About a week ago, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation can tell the Vancouver Aquarium to phase out dolphin and whale captivity.
This is a step forward to the day when cetaceans, which are whales, dolphins, and porpoises, won’t be forced to endure the misery of being confined to a cramped tank.
This was a result of the decision made last March by the Vancouver Park Board to amend the Parks Control Bylaw to ban cetacean captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium.
The bill that prohibits their captivity, S-203, was first proposed in 2015, and after three years of intensive struggle, it has finally made through the House of Commons.
It was supported across the political parties, meaning that environmental issues are no longer a subject to party politics, as it should be, as we all share the same planet.
The bill bans the breeding of dolphins and whales in captivity, and it amends the current criminal code to include this as a crime. Therefore marine parks can keep cetaceans which are currently under their care, but they will not be allowed to breed a new generation or capture more in the wild.
It also bans the import of cetacean sperm, tissues, or embryos. The shocking reality revealed by documentaries like Black Fish made the public aware of the activities that harm the environment.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported that this bill has two targets in mind: the Vancouver Aquarium and Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Namely, the Vancouver Aquarium once said that they captivated these mammals just due to scientific and educational reasons, but recently said it protests have distracted the business, so they would no longer display whales or dolphins at the facility.
On the other hand, Marineland has been a vocal opponent of the Senate bill, claiming that it would devastate attendance and threaten conservation efforts. They even claimed that the bill threatens the seasonal employment of hundreds of local residents during the summer.
Additionally, Canada has also passed Bill S-238, which inhibits the import of sharks’ fins. These actions of the Canadian political parties are encouraging, and once more point out the importance of joint efforts to protect our environment.