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

Donation saves Ladysmith Logger Sports pole climbing competition

The death-defying and stomach-turning skills of the world’s best lumberjacks will go… Continue reading

Shawnigan Lake’s Maggie Banks wins BC Games’ top prize

Rubgy star honoured with W.R. Bennett Award and scholarship

Duncan wrestler Ashton Combdon beats the odds to medal at BC Summer Games

Combdon joins CVWC teammates Talon Hird and Hayley Bye-Pace on the podium

Family effort helps Duncan swimmer Mary Paridaen van Veen to gold at BC Summer Games

Mom, dad and sister all members of the Cowichan Valley swimming community

Open water swimming from Victoria to Washington State

The swim will take at least 24 hours, meaning Susan Simmons will be swimming in the black of night

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Most Read