VIDEO: Protesters call to ‘empty the tanks’ outside Vancouver Aquarium

The protest in Vancouver was part of a world-wide day of action, including in Florida and Cancun

Protesters opposed to whales and dolphins being kept in captivity held signs and yelled “don’t buy tickets” to others as they walked through the doors of the Vancouver Aquarium Saturday.

Listing off cetaceans who have died while in captivity over the years – including at B.C.’s only aquarium – the group had one message: Empty the tanks.

The protest in Vancouver was part of a world-wide day of action. Activists across 60 other cities held similar demonstrations.

Following controversy surrounding a Vancouver Parks board bylaw introduced last year to ban cetaceans at the aquarium, its CEO John Nightingale announced in January the facility would be phasing out the display of captive whales and dolphins.

OceanWise is set to continue its Marine Mammal Rescue program, with some of the rescued animals being kept at its off-site rescue facility, also in Vancouver.

Animal rights groups in the region have a problem with this, they’ve said.

“The aquarium industry knows that cetacean captivity is not supported so they are going to try to re brand it as saving ‘rescued’ cetaceans,” said Peter Hamilton, Life Force Society founder, in a news release Saturday.

In an emailed statement to Black Press Media, the Vancouver Aquarium said there are no plans to build a new exhibit for rescued cetaceans at the Stanley Park site, adding that the commitment made in January is firm.

The aquarium said its permitted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to operate its rescue centre.

“As the only Marine Mammal Rescue Centre in Canada with veterinarians trained to help whales, dolphins and porpoises, the team considers it their duty. Animal welfare and conservation — saving individual animals and working to save species — are both core to our mission.”

Currently, Helen the Pacific white-sided dolphin is the only cetacean still at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Meanwhile, construction of the Canadian arctic exhibit is underway, which will home sea lions and walruses.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Reports of rashes prompt pool closures at Harrison Hot Springs

Public pool available after all five mineral pools closed until further notice

Oil pipeline company offers cash to expand under two Chilliwack school yards

District offered $136,500 to widen from 18 to 42 metres through Vedder middle and Watson elementary

Chilliwack’s Chief Ernie Crey a firm pipeline supporter

Crey lauds NEB focus on marine safety in his role representing Indigenous oversight committee

Sarah Wark’s run just about done at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

With an overall record of 5-5, Wark’s Team B.C. won’t be qualifying for Saturday’s playoff round.

Chilliwack’s aquifer again in the spotlight with NEB pipeline approval

Concerns from WaterWealth Project and Coun. Jason Lum, but mayor says it’s time to ‘move forward’

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

Most Read