Vancouver Aquarium whale, dolphin breeding program to end
The Vancouver Park Board voted unanimously to allow the aquarium to keep cetaceans in captivity at a special meeting Thursday night, but ordered an end to the breeding of most whales and dolphins.
The board has directed its staff to bring forward an amendment to the park bylaw that would prohibit the breeding of cetaceans in Vancouver parks unless they are a threatened species.
It has ordered the establishment of an oversight committee consisting of animal welfare experts to ensure the safety and well being of cetaceans in captivity.
But it stopped short of ordering the aquarium to phase out its whale and dolphin program. However it did ask aquarium and park staff to investigate alternatives to the exhibition of cetaceans.
More than a hundred speakers voiced their thoughts on the Vancouver Aquarium’s controversial program over the course of three park board meetings.
Many of the speakers called for a phasing out of the aquarium program that permits whales and dolphins to be kept in captivity. But Vancouver Park Board chair Aaron Jasper says the board decided against it because it did not want to jeopardize the aquarium’s success.