was effectively banned - a "no-no" in China, she added, after being in touch with staff at the Beijing Zoo who were intrigued by what the 'Friends' group had been doing.

"I spoke to them recently. They have an aquarium and marine animals there and the response I got was "how can we help?" she said.

But her advice to check out the newly-established Facebook page was greeted by silence - as they were unable to access it.

Instead, the Friends would likely be in touch more directly with their supporters in China.

Mrs Otto said readership of the Facebook since it was established last month had begun to grow, with an increasing number of overseas "hits".

There had been some "tell us about it" inquiries from places she described as overseas "animal sanctuaries".

The Friends group, while pleased to see the establishment of the penguin cover at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, still had concerns over the long-term plight of seals and gannets housed at what had been Marineland.

They want the site restored as a wildlife hospital and education centre.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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