The Vancouver Aquarium suffered a major defeat earlier this month when the Vancouver Park Board, with the support of organizations including the International Marine Mammal Project and thousands of concerned people, voted to ban cetacean captivity and imports. But this major win for belugas is being threatened – and your support at this point is crucial!
The aquarium has launched an offensive, asking their members to flood the inboxes of the Park Board commissioners and publishing op-eds that attack the proposed amendment. Because they are the only facility on Canada’s Pacific Coast that can currently take in stranded cetaceans, the aquarium claims that these individuals may have to be euthanized. But a seaside sanctuary is an infinitely better option than the concrete tanks at the Aquarium, and the Whale Sanctuary Project will likely see to it that stranded cetaceans will have a sanctuary to go to after all.
The draft amendment will prevent the display or importation of cetaceans within any Vancouver park – and since the Vancouver Aquarium is situated within Stanley Park, the amendment will apply to their facility. However, the amendment will not have any effect on the Vancouver Aquarium’s rehab center, which is offsite.
The Aquarium currently has beluga whales out on breeding loans with SeaWorld and other facilities, and there is speculation that they want to bring these whales back to replace the mother and daughter who died late last year. But the amendment is designed to prevent them from doing this, as so far the Aquarium has been unable to determine the cause of the two belugas’ deaths.
The Park Board commissioners will be holding hearings on the amendment in the middle of May, so the pressure must be kept on so that they hold fast to their anti-captivity commitments.
Send comments to:
If you'd like to send postcards or notes of support in the mail, here's the physical address:
Vancouver Board of Parks & Recreation
2099 Beach Ave
Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4