In support of Coral World
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I applaud Fiona Stuart's zeal for animal rights. However, equally important in this debate are the rights of the employees of Coral World to their continued employment and the right of Coral World to be profitable and continue operations in these difficult times.
Businesses in the territory are struggling with skyrocketing WAPA costs and a burdensome gross receipts tax that increased 25 percent last year. Losing money is not sustainable and many companies have gone out of business in the territory. If Coral World is forced to close its doors and lay off 69 employees, it would be a devastating blow to our fragile island economy and to the dedicated staff of Coral World and their families.
St. Thomas would lose an iconic and beloved destination that will not be replaced.
We live in a world where families visit theme parks, zoos, aquatic parks, and dolphin sanctuaries all the time. I have no doubt that Coral World is and will be dedicated to the highest standards of animal care.
The dolphin exhibit at Coral World will introduce Children and Adults, residents and visitors to the beauty of these sea creatures. It will bring awareness to the vital importance of conservation and the protection of our marine environment and the oceans that surround us.
- Filippo Cassinelli, St. Thomas