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

Update: 27 fires burning in Monashee Complex

Mabel Creek, Sugar Mountain and Harris Creek fires continue to burn near Lumby and Cherryville

Updated: RCMP no longer suspect death of Vernon woman is suspicious

West Kelowna RCMP continue to investigate the woman’s sudden death

Urgent need for Kelowna, Vernon blood donors

Okanagan blood shortfall part of nation-wide challenge

Falkland director seeks ambulance

Rene Talbot feels community between Vernon and Kamloops should have ambulance

Child dies in boating accident on Kal Lake

UPDATE: 9:50 p.m. A six-year-old is dead following a boating incident on… Continue reading

A first-hand look at hazards facing scooter users

A Salmon Arm reporter tags along on a mobility scooter tour of the city to learn about safety hazards

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Man found not guilty in 2011 drug-related shooting in Shuswap

Judge rules Jeremy Davis couldn’t foresee his companion would kill 24-year-old Nick Larsen.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Parks Canada has ‘general concept’ in mind for South Okanagan-Similkameen

Minister Catherine McKenna will be providing a further update to representatives in Penticton Friday, August 17

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Most Read