The federal government is working towards a complete overhaul of the fisheries legislation. As part of the reform, Ottawa will officially ban the capture of cetaceans- marine mammals such as whales, porpoises, and dolphins.
The change is a victory for many groups of activists that see the captivity of these intelligent animals as cruel and perverse.
“The public acceptance of keeping these majestic creatures in captivity has changed, and we think the law should also change to reflect that so we’re going to ban the taking of cetaceans,” said Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc. “We think Canadians massively support that principle.
Currently, there are only two facilities in Canada that can house the mammals, Marineland in Niagara Falls, and the Vancouver Aquarium. While Marineland is concerned about the bill having an impact on theme park attendance, the BC facility has already recently announced that they would no longer display whales or dolphins and that they are in complete support of the new bill.
“We applaud Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Minister LeBlanc, for supporting a practice that we pioneered more than 20 years ago,” reads a statement from Vancouver Aquarium. “As Canada’s only Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, we appreciate the ongoing support the Minister provides to protect stranded, sick or injured cetaceans that require rescue and care.”
There is an exemption in the bill that would still allow the facility to rehabilitate any cetaceans that are injured or otherwise in need of help.