It specializes in the investment, building, and operation of public aquariums and oceanariums. The Group owns and operates two Underwater World facilities in China, in the cities of Chongqing and Qinghuangdao. The Manila Ocean Park (MOP) is currently under construction behind the historical Quirino Grandstand at the Rizal Park. On February 29, 2008, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (with Philippine Tourism Authority general manager Robert Dean Barbers) graced the soft opening of Manila Ocean Park.
Envisioned to be the “largest aquarium facility in the Philippines,” the MOP will contain both an oceanarium and an open water marine habitat that can handle 12,000 cubic meters of seawater, featuring 300 marine species indigenous to the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Also, in line with its “fusion concept,” the complex will feature a mall, a restaurant row, a hotel, and multi-purpose function facilities. This P1-billion venture by Singaporean and Malaysian investors is foreseen to attract 1. 2 million to 1. million visitors annually. Lim Chee Yong, the president of the MOP, said that the park would be among the most advanced ocean parks in Asia. He stated that the MOP’s area is greater than that of Singapore’s Sentosa, and its oceanarium is much bigger than Hong Kong’s Ocean Park. The Manila Ocean Park Oceanarium is divided into seven sections, each showcasing different kind of marine life. The first part is called Agos (flow), where you can find an artificial waterfall and a touch pool where visitors can touch the animals in display.
The next part is called Bahura (reef), which showcases 46 tanks of live corals found in Philippine seas. The third part is the Laot (fishing ground) where you can find four tanks of really amazing fishes. Next is Buhay na Karagatan (living ocean) where you can experience the sea by a walkthrough underwater tunnel. You can see huge ray fish and sharks here and see how these marine lives interact with other sea creatures. The fifth section is Kalaliman (the deep) where you can find the scary Barracuda.
The sixth section is Pagi which is an overhang tank wherein different species of ray fish can be found. The last section is Pating (shark) which houses several shark species. The Manila Ocean Park in Manila Bay formally opened last March 1, 2008. Although it was still incomplete when it opened, a lot of expectators already visited the place and enjoyed it. Later that year the marine themed mall and restaurants were opened too and the place became opne of the most popular attraction of the City of Manila and Manila Bay.
The place is yet to be completed by mid of 2009 as they are still putting an open marine habitat where people can interact with sea animals. The Manila Ocean Park in Manila Bay is owned by the China Oceanis Philippines, a subsidiary of Oceanis Incorporated of Singapore. They are also operating other oceanariums in China. Members of the Philippine marine science society gave positive feedback regarding the project, stating that the MOP can serve as a venue to conduct research, as well as impart information on aquatic resources and fields of specialization among students.
Animals rights groups, particularly the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), however expressed their opposition to the project, saying that the ocean park “only keeps animals in captivity and away from their homes,” and it would only teach people that “it is acceptable to keep animals in captivity—bored, restricted, lonely and far from their natural homes. ” The group urged the public to boycott the aquarium.