Given developers' open desire to emulate SeaWorld, it's unlikely the park will be "one of the best efforts in Asia to create viewing interactions between people and animals." Instead, it's likely to showcase the horrors of captivity on an even greater scale than SeaWorld. The park has already sparked outrage from animal welfare activistst, in particular for the inclusion ofendangered whale sharks. According to Samuel Hung Ka-yiu, chairman of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, activists' are well-founded. "Ocean Kingdom seems to have imported everything," Hung told the South China Morning Post. "They are doing everything wrong. They are doing everything you don't want them to do."
Said Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA:
China's rapacious consumption of wildlife makes news of its latest, sizeable aquarium, particularly concerning. Whale sharks are imperiled in the wild; dolphins fare poorly in capture, transport, and captivity. There is little question that this facility will lead to capture of wild marine animals for as long as the aquarium remains in operation. That will be bad for both wildlife conservation and animal welfare.