FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANIMAL RIGHTS HAWAII
Kahala Hotel And Resort plans to violate the terms of their approved firework permit to charge guests access to a public beach and restrict access to their captive dolphin "lagoon."
KAHALA, HAWAII, December 31st, 2018- Kahala Hotel And Resort, home to Dolphin Quest's captive dolphin facility on Oahu, plans to block access to the public beach in front of their hotel for a fireworks show aside their dolphin "lagoon." The resort paid the state $600 for restricted access to the beach for their private event, the cost of a mere 4 tickets for their event. The Kahala resort plans to charge guests $150 per adult, $100 per child (ages 6 to 12) and a 23% service charge, despite their approved permit specifying the event must be "open to the public and no admission fees of any kind shall be charged."
What's even more concerning than the resort's disregard for this conditions of their permit, is the impact this firework show will have on both captive and wild marine life in the area. The critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal is known to haul out to rest in the surrounding areas. It's likely that a nearby firework show will spook these animals back into the ocean without the adequate rest they require. Past firework shows at Kahala Resort have also caused issues with their captive dolphins. In 2015, a mother and daughter visiting from California were removed from the property after seeing dolphins thrashing in their lagoon during the firework show and taking out a cell phone to record it. No explanation was given to them on why they were removed so they contacted animal rights groups in the area, including Keiko Conservation and Animal Rights Hawaii. This was brought up at a hearing for another firework permit the resort applied for shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, it was hardly acknowledged by the Board of Land And Natural Resources (BLNR). When a board member asked the present Dolphin Quest representative if they would be able to identify what behavior the animals might exhibit if stressed by the show, the representative responded that they didn't know. Despite this, the board approved the permit and collected the fee from the resort, a fee that they had increased from $50 to $550 in 2013 after applications for the permits became more popular.
We encourage the public to call the resort's reservation line (808) 739-8760 and tell them about your concerns for the welfare of the animals in their care and that they are violating the terms of their permit by charging visitors.
You can also contact the board for the Department Of Land And Natural Resources to make them aware that Kahala Resort is planning to violate the terms of their permit and request that they stop giving out permits for fireworks to places that hold captive wildlife.