Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed an incredible outpouring of support from our community against a proposed ban on cetaceans – whales, dolphins, and porpoises – at the Vancouver Aquarium. On behalf of the vulnerable animals we have fought to protect, we are writing today to say thank you.

Thank you for sending more than 13,000 letters asking the Park Board to reconsider the proposed ban. Thank you to the hundreds of people who came to the public rally to oppose the ban (in the pouring rain!) and those of you who joined the rally online. Thank you for adding your passionate and well-informed voice to this important conversation, both on social media and in person with your friends, family and colleagues. But most of all, thank you for caring about the future of the most vulnerable animals.

Unfortunately, the Park Board voted to approve the ban on cetaceans in Vancouver parks and by extension, at the Vancouver Aquarium – a decision that places the opinion of a vocal few above the overwhelming majority of Metro Vancouver residents and the scientific community. Effectively, they voted against a future for non-releasable animals that are found injured, sick, or orphaned on our shores.

So what happens now? Caring for vulnerable marine animals is what we do, and we’re not giving up. We will now turn our attention to understanding what the ban will mean to us and we’re exploring our options.

From our entire team, thank you for your continued support. We appreciate it so much.

Your Vancouver Aquarium

11 Responses

  1. Hiram

    Why is the Vancouver Aquarium in trouble for saving marine animals? And how can I help save the Vancouver Aquarium?

    Reply
  2. John Rawle

    Stanly Park is DOD land given to the city of Vancouver for its use. Not the Parks Board. This treasure is at the very least a B.C. park if not a National park. Why does this small very local, stay away from my park group have the control to dismantle such a great centre of research, education and environmental stewardship. Thus is a blow to all those who have worked toward recognition, understanding and love for the marine environment.

    Reply
  3. Kate

    Aren’t these animals what we call “refugees” of the wild. Do we not as Canadians stand up for all refugees needing our help, all disabled needing our help!!! This is an absolute disgrace to our reputations as caregivers to the helpless. What are you thinking?

    Reply
    • Ange

      Totally agree. I think the world has a different view of what Canada is and what it stands for. All lives matter, and just because a human or animal’s situation changes it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve life or have the desire/will to live. Survival is instinctual in all living things.

      I honestly think the Aquarium was a soft target for these so-called ‘animal rights’ groups who would happily let cetaceans die or be killed on our shorelines. There are countless creatures out their being abused, farmed, persecuted etc. that need the attention of these groups, not a world-renowned facility like this actually doing something positive. The level of ignorance out there over this issue is baffling.

      In my experience as a rescue volunteer with another group, when people find an injured or orphaned animal the overriding feeling is one of love and care; they want the animal to survive, they want follow ups. We go to all and any lengths just to save one animal. If it is rehabbed then we get to share the joy of releasing it back to its home; sometimes they don’t make it and that’s sad, but nature. Either way, no one wants to see it die where they find it, they want it to be taken care of and given a chance. Some creatures who cannot be released, but with permission of DFO, get to live and become important ambassadors for their kind in research and education.

      When the people who find dying cetaceans have to watch them die (especially when they had a chance at rehab and release) then public opinion will change and the ignorant will become educated in the worst possible way.

      I wait and watch to see what the Aquarium will do and will be there to support. I’ll even stand out again in the pouring rain if I have to!!

      Reply
  4. Peggie

    Is there anything more that can be done to reverse this decision?

    Reply
  5. Kathleen McMullin

    IN my mind, the people that are banning the rescuing and consequent provision of an interesting life for cetaceans at the aquarium are akin to the people that don’t understand what its like for disabled and severely disabled people and animals to live. I say this because I think that when someone says that its more humane to euthanize injured cetaceans probably feel the same way about animals and people who live a life bedridden or who wheel around in chairs. The life that mentally and physically disabled creatures live may not be what THEY think life should be but if they spent some time with a disabled creature who is living life to the best of its ability they would see that its that creature’s life and not there’s to make that decision. A severely disabled person can enjoy life even if the only thing he does is watch sports all day. There is still a quality of life. Its not different with cetaceans, who also enjoy life. The board is uneducated as far as making this kind of decision and desperately need severe training in what it means to live with a disability. People and animals die in domestic situations for a number of reasons just as they do in the wild, but the rest of us keep on. It can be difficult to find out why, sometimes, it could be disease, food-borne, or injury. We don’t stop helping animals or people, Why cetaceans then. If it becomes a bit difficult to help people and animals will we quit them too. Perhaps we need to elect a good portion of disabled persons to this board to represent all creatures as this representation is unequal on all sides, an inequality that has resulted in a very poor decision. Kathleen McMullin

    Reply
  6. Kate Hickok

    This is a nightmare of stubborn bureaucrats unable to admit they were wrong. The Vancouver Aquarium should not be under their jurisdiction.

    Reply

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