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

Nanaimo actress wins two Joey Awards for young Canadian actors

Hannah Zirke, 13, won for her TV roles in ‘When Calls the Heart’ and ‘Sacred Lies’

Family-friendly production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ comes to Nanaimo

Local playwright describes adaptation as ‘less Alastair Sim, more Muppet’

Column: This holiday season, support a local artist

Many opportunities to attend craft markets in the Nanaimo area in the coming weeks

City declares house on Metral Drive a nuisance property

Nanaimo council votes to start charging for calls for service to the address

Nanaimo’s new council meets for first time in council chambers

Mayor Leonard Krog says council members came to first regular meeting prepared

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP look for tips about suspected poppy donation thief

Police have released images of a man suspected of stealing poppy donation cans

Regional District of Nanaimo to review water infrastructure

Region to make assessments of each of its water service areas

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

B.C. woman allegedly threatens to rip out intestines of American man

A Kamloops-area woman is accused of harassing and threatening to disembowel an American man

B.C. model looks a lot like expanded taxi industry, ride-hailing group says

Ridesharing Now for BC says it had hoped the bill would be more customer-driven like in other cities

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Most Read