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What will happen to cetaceans once new aquarium bylaw is adopted?

Last Updated Mar 11, 2017 at 8:41 am PST

(Courtesy Vancouver Aquarium)
Summary

Park board chair wants the cetaceans to stay at aquarium despite new bylaw calling for displays to end

Marine mammal rescue centre not suitable for cetaceans, says park board chair

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As a new bylaw is created to implement a ban on the importation and display of live cetaceans at the Vancouver Aquarium, questions are being raised about where the current marine mammals will wind up.

In presenting the motion, Green Party commissioner Stuart Mackinnon suggested the aquarium could send the aquarium’s three cetaceans to the marine mammal rescue centre.

But chair Michael Wiebe says the rescue centre doesn’t have the capacity for the aquarium’s dolphin, porpoise and false killer whale.

“Right now, to house the three cetaceans we currently have, might be tricky with the tanks they have. It might not be the best environment for them,” says Wiebe.

“We don’t want to euthanize the whales. We don’t want to send them out. We want to make sure we work with the aquarium going forward.”

So, efforts are underway to have a bylaw that will allows the cetaceans to stay.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Aquarium says the new bylaw jeopardizes operations of the marine rescue centre.

“This decision will also affect the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre – the only marine mammal hospital of its kind in Canada. Under an amended bylaw, the Rescue Centre may no longer be able to rescue stranded whales, dolphins and porpoises that are injured or sick,” says CEO John Nightingale in a written statement.