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End The Vancouver Aquarium Cetacean Captivity
posted on November 28, 2016

End The Vancouver Aquarium Cetacean Captivity

To: Vancouver Parks Board and Vancouver City Council
Re: Time to Amend the Cetacean Bylaw to Truly Phase Out Cetaceans

On November 25th the Vancouver Aquarium said that the last beluga was recovering. However, “Aurora”, the mother of “Qila” who died on November 16th, died later that Friday. She is the 21st beluga who has died as a result of the Vancouver Aquarium cetacean slave trade.

Lifeforce is deeply saddened at the lifelong captivity and deaths of “Aurora” and “Qila” and many others. We also deeply regret that the capture of “Aurora” and others were permitted and hopefully it will now be banned.

Broken Beluga Promises

“Aurora” was one of three captured and taken to the Vancouver Aquarium. Another beluga was severely cut by the capture ropes then was quietly released.

In 1988, the Vancouver Aquarium and the Vancouver Park Board stated “Will the Aquarium be collecting new whales for the new facility? No. The new facility is designed for the existing three belugas; 2 females and a male.” However, when one died the Aquarium captured three more belugas in 1990. The pool was then overcrowded, aggression occurred, and some belugas were kept in a tiny research pool out of public view.

Lifeforce’s court action failed and we went to Churchill, MB to bear witness and hopefully stop the captures. Our boats were rammed and raked with an outboard engine. One beluga hunter was charged when our volunteer was injured. Even after the belugas were captured our boats were riddled with bullets where our volunteer was sleeping. See the violence against belugas and human life.http://lifeforcefoundation.org/ecotv_play.php?id=10

At least our public awareness led to an unofficial ban on any further captures and exports by other countries. No countries have caught belugas since 1990.

More Pools Means More Suffering!

An NPA Park Board Commissioner and a former Vancouver Aquarium VP of Marketing and Communications has proposed a referendum on captivity. For years the “Non Partisan Association” has always opposed any referendum as proposed by other parties.

Lifeforce was instrumental in getting a 1996 Cetacean Bylaw that was supposed to have phased out captivity. Under the Vancouver Charter the Park Board has the jurisdiction to implement bylaws restricting any animals in city parks. The Commissioners should amend the 1996 Cetacean Bylaw to reinstate the intended purpose to phase out all cetacean captivity. The NPA watered down the bylaw over the years and that has perpetuated the suffering and deaths of many dolphins.

Amend the Cetacean Bylaw to Phase Out Cetaceans

Why wait until 2018 when the Aquarium plans include more pools and more belugas in 2017? Then a referendum would be too late with new prisons perpetuating cetacean captivity. A costly earlier referendum would revert back to the bylaw or amendments anyways. If the NPA wants a referendum on the aquarium’s future later on then compromise by implementing a Cetacean Bylaw that will phase out cetacean captivity now! Stop the Suffering now!
Any referendum should:
1. Ask if Vancouverites support the Cetacean Bylaw that would be amended to phase out the captivity of cetaceans.
2. Include a moratorium on all expansion plans, such as more beluga pools and belugas, pending the results.

A New Expansion Permit and Public Comment Period

It was a 2006 expansion plan that was approved for completion in 2010. This plan was not implemented due to lack of funding. That eight part expansion was the largest in history nearly doubling the size. It included river otters (that Vancouverites voted against during a 90s referendum to close the Stanley Park Zoo), beaver (who are found living freely in Stanley Park), and suggested having Arctic Foxes and other new species of wildlife.
The 10 year old expansion permit should be cancelled and the Vancouver Aquarium should apply for an updated permit that would allow for a public comment period. Since 2006, new species have been acquired, new species may be imported, and there are new business plans such as aquaculture for the sushi market and operating an aquarium in Spain. Further, the last Arctic Canada expansion included narwhals. Is this still part of their secret plans?

Read More at the Petition
End Cetacean Captivity.