Vancouver Aquarium to no longer house whales, dolphins

Follows a Park Board ban in May

The Vancouver Aquarium will no longer be housing cetaceans at its Stanley Park facility, the organization announced Thursday.

The move comes on the heels of the Vancouver Park Board’s decision to ban cetaceans in May 2017.

The aquarium went to court to fight the Park Board’s decision in June.

“Having significantly contributed to tens of millions of people caring about whales and dolphins over the past four decades, Vancouver Aquarium will now focus on raising awareness of ocean issues impacting other marine animals and will no longer display cetaceans at its facility, with the exception of doing what is best for Pacific white-sided dolphin Helen and any need to use the Aquarium for the temporary accommodation of a rescued cetacean,” said Vancouver Aquarium CEO Dr. John Nightingale.

The aquarium has only one cetacean remaining; a Pacific white-sided dolphin named Helen.

Helen, who is in her early 30s, was rescued when she got tangled up in a fishing net in Japan.

“After many years in professional care and with only partial flippers, Helen is not a candidate for release,” said Nightingale. “However, dolphins are a social species so finding companionship for her is paramount.”

Two belugas, Qila and Aurora, died just nine days apart in November 2016.

PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman said that “the Vancouver Aquarium has finally yielded to the sea change of public opinion and agreed not to sentence any more cetaceans to a miserable life and a premature death in a cramped tank.”

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party pushes for wild salmon commissioner

The role would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf will not sail until mid-July

BC Ferries had hoped to get the vessel in September of last year, but it didn’t arrive until December

UPDATED: Horgan says B.C. defending its interests in Trans Mountain pipeline

Canadian finance minister’s update comes the same day Kinder Morgan shareholders plan to meet

5 things to know about B.C. Floods 2018

Snowpacks continue to melt causing thousands to be displaced, dozens of local states of emergency

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Las Vegas Golden Knights move on to Stanley Cup final

Improbable run continues for NHL’s newest expansion team

Oregon’s flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale to B.C.

‘In a broader sense, we are adding legal production to an already robust illegal production’

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

Most Read