Vancouver Aquarium Takes Parks Board to SC over Cetacean Breeding Ban

The Vancouver Aquarium has announced its plan to take the city’s parks board to court over its right to breed whales and dolphins in captivity. The unexpected decision was announced at a press conference on Wednesday, when the aquarium’s marine science centre filed a legal challenge in the B.C. Supreme Court.

The key issue being objected by the aquarium include four resolutions passed by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation back in July, which primarily restrict how cetaceans, including whales, dolphins and porpoises, can be acquired and kept in the city’s parks. According to the press release by Vancouver Aquarium, the aquarium’s marine science centre “was disappointed with the proposed resolutions” and hence it has decided to seek a judicial review of their validity. According to the aquarium’s president and CEO, Dr. John Nightingale, “the issues in nature, specifically with our oceans, are increasingly problematic — overfishing, marine pollution and acidification are man-made issues that require human intervention.”

Dr. Nightingale mentioned that “as Canada’s marine science centre, it is our mandate to help protect our oceans and the aquatic creatures that depend on it — this includes the whales, dolphins and porpoises that are in need of rescue due to stranding, illness or injury.” Furthermore, it was added that “now is not the time to be doing less to protect and preserve our ocean environments. The resolutions put forth by the park board restrict the aquarium’s ability to fully continue its mandate.”

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